Photo by ISIphotos.com
So you probably heard about the false alarm reports of Jozy Altidore heading to Greek powerhouse Olympiakos on loan (the interest in Altidore had been in the Greek papers for weeks). While we wait for a decision to actually be made on where Villarreal sends the young striker (assuming they don't keep him) I couldn't help but wonder what a move to Greece would mean for the young striker.
Such a move would put Altidore on a respected European squad, but it would mean playing in the Greek League, which is a notch below the likes of England and Spain. Olympiakos is in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League though, so Altidore would have the potential to play in the Champions League group stages.
Then there is the travel element.
Altidore would have to travel halfway around the world (okay, so maybe not THAT far) to play in World Cup qualifiers and other international fixture dates, which could take its toll and could force U.S. coach Bob Bradley to limit the number of times he has Altidore take that long trip. (Yes, we're only talking an hour or more longer than an Italy, but it's a few hours further than England or Spain)
The move would have some positives. He would be a good bet for starting time on a squad with several quality players, including Olof Mellberg, Antonios Nikopolidis, Enzo Maresca and Dudu. He would get experience in some pretty intense league matches against the likes of Panathinaikos and AEK Athens. Altidore would also be able to play in what could be considered the shadows as far as American soccer fans go since exposure to the Greek League is minimal in this country. That obscurity might just help the young forward focus and thrive.
While a move to Greece wouldn't be the worst move in the world, count me among those who believe he would be much better off in England or Spain. That said, wherever he goes, he needs to play, so if Altidore has to go all the way to Greece to find a good team that will start him, then it's off to Greece.
What do you think of an Altidore move to Greece? Think it would be a good idea? Hoping it doesn't happen? Still hoping he ends up in England, where you could then watch him every week?
Share your thoughts below.
like most other posters, i think at this point playing time is extremely important for jozy. pining away in the spanish league hasn’t done him much good so far. after a brief developmental period in one of the lesser european leagues, he could return to the spanish league or another top-notch league.
Olympiacos would be a great move for Jozy!!! Playing in Champions League and in the Greece league is about 100 times better than playing in a lower EPL or LA liga teams. Why are some fans on this forum acting as if Olympiacos is a low average team?! I don’t understand! Olympiacos is probably in the top 50 power house clubs in the world!! I say go to Greece and experience futbol at its best!!
Would anyone else find it funny if he ended up going to Fulham or something? After all of this talk about flight times, the merits of the Greek league, and where Altidore will sit on their depth chart…
If he has not yet, I think he and Frank Klopas of the Fire should speak. Frank played for the Sting and then in Greece and then in MLS. Altidore consulting Klopas would allow Jozy to get info on the clubs and culture of Greece.
MLS needs to start paying these wanna-bes
What is with the people who actually think the flight times make a difference? Don’t you guys pay attention to the fact that everyone gets released at about the same time from their club team? So, what are the flight times from eastern Europe to South America? Newsflash: EVERYONE FINDS A WAY TO DEAL WITH IT. I don’t think Argentina has teleportation techonology, do they?
Listen, you cant want guys to play in Europe and then say we only want them in the part of Europe that takes the least amount of time to return from by plane. You just sound stupid now.
And if it is a concern then how about the cumulative effect? Landon Donovan will fly more this year playing with L.A. than Jozy could fly in 4 years playing in Greece. L.A. to New York or D.C. and back has to be at least 14 hours. Athens to Thessaloniki is 45 minutes. People that travel can attest to the fact that it is not one flight that gets you….it’s 10 flights a month that takes its toll. So are we going to start questioning Landon’s fitness based on his frequent flyer miles?
what’s Valenica to NY
Barcelona to DC 8:45
Athens to DC 11:03
This does not include any connections, etc.
That’s 25% more time in the air plus an additional one hour time zone change. That’s pretty significant in my book.
Wouldn’t it be great if Dudu and Kaka could play on the same team?
Posted by: Matt | July 13, 2009 at 01:50 PM
HAHA! Thats a good one. I’ve heard Real Madrid were planning a friendly with Olympiakos too!
STAY IN LA LIGA!!! WE NEED MORE AMERICANS PLAYING IN THAT STYLE OF LEAGUE
Posted by: Dudinho | July 13, 2009 at 03:03 PM
USA 2-0 Spain
He needs to go to EPL
July 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm
I think Jozy has had it a bit too easy in his career so far. Undoubtedly he has talent but I mean he had his own blog in the New York times by his 19th birthday! He can be a bit lazy on the pitch too. If he want’s to succeed in Europe then he is going to have to work hard! Maybe a move to Greece would be beneficial but they have two or three very good strikers there already.
From site I came across today. Typical Euro Snobs