365 Days of Jozy Altidore

It hasn't always been easy or storybook, but Altidore has shined over the past 12 months...

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Despite what your opinions of Jozy Altidore’s ability to find the back of the net, there is no question that the past year has shown the coming of age of Jozy Altidore as a player and the maturation of the American striker as a person.

As a US Soccer fan, I can’t think of another player that has garnered the same press as Jozy and is so positively polarizing as a beacon of the future of US Soccer since Landon Donovan and maybe Landon Donovan alone.

What is so impressive is that Altidore has earned the buzz around him this year without nearly reaching the upper echelon of his talent yet. I’m not quite sure you can actually say that about Landon Donovan; did his accomplishments peak in 2002? That’s another discussion for another time.

To put it succinctly on Altidore, we’ll revisit our Editor’s Note from our  March Boarding Series piece:

It’s hard not to be thoroughly impressed with the composure of Altidore. This is a young man who in the last year has had to switch leagues and cultures, watch as his good friend and strike partner battled a life-threatening accident and experience his native land ravaged by natural disaster. I’m not sure I can put all of those three in perspective enough as a lay person or as a writer. Oh and in his spare time, he’s come of age as an impact player and is now indispensable to the USMNT. And we all know how old he is. If you haven’t given to Haiti relief…..

Today, we felt it appropriate to look back on the year of Jozy. Why today?

It was 365 days ago that Bob Bradley unwrapped his Big Jeezy present in a big way as Altidore deposited a three-pack in the back of the net against Trinidad & Tobago. Altidore made history, the youngest American to record a hat trick in international play. This just a few days after Altidore subbed in against El Salvador and got his 1st away goal for the national senior side.

From there, the year went a little like this:

August 5th, 2009: Villareal loans Jozy Altidore to then-Phil Brown’s Hull City Tigers. Do you remember Fulham was rumored to be in the running? Looks like Fulham bet big on Zamora being healthy and it’s mostly worked out for them. Still a tandem of Zamora and Jozy with Deuce playing behind them? Nice.

August 21st, 2009: After a H1N1 scare, Jozy is pronounced fit to join Hull and TSG wonders if the “set-up couldn’t be sweeter.”

August 22nd, 2009Jozy enters in the 60th minute against Bolton and his first touch, an over-the-head volley, leads to an assist on a Kamil Ghilas goal. (August 23th, 2009) TSG wonders, with all the stateside press and excitement around Jozy, if this is one of the bigger American EPL moments.

August 25th, 2009, Altidore scores his first goal for Hull City in a 3-1 win over Southend United in the second round of the Football League Cup.

September 5th, 2009: On duty for the USA, Altidore slams home an authoritative header for the go ahead score in the USMNT’s 2-1 win over El Salvador in the World Cup qualifier at Rio Tinto. Altidore and Charlie Davies break out the stanky leg.

October begins the first valley in Altidore’s otherwise positive trending year….

October 4th, 2009: Jozy is screwed into the bench by then-Hull City Manager Phil Brown who’s relying on veterans. TSG mocks a call between USMNT coach Bill Bradley and Brown.

October 10th, 2009: The USMNT qualifies for the World Cup in the civil unrest of Honduras, but Conor Casey is the surprise starter that shines alongside Charlie Davies.

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October 14th, 2009: Less than 48 hours after Charlie Davies’ car accident, Jozy Altidore plays an inspired 90+ minutes of soccer at Washington’s RFK in support of his fallen friend and strike partner. Big Jeezy wins the TSG Golden Shinguard for his efforts.

October 24th, 2009: Just ten days later, JZA arrives late for Hull’s match against Portsmouth and then comments about his unexcused absence on Twitter. Altidore is scolded for both offenses by Phil Brown. It would appear for nearly two months after the episode that Altidore is mired in Brown’s doghouse.

November 2nd, 2009: Jozy vows not to be late to practice….even with a herd of sheep blocking the road to work.

November 25th, 2009: Although Jozy starts nearly every game for Hull in November, it’s a quiet month for the American striker. It thankfully ends with a 3-2 win over Tim Howard and Everton, though Big T stops a point blank Jozy shot in this one.

December 20th, 2009: December represents the nadir or Jozy’s coming of age year. With Jimmy Bullard injured and out of the line-up, Phil Brown sends JZA to the bench in favor or a faster striking team from the wings.

December 26th, 2009: Just when true playing concerns were starting to fester, Phil Brown states in an interview:

“Jozy’s a great talent. He went to Villarreal at early age and didn’t get a lot of run out. I’m really looking forward to him in the New Year. He’s got a lot of stuff to learn. I’m hoping that his loan extends beyond this year. Once Jozy gets time in the Premiership and more matches, he’ll be able to showcase his talents.”

December 27th, 2009: Right on the heels of Brown’s comment, Altidore gets his first start what feels like since his time at Red Bull, despite both English and American pundits and fans calling Jozy a “disappointment,” TSG argues that Jozy had a good game. This is the first game, where Altidore is used explicitly and almost exclusively in the “Heskey role,” the target striker role.

JZA: Soaring in 2010...

January 12th, 2010: On Tuesday, January 12th, a massive earthquake rocks the island of Haiti, Jozy’s homeland. Altidore is composed as he pleas for support on Twitter. He’s removed from team play for the bulk of the month as he attempts to help locate his family.

January 30th, 2010: Altidore notches an assist against Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton in a 2-2 draw. He is beginning to thrive in the target striker role.

February 2nd, 2010: Altidore holds his own as he goes up against his June 12th, 2010 foil, John Terry.

February 6th 2010: In perhaps the best day for USMNT soccer fans of 2010 to date, Landon Donovan makes his Liverpool derby debut. Altidore outdoes him by causing havoc for Kolo Toure and friends and knocking home his first goal of 2010 as the Tigers trample Manchester City. JOLAZO!

February 18th 2010: Jozy struts in Fashion for Relief to benefit Haiti.

Interlude: February 26th: TSG explains why Jozy works better up top with a player in support.

March 3, 2010: The first true USMNT game of the year: the much-anticipated measuring friendly against the Netherlands.

In a game where the United States’ offense sat dormant for nearly 70 minutes, Altidore’s work rate was impressive as at least one and many times two defenders were draped on Jozy as he was receiving service or attempting to create an opportunity. Big Jeezy earns TSG’s Golden Shinguard for best performance.

March 28th, 2010: Jozy is named to Sky Sports team of the week for his performance in Hull City’s 2-0 win over Fulham. Altidore earned a critical penalty that Jimmy Bullard converted.

The Year of Jozy, revisited. Impressive for a 20-year-old.

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32 responses to this post.

  1. The cut and finish that Jozy had on the second goal of his hat trick again T&T was superb. Where as some players would have panicked and fired a shot into the defender he coolly made his run to goal, swept the ball around the sliding CB, and slotted home with both enough power and mostly precision. What maturity on that goal. That really showed what a head Jozy had on him. Something we haven’t fully had in a US striker.

    Power, pace, patience, precision, perfect (yes, I like alteration).

    Reply

    • I agree that it displayed some nice composure, but his cutting touch was a little heavy and a better goalkeeper would’ve been off his line to gobble that up or at least make the save. Watching it live I thought he had spurned the opportunity but then I remembered we were playing T&T and their keeper isn’t that good.

      Reply

    • Posted by Haze on 2010/04/01 at 5:36 AM

      That 2nd one was surely the best of the bunch. Had some decent chances that he didn’t convert as well.

      Reply

  2. I love to see our African-American players shinning on and off the pitch, it makes me hopeful that the urban communities will start to pay attention to our sport.

    Jozy is a class act all the way around, and perhaps he could sway some kids who otherwise might not be interested in soccer to give it a try. We all tend to make our heroes out of people who look like us, and now we have an African-American world class player at every field position: Beasley might not be consider world class to some, but he is probably on the bubble, and Gooch proves over and over that whatever he might have lacked when he played for Newcastle he has found on the pitch for the stars and stripes.

    I’m of mixed ethnicity, Cuban and African-American. I played soccer my entire life, but I never had any heroes on the US team that I could identify with until Cobi Jones came around during the ’94’ World Cup. I can always identify with the team, never a problem, but he was the first guy I looked up to in the soccer world.

    The diversity on our team is encouraging, and is a reflection of our melting pot culture. The future will be bright if everyone has someone to identify with on the team and serve as inspiration to our young ones to make it to the highest level. Do not underestimate the power of heroes to inspire.

    I dream of the day Jozy gets his own brand of shoe, in the likeness of the “Jumpman,” with a silhouette of a striker following through on a shot… one day.

    Reply

    • Posted by Phil on 2010/04/01 at 7:18 AM

      Jozy is not African-American john… he is of Haitian blood. That being said, Jozy is a legend unfolding before our eyes.

      Reply

      • I know he is Haitian. I understand the difficulty some people have with labels; I’ve battled them my entire life and it was often the focus of my undergraduate projects (which box to tick as a mulatto, double-consciousness, and the like).

        But for intents and purposes, Jozy is black. Black is identified as people who are the descendants of African ancestors, like the people of Haiti whose ancestors were once forcefully brought to the island who were taken as slaves from the continent of Africa.

        Jozy is of African decent by way of Haiti, he is also American by way of citizenship.

        Therefore I accurately describe him as African-American Phil.

        The complexities of race categorization are not lost on me because I simplify Jozy’s race as “African-American.” Quite the opposite. As an African-American, I am openly inclusive of anyone with increased melanin in their skin to be lumped into (one of) my racial categories. Much like people with heritage from Germany, Russia, England, Ireland, Australia, Italy, and France who can be categorized as “white,” I apply the “black” label just as liberally.

        My point is, his ancestors are from Africa, he’s an American; my statement stands “as-is.”

        Also, in doing so, young African-American children can more easily identify with an African-American than a Haitian-American, which was the point of my initial comment.

        Reply

        • Posted by KL on 2010/04/01 at 8:18 AM

          Dang guys, not used to seeing such deep conversation. I don’t know if my feeble soccer orientated mind can handle this. I joke… kind of.

          Valid points from both of you, but I think what is most important here is the fact that, Jozy, has shown the ability to and the liklihood to becoming a national star. His personal character and professional gifts are exactly what is needed as the next stage of stardom. Landon will only be around so much longer and while he has carried the banner well, it took him a while for him to find his leadership role. Jozy on the other hand with his early maturation, has begun to accept the torch from LD.

          Think about it, he doesn’t say a lot in the media, but i think we will all agree that his work rate on the field has spoken volumes. He no longer gets frustrated when the game doesn’t come to him; he doesn’t expect calls to be given, but instead continues playing whether he was fouled or not; has continued to develop his vision and distribution. All in all, he has made himself better and the players around him. His “shut up and play” leadership is exactly what the US MNT needs right now.

          Reply

        • Posted by Bob on 2010/04/01 at 12:57 PM

          Man, this is deep. I never thought I would see a discussion of double-consciousness on a soccer web site lol! I was just teaching about DuBois and double consciousness in my classes this past week so I do find it interesting that it was mentioned here.

          I think Johnapaz is on to something here and there is room for discussion about the influx of more African Americans into the sport. This was discussed at length on FFF on consecutive weeks during Black History Month. They interviewed an executive for U.S. Soccer (I forget his name at the moment), Cobi Jones, and Jim Brown (who many know as a football star but he was also an All-American lacrosse player in college). One of the points Brown and others made was that less and less African Americans are playing baseball and thus are turning to other sports. All believed that soccer may be the next sport where we see an explosion of African American talent. Brown even talked about how his is a “soccer” dad since he has young children playing soccer now.

          Reply

        • I just thought of Jim Brown as a striker… and I peed a little.

          Anyone know if his kids are on Sweatpants’ radar?

          Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/02 at 6:48 AM

      World class player at every field position? Please. I know it was April Fool’s Day yesterday, but that is blatantly taking the p1ss.

      Reply

  3. Posted by KL on 2010/04/01 at 7:06 AM

    Jozy’s hat trick was my first live experience with the US MNT. I’m sure everyone says this about their first game, but that is something I will never forget. Not only did Jozy premiere himself to the world, but those were me and my friends heroes down there. Crazy great moment. I hope every US supporter has a chance to experience those same feelings.

    Great look back Matt.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Dylan on 2010/04/01 at 8:55 AM

    Ha ha, well done. I’ve been Rolled!

    Reply

  5. Dempsey starting vs Wolfsburg

    Reply

  6. Posted by kaya on 2010/04/01 at 12:13 PM

    For no particular reason, I really enjoy the diversity of our team, but also hope someday people will just identify with the team, period, and not need to feel a “special” connection with a player based on ethnicity.
    I’m cautiously optimistic that my judgement on guys like Jozy and Charlie isn’t misguided. They really seem like people who take nothing for granted and look at every day as an opportunity to work their a$$es off to achieve something. On top of it, they seem like genuinely good guys. I’ve always slightly frowned upon the idea of having a role model (be your own person, etc), but these guys seem like good ones to have if you’re going that route.
    But really, what I wanted to say is that citi sucks enormous non-foot balls. I donated to Yele Haiti with my citi credit card and got dinged for a foreign transaction fee of $1.50 a pop.

    Reply

    • LMFAO @ sucking non-foot balls.

      Kaya: everyone needs a model for success, most people find it in their home with their parents. But in some cases, where there is absent father-figure, many young men look towards sports figures as role models. The debate is not about whether it’s right or not, just that it happens.

      Let us not forget how impressionable we all once were as kids (or perhaps still are, considering some of the readers might still be teenagers), and that our fantasies are made up of what we read, hear, and see. It’s just difficult to imagine yourself as someone who doesn’t look or act like you. Not impossible, just difficult. Even more so for someone who may not be exposed to many cultures, like your average urban child.

      Feeling a special connection with a particular player only strengthens one’s feelings toward the crest, it enhances relevancy.

      It’s this very argument that made so many people outraged at Tiger’s infidelity, even though it is on every level a personal matter; Tiger made himself to be someone people can believe in as a role model, hence why sponsors flocked to him. That he was not who he portrayed himself to be was the real scandal, not that he’s a typical male and will hump anything not nailed down (and some that are).

      Reply

      • Last word on this subject, because I sense people are getting frustrated at talking about a subject that goes deeper than the pitch:

        Ethnicity will only cease to matter when there is true equality. My generation, The Millennials, are closer to this reality than any generation before them. But do not let that fool you into thinking that race relations are fine the way they are, far from it. It’s just now the general perception is that racism is wrong, but that does not change people’s hearts or minds. People still hold preconceived notions about others different from themselves.

        I live in the South, and I need to look no further than my daily commute to understand that there is still a lot of progress to be made. Until minorities are represented proportionate to their percentage of the population among society’s elite (for instance, youth travel soccer leagues) there will always be more that can be done.

        Reply

  7. Posted by Bob on 2010/04/01 at 12:43 PM

    I forgot that Fulham was looking at Jozy, but I do remember that rumors had him going to Olympiacos (and it seems this was the strongest rumor until Hull took him). If he performs they way he did against Spain, he will once again have teams in the big Euro leagues calling for him. I think our post-WC summer is going to be interesting and hopefully exciting to see our players move on to bigger and better clubs. How many more of our players will soon be at clubs like AC Milan? I can’t wait to find out.

    Reply

  8. On an unrelated note, anyone been checking out Jen Chang’s column on SI?

    SoccernetUSA is 100% irrelevant now. The last thing they posted there was about the meaningless FIFA rankings.

    Not Deuce’s wonder goal, not two Americans arguably the best strikers in an EPL match (Jozy v. Deuce), and certainly not MLS CBA negotiations.

    I know you can get there by following some excruciatingly difficult hyperlink path, but, my attention span doesn’t last that long. Give it to me now, or I’m already gone.

    Reply

  9. [...] [The Shin Guardian] Check out the last year in Jozy’s life. Props to The Shin Guardian. [...]

    Reply

  10. [...] on Jozy’s entire body of work at Hull is probably too severe. A few weeks ago we issued this column, largely in admiration of the last year for Altidore. This incident is a blemish, but doesn’t [...]

    Reply

  11. Posted by chelseatiger on 2010/04/30 at 9:49 PM

    What are you guys on, you really need to give Jozy a chance to develop, he is not a superstar in football terms or anywhere close. He has had a poor season and Hull City and done his prospects of developing in the European game no good at all. Villareal are stuck with a 6 million Euro investment in a market where few clubs will have money to invest next season.

    The facts are that Jozy has scored 2 goals in 2 seasons at 3 different European clubs. At City he managed one goal in 28 games, 8 shots on target – that is one every 3 and a half games.

    He is not fit enough or strong enough, can’t tackle, head or use his left foot and has no awareness off the ball. He has some physical attributes that are very useful – his pace over 5 yards and he is very good at falling over.

    Letting his teammates down in a vital game that City had to win was not a good idea – this was his first act of agression of the season, mindless.

    I do believe he can develop into a decent player, maybe in the Premier League eventually but I doubt at any significant level. He is not however a world beater or anything close. Your expectations of the poor kid are way too high!!

    Reply

  12. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/30 at 10:11 PM

    I’m not sure what you’re reading into this post…

    He’s 20-years-old….no one is coining him a superstar at this point. Not this post.

    Didier Drogba scored 11 goals in three seasons for Le Mans! from 20 – 22 years old.

    On Jozy…the facts are also that we was injured for the entire 2nd half of last season and that Hull City strikers had lowest amount of pass recieved out of any Premiership club.

    I hate the goals argument. Jozy played the entire season nearly at the half line due to the horrendous backline of Hull. He was asked to receive the ball and distribute for the most part.

    He was continually collapsed on and had a 30-year-old out of favor striker as his partner and a running yellow card who couldn’t beat a rock in rounding the corner.

    At 20-years-old….this isn’t a Wayne Rooney season at that age..no one is saying that….but there is a lot of growth during the season.

    I don’t see anything in the article deems Jozy a superstar already.

    Reply

    • Posted by chelseatiger on 2010/04/30 at 11:07 PM

      Drogba 11 in 3 seasons Jozy 2 in 2 seasons, what is your point?

      Not sure where you got your stat regarding “pass received” nor why this is relevant. Bullard scored 5 from 14 and Hunt 6 from 27, both from midfield. Vennegoor and Folan both outscored him playing fewer games.

      Not sure what you have been watching but live at the games he really has been disappointing, probably more so because of all the expectation we had. Largely due to him being “bigged up” by his countrymen. I wanted to see him do well (my wife is American and it would have been great for her family to see a US player doing well, cynically it would also have helped the club’s overseas fan base) but it wasn’t to be.

      My big worry is where does this kid go from here? Expectations of him are way too high, he needs some good solid coaching away from the limelight not “365 days of Jozy” articles and a bunch of posts damning the club he played for.

      I think it is easy to underestimate the strength of the Premier League, to put it in perspective Hull City (who have been really poor this season) would probably walk the MLS based on Jozy’s relative success, or lack thereof, in both leagues. Certainly MLS clubs would only survive in the 3rd of 4th divisions of the English leagues and that may be being generous.

      Good luck Jozy whereever you end up!

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/30 at 11:26 PM

        Well, let’s ask the question?
        What were you expecting out of Jozy goal-wise?

        Goals as a measure of success were brought up in your original commentary. My “rebuttal” is that Drogba averaged less than 4 a season for a lower’ level side from 20 to 23.

        Bullard and Hunt are then brought up, but both of them take penalty kicks AND to my point are much older, more mature, more experienced.

        Maybe let’s try assists where Altidore finished 16th…in the entire EPL.

        No one is coronating Altidore anything, the piece is a measure of growth. There is certainly much more that needs to be had.
        Again, I’m not certain how you see this article labeling him as a superstar.

        What I know is that he is 20-years-old, he certainly has to grow and this year at least he did get to play in a top division.

        In terms of being bigged up, the coverage at TSG here is farily balanced….maybe you’re reading other publications.

        Who’s expectations of Altidore are too high? Where?

        And now there is a line of thinking that Hull succeeds in MLS. No kidding.

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/30 at 11:44 PM

          Goals is such a poor evaluation statistic in isolation.

          You know who the third leading goal scorer was on Manchester United this year?

          (OG) …he plays for the other team….

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  13. Posted by chelseatiger on 2010/05/01 at 12:40 AM

    Goals are a poor evaluation – why? Goals are the only statistic that actually matter. Assists didn’t even exist in football until a few years ago and generally football is a game often won by teams that don’t deserve to win on the basis of statistics.

    I think you’ll find Hunt didn’t take any penalties but it is true to say that Bullard did, mind you I don’t think anyone would have felt very happy about Jozy taking penalties.

    I am not sure your point on age makes any difference, at 6 million Euros you expect a certain level of performance, there are certainly lots of examples of players scoring goals before they are 20. I certainly didn’t lower my expectation because of his age.

    How many goals did we expect, I think in a poor team double figures would have been a tremendous performance but that is probably what we needed from a striker to have kept us up. Fletcher at Burnley, who was also new to the Prem, got 8 in a relegated team, Graham Alexander got 7 from midfield but he takes penalties, Nugent got 6 in the same team. Dindane at Pompey, who was our alternative to signing Jozy, got 7 in 18 games – conclusion being we picked the wrong man probably.

    I think if Jozy had got 5 or 6 he would have got away with being seen as OK perhaps. Long answer but in summary between 6 and 10 would have been the expectation level.

    You are right in as much as I have been influenced by other boards, not least the City boards. I don’t know if this is right but I get the feeling that there is a support of a player rather than a team from the US fans. This is very different from the team oriented approach more normal in football. Players, managers, even owners are temporary custodians of a role in the club whereas fans follow the club for life.

    However this article starts:

    “Despite what your opinions of Jozy Altidore’s ability to find the back of the net, there is no question that the past year has shown the coming of age of Jozy Altidore as a player and the maturation of the American striker as a person.”

    This is just wrong, absolute nonensense. The alleged “maturation” as a person clearly conflicts with him letting down the club, management, fellow players and fans in his last match. I am very angry with him for that alone!

    As for “coming of age as a player” it is true that he has made progress but from a startlingly low base (see earlier comments reference fitness and general skill level).

    No way has he come of age as a player. The best you can say is that we can now identify what he needs to do to get to the level of performance that is required for him to play at the level he aspires to.

    For a player already 20 he has a lot of work to do, this will take a level of personal commitment from him. My question is whether he has that commitment.

    Read the following quote from the UK press:

    “While Dowie believes the 20-year-old has great ability, the Tigers boss feels he needs to focus more on the training field and improve his ‘football intelligence’.

    Dowie said: “The fans have been fantastic, given him great support and probably he hasn’t fulfilled his potential here. He’s got one goal and for the level of investment it’s probably not enough.

    “I’ve spoken to Jozy a number of times since I’ve been here and, if Jozy can train the way he plays, I think he’s got a great opportunity but he needs to understand that it’s that day in, day out.
    Focus

    “He’s a lovely, laid-back boy and there’s no side to him but he needs to focus on training at a better level.

    “It’s a different level than Jozy’s used to training at and he’s got to get used to it. He found the physicality of the Premier League very hard when he came in. He’s got used to that now but he must not get comfortable.”

    That is quite damning in a sport where you are expected to have the basic skills in place by your mid to late teens. From that point on it is about refining the skills and gaining experience. Hence my comment about him being already 20.

    Good luck in the world Cup, though not at England’s expense of course. I hope the US take Jozy in the squad, it would be good to see him there. I doubt very much he’ll start though.

    Anyway, nice to chat to you on here, I feel I have commented enough on Jozy, he has moved on and is no longer a City player. My focus is now back to the team and prospects for life after 365 days of Jozy!

    Over and out. CT.

    Reply

    • Your comment about fans being fans of the club for life is a nice sentiment, and for the most part close to correct, but I read in FourFourTwo awhile back that the older generation of fans were getting frustrated that the newer generation was starting to focus on their fandom solely on players and not the clubs in general. The observation was made during the height of Stevie G to Chelsea rumors, just to put it into context.

      As for Jozy’s success or failure at Hull, my thoughts based on the few Hull City matches I’ve endured this season…he’s an inconsistent 20 year old, kind of like Kiko Macheda at United, half the Arsenal Domestic Cup teams, etc. Against Manchester City he was an absolute terror and you could argue that Hull woul’ve lost that game without his presence. Sure there are games when he’s not standing on his head, and sure we (the US fans) wish that he put a few more in the back of the net, but to claim that his success or failure is squarely on his shoulders is a bit naive. There are things that he should’ve done better, such as train like he plays in the games, etc., but the cold harsh reality is that Altidore’s style of play doesn’t necessarily mesh with the position he was asked to play by Phil Brown. He doesn’t have the poaching instincts of a VofH and he’s not a winger making cutting runs into the box (Hunt).

      It’s true that goals are the only thing that matters when looking at a team’s success or failure, but when looking at individual players, especially those playing forward/striker roles, you have to take other things into consideration like the assists or holding the ball up so that Stephen Hunt can make his run and score a goal. Look at Emile Heskey, he’s still in the England mix and he doesn’t score bags of goals, why? Because he holds the ball up well, and makes the types of runs that a Wayne Rooney needs in order to be so scuccesful. As a US fan we all noticed how Jozy played when paired with Charlie Davies int he Confed Cup, the whole became greater than the sum of the parts. But when was the last time you saw young Altidore paired with a speedy forward up top for Hull? I’m guessing it was a certain game against Bolton when Jozy made his debut and set one up and almost scored one…

      The immature aggression he showed in earning that red card (I didn’t see it or the highlights so i’m not entirely sure what happened) is deplorable if what has been reported is what happened. But are you so damning with someone like Wayne Rooney, who though calmer this season has had a habit of letting his temper have more of an impact on a match than his skills?

      Reply

  14. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/01 at 6:27 AM

    Altidore is an up and coming US talent, so of course Americans get excited about his progress. The English do it all the time regarding youngsters who they deem a little special. And many of them don’t live up to expectation. You have to remember that the US have a relatively small talent pool at the top level and when European teams want an American player, then understandably, US fans get a little buzz. Don’t be a hater for that.

    Regarding Hull City, well I would like to look at his conversion rate. It’s OK to say that he only scored two goals but it would be nice to see how many chances the TEAM created for him. Also, you have to take into account the adjustment period it takes most players to get used to the EPL – if Hull City couldn’t afford that luxury, then that’s down to the management. Look at the way the top teams ween their youngsters through. Unless the youngster is a freak like Rooney or Messi, don’t expect too many too soon.

    Personally, it sounds to me that you’re looking for a scaprgoat because of Hull’s relegation. Face facts – you didn’t get relegated because of Altidore, you got relegated because because Hull played poorly over the season. Welcome to The Championship…

    Reply

    • Amen George, look at Theo Walcott who’s finally now finding the form the English were salivaiting for 3 years ago (we all know that no one really expected him to do great things in Germany 06). Then there’s Micah Richards, David Bentley, and on and on. Just like we have Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson, and pre-2009 Landon Donovan. When will we fans learn our lessons?

      Reply

  15. [...] England fans are paying attention to the Yanks…and were expecting Jozy Altidore to notch 6 to 10 goals this campaign with no [...]

    Reply

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