Photo by ISIphotos.com
With a budding career in Europe and increasing role with the U.S. national team taking up his thoughts, you wouldn’t blame Jozy Altidore if he didn’t have time to think about the club where it all began.
"What’s up with my Red Bulls," Altidore asked after the U.S. national team’s 6-1 win vs. Cuba on Saturday. "I hope they can get it together."
Altidore admitted that he still follows his former team’s fortunes from Spain and offered an unsolicited reminder that he plans on returning to the Red Bulls one day.
"I’lm gonna play there again," Altidore said. "I’m going to come back (one day)."
Altidore also discussed the transition to Spain, Giuseppe Rossi and finally making his debut in World Cup qualifying:
"It was definitely tough at first, the first couple of weeks being at the hotel and not knowing the language, not knowing anybody and being by yourself," Altidore said of the transition to Spain. "The most important thing is that on the field I’m learning more and more how to be a better professional."
One of the people who helped Altidore with his transition was fellow New Jersey native and Italian national team striker Giuseppe Rossi.
“He’s a good friend of mine and we’re roommates every trip on the road,” Altidore said of Rossi. “When he came back from the Olympics it was a huge weight off my shoulders. He told me where places are, how to do this and that. He’s been a huge help.”
When asked about Rossi’s status as one of the most hated players among U.S. national team fans because of his decision to play for Italy instead of the United States, Altidore stated that he bears Rossi no ill will for his decision.
"I think he’s a great player and it would have been great to have him with the U.S. because he’s a very good player but, having said that, his heart was set on Italy so I think he’s going to be a great player for them as well.”
As for the lack of playing time in World Cup qualifying, Altidore downplayed notion that he has been frustrated by the lack of call-ups in recent months. Saturday was his World Cup qualifying debut.
“There’s no frustration because it’s a process and everybody has to go through it,” Altidore said. “We have to trust in our coaching staff that they’re making the right decisions, and they do. We’re all very confident in them and trust them. They have a plan, we all have a plan on what to do for the World Cup and I’m going to have a role to play.”
Altidore should get plenty of playing time in the U.S. team’s two remaining qualifiers this year and looks like a safe bet to start on Wednesday night against Trinidad & Tobago.