126 Days And Counting

What do these things have in common?

Rico Clark’s goal propels the USMNT to a 1-0 win at Trinidad & Tobago.

The US qualifies for the World Cup in Honduras on the strength of a brace by Conor Casey.

Charlie Davies gets injured in a car accident and visits the US team’s training camp months later.

The USMNT draws with Costa Rica in dramatic fashion to finish in first place in CONCACAF.

Real Salt Lake wins the MLS Cup.

The World Cup draw places the United States in Group C with England, Slovenia and Algeria.

Landon Donovan assists on a goal in his first game for Everton in the English Premier League.

Give up? The above are all things that have happened since Jozy Altidore scored his last goal in a meaningful competition.

126 days ago, the de facto #1 striker on the US National Team netted his last goal versus El Salvador at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City.

Since then?….Bupkis. Zilch. Nothing.

This can’t go on.

It is time to rally around the Tiger who started out his Hull City campaign with an assist minutes into his first EPL match followed by a goal in a Carling Cup contest. So, TSG is commencing the Altidore Goal Watch. We’ll be counting the days (on the sidebar) until Big Jeezy puts one in the back of the net.

Time to get that Eye of the Tiger, Jozy!

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by MichaelN on 2010/01/09 at 10:34 AM

    Can penalties drawn count as half?? I feel bad for the guy

    Reply

  2. Posted by dude on 2010/01/09 at 12:28 PM

    I think he’s learning all the lessons he’ll need to learn as a target player at the international level. He’s learning what it means to play against the worlds best defenses when your compatriots aren’t channeling all the possession your way. He’s learning how good his touches and his passes have to be. He understands how difficult the league is, that he isn’t hot stuff, not without growing in all the areas he knows he needs to grow. His talent alone isn’t enough, and this is a good position to be in.

    I’m not afraid for Jozy. Unlike Adu, he is blessed with physical attributes that cannot be taken away. Once he knows how to use his frame and handle himself, his considerable talent and nose for goal will come through. All in all, he’s got a few months to learn how to score in the EPL, and he will get the opportunity as Hull head for the Championship. He hasn’t lost it, and with Dempsey and Donovan behind him he will be potent come the world cup.

    Reply

  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/09 at 3:11 PM

    Mark:

    Have to categorically disagree with you here that Altidore not having a goal is even a big deal per my past few columns.

    Altidore is being used in the Heskey role, removed from the offensive third for the bulk of the game and consistently…consistently draws the best defender on the other team.

    He’s young…..

    I think the question is more aptly put, “How good is Altidore’s scoring touch.” Strikers get in and out of grooves, see Carlton Cole last year (positively) and Dimitar Berbatov (last year and this year)….

    I think what I’m seeing if I’m Bob Bradley is that at this point Altidore is being used more and looks like an Emily Heskey Plus not a Didier Drogba Minus.

    This can’t go on…disagree…put Altidore on Aston Villa or Tottenham right now and he’s got at least two goals or more….

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/01/09 at 3:31 PM

      The bigger question here may be with Jozy getting reps in the hold-up role…does he move to more of a true striker on the USMNT or take over Conor Casey or even Demps’ hold-up role? and continually if that is the case…whose the other striker or how is Demps deployed?

      I smell another column here.

      Reply

    • Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/10 at 11:07 PM

      Altidore played target forward after Casey went out versus Costa Rica in October, so Bradley may see what he can do there. However, I don’t think his touch is where it needs to be for him to play that role for any length of time during the World Cup.

      Reply

  4. Posted by dallen on 2010/01/09 at 3:53 PM

    I know it isn’t what you want to think about with the World Cup looming not so far in the distance, but you have to take heart when you see what Landon just did in his Everton debut at age 27 and consider how young Jozy is. Even if he isn’t Drogba Jr. right now, he’s going to have a lot of chances in the future to develop into who he can become. He’s already ahead of where Landon was in terms of club play at age 20.

    Reply

    • Posted by Mark T on 2010/01/10 at 11:08 PM

      I should clarify that I wasn’t suggesting Altidore is not learning and gaining valuable pitch time in the best league in the world. Rather, I just thought that it was unfortunate that he is a goal-scoring drought.

      Reply

  5. Posted by ck on 2010/01/09 at 11:37 PM

    dude, that video was awesome. i’m not too worried about altidore’s development at this point. i’m far more concerned with the lineup bob bradley is going to trot out against engerland. please oh please oh please use clint correctly

    Reply

  6. Posted by Milad on 2010/01/11 at 2:06 AM

    I dont think its being overly critical to ask that a striker score a goal every once in a while…the key with the 126 day bit is the amount of opportunities. He hasnt had that many chances to play, and hes on a team thats looking more and more like relegation material to me. Hes doing his part, but theres very little creative talent on that team, and strikers really cant do that much on their own. Still, hes not the best finisher, and really needs to work on consistency in his goal attempts as he develops.

    That video was awesome, put a smile on my face. The teacher’s enthusiasm was sick, good to see

    Reply

  7. […] If TSG agreed commenter MichaelN’s suggestion from the Jozy Altidore Goal Watch piece of awarding Altidore a half-goal per penalty (shots) drawn than the Altidore goal watch would come […]

    Reply

  8. […] to reset the Altidore Goal Watch meter back to zero. The US striker finally broke through to net his first goal in over twenty […]

    Reply

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