By Mike Slane, Goal.com
SEATTLE -- Jozy Altidore is on fire and the United States is riding the striker's newly found confidence as it continues to inch closer to clinching a spot in next year's World Cup.
After failing to score for the national team for nearly two years, Altidore tallied his third goal in three games to lead the U.S. to a much-needed 2-0 victory over Panama in a World Cup qualifier at CenturyLink Field on Tuesday.
The U.S., which defeated Jamaica on the road five days earlier, moves into first place in the Hexagonal standings with 10 points following a draw between Mexico and Costa Rica earlier in the night.
Eddie Johnson, who plays for the hometown Seattle Sounders, scored the USA's second goal.
Altidore opened the scoring in the 36th minute off a brilliant transition play. It started with Michael Bradley opening up the pitch before finding Fabian Johnson, who delivered a low cross to Altidore at the back post.
Coming off a 31-goal season at club AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands, Altidore had finally found his scoring touch with the national team after scoring against Germany in a friendly earlier this month and against the Reggae Boyz in Kingston. He entered the latest camp on a 24-month run-of-play scoring drought.