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Must-See Assist: Jozy Altidore

by Counterpoint1

102 comments
  • Tony in Quakeland

    It is increasingly clear that Altidore’s lack of production on the National team is the fault of the coaching, selection and tactics.

    Like

    • Tyler

      At this point I don’t think that’s disputable, but my question is, who are they going to put in to just magically solve the problems with service? If there was a viable solution available, I would hope that they would have done it already.

      Like

      • beachbum

        why are you lol? If Pontius starts the season strong and shows he’s continued his development, he’ll probably get called

        another is Benny, the supersub this team is missing. another is Landon when he returns

        Like

      • FCA

        Chris Pontius, while a fantastic MLS player and more than Gold Cup roster worthy, is not someone who is going to come in and be a game changer for ’14. At 25, he is at a point in his career where “prospect” shouldnt be used anymore. He is what he is and much about his game probably will not change from here out. If he proves us all wrong and lights up a Gold Cup tournament then ok, the dude could be for real. Until then I dont see him anywhere near a WC roster.

        Like

      • Kosh

        Funny you said that because folks were taking that same position with Cameron when his move to Stoke was announced…and now there is not a fan lineup out there that does not have him as a starter.

        We never know how these tings pan out so I still see some chance for Party to possible fight for a spot. If he stays healthy and has an awesome GC and we happen to lose someone by then, why shouldn’t he be considered?

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      • beachbum

        disagree with your crystal ball FCA. Players evolve. Pontius is a hard worker. we’ll see

        Like

      • GW

        FCA,

        Do you know how many appearances in senior games, club and country, Jozy has right now?

        195. I bet you think , like most of us he still has a lot to learn.

        Do you know how many appearances in senior games, just club in his case, Pontius has right now?

        118.

        I bet you can learn a lot in 77 games.

        Like

      • Dan in New York

        Hopefully Holden gets healthy and can play that role. Also, Michael Bradley should take the lead as the USMNT’s playmaker but I’m often confused with how JK uses him.

        Like

      • bryan

        what, why? Bradley is used very well with the US. that’s one player Klinsmann seems to use right.

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      • az18

        I see bradley as the cm in the triangle, with holden (ideally) as the cam and jones as the cdm (if Klinsman ever accepts that hes a 6 not an 8)

        Like

      • Alex

        How is it a triangle with a “CAM” and a “CDM”? Is it a literal straight line, with CAM, CM, and CDM? I hate these terms.

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      • CplDaniel

        Any three points not in a straight line make a triangle. CAM plays further up field, and the two CMs are distinguished by their responsibilities.

        Like

      • Alex

        I know. It’s a simply concept. I knew what he was getting at, but by designating each player a CDM, CM, and CAM, he’s not being clear. Just talk about their spot on the field, not a video game position. Bradley and Jones play deeper while Holden plays higher. How hard is that?

        I’m basically overreacting. I hate seeing people use the video game positions and that’s it. Personal pet peeve.

        Like

      • Colin

        You know whats annoying, when someone uses terms that are used by analysts around the world, and people who think they are so far above these terms, (when no serious analyst is) overreacts and suggests that they are “video game terms.” Get over yourself.

        Like

      • Tony in Quakeland

        I respectfully disagree. The player selection and the deployment of three deep mids, with a total reliance on the fullbacks for width has been a disaster. Players who would be better at providing service who have not been used in any meaningful way include Klestian, Dix, Fielhaber. Taking the abysmal Danny Williamns out and replacing him with one of those three would instantly improve service in the middle. Putting Fabian Johnson at his natrual postion on the left mid would also improve things. The problems stem from slection and tactics, fullstop.

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      • bryan

        Howard,

        Chandler, Cameron, Omar, Castillo

        Bradley, Jones, Corona, F. Johnson

        Dempsey, Altidore

        or

        Howard

        Chandler, Cameron, Omar, Castillo

        Bradley, Jones, Corona

        Dempsey, Jozy, F. Johnson

        i wouldn’t mind seeing something like this.

        Like

      • Alex

        No way, no how is Corona ready for a starting spot. Nor has he earned it. Has he earned some serious, extended looks? Some minutes off the bench? Yeah, definitely. Could he be starting by the World Cup? Maybe. But it’s pretty silly to start him now, in the spots that you’ve given him, over guys like Kljestan and Zusi who are already first team guys.

        Like

      • bryan

        I don’t know, I see your point, but I think we are desperate for a Corona “type” because of what he can bring. He is in good form at the club level and has been a part of many senior camps now.

        Kljestan is not an attacking mid. Bradley and Kljestan play the same role, so I’d rather have someone more creative and offensive, like Corona. Zusi could work, I’ll agree with that. But I like Corona more, in terms of potential. He may be younger, but they are both starters for their clubs. I highly doubt Corona would do any worse than any of the other players mentioned. In fact, I think he can do better than them.

        Like

      • 20

        I want to see more width and I think a 4-4-2 (4-2-3-1 if Dempsey drops off) could be the answer.. We’re not getting it with a 4-3-3. Our “outside forwards” don’t get wide enough. Eddie Johnson has done pretty well but is he really a wide player? I don’t think so.

        ————–Dempsey Altidore————-

        F. Johnson—–Bradley— Williams——–Zusi/Donovan

        Parkhurst—- Cameron —— Gonzo —— Chandler–

        ———————Howard———————————

        alternatively

        ———————–Altidore——————————–

        F. Johnson—————Deuce———————-Zusi——

        ——————Bradley——-Jones———————

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      • 20

        More on right midfield: I would like to see Pontius called in, but not sure he’ll start over Donovan/Zusi. Gatt is for the future. I could see him as a lock starter for years, he’s not quite there yet though.

        Like

      • bryan

        Ok, so we basically have the same lineup. The only difference is Zusi instead of Corona, essentially. And I think Jones is in the starting XI no matter the formation. He’s in great form right now.

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      • Andrew in tally

        not sold on Zusi. He can dribble by his man and create that wicked cross.he doesn’t have surprising pace,which the xfactor in international games.

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      • atd

        I feel like the solution has been staring Klinsmann in the face for months now.

        Johnson Altidore Donovan

        Dempsey Bradley

        Jones

        Parkhurst Cameron Gonzo Dolo/TC

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      • Alex

        Is that Fabian or Eddie on the left up top? If it’s Eddie, ok. If it’s Johnson, I think that’s too high up for him.

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      • Bobb

        LOL it’s obviously Fabian. Eddie Johnson is not good enough to start for the A team when we have everyone available. You really think this guy would put Parkhurst starting and not move Fabian Johnson to winger? And playing on the wing is NOT too high up for Fabian Johnson. Eddie is the one who is out of position at winger. Try to keep up.

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      • Alex

        Eddie Johnson was good enough to score the goals that got us into the Hex. Playing Fabian as a forward in a 4-3-3 would be a mistake. Try to keep up.

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      • Bobb

        Eddie Johnson scored two goals against an Antigua and Barbuda team that is comprised almost entirely of players from Antigua Barracuda… by far the worst team in USL Pro, the third division of the US soccer pyramid. Congrats to Eddie on that great accomplishment, beating up on CONCACAF weaklings like he has his entire USMNT career.

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      • nic d "the tx 2 stepper"

        And if he did not score (or beat up on the CONCACAF weaklings) you would not have this post to respond to.

        Try to keep up

        Like

      • Alex

        To clarify, I think he could play left midfield, but a left forward spot should be given to a player who is a forward… Not that Fabian can’t score goals, but does he have the aerial power, speed or pure finishing ability a forward needs? I don’t think he does.

        Like

      • 20

        Fabian Johnson can play LM but isn’t a forward imo. That’s why I’m against the 4-3-3. I want Johnson in the midfield.

        And I don’t think it’s obvious that he meant Fabian considering that lately that’s been Eddie’s position.

        Like

      • atd

        Sorry for the confusion — meant Fabian Johnson. To address some of the points people have brought up:

        — No one’s proposed playing Fabian as a forward; we’re talking about who to play at left wing. Which means that aerial quality, for instance, is irrelevant.

        — Fabian has more than enough pace for that position. Some of the performance-data measures have him among the fastest handful of players in the Bundesliga.

        — Eddie Johnson did score two great goals against Antigua and Barbuda, but this is a conversation about who to pair up top with Jozy Altidore. Jozy wasn’t even on the team for the A&B game. Context is important.

        — The qualities that I think recommend Fabian for LW are that he’s very fast, he interchanges well, he has good vision for the final ball, and he’s crafty with his movement.

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      • GW

        Based on an interview Fabian gave when he first joined the USMNT his favored postion is the right side of midfield.

        Prior to being moved to left back by Hoffenheim, he played on the right side of midfield as a holding midfielder and at right back.

        I’m sure he can play left wing but you might as well have Castillo do that since he has a lot more experience at it than Fabian and Fabian is a superior defender and you will need that in this game.

        Like

    • bottlcaps

      I think you are right on that one. In the Honduras game, Klinsmann again played Altidore up top as a lone striker, a role he has yet to master and has not produced anything while playing in that formation. I believe that Klinsmann was worried about an early goal that he sacrificed a striker up front to have the extra bodies at midfield, a mistake, as the US squandered early opportunities when active, but were unable to duplicate a score at the end when tiredness and the heat wilted the Americans.

      It was a brilliant assist by JA, If you noticed Gudmonsson turned on the afterburners BEFORE he reached the half-line where he could not be offside, forcing his defender to pull even defending against an early pass by JA.. when the pass came, Gudmonsson had the advantage and a well placed pass allowed the goal. A goal that took advantage of field placement and using the offside rule to your advantage. Well Done.

      Like

    • Dos

      aggressively brought indictment on behalf of a player that has not scored in a meaningful game for his team for 15 months. He should absolutely be credited for turning a corner in his club career.

      The international game is faster paced, less open, and requires more work and ability to break through in the attacking third. Juergen can’t make a killer run for him, or help him control a ball in tight space, or make a killer pass.

      Look no further than Clint.

      Like

      • crocajun1003

        I think we’ve seen over the past two years at AZ that JA is one of the better players in our pool at making a killer run, controlling a ball in a tight space, and making killer passes, trouble is our US squads have been so narrow that NOBODY has room to work.

        A Honduran national team made up of guys playing in a local league do not magically reach the level of an Ajax when they put on their national team uniforms.

        Space on the field is all about motion, formation, and ball movement. Right now we’ve got none of those, hence no space.

        Opening things up with players like Donovan and Shea would not only help JA, they’d help the entire team function.

        Like

    • Raffi

      If you are assuming the team should be built around a more open approach, then you are correct. Though I think that statement would apply to almost all of the offensive minded players.

      It is clear Altidore can provide quite a bit in an open game. In a defensively tight game, like it will be against any good opponent, it remains to be seen.

      I really like the guy and can’t wait until he finds a way to break out on the Nats team. However, most teams aren’t built around a single player and Altidore is not an exception, neither is Demspey, etc. So, I am still hoping Altidore raises his game and can be more effective against opponents who play a disciplined defensive system *and* like practically all USMNT fans I continue to hope that we begin to play a bit more open w/a better balance of defensive/offensive minded players and return to at least having a lethal counterattack like we did in the Confed Cup.

      Like

      • Nate Dollars

        the thing is, jozy already has broken out on the nats team; just not this iteration. it’s not like he hasn’t performed on the international level before.

        and, if it wins games (as in half of the confed cup), why not tailor our game to jozy? the simple answer is: klinsmann wants us to play steady, possession-based soccer, when either he won’t play the right personnel for that style, or (more likely) we simply don’t have that type/level of player yet.

        Like

    • bizzy

      +1

      Tony in Quakeland……..how dare you come up with these issues that are a direct result of the poor showing of our team, and with this kind of reason???

      Like

  • Brian

    I feel like Jurgen needs to play a system that revolves around Jozy. Recently he has been of fire for AZ and that needs to be taken advantage of on the US side of the ball. Whereas players like Dempsey and Donovan are versatile, I think that Jozy is a bit more restricted and right now he is ineffective for the US. I wish he were more adaptable but that’s all we have right now and he is scoring goals for club; I think that a system that makes him comfortable and available is necessary.

    Like

    • Jim

      It would help if Klinnsy would at least give trotting out no more than 2 defensive mids a chance

      Like

    • jon

      If you think Klinsi should take his cues from AZ, realize that they have a lot more losses then wins. True, they play a bunch of creative/technical guys forward and score goals, but they get scored on more.

      Like

  • FCA

    I know I am going to get a lot of flack for this, but I hate this highlight. As soon as he takes his first touch his head goes down. He does an excellent job of holding the ball up on the counter and giving time for teammates to get forward, but his head stays down. What you see out of top player on top teams in top leagues is multiple looks around them to get a sense of their spacial awareness. This assist was more of a must-see-lucky-pass than a moment of tactical and technical brilliance.

    For this reason he does need to move on to a bigger league where this will not be acceptable. You have no time or space to sit with your head down in the bigger leagues and if he stays in AZ then these mistakes will become habits.

    The man who hasn’t scored in over a year for the nats is building habits for a game that is played in space when we all know the international game is about doing more with less time or space.

    Like

    • ljkadflksdflk

      Top level players make the looks before the ball is at their feet and play a pass where they expect a teammate to be from previous experience. Also what are you talking about when you say there is a lack of space in the international game? Landon Donovan is by far at his best when he is in space. BB recognized that he was our best player and we had the best chance to win if we took advantage of his skill set. JK is fitting players into a system instead of fitting a system to players. Honduras is not even close to Ajax so Im sure JK can figure out a way to get Jozy into decent positions.

      Like

      • GW

        This is not the best comparison.

        Donovan is a far, far more versatile player than Jozy. He has the best skill set in the Nats by far.

        In fact, the US attack has been built around him for some time now and it is no coincidence that Jozy’s USMNT dry spell is concurrent with Donovan’s absence.

        Like

      • crocajun1003

        I just made this exact same comment above. I’m not sure where this “there’s not space at the international game” thing comes from. Watch a Brazil game. Watch a Portugal game.

        Sure, the intensity levels are raised on the international stage, but it doesn’t turn Honduran defenders into world beaters.

        Like

  • Kung Fu Kangaroos

    Michael Bradley scored an insane amount of goals in that league as well. After this season, Jozy needs to go to one of the big 4 leagues to play against “real” defenses.

    Like

    • kev

      16 league goals, 18 or 20 in all competitions as an attacking midfielder. His form got him some interest from Birmingham in early 08 but their relegation nixed such plans. Thus he ended up in Germany

      Like

      • GW

        KFK and Kev,

        If it is so easy to score in the Dutch league there should be a lot of guys scoring in double figures right? Doesn’t that make sense? The Dutch league is more wide open and all that.

        Well, as of today, in terms of guys with at least ten goals here is how it breaks down:

        1. Lige 1 8

        2. Eredivisie 11

        3. La Liga 11

        4. Bundesliga 11

        5. Premiership 18

        Messi has 38 and Zlatan and Bony (Vitesse, Holland) are tied for second with 22.

        Like

  • MikeG

    That was a $ pass. I never seen Verbeek act like a little boy before. I agree with building the midfield around Jozy Altidore. More importantly I believe in building the midfield that can make any forward selected look good. The model Klinnsman has been using needs an overhaul. Without good movement and positioning by teammates off the ball, the player in possession, even if he possesses outstanding awareness, will be limited in his options.

    Like

  • wyna

    Jozy needs to move to Italy or Germany. With good service and solid playing he could maybe score 10-13 goals a season. Not bad for a mid-table club. Fighting for a EUROPA LEAGUE spot

    Like

  • famos1

    When’s the last time Jozy had anyone on our team flying by him after holding up the ball in a usmnt game? Think about that for a second before you reply.

    Like

    • FCA

      when was the last time Jozy dropped that far into our half to find the ball in a USMNT game. have a think about that…

      Like

      • beachbum

        when’s the last time he was not the high target forward? have to think about that

        Like

      • Pirithous

        And one assumes that Jozy’s not dropping back so deep because that is not what the coach’s tactics ask him to do. We already have a clog in the midfield (especially with Eddie Johnson also poking his nose in there frequently last game). Why would we want Jozy dropping in there as well? Now, change the tactics to allow him more freedom and space to drop deeper into the midfield, and he might do it more, and with good effect. If he is told to drop deep into midfield and doesn’t or won’t, then he needs to be replaced. But if Klinsman tells him to stay high, it’s the tactics keeping him high, not his alleged “laziness.” I don’t recall Klinsmann ever complaining that Jozy was not dropping deep into the midfield, but then again, he might not talk about tactical instructions in such detail. We cannot know for certain, but it sure looks like a tactical decision to me rather than Jozy just losing interest.

        Like

      • FCA

        Did not mean for it to sound like I was calling jozy “lazy”. Jozy works harder than he gets credit for these days. Was more a general observation on the way he plays with the USMNT. Whatever reason you wish to insert for it is up to the reader.

        Like

      • beachbum

        I don’t believe you. you’re looking to stir up the poop but instead folks are just knocking those softballs out of the park on you

        Like

      • FCA

        So you are telling me you know for a fact that I wasnt refering to the system we play and not his work rate?

        Like

  • Ryan

    I love these comment threads!! Okay, we need Donovan, or at least a Donovan 2.0!! Gary, Corona, hey did you catch Cuevas the other day? We need that one guy blowing by guys off the ball so Bradley, Jones, Demps can play them on!! Speed kills. We have enough possession guys, time to bring in a burner!! Come on Klinsi, unleash someone for the Costa Rica game!!!

    Like

  • hho[[[kk65433wyna

    Jozy owned AJAX yesterday. 23 goals this season. He needs to get to 30 and get sold

    Like

    • Ryan

      30 goals would be sick, wouldn’t it? In any league!! And this is a quality European league!! And Jozy is YOUNG!! Future is bright!!

      BTW…Bradley, Jozy, Howard all Jersey boys and products of Metro/RBNY…just reppin sorry!!! Haha

      Like

    • Beto

      Right! Im not sure where he is going but Ajax should either make a huge bid or just ensure he wont be in the dutch league anymore.. He has owned them this year!

      Like

      • WG

        He has already cost Ajax money. Ricardo van Rhijn was linked to Aresenal for ~10mil Euros, before Jozy owned him earlier this season. On his first goal, and the assist, van Rhijn was the defender who was undressed both times. I’m sure he’d love for Jozy to move to another league.

        Like

  • hho[[[kk65433wyna

    The question now is

    should Jozy stay at AZ another season and develop himself and score another 20 goals and provided he has a decent WC move on to a big club in a top 4 league

    or

    should Jozy move now to strike while he’s HOT. An injury next season at AZ could rob him of chances to prepare for the WC

    Like

    • Beto

      As a USA fan i hope he stays 1 more year but anyone with money in this game would say leave after the season.

      Like

    • Nick

      I feel like he’s leaving and that Earnie Stewart has been leaning towards that way too . Didn’t he reveal that he had suitors in summer and January?

      Like

      • crocajun1003

        Yeah, not sure why Stewart wouldn’t move him this summer. A player of his size, with his ability, at his age. Doesn’t seem like the stock can get much higher.

        Like

    • Stracho

      When he does leave, I will miss the way the Dutch announcers say Altidore in these highlights.

      Like

    • Alex

      Unfortunately it’s not up to us, or even him. Even if he wanted to stay another year, AZ might decide it’s time to cash in on him. I mean, if he adamantly declared that he wanted to stay, they would probably let him, but this kind of decision is many times out of the control of the player. Unless you’re Ronaldo or something.

      Like

      • David JS

        yeah, technically they can’t FORCE him to leave (just look at Sneijder’s situation at Inter) but they can make it virtually impossible for him to stay. Most guys just accept that they’re moving on because there’s no point in fighting it.

        Like

  • mb

    all i see here is a player who had difficultly controlling the ball, handled it, did a half turn, and blindly kicked the ball up field luckily (and perfectly) to his teammate. but i guess thats good. luck is better than no luck.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Dear lord, what a ball!

    If Jozy keeps this up, he is gone after this season. AZ will get some offers they can’t refuse.

    Like

  • Gnarls

    This video is proof we just need to clone Jozy. Jozy the midfielder would always connect with Jozy the striker.

    Like

  • Berlin

    How has no one mentioned that this was an American striker threading a sweet through ball to ANOTHER AMERICAN STRIKER! Gudmundsson was raised in Iceland but born here. We could have both these guys playing in Stripes.

    Like

    • Pirithous

      I think you are thinking of Aron Johannsson (who I don’t think has played yet for AZ), rather than Gudmundsson (who scored in this game and is a current full Iceland international).

      Like

  • Adam M.

    All I know is that Jozy’s highlight reel this year will rival anyones (really) for the breadth of quality displayed. Its like he is ticking off categories. Chip the goalie from midfield, check. Slalom run through the box, check. Bomb from outside the area, check. Strong headers, check. Crazy assist, check. Its not like any other Americans are doing this anywhere (even in America).

    Like

  • Freddie Footballer

    Reminds me of Beasley’s assist to Dempsey in ’06 World Cup (I hope my memory serves me right).

    Like

    • WG

      If you compare Goals For/Goals Against and Goals differential between The BPL and the Eredivisie, top of the table to the bottom, they are very similar. Are you suggesting they don’t play defense in the BPL, too?

      Like

      • WG

        TGA,

        I apologize if it seems I’m singling you out, it’s more that the line that they downplay defense in the Netherlands is incorrect, and needs to be challenged..

        Like

      • Conrad

        Agreed. When did this become “fact”?

        But what about those high scorers in the Eredivisie who flopped when they went to the “tougher” leagues? You know the type of these losers:

        Suarez, Huntelaar, Van Nistelrooy, Ronaldo, Bergkamp, El Hamdaoui, Kuyt, Van Persie….

        Like

      • Conrad

        my typo “you know the type of these losers ” doesn’t help my irony. OBVIOUSLY, Suarez, Van Persie, Huntelaar et al. have been successful outside of the Netherlands.

        Like

  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    So if Gertjan Verbeek coaches the US, does Altidore start to score for the Nats?

    Like

  • Conrad

    Interesting:

    Not a single mention of Brek Shea here in the search for service for Jozy. All the desperation for a “true winger,” and we’ve got a guy who seems to finally be fulfilling his potential. [*Smacks head, realizes he jinxed Shea’s start at Stoke this weekend….*]

    Like

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