Jozy Altidore may have struggled during his two spells in the Premier League with Hull City and Sunderland, but the 26-year-old is a key player for the United States national team.
On Friday he became USA’s third-highest goalscorer of all time by scoring a penalty in the 6-0 victory over St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
With 35 goals in 94 appearances, only Clint Dempsey (52) and Landon Donovan (57) have scored more than the much-maligned American forward.
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Americans are famously patriotic and, before every match, you’ll see the US team passionately singing the national anthem with their hands over the hearts.
With the exception of Altidore, who stands with his hands behind his back, mouth closed.
Watch: Altidore doesn't sing the national anthem
This has annoyed some people - including the guy who made the following YouTube video, highlight Altidore’s supposed lack of patriotism - but the striker has now revealed why he opts against singing The Star-Spangled Banner.
Altidore explains why he remains silent
“A lot of people have asked me that over the years,” Altidore told SI.com, per the Mirror. “I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in my household, and … to this day we’re still big believers of the way we were brought up in that form of Christianity.
"So that’s the reason for that. I hope people can respect that and understand it.
"But by no means does it mean I don’t respect the country or am not proud to be part of this national team and proud to represent the United States.”
Most people won't care if he continues to score goals
In a country as fiercely patriotic as America, Altidore’s explaining won’t satisfy everyone in his home country.
But as long as he continues to score goals for the Stars and Stripes, most people probably won’t care whether or not he chooses to sing the national anthem before matches.
Should Americans give Jozy Altidore a break over the national anthem? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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