Altidore hoping for improvement in 2014-15

The U.S. striker endured a difficult first season at Sunderland, managing just two goals in all competitions

Jozy Altidore is hoping to rebound in 2014-15 after a miserable opening year at Sunderland.

The U.S. international managed just one Premier League goal all season following a $13 million move from AZ, as the Black Cats narrowly avoided relegation.

“It was a tough year for me last year,” Altidore told the Sunderland Echo. “I struggled, everybody struggled. When things don’t go well, you analyze what you can do better. I’ve done that and hopefully this season I can start out on the right foot.”

Altidore, 24, suffered another bitter blow following the Premier League season. The striker pulled up with a hamstring injury in the first half of the USA’s World Cup opener against Ghana, and missed the rest of the tournament.

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“Missing out on almost all the World Cup was terrible,” Altidore said. “It was the worst thing so far in my career. But these things happen in sport and in life. You accept these challenges and you just have to respond to them.”

The burly striker is only beginning to return to fitness, making his preseason debut last week in a friendly. He’s likely to start on the bench in Sunderland’s Premier League opener this weekend

“Everybody has been playing and I’ve been catching up so it was nice to finally get out there and get some minutes last weekend,” Altidore said. “I felt fine on Saturday and hopefully over the next couple of weeks I’ll be back up to full fitness.”