Posts Tagged ‘Jozy Altidore’

Some USMNT Thoughts For Tuesday

Some States bullets for Tuesday:

That's rightback Jonathan Spector

• I’m not sure why media and fans continue to insist that Jonathan Spector is a viable option at left back for the Yanks. Spector is having a rough go of it right now at West Ham, but in his defense the entire West Ham defense is not that solid.

Since 2008, Specs owns 14 USMNT caps. Twelve times he’s been at right back…the other two? Center back. Gotta look somewhere else for your left back option.

• As questions continue on whether Herculez Gomez or Edson Buddle should be called, remember that Jeff Cunningham was called after not participating in the national team in 5 years and at the age of 33.

• Speaking of USMNT strikers, a Hull City message board claim states that Jozy Altidore–in what is a totally believable instance for us–returned a tweet to a Tigers supporter that commented, “thank you for your continued support, but unfortunately i was only on loan for this season and the club have not informed me about staying, i will go back to my parent club. once again sorry for Saturday.”

Check out the thread here.

In our piece yesterday on Jozy’s relocation package, TSG commenter Freegle pointed out West Hammerville was an option to which I replied that a certain Carlton Cole was the key to any move there. If you read our piece, check this story on Cole’s possible relocation. Seems like the TSG community is on the right track….and West Ham could be a possible option for the Big Jeezy.

713 to 154. Minutes. Since the March friendly, World Cup wing candidates Alejandro Bedoya (high man) and DaMarcus Beasley (low man) have gone in opposite direction. Excluding stoppage time, Aljeandro Bedoya has featured in all but 7 minutes of Orebro’s 8-game season thus far.

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Jozy Altidore: A Place To Call Home

A few weeks are all that separate Hull City from a move southward to the Championship circuit. Mired in an awful slump that claimed points they should have had–an unbearable beatdown at home by relegation cohort Burnley perhaps the most foul–the Tigers are a mess as are their finances.

TSG bids adieu--sniffle--to the beloved City tiger.

The quandary over where Jozy Altidore plays next season while less messy is not simple either.

From learning to earn a spot, playing at the highest level league in the world and improving his “hold-up ability,” it’s hardly a debate that Altidore gained valuable experience at Hull City and is a better player for it.

Remember, he could have been relegated to Villarreal B team appearances this year.

Here’s what’s known:

• Altidore went to Hull City this year on the lease-with-an-option-to-buy plan. The buy component approximately $6.5M GBP. As the pound has weakened during the dollar this year, at the time that was approximately $10M+ USD and is now closer to $9.75M USD.

• Before Saturday’s Sunderland game, Hull City’s chairman Adam Pearson issued a statement saying two things in reference to his team’s finances:

1) The club is $35M in debt with $25M owed to banks. The other $10M is owed players and agents which makes it difficult to deal with the premium of those lots. Hull also has been the beneficiary of so-called “parachute” payments–in they’ve received further payments from the football association in advance.

2) The club’s “wages” bill is $40M and Pearson is aiming to get that close to $15M in the Championship with relegation a near certainty.

• Villarreal and Jozy’s situation…here’s what I know about the loaner and I welcome further insights from experts:

1) Villarreal purchased the US striker from Red Bull for $10M US.

2) Villarreal look somewhat set up top with the starting duo of American-born Guisseppi Rossi (8 goals on the campaign) and Brazilian national and up-and-comer Nilmar (10 goals) backed by 30-year-old Joseba Llorente, who has produced 7 goals in 25 appearances and is also signed to Villarreal thru 2012. Llorente is the holding striker among the three.

Young Argentine Marco Ruben rounds out the front four.

If you remember from Jozy’s brief time at Villarreal his appearances were usually in relief of Llorente who is still a contributor as a back-up.

3) Because of JZA’s Haitian ancestry and due to the Kolpak ruling, Altidore does not count as a non-EU player–La Liga allows three per team. (Altidore has a work permit in the UK through 2010.)

4) Villarreal has only transferred out players to another La Liga squad or the Premiership over the past 2.5 years. The Castellón-based club has not sent a player to any other league.

Okay, so we’ve got the boring facts out of the way. What is TSG’s take?

Will JZA regret his last appearance in the Hull City kit?

First, let’s not expect Altidore to head back to Hull City. (Odds? 1000 to 1)

Hull is going to need and want a striker that can produce for a quick return to the Premiership–Jozy’s not that guy–he still needs work.

Even if they did want Altidore, Hull City can’t afford him on their target budget given the transfer fee.

Finally here, say Hull wanted to buy Altidore and then loan him out for year with the hope they’d return to top level soccer and bring back the American, it’s a risky gambit….for Hull. The club would need to foot that bill and then do the hard work of loaning out Jozy and negotiating on the fee from a position of weakness–all teams would know they couldn’t possibly afford Big Jeezy for the full year.

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Jozy Makes Statement On Red Card Affair

Altidore Hutton handbags

Update: Jozy issues an apology via Twitter.

I’m so sorry about yesterday. Made a stupid, immature and costly mistake. I apologize to hull city and the fans who I let down. I let my emotions get the best of me and lost my composure. Believe it or not this year playing for hull was to date the best trip I’ve ever been on.

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Altidore sent off in the 1st half in Hull’s must-win 1-0 loss against Sunderland.

Our thoughts at TSG: Reserved. Didn’t watch the game so I don’t know the lead-up to the incident shown below.

Here’s what I do know. You’ve got to keep your cool, but from time-to-time blow-ups happen (see Drogba, Didier). Excusable by Altidore, no. We’ll invoke our TSG motto on this one: “You can’t look at observations in isolation, you need to evaluate the whole body of work.”

To read further into it, or make a statement 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. There have been blemishes and this incident is another that calls into question Jozy’s maturity. At 20-years-old, he is what he is and he’s going to need to improve his maturity in lockstep with his ability to become a better player.

Classy move by City fans towards the end as they rained down ‘This is the best trip I’ve ever been on” which Phil Brown sung when Hull staved off elimination last year.

A little bit on how the Hull fans saw the incident.

How Sunderland fans saw it.

The Jozy Story That Has Altidore Fuming..

Wasn’t going to link to this, but it will be at least a mild discussion today.

JZA...fuming...

First Altidore’s comments on the piece:

“Love the article out that have me saying things I never said. Brilliant.”

and

“RT @IWWROCKS: @JozyAltidore17 The beauty of England…you never have to speak to the press cause they’ll gladly do the interview without you…haha”

Altidore also reached out to (solid) New York Times reporter Jack Bell after the story via Twitter.

The story? Altidore claims to be “relishing” a match-up with England. Give me a break.

…and that’s all the TSG time this will get.

Well, one question, where’s Jozy’s agent/handler/PR gal-guy in all this?

365 Days of Jozy Altidore

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

DONATE TO HAITI RELIEF: Support is still needed.

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.

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Round Cleat, Round Hole: Who Gets New Digs?

Roy Wegerle and John Harkes were the first two Americans to lace up in the EPL

Well, Chelsea slept on Blackburn…told them Blues not to do that.

We’ll have an Altidore update up as soon as we get a confirmed one.

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Commentor GeorgeCross brought up the following question in a post last week:

“I am going to throw this one out there regarding Altidore. What about Arsenal? Wenger has been rumoured to be interested in Cole and Balotelli – why not Altidore? Fair enough that Altidore needs to be polished, but who better than master rock tumbler Wenger, who has a remarkable track record with young unfinished and raw players. He might not get as much playing time, but technically he has to improve (otherwise he won’t get into the first XI).”

A decent match there GeorgeCross and it got TSG into a column we’ve been meaning to pen for a while. We’ve already looked at the best mentors (Look for Part II in the next month) for a selection of USMNTers, but how about the best team to play on, from a playing time perspective as well as a mentoring perspective.

In fact those are two of the criteria, along with a third, playing style, that we considered when making some of these selections below. Caveat: TSG’s normally objective look at Americans may have been a wee compromised in this column.

Give Big Jeezy a few years and he just may be leaping buildings in a single bound too...

Jozy Altidore: Aston Villa

Pretty close for Jozy on Arsenal, but not as close as Villa. For Jozy at Arsenal, there are few challenges. First, Robin Van Persie is the show’s lead and Nicolas Bendtner it would appear is beginning to fulfill the promise that had Wenger plucking the then 16-year-old from F.C. Copenhagen way back in 2004. (Bendtner is now rumored to be a candidate for the front line at Bayern.) Plus Arsenal have up-and-coming England nattie in waiting (and 190lbs) Jay Simpson (on load at Queens Park Rangers) waiting in the wings.

Second challenge for Jozy–his first touch. With Arsenal employing a quick touch brand of football and accentuating player movement may not play to Jozy’s strengths.

For Villa, it’s a question of replacement and pairing.

In Emile Heskey and John Carew, Villa have a 32 year-old and a 31-year-old in the target or big striker role. Both, along with third stringer Maron Harewood (on-loan and 31) have battled countless injuries over the past year.

Altidore, who was healthy until Friday’s unexplained injury, is the direct opposite, younger and less (cough) injury prone.

Additionally, Altidore would slip in quite nicely next to the zippy Gaby Agbonlahor up top. Agbonlahor, on the edge or a World Cup bid this year for England at the age of 23, is, in comparison to Charlie Davies, a few notches faster and just hair below in strength–a fine complement for the former Red Bull frontman.

Next, with two Americans (Friedel and Guzan) on their senior and a third (Eric Lichaj) likely coming, Aston Villa (with American owner Randy Lerner) would vie for mass public support from the Americans. Finally, and due to Lerner, Aston Villa is a well-run team that should be able to pay Villarreal’s transfer price request ($5M?)

Just look$ right

Landon Donovan: Everton*

It’s hard to argue that Landon Donovan didn’t just trial on the perfect team for him to transfer too. Everton sits just below the top four in the EPL, removing Lanverton from an unworldly amount of scrutiny when he nestled in during the winter.

In terms of Everton’s game and Donovan’s ability to recognize what is needed, the Galaxy man presented the perfect complement to improve Moyes’ offense.

That being said, can Everton afford the transfer fee for the California resident who recently?

Chelsea rumors abounded as well as opinion that Donovan was perhaps better suited for the Iberian peninsula (where no American has ever truly suceeded yet…Ante Razov 2nd division stint at Racing Ferrol being probably the best in the last twenty).

But Donovan doesn’t seem to be the guy who wants to stray too far from what makes him comfortable. It appears he wants to fit in, do his job, and call it a day. So, in the event that Everton can’t ante up the green, other Donovan prospects might be Arsenal red where Donovan could be an outside forward just like at Goodison and be in heavy rotation with Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri. Only drawback? Wenger usually buys low, not high.

Junior...mixing it up...

Michael Bradley: AC Milan

Outside of Bo’Munchen where could Mike Bradley go to prosper, thrive and contribute.

TSG looks at Bradley and we see an upgrade over shaky post-Arsenal man Mathieu Flamini who, despite below average form, has still featured in 19 games for Milan on the year.

Bradley, should the transfer cost not be prohibitive for the Rossoneri who have battled some budget issues (see Onyewu, Oguchi), would slot in nicely next to Pirlo (or whomever his successor is) and also provide, again, youth as Clarence Seedorf ages and the classy Gennaro Gatusso likely heads to pasture after this year. Further, learning from a midfield ace like Milan coach Leonardo–assuming he’s still around–priceless.

Buddy up Gooch, Junior may arrive.

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JOLAZO…Altidore Finally Gets One

Jozy! Jozy! Jozy!

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The Jolazo: Date Included T-Shirt

If you feel so inclined, why not send a little help Haiti’s way in celebration of this big day for the big man. SOS – Saving Ourselves – Help for Haiti. Or if you want to commemorate the day, grab one of these JOLAZO t-shirts with all proceeds above the Zazzle cost (10%) going to Haiti.

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Time to reset the Altidore Goal Watch meter back to zero. The US striker finally broke through to net his first goal in over twenty contests as Hull took down Manchester City, 2-1.

Big Jeezy had it going on early today drawing two yellow cards on the City defense in the first 12 minutes of the contest. And he didn’t let up in a strong 66-minute performance.

In the 31st, Jozy calmly deposited a lay-off pass from Jan VofH in the back right corner of the net from the top of the 18 for his first EPL goal.

Altidore was then swarmed by his teammates and beaten about the head and chest in celebration.

The striker’s last goal celebration took place way back on September 5, 2009 versus El Salvador.

Little did anyone know at the time that we wouldn’t see Jozy hit the scoresheet under the “G” category for 154 more days. Nor did we think that his puzzling disallowed goal in the second half of that contest would be so foreboding.

May this be the first of many, many more in 2010, Jozy!

Here is  Altidore talking about the match on BBC Sport.

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