U.S. Men's National Team

Americans Abroad: Altidore starts, Hahnemann posts shutout and more

JozyAltidore (Getty Images)

U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore was handed a rare start for Spanish power Villarreal, but he couldn't keep his squad from being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals after a 3-0 loss to Sevilla.

Altidore played 62 minutes, and showed some glimpses, but struggled to make an impact as the left forward in a 4-3-3 attack. Despite failing to score yet again, the fact that Altidore earned a start in an important cup match bodes well for his standing with the club currently in third place in La Liga.

In other Americans Abroad action:

Marcus Hahnemann started and played 90 minutes in Wolves' 5-0 win against Doncaster in FA Cup play on Tuesday. Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 4-0 win vs. Huddersfield Town in Johnstone's Paint Trophy action.

Maurice Edu followed his goal-scoring return last weekend with a ten-minute cameo in Rangers' 1-0 victory against Inverness.

What do you think of Tuesday's Americans Abroad results? Happy to see Altidore get the start? Worried about his lack of goals? Think Hahnemann might stay in England rather than come to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

  • jig

    unfortunately, you tend not get a lot of “time” in this game, no matter if you need it or not. Especially with a big side. Matters very little what US fans think of him. I assure you, though, if he continues to not score goals, just as he’s done the entire time he’s been in europe, he will slip. That’s a fact.


  • Andy in Atlanta

    Did you the soft goals the starter wayne hennessey gave up the other day… Marcus should be starting… mick is a bonehead…


  • jig

    Dude, if you got burn in more than 40 matches total, you’d finish 1 or 2, which happens to be Jozy’s total.


  • BBB

    I assume the comment was meant as a general statement about our midfield pool being among the top in the world (as a unit, not players). I put us just outside the A-list, but there are a lot of countries that would be happy to have Lando, Disco Stu, JJ and SoB (Son of Bradley) at their disposal.


  • Andy from LA

    I love how nearly every comment on here is about Altidore. That being said, being 20 years old and the 4th striker on the 3rd best club in La Liga this season is really pretty impressive. Think about the fact that Marco Ruben is 24 and he’s just now getting opportunities with the first team (and doing quite well).

    The whole problem with the Jozy situation is the simple fact that he is starting for the USMNT. Should we be starting a 20 yr old who really isn’t a great goal scorer yet? Probably not. But it’s not his fault that there aren’t any quality strikers a few years older than him.

    What should be happening is Altidore should be groomed as a striker of the future, not of the present. And in 4 years, we can absolutely see what he is as a player. But at 20, we can’t fault him bc the US striker pool is laughable.


  • Chris

    I wasn’t trying to compare him to Drogba, per se. I was just trying to point out that we can’t beat up on Josmer too much for not playing/getting goals, when Drogba had the same sort of record at that age.


  • Andy from LA

    To add: think about how many strikers/creative midfielders at age 20 or below are starting and succeeding right now in the premiership: Andy Carroll, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott…

    Sure there are a few others but the list is shockingly short. At age 23 or 24, we can begin to conclude what to make of Altidore as a player. Right now, it’s still about development.


  • gigi

    idk if i wanna use that website…i read the comment fast and i think i might get the clap clap :OOO somewhere right now……ronaldo is getting mad phone numbies on the website.


  • Jao

    If it is still about development than Altidore has no business being at a club like Villarreal, whose desire is to win and to play players who want to win not develop themselves. You have to remember that Villarreal paid a nice fee for him, the equivalent of what they paid for Rossi, so obviously they were expecting some form of output from him. People seem afraid to admit it, but I honestly think he left the States way too early. As a France supporter, it reminds me of Gael Kakuta. He’s riding the pine or “developing” at Chelsea, while all his teammates in the U-20 NT are playing regularly with their respective clubs in France. Better hope Agudelo doesn’t do the same.


  • Judging Amy

    Truth. Jozy might not become a great or world class player, but he’s good in his development right now. Will love it in a few years once he becomes more consistent and the haters have no choice but to stare quietly in awe…


  • Judging Amy

    If Villareal isn’t the place for him, then that’ll work itself out by way of them cutting their losses and trading him away or getting what they can for him. Until they do it shows they value him.

    The notion that higher level clubs can’t develop players is patently foolish. Just because you can’t see the bigger picture value of developing a young player who can contribute down the road (or who you can sell for profit) doesn’t mean the experienced, more football savvy folk at Villareal can’t. The Jozy hate really needs to stop. Even if he is as bad as his detractors think, he is still far and away our best option at striker.


  • Confused

    What Jozy hate? What comments are you refering to? What specifically is making you laugh?

    Why is it every piece mentioning Altidore results in comments mocking this alleged “Jozy hate”, when it’s hardly clear that such hate even exists?


  • Annelid Gustator

    This isn’t hard: he needs playing time to develop, but he still might not pan out. I’m rooting for him to become all that it has always seemed he could be.

    You have to sort a lot of pebbles to find a gold nugget. Consider how different the US situation is–essentially *all* promising youths aged 14 and above in the great footballing nations are developing in a thoroughly professionalized, high-stakes environment. Only a teeny-tiny fraction of them ever break through. He’s just getting started, people, and so is the US.


  • Ian

    John’s right though. Regardless of the competition, his instinct to turn and take someone on seems less and less prevalent to me, and that being an instinct and not a thought process is disturbing. He’ll find it again.


  • sir coble

    He had a good flick to rossi early in the game, as well beat two people for a terrible shot.


  • Will

    this is the kind of post i like to see. someone who actually watched the game and can comment on jozy’s performance.

    i’m perfectly fine with him staying in spain and playing in the copa del rey and europa league competitions this year. just being on the bench in the league is showing that his coach does believe in him to some extent. he’s still young and this year of experience will only help in his development


  • Josh D

    I think in perspective, in Europe he’s not so young anymore… 21+ in Europe generally sees you as having a good 50 games under your belt if you’re going to keep at the top.

    Now there are late bloomers and it’s not to say Jozy is not talented, but his age is increasingly becoming less of a factor. Especially as it’s not age that is going to help what he’s lacking which is A. goal scoring instinct and B. urgency in his play.


  • Josh D

    But your comparison is even more far fetched than saying Jozy should be starting on Madrid – fact of the matter is, the odds of you playing in a terrible league and not scoring goals but one day waking up to be one of the best in the world is less likely than Jozy continuing to grow and develop.

    Jozy has the skills and physique needed – you just feel he needs a coach who’ll light a fire under him and make him play with confidence and urgency. Don’t see that happening where he’s at.


  • RK

    You think you are worried? Ruben has now consistently shown that he is the better goal-scorer, and Nilmar will be back in February.


  • RK

    This team isn’t deep enough to play in 3 competitions, after the plethora of injuries that hit them in the last month.


  • DC Josh

    Thanks for the direct-source opinion. Not that other people didn’t watch the game too. But I like it when posters use what they just saw in a match to analyze how “said-player” played.

    It is interesting that he played in an advanced left winger role. I automatically envision Henry for Barcelona when I think of this position. It isolates you outside and if you can’t beat a player one-on-one, you’re in for a long day.

    Jozy is perfectly fine where he is. Villareal are a Champions League knock-out round caliber club, and Jozy consistently makes the bench. He has very good forwards ahead of him in the pecking order. Honestly, I wouldn’t want him anywhere else but Villareal.


  • BenH

    I think that’s why a lot of people, including myself, sometimes get frustrated with him. We are comparing him to Javier Hernandez. Both around the same age, at big clubs, but one is performing brilliantly in his first year while the other…well, hasn’t done much for his club.

    Frankly, though, Hernandez was just named one of the top 10 goal scorers etc. He is simply better than Jozy. If we put it in perspective, there’s a lot of hope that our 21 year old can still turn into something very productive. I think Hernandez, barring injury, will just be special. Jozy may not ever get to that but if he can just be productive for our NT that would be good enough for me at this point.


  • BCC

    I watched the match as well. He does look like he is improving, but he still has moments where he seems that that he does not understand his role in the offense.

    He made some decent runs, however, and his teammates feed him the ball. Sevilla looked quite good — given the talent level on that team it is surprising they do not win more games.


  • JJ Hickson

    Andy Cole on Owen Coyle
    “He made the Burnley players 10 times better than they were.”


    He needs to go to Bolton so Coyle can develop him. And if Coyle can’t do it, its never going to happen.

    Bolton are most likely going to get Carlos Vela on loan after they get a CB to fill for Cahill which will most likely be apart of the Vela loan deal.

    They’ll get Vela and then unload Elmander.


  • Soccernste

    Saw the game. Better in the first half when he was out left linking up. Jozy was a part of everything good the Villareal did in the first half. In the second half he was playing centrally and leading the line. By that time V as a whole was half way to the showers with people launching balls over his head. Service and deadball delivery from Villareal was atrocious.


  • Overrated

    He had it made playing with JPA. He would now be playing with Henry. Too bad MLS can’t pay these guys before they go “Out-The-Door”


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