U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Altidore to stay with Villarreal, speaks out on lack of Olympic playing time


                                                                           Photo by ISIphotos.com

Jozy Altidore will be staying with Villarreal for at least the first half of the upcoming La Liga season.

The U.S. national team striker and former Red Bulls standout revealed that he will not be going to another Spanish club on loan, which had long been expected, and will stay with Villarreal as the club deals with a rash of injuries at th forward position.

Altidore made the revelation on his blog on the New York Times website on Friday.

Perhaps even more stunning than that development is Altidore’s revelation that he was not injured during the Olympics and simply didn’t see more playing time because coach Peter Nowak decided not to use him more.

"I know there were some things written about me being injured … I don’t know where that came from because I wasn’t injured," Altidore said. "Maybe my left ankle is not the greatest, but I was more than fine to play. How much I played was really a coach’s decision.

"I had a game plan for myself, but I guess it wasn’t the same as the coach’s plan. My playing had nothing to do with my ankle, it was just how the coach made the lineup."

What do you think of the news that Altidore will be staying with Villarreal? What do you make of his revelation that injuries had nothing to do with his lack of playing time at the Olympics? Share your thoughts below.

  • Freddy

    He’ll probably be a super-sub this year. For some reason I just can’t see him being a starter.


  • JK

    Wow. That is surprising by Altidore with his PT in OLY. I wonder what caused him not to get more PT.


  • Johnny

    It was obvious that Novak favored McBride, but to me it was apparent that Jozy would have been the better option here. If you could reverse the playing times of Jozy and McBride I think we would be talking about a US team that may have made it to the Gold Medal match. That’s all Monday morning centerback I know…It makes you wonder how the USMNT coaching staff is handling these players. I would seem that a youth coach has angered Neven Subotic to a point where he’ll be looking to play for Germany. Bradley up to this point has totally crapped on Kenny Cooper. Novak felt left out on mis-managing players so he decided to mess with Jozy’s head? I don’t like the trend that I am seeing here.


  • JB

    The Nowak information is just more confirmation of what we already know. Bradley and Nowak are overly conservative coaches. Altidore, Adu, Davies and Cooper are our 4 best attacking players right now, not 2 or 4 years from now. But, our coaches are incapable of both recognizing talent and implementing a playing system that makes use of their talents.


  • Johnny

    Unrelated (Sorry Ives) I just read somewhere that Bradley is talking to Boro and it seems if he goes anywhere it’s boro…you’ll need to find the link on your own Ives doesn’t like when I post links to rumor sites.


  • Bob Bradley

    I think it’s absolutely great he’s staying up.

    And obviously more proof that Nowak is a bumbling idiot whose decisions cost us advancing at the Olympics and should be fired. Bradley too.

    Ives, don’t you know people at US Soccer? Make it happen! Bring in Klinsman.


  • RK

    He wasn’t going to Valladolid — they had no room on their roster. Just made-up rumors by Marca.

    Expect him to play this weekend.


  • William

    Never liked Nowak as a coach, but I don’t believe for a minute that Altidore playing every game would have taken the US to the gold medal match.

    That’s a real stretch.


  • Justin O

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, but Jozy’s comment, “Maybe my left ankle is not the greatest…” seems to be something of an indication that there IS a problem withhis ankle, no?

    Not enough to rule him out entirely, of course, but we knew that already given that he did in fact play.


  • Bootsy

    God, I’ve only been up 20 minutes, and already I’ve read the stupidest thing I’ll see today. “Bring in Klinsman”? Yeah, absolutely, having *just* started at Bayern, he’s immediately going to leave that job for a job he wasn’t interested in under better conditions.


  • Mario in SJ

    We need a sense of reality folks. Altidore may have played well but to think we would have gone much further with him instead of Brian is a plain fantasy.


  • Michael

    I don’t know why everyone here seems to be laying the blame on the McBride selection. It’s not like you’re only allowed to play one forward at a time.


  • Mike Caramba

    Our coaches really hate 4-4-2s. I remember seeing them twice this year (real 4-4-2s): The first leg of the Barbados qualifier and the first 6 minutes of the Nigeria game. It would be nice to see two real strikers on the field at the same time a little more…that was a way to work Altidore in to the other two games. Obviously McBride is first choice (why bring him if he’s not), but I’m a believer in playing to our strengths. And for once, I think it would have been a real strength to work those two into the lineup together–their skill-sets make them a good match.


  • Reid

    Micheal, you know we can’t do that, you need to stop talking crazy. It sounds like you want the US team to score goals from the forward position.

    (dripping with sarcasm) couldnt agree with you more michael


  • big boy

    Nowak and Bradley are total fools. Every move thy make is simply more proof of this. McBride did squat in the Olympics and his desire for an Olympic runout likely cost us any chance of advancing. Thank heavens Wynalda didn’t want to go too or for that matter, maybe Preki?

    The fact that Nowak bought into a fading star’s desire for one last day in the sun just confirms that he’s not the right guy to be working with our future. Davies and Altidore looked dangerous any time they got on the field. McBride was never dangerous


  • jmac

    @JB, I think you are overstating that those four players are clearly our best attacking players NOW.

    That said, that news about Nowak and the Subotic situation is certainly some cause for concern. In general, Nowak may have made some mistakes in roster selection, thought I think a lot of that might be as a result of the Galaxy refusing to let Donovan go to the Olympics (or so the rumors are). BB is clearly not a world class coach, but considering its the US and our not-world-class player pool, getting a coach that knows the US player pool is important. Like Ives has said before, BB is going to be a one WC coach; heck, he might even get replaced last minute if a good coach becomes available.


  • Sushant Rao

    Man, I’m bummed.

    Why is it that the choices seem to be McBride vs Altidore?

    Seriously, we play a 4-5-1 but we don’t keep possession and resort to a lot of long balls. If you are going to play a 451, you need to keep more possession and string together passes. Spain in Euro ’08 played 5 mids, but it was more of a 4-1-4-1 (with Fabregas and one of Villa/Torres) or a 4-1-3-2 (with both Villa and Torres). Now, the 1 def mid was Marcos Senna so maybe they can get away with playing only 1 defensive mid.

    I think BB & Nowak need to move to a scheme where 2 forwards are on the field with only 1 defensive mid. Edu as that defensive mid is our best lineup. MB can move to being more of a 2-way player as he is with his club team.

    There’s no way in hell BB would go with a 3-5-2, so my hope is that they will go with a 4-2-2-2 or a 4-1-3-2 (instead of a 4-2-3-1 which we play with a lot of long balls)

    I was in favor of BB when he opened up the talent pool to figure out who can play at a WC level. But, I think he & Nowak are stuck in a rut with their player selections and their scheme.

    I’m not advocating firing BB, but it doesn’t seem like BB has a plan for getting us past the group stage. He seems to think his job is to qualify for WC (no small feat, but really, should be expected) and see what happens at WC.


  • A.S.

    No, wait. The rule is, the US must ALWAYS play two defensive midfielders. That’s the law.

    So, it is permissible to play two forwards, but then you can’t have an attacking central midfielder. Accordingly, when you have McBride, Altidore, and Adu, only two can play at the same time. When Adu was out for Nigeria, we played both Jozy and McBride.

    Off topic: Sarah Palin is hot. Now back to soccer.


  • kebzach

    There is more to this story than has been shared so far. 2 + 2 = Jozy upset with Peter Nowak and not being on the current MNT call up list…hmm…


  • Nuckles

    Could someone please clarify for me whether or not Altidore still has the option to switch nations to represent. On USSoccer.com it has him at 3 caps but for some reason I thought that all caps are not equal. Anyway thanks.


  • Juan

    Not to be apologetic for Nowak but he did start two strikers in the Hong Kong tournament and the team look way out of synch. There was no doubt we needed possession and one more guy in the midfield. Though McBride was out of shape and I would had definitely had used Jozy over him.


  • Juli

    THe problem with Nowak is that his ego is bigger than his @ss. The guy did the same crap to Adu, and ruined his development and is still affecting his developement as a player. Now he does it to Jozy, that idiot Nowak needs to go and never smell the US jersey again. The guys does not know how to grow talent.


  • Will

    Nuckles: Since Altidore has made an appearance with the senior team, he can’t switch nations (I don’t know if he even has a second passport, to be honest).

    As for other stuff… Nowak isn’t a very good coach, esp. for young teams. He doesn’t appear to be very good at handling young players.

    Landycakes wasn’t the savior. LA was right not to let him go; he’s far more important to his club team than the Olympic team. Nowak should’ve picked all U-23 players and played them. And if he didn’t want to, Bradley should have told him to.


  • Goalscorer24

    It seems like there is a lot of politics involved in who gets picked to play for the US national team, which is disturbing. That is why Klinsman declined to be the US national team coach.


  • Tolik

    McBride Olympic affair proved to be wrong. The weight of his name clouded minds of the coaches who did not evaluate his participation on merits. He looked out of sync with the team (IMHO of course).

    What coaches overlooked as well was glaring deficit on the left. Orozco is a central defender and did not handle the left well. Nor Rogers nor anybody else provided any help. DMB or Louis or Pearce or Bornstein or any solid left defender out of MLS (Burch level) would have been much more useful on the team. And we would not have discussion on the Altidore playing time.


  • Jason

    “McBride did squat” – big boy

    ??? I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for here. When you don’t have wingers putting up serviceable crosses, what can a target/holding forward do? Actually what could any forward do in that place? When a forward doesn’t get service, he’s rendered useless. I don’t care of it’s Rooney, Henry or Adebayor. If they can’t get the ball to do what they do best, then they are also rendered useless.

    McBride-Altidore would’ve been a lethal combo up top with Adu playing behind them. Adu is accurate enough to put a pass on McBride’s head, who is smart enough to flick the ball into space for Altidore to make a dangerous run towards the goal.


  • mikeK

    The bottom line is that Altidore scored more goals than McBride coming in as a sub 2 out of 3 games. That’s the end of it. Sure, you can say what you want about McBride’s game, I mean, he’s a good player, but at the end of the day, if you don’t score, you’re going to lose.

    I don’t think Nowak handled to tournament well at all. What do I know, though…


  • kpugs

    I think a lot of us here on SBI are still vastly overrating Altidore. In the comments section here we tend to assign him the ability he’s sure to have in 2-3 years and pretend he has it now.

    He is scary good–for an 18 year old. As a lethal finisher he definitely should have played a lot more in the Olympics.

    But he probably won’t be a “super sub” at Villareal any time soon. This isn’t MLS, it’s La Liga. And Villareal finished second last year. If it wasn’t for injuries he wouldn’t even be with them right now.

    So while I’m just as excited as anyone else about Jozy I think we need to calm down a bit. If he turns out to be very good immediately it will be a very pleasant surprise, but if he ISN’T great right away I don’t think there is any reason to be disappointed.


  • Mike Caramba

    My problem with our 2DM formations (sometimes 3) is that we usually insist on playing 2 ball winners (ie, bradley + mastroeni (aka “mastrioni”)). I’m not a fan of 2DMs, but if we’re going to do it, we need someone who can hold the ball and distribute the ball well.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    It was clear that adding McBride to the squad was a mistake NOT because of how McBride played. It was the ripple effect – it left Altidore on the sidelines and prevented us from adding another senior defender, which is what we should have done.

    Nowak LIKE EVERY OTHER COACH has strengths and weaknesses. For the most part he coached very well. He made a mistake in selecting McBride, but let’s admit it – that is a mistake a lot of us would have made. But his choice not to play Josy is flat out baffling.


  • Camjam

    My problem with 2DM formations is that they are 2DM formations. Extremely boring to watch, and it sabotages our attacking plan.


  • Dan

    I don’t think it would have made any difference at all if Jozy played a lot in the Olympics. I thing our team showed incredible immaturity and a fundamental lack of poise and discipline. Adding an 18-year old to the mix may have actually worsened things. It wasn’t McBride who lost his cool in those games, it was the other, younger players, who seem to think that their athleticism should be the only thing that matters.


  • Beau Dure

    Justin O is right, and I heard Jozy say first-hand after the Netherlands game that his ankle problem was persisting. He insisted that he was ready to play, but at the same time, he said he was going to get it checked out again.

    Several reporters were there.

    Only Jozy knows how much the ankle affected his play, but any report on that ankle didn’t come out of thin air.


  • BBB

    Why don’t fans of US Soccer aim their venom at Sunil Gulati and the other folks who’ve been around the USSF leadership for decades? A lot of people on here rip on Bradley and Nowak, for good reason in some cases, but not the organization that is responsible for hiring coaches and who create the environment in which those coaches work.

    Methinks the slings and arrows should be aimed a little higher up the food-chain.



  • smokeminside

    Folks, as we were waiting for the Olympic roster to be revealed more people than not were chiming in on this blog that McBride was a lock choice. Maybe none of the current McBride slammers were among them, but I don’t remember hearing much anti-McBride sentiment then. This is not say that Nowak is a good coach; I was unable to watch any of the Olympic matches so I won’t comment on them. I’m only reacting to the anti-McBride stuff.


  • Tim

    I think the U.S. coaching staff often times seems to lack vision. We continually play guys out of position (see Donovan, Dempsey, etc.). We also often seem to leave our best talent on the table to get repeated looks at sub-par performers (see E. Johnson, Marvell Wynne, Ricardo Clark). I just don’t get it, and really get frustrated with it. I think until the U.S. brings in top tier coaches, we will always be a mid-level footballing nation.


  • bassasaurusrex

    I’m happy to hear that Jozy won’t be loaned out to some 5th tier club because I am sure he has the talent and ability to contribute good things to Villareal this season. It sucks for them that some players are injured, but it’s good for Jozy which is all I care about since I don’t care about Villareal doing well at all other than remaining in the top flight with Jozy doing well.

    Him not playing in the Olympics isn’t too terribly shocking considering that Nowak was the coach and he being an awful, awful coach not playing one of his top 3 best players shouldn’t shock anyone. He’s an idiot and we need to get him out of the National set up ASAP.


  • Drew

    “Unrelated (Sorry Ives) I just read somewhere that Bradley is talking to Boro and it seems if he goes anywhere it’s boro…you’ll need to find the link on your own Ives doesn’t like when I post links to rumor sites.”

    Thats pretty freaking funny considering how wrong you were.

    Anyway, there is nothing new here. Bradley and Nowak are both very narrow minded about what they are looking for and if you don’t fit into the plan they are incapable of expanding their vision. Pretty sour on our prospects for 2010.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    Nuckles, what country would you suggest Altidore switch to? Hati? It’s a moot point anyway because he is cap tied, but that sure is a strange comment on your part.


  • drewski

    Im sorry, but if what Altidore says about his PT in the olympics is true, Novak should be fired. Why would the US fed want their coached to NOT play our up and coming talent. This shows a clear problem in why our youngers have not been up to the rest of the world’s.


  • worldfootballbook

    Altidore and Adu – in the hole – should be the starters with Cooper subbing as needed, with Dempsey on one wing and Beasley on the other. Donovan should be taken off the first squad – Bradley and Edu in the midfield.

    This team has talent; the coaching staff is way too conservative with their blind addiction to the 4-5-1.


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