Posts Tagged ‘Jozy Altidore’

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.

Hull City versus Chelsea

It's been awhile since we've seen Dozy do this...will today be the day he scores?

PEEP PEEP TWEEEEEET. Game over, Hull 1 – Chelsea 1. Terry 2 – Altidore 2, though in the battle for whose a  better human, Altidore wins by a mile. Then again, Terry’s a dick.

Altidore played a great game as did the rest of the Hull City players. He worked hard and hurried the Chelsea back 4. He brought the ball down well, was a presence in the air and took on players with only his ball control failing him. If he could shore up his touches, he would have many more opportunities at scoring his first premiership goal.

92:00 – Joe Cole scampers down the wing and sends in a cross that Malouda, whose had a very quite game, volleys straight into Drogba’s back. That was goal bound.

90:00 - Zayatte comes on for the injured McShane. Can Hull City hang on. As i write this, Sturridge comes down with a ball and sends in a stinging volley that Myhill has to stretch to put around the post. Great shot, great save by Myhill.

89:00 – Drogba receives a yellow card for a swing/hard challenge on McShane who will probably have a nasty shiner to boast tomorrow.

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Hull hosts Chelsea: Drogba Sr. vs. Drogba Jr.?

Hull City entertains Ancelotti’s minions today in a make-up of a game called by weather a few weeks ago.

Altidore registering an assist to V of H on Saturday

Should be an entertaining one as:

♦ Didier Drogba Sr. is back for the interlopers.

We had this to say a few weeks back:

• Might England’s nasty weather have cost Jozy his EPL job next year?

What if Hull City gets relegated by one point? Why do we ask?

Well, the Tigers were all set to square of with Chelsea at KC Stadium last Saturday a few weeks ago in  a  game that is now rescheduled for a later date. That would have been a Chelsea side severely weakened by the loss of Essien, Drogba, Kalou, Obi Mikel to the Cup of Nations tourney and with Nicolas Anelka only a probable, but not definite, set to return from injury.

A less than Herculean task to compete against that Blues squad? Should Hull get relegated by a point and lose that Chelsea return, they might curse mother nature.

♦ We’ll hopefully get a mini-preview of June 12th as Drogba Jr, Jozy Altidore, goes up against John Terry or Alex Cole or both.

A cluttered attack sees Craig Fagan, new recruit Amr Zavi, Jan Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Kamil Ghilas and Altidore all battle for spots up top but it might be difficult to keep Big Jeezy out of the line-up after he registered two assists Saturday to move his name to #17 overall in assists for the Barclays.

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.

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Good Stuff This Weekend….Except for Pompey

(Update: The Hull City vs. Chelsea game is now canceled.)

We haven’t spanned the weekend globe lately. So away we go on Thursday…Vasco Da Gama-style. (Note: We add to this column during the day Friday and Saturday.)

EPL

• This look like a decent starting eleven to you?

Yes, it's true Pompey. This man once challenged back lines for you.

Striker: Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David Nugent

Midfield:  Niko Kranjcar, Lassana Diara, Sean Davis

Defense: Nadir Belhadj, Sylvin Distin, Sol Campbell, Glen Johnson

Goalie: David James

(and manager: Harry Rednapp)

That squad escapes relegation, right? With the exception of Nadir Belhadj who is an extremely poor man’s Ashley Cole and still remains, all of these players have either been transferred or loaned out of Portsmouth in the last 18 months.

You have to feel for the fans there as Pompey has failed to pay players on multiple occasions and has 19 owners already this season. (3 owners)

(This game now cancelled due to weather) The Fulham Dempseys–minus Mr. Bobby Zamora’s broken collarbone–welcome what’s left of Portsmouth on Saturday.

Rumor has it Glasgow Rangers are petitioning for Portsmouth’s slot in the Premiership….that’s a joke, but think hard about that EPL officials.

• Might we get another Bingland-USA, USA, USA preview this Saturday as Hull City host the big blue wrecking crew from Chelsea. A post-up chance in the paint for Big Jeezy against John Terry? We’d love to see it.

A lot of chatter out there about Hull selling off strikers all over the place. Daniel Cousin going somewhere, Caleb Folan to Queens Park Rangers, Jan V of H getting returned off loan. Also rumors about bringing some in; Villainous Marlon Harewood among others.

We never miss a chance to show the Hull City tiger....

Let’s hope JZA doesn’t get caught up in the starting 11 turnstile. And speaking of Jozy, not only does TSG think we were right on in our current review of his form…but apparently the Hull City faithful agree as well.

Oh and ESPN if you’re going to throw some cash behind 3-D (which I agree with commentors on our site is gimmicky circa 2010) then you need to put some promotional muscle behind this game. College football is over as of this past Thursday–make it happen John Skipper!

Update: Hey ESPN, it’s Thursday and not a peep about ESPN having first place Chelsea on the docket or the side story of Big Jeezy going up against “I used to be” John Terry. What gives?

Sunderland “entertain” Bolton (this game now cancelled due to weather) at home in a match-up of two of arguably the most boring teams in the Premiership. Why might you care? Sunderland’s Darren Bent is one strike away from joining Rooney, Drogba and Defoe at the top of the EPL scorer’s table. All three of the latter are near regulars on their national team. Darren Bent does not need to plead his case further. Show him some love Capello.

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