Top Stories

Monday Morning Centerback: Altidore shines in Villarreal debut


For someone playing just his first La Liga match, Jozy Altidore certainly didn’t look out of place.

The U.S. national team and former Red Bulls striker made his debut for Villarreal on Sunday and was extremely impressive during his 45 minutes of actions. His combination of size and speed troubled Deportivo La Coruna’s defenders throughout the second half of Villarreal’s 1-0 win.

Though Altidore is not on Villarreal’s Champions League roster, he certainly made a strong claim for more playing time and certainly did enough to put some more pressure on U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley to call him up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

If you missed Altidore’s debut, here is a video compilation of his best moments (courtesy of Yanked Around):


Altidore look completely comfortable, not at all overwhelmed or overmatched, which is amazing considering he is still just 18.

While it was only 45 minutes, Altidore’s performance certainly raise the question of whether Bradley can keep holding off on calling in Altidore while choosing to call in Eddie Johnson, who failed to get off the bench for Cardiff City this weekend, and who has been thoroughly unimpressive in recent national team appearances.

If anything, we saw a healthy, confident and dangerous Altidore who just might wind up thriving on a loaded Villarreal squad that has plenty of attacking stars to help Altidore flourish.

With that in mind, it would be tough to justify failing to call in Altidore for any future national team games, especially if he keeps getting minutes for a top club in a top league, a distinction he would share alone among players in the current U.S. national team pool.

It’s time for a poll:

What did you think of Altidore’s performance on Sunday? Do you think he could be an impact player in just his first season in La Liga? Do you think it’s time for him to become a U.S. national team regular, or do you think being patient with him is more prudent given that he is still just 18?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. understood – you may hold the quality of opposition all you want… you wanted results, and BB has given us results…

    we’re 3-0 in semis

    we won Gold, which takes us to Confed

    we’ve won mutliple games in europe

    we won in

    we’ve gotten harder opposition to test our boys

    you may argue that they were not pretty results, or that US soccer has downgraded with BB at the helm, but the results dont lie… BB has a winning record and he hasnt sat back and played weak CONCACAF teams to inflate his record…

    those are results enough for me… and good job on focusing on the first part only… ive pointed out that they were against weaker opposition, but you failed to respond to that… even if those games were 5-0, a win is a win…. even with our best squad we would find it hard to break Groups in the WC… 2002 has left US fans a bit deluded….

  2. WOW. WOW. WOW.

    He looked fantastic!

    Let him stay at Villareal and keep this ball rolling! It’s not like we need him right now. It’s too important for him to solidify his place in the team. It would be a much bigger deal for American soccer right now if he scored a goal for Villareal than if he scored a goal for the Nats.

  3. 45 minutes in a league match is not a club career. Why does everyone want to play teenagers in important matches? I’m sure there’s some nice 12 year old prospect somewhere that if only we knew his name we could get our panties all bunched up about “how come Bob Bradley isn’t starting them in WCQs??!!”

    Jozy is making great strides. Give him a chance to get some minutes with his club team. He will be in the 23-man squad for South Africa. No need to rush things.

  4. I watched his 45 minutes and at times he played well, but he had several baaad touches. He needs time to grow with his team (Adu, Bradley as well) so bring in Cooper for the upcoming series of qualifiers so we can see if he is what everyone thinks he is.

  5. understood – show you the results?? ok

    1-0 Guat (away), 1-0 cuba (away), & 3-0 T&T (home)


    haahahahaha…world cup semis here we come…today concacaf…tomorrow..the woooorlld

  6. Bring in Davies and Cooper. They’ve got their starting spots secured for their club teams.

    As for Alitidore, call him up to start or leave him in Spain to train. Does him no good to call him up only to sit on the bench.


Leave a Comment