Americans Abroad

Report: Altidore being benched at AZ

Altidore (Reuters Pictures)

After a hot start in his first season in the Netherlands, it appears that Jozy Altidore is going to have to fight for his place in AZ Alkmaar's starting lineup.

According to reports out of the Netherlands, AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek has elected to bench Altidore ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League match against Austria Wien.

The timing of the benching seems peculiar considering that Altidore had done plenty of damage in the Europa League. He scored four goals in AZ's last three Europa games, including a brace in a qualifier against Aalesund and single goals in group matches against Malmo and Metalist Kharkiv.

Verbeek, however, reportedly favors Charlison Benschop, who came on for Altidore during the weekend's draw with Ajax and made an impact despite not scoring. It remains to be seen whether this benching is temporary or more of a long-term indication of where Verbeek thinks Altidore stands in his pecking order.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

  • bryan

    clearly there is more to the story. any of the examples listed above could be the reason. as someone said, this is europe, you have to fight every day for your spot. dempsey is a perfect example of someone who has been in good form only to be benched and then put back into the lineup.


  • Michael Stypulkoski

    Yeah, and maybe he killed a guy! Not that he’s a murderer, but just sayin’.


  • Creige VA

    It’s great Deuce fought for his spot but to be more accurate he was mistreated. It will be very difficult for any American player to succeed if they have to be the leading goal scorer for three seasons before they can secure their spot in the starting lineup. Looks like Gomez is going through the same crap in Mexico.


  • Drew_ROC

    Did anyone see Benschop on Saturday? Guy missed two groaners that woulda been money balls for AZ. Jozy looked listless, but at least he’s proven he makes his chances!


  • Turd Bradley

    Maybe its just bc Jozy isnt very good at soccer and depends 100 percent on his athletic ability instead of his technic and speed of thought…….just a thought. if he starts in brasil we are in seriously trouble. he is almost worthless at the pro level


  • fifawitz1313

    I think the key wording here is that he has been “benched”, not that he is being “rested”. It’s pretty easy for a manager to say he is resting a player. Everyone claiming otherwise is a “fan boy”. Typical Jozy with his off field antics. Sad he is so immature.


  • Mike Bassett

    I totally agree. I would love to see Agudelo and Dempsey start instead of “Lazy” Altidore.

    Then you can sub in Herculez later in the game!


  • Daniel Foytlin

    Hot off the press gentleman…

    AZ coach Gertjan Verbeek announced today that Jozy Altidore will not start tomorrow’s Europa League against Austria Vienna

    The Dutchman criticized Altidore’s recent efforts on and off the field in comments to the local press. Verbeek, who is known as a strict disciplinarian, had previously expressed his displeasure with the forward’s lack of fitness.

    Despite issues with match fitness, Altidore has produced seven goals across all competitions this season for AZ.

    This incident is not the first time Altidore has run into trouble with a manager. He was left out of the squad by Phil Brown after arriving late for a match with Hull City in October 2009.


  • TomG

    Also, when Jozy went off, it was just after drawing an ejection from the Ajax player, leaving his team up 11 men to 10, so with Jozy at even strength: 2 goals to 1; without Jozy but with a man advantage: 0 goals to 1 and Benschop missing two golden opportunities to score.

    This makes it very hard for me to believe that this is a move based on play. It seems clear that it is either a practice issue, a conditioning/ work habits issue, or a squabble between management.

    We’ve all seen Jozy struggle with conditioning in the past, so my bet is on work habits. Sometimes it is particularly hard for a manager to work out these issues with a player of a different culture/language. Hopefully, Earnie Stewart can communicate exactly what the manager needs from Jozy and he is able to work things out because he and the team are doing extremely well so far this season.


  • JG13

    Interesting, because on Saturday you quoted the announcer as saying,”jozy Altidore has worked and worked to make things difficult for the central defenders of Ajax but has hardly had a touch here in the first half.”. Funny how you forgot about the second half of the quote…


  • abc

    Ugh, sleep?? I remember Gale Agbossomonde got in trouble at his previous club in Sweden for showing up late.
    Come on guys, get it together, the reputation of American soccer players is that they’re hard working, don’t do anything that would make your coach think you’re lazy!


  • abc

    Smh… come on Jozy get it together and take full advantage of the opportunity you have to start over at AZ!


  • getrealtime19

    Agudelo needs to beat itty Luke Rodgers and start for RBNY 1st. You know what Jozy was doing at 16-17.


  • anan

    i don’t think this is a big deal i think the alkmaar manager is just resting altidore since he played in both friendlies and the Ajax match.


  • This Guy

    The article states that the coach is “unhappy” with Jozy due to other things outside of the pitch. That is the reason for the speculation because the coach wouldn’t specify what “other things” meant. Jozy is lazy, period.


  • Joey

    It seems odd to me that everywhere he goes ends up the same. Starts good then ends up not playing and finally moving to a new team. Can all these coaches/teams be wrong or are we simply refusing to see what so many others have seen. He’s just not all that good.


  • Joamiq

    This has nothing to do with how good he is. He’s scoring goals, so performance on the field obviously isn’t the problem.


  • Joamiq

    If his manager is upset at his attitude and his lackadaisical approach, then I hope this is a wake up call for Jozy. It’s not the first time we’ve heard these things, but in the past he’s always dismissed it, saying that’s just how he is, that he’s laid back, that he might appear lazy but he’s actually not. It’s time for him to stop being in denial and get himself in gear. He’s never going to reach his full potential if he doesn’t put in the effort.


  • Khan

    Manager said he is benching him for poor match fitness, being late to video sessions and for saying bad things to the press.


  • jimbo

    maybe he ran over the coach with his car while eating some doritos collisions featuring zesty taco and chipotle ranch, not that he’s a bad driver, just sayin’


  • jayrig5

    Honestly, that was my first thought as well, no matter how irrational it might be. And I’m sure it’s irrational and wrong. But still.


  • jpc

    it doesn’t mean anything. The season is very long, and there’s always ebbs and flows for players. Players play and don’t play for hundreds of reasons. Competition is why guys go to Europe, if it was all about minutes Jozy would have never left MLS


  • doug

    You are right Joey. I was going to say the same thing. He started off hot at Hull City and then went very, very cold. He’s scored most of his goals this year against relatively weak competition in Europa League. None against the good competition in the Netherlands.
    He’s still young, but it seems like until he can learn to beat someone with the dribble, he’s not going to be a very good forward.


  • moosecat

    not surprised. like most american failed soccer players he’s got no edge and lacks desire.


  • Ja Ja James

    The article mentioned there are “other things” but the manager would not elaborate. Definitely in the dog house, but that is life. He’ll get it together.


  • Brett

    If he showed up to a team meeting late, he deserves to be benched. Is that report confirmed?


  • Dennis

    Whole lot of silly speculation. Altidore is a 21 year-old who has played a lot of soccer at a high level lately. His coach is choosing to not start him for one game and everyone is acting like it is the end of the world. Most likely the coach noticed some tiredness and decided to give him a rest. Most coaches learn early on that nothing makes a player perform below potential faster than being over-worked. Fans who get to see only games do not have as much opportunity to see how the work is affecting a player. If Altidore fails to start for a couple weeks, then sure there may be something else going on, but one game, really!


  • Sal_21

    Jozy needs to play with passion and fervor like he did right after Davies got into his accident. I think that put life and his career into perspective, but I think he’s lost that perspective. I will say he looks more skillful than ever before and the playing time with AZ is the catalyst for that, if he loses that playing time he will lose that bit of skill that’s starting to show through


  • Blasie213

    ESPN3 REPLAY – Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar

    After I saw this article I watched the game. Jozy made a lot of lazy runs into the box, was mostly behind the pace, out of position, and missed some key passes. Based on this game performance I can agree with Verbeek.

    I never liked Jozy Altidore after the World Cup Performance. It’s time to look at other players : Agudelo, Boyd, Sapong, Bunbury, Kiesewetter


  • simon

    the announcers on the directv feed today said he has fallen out of favor because of his attitude..they said he and the coach had a row about something…


  • Jesse

    Not surprising at all. Altidore has a bag. Of nothing. Move on to Agudelo or someone else. Villareal, Xerex, Hull City, Buraspor, AZ. Is this the path of a young superstar on the rise? No. Guy is already a journeyman at age 21. Time to come back to MLS.


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