2010 FIFA World Cup: Who Exactly Are the Strikers for the USA?
The USA has gained much attention on their perceived lack of goal scoring power for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
You can't blame the critics, since the USA has all first-timers. And playing in friendlies against the Czech Republic, Turkey, and Australia isn't exactly the same as walking out onto the World Cup field to play England or any other opponent.
All appearances and goal statistics mentioned are only from the player's respective domestic league, excluding cup games.
The 20-year-old is considered to be the star striker for this year's American squad and, after garnering interest overseas before his 18th birthday and playing well in the process, has clearly earned the position.
At age 16, Altidore was drafted by the then-New York/New Jersey Metrostars as the 17th pick in the 2006 MLS Superdraft. The team would become the New York Red Bulls less than two months after the draft.
In 2006, Altidore remained in his hometown of Boca Raton, Florida to work on his high school diploma and ended up debuting for the Red Bulls in August 2006.
Altidore scored his first professional goal a month after his debut against the Columbus Crew and he'd score 14 more for New York in 37 games for the club.
On June 4, 2008, Spanish club Villarreal signed Altidore for $10 million, which is the highest fee paid for an MLS player, surpassing the $4 million Fulham paid for Clint Dempsey.
His debut came on September 14 of that year and his first goal was scored on November 1 against Athletic Bilbao. That goal made Altidore the first American to score in Spain's top flight, La Liga.
Villarreal loaned Altidore to Second Division, Xerez on January 30, 2009. The club cited Altidore's lack of playing time as a leading factor for the transfer, as well as his need to adjust to being in Spain.
However, Altidore made no appearances for Xerez as he suffered a toenail injury that required surgery.
On August 5, 2009, Altidore was loaned to English Premier League side, Hull City, where he made 28 appearances and scored only one goal, which came in a 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Internationally, Altidore has scored nine times since his debut on November 17, 2007.
A so-called "fringe" player for the USA, Buddle is trying to prove people wrong and become a "star overnight" for the US.
Buddle got his professional start with the Columbus Crew in 2001.
During his time with Columbus, he was plagued by injuries, yet still was able to produce offense for the Crew, including nine goals and four assists in only 16 games in 2003.
Buddle scored 42 goals in 101 games for the Crew from 2001-2005.
In 2006, Buddle was traded to the New York Red Bulls and, in one season, scored six goals in all 28 games.
He was traded to Toronto FC following the season, where he made 10 appearances in 2007 before being traded to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Buddle scored in his Galaxy debut, which would be a sign of things to come.
During 2008, Buddle recorded two hat tricks, which promoted David Beckham to say, "Edson is an individual who is getting better at the game. He's proved that tonight," following Buddle's second three-goal performance.
Buddle has appeared in 70 games scoring 34 goals for LA, prompting Shep Messing of MLS Extratime to remark, "I don't think there's a better tandem up top than Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle...they complement each other. They don't take away each other's space, making it better for each other."
On March 29, 2003, Buddle made his international debut for the USA and, after not making an appearance for them for seven years, he was named to the preliminary squad for the US.
So far, in four overall appearances, he's scored two goals, both against Australia.
Herculez Gomez is easily the most unexpected member of the US national team, entering play with just one cap and being released only months ago by the MLS' Kansas City Wizards.
Gomez wouldn't play professional soccer until joining his hometown Los Angeles Galaxy in 2003. He made 53 appearances, scoring 16 goals for the club and went on loan to the USL's San Diego Sockers and Seattle Sounders during his time with LA.
After the 2006 season, he was traded to the Colorado Rapids, where he made 33 appearances over two seasons, scoring six goals.
During the 2008 season, he was traded to Kansas City, scoring nine goals in 34 games during 2008 and 2009.
Gomez was released following the 2009 season. He later signed with Mexican club Puebla, scoring 10 goals in only 14 games.
Gomez is currently signed with Pachuca, also in Mexico, and will make his debut next season.
In four caps for the USA, Gomez has two goals one versus the Czech Republic and one against Australia.
Findley was drafted by the LA Galaxy in the 2007 SuperDraft after two years of playing in the USL Premier Development League.
He made his debut on April 8, 2007 and scored his first goal on April 12 against FC Dallas.
After only nine games in which he scored only two goals, Findley was traded to his current club, Real Salt Lake.
He has scored 25 goals in 82 games. He tried out for Swedish club, Brøndby IF, in January 2009, but failed to receive a contract.
His first international cap came on October 9, 2007 after attending a camp for Trinindad & Tobago a year earlier.
Findley has made six appearances for the US and has yet to score a goal, but is known for his speed and ability to create opportunities more than his goal scoring prowess.