U.S. Soccer

On This Day 2009: Jozy Altidore Becomes Youngest MNT Player to Tally a Hat Trick

Having made his MNT debut at the tender age of 18 in 2007, Jozy Altidore began to work his way into a more regular role with the team a year later. Goals in a rivalry match against Mexico and World Cup qualifiers against Cuba and El Salvador showed he was capable of contributing on the international level, but even those couldn’t have prepared people for his output on April 1, 2009.

Taking on Trinidad & Tobago in a Final Round World Cup Qualifying match in Nashville, at 19 years and 146 days old, Altidore became the youngest player in MNT history to score a hat trick in the 3-0 win.

The beneficiary of good service all night, Altidore could have had five or six goals as the U.S. ran rampant at the Soca Warriors defense, but three certainly did the job.

In the 17th minute, Brian Ching’s flick on header into space saw Landon Donovan run through before playing a low cross for Altidore at the back post, allowing him to smash home from close range. After a couple of close misses, Altidore was on target again in the 71st minute as Donovan played him into the box, before for the 19-year-old juked a T&T defender before finishing his second of the match.

Just as it looked like things would settle at 2-0, the U.S. had found one last opportunity.

Frankie Hejduk’s ball over the top saw Michael Bradley beat the T&T offside trap. With plenty of space in on goal, Bradley centered for Donovan. Perhaps knowing Altidore was one goal off a hat trick, Donovan unselfishly laid off for the trailing striker, whose low blast from outside the 18 squeaked underneath Clayton Ince at the left post in the 89th minute.

With three goals to his name, Altidore eclipsed Eddie Johnson’s previous record of youngest MNT player to score a hat trick by more than a year -- Johnson was 20 years, 196 days old when he scored three goals vs. Panama in a World Cup qualifier on October 13, 2004.

The five youngest players to achieve a hat trick for the MNT:

Player

Age

Date/Result

Competition

Jozy Altidore

19 years, 146 days

4/1/2009; 3-0 W vs. Trinidad & Tobago

WCQ

Eddie Johnson

20 years, 196 days

10/13/2004; 6-0 W vs. Panama

WCQ

Bert Patenaude

20 years, 255 days

5/24/1934; 4-2 W vs. Mexico

WCQ

Landon Donovan

21 years, 137 days

7/19/2003; 5-0 W vs. Cuba

Gold Cup

Joe-Max Moore*

22 years, 285 days

12/5/1993; 7-0 W vs. El Salvador

Friendly

*Joe-Max Moore scored four goals in the 7-0 win vs. El Salvador on December 5, 1993. 

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