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My Fox Soccer take on Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore 4 (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIphotos.com

For those of you haven't seen it yet, here is my FoxSoccer.com piece on Jozy Altidore. The column started out as another take on the "What next for Jozy Altidore" theme, but ultimately turned into a piece on the current unsettled state of his career and what he can (and should) do to improve his position.

No, nobody's saying Altidore's future is in jeopardy or anything, but rather that he could be doing more to propel his career and become the top-flight player he has shown flashes of being.

Give the piece a read and feel free to share your own thoughts on Altidore and where he is four years into his professional career.

Comments

  1. I can’t wait for the day that Altidore & Adu bash Practice! I can just see it now. It’s not like it was a season or CL match or something, it was PRACTIICCE!

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  2. Dos santos? This kid can be on the bench serving Gatorade in Europe and he will still be a starter for the Mexican national team.lol Same goes for, Vela,Osorio,Franco,”The new Marquez”,Maza, and joining them soon, EL chichapito!lol

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  3. That might be very true but none of those 30 can ever say that they scored the winning goal against Spain in a major tournament.Jozy has the tools but time will tell.

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  4. If his EPL coach Dowie is saying Jozy has poor training habits – we shouldn’t relax until Jozy stops damaging his own reputation.

    Of course if Jozy plays well at the cup all will be forgiven.

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  5. Ives, I would have slammed Jozy harder – so what if the team was bad, Jozy played a ton of minutes up top and he should have been able to score more goals.

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  6. i just think people need to relax. We can all name 30 players jozy’s age or younger out there that are better than him. he’s not a once in a generation talent by world standards. What sucks is that he is one by american standards.

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  7. The thing is they’re so ridiculous they don’t realize they’re ridiculous, best not to feed them facts, they get in the way of their firm convictions.

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  8. I look fine in the mirror, thanks for asking.

    Let me see…the guy whose play for USMNT won him the bronze boot at Confed Cup, whose diving header against Egypt started the run to the confed cup final? That guy has played just fine for USMNT when it counted.

    And oh yeah his play for Fulham is not bad either.

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  9. I am worried about fans like Dan.

    Dempsey’s 1 of 2 guys England will be worried about; he’s their problem not ours.

    Here’s a hint Dan: the other one is the guy who played for Everton, not Hull.

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  10. exactly what i was thinking [about donovan]. and to me, i’m with the folks on the board who can’t believe they heard “dempsey” and “underachiever” in the same sentence. maybe they meant to put “altidore” there.

    there are only a few players on the national team whom i truly think underachieve. unfortunately for us, they’re all strikers (adu, ej, altidore). to me, altidore is by far the most frustrating player to watch and read about on the national team. when he’s playing for the nats, it’s clear he’s not fit. at least now we know that he doesn’t train hard, so we know why he’s not as sharp as the players around him. he’d better get his act right in training, or else he will quickly be back in mls.

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  11. Oh, and Adu is our most technically gifted player. Its his tactical awareness and work ethic that keep him off the field. Dempsey has no such problems, all of you, don’t tread!

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  12. Also, people have forgotten how much of a headcase Ronoldo was when he was that young. He was a little spoiled brat jerk who was regularly subbed off at half time for being lazy and throwing tantrums. Even Ives in his piece said that Ronaldo was always a hard worker and talented…From what I saw, that was just not true. He matured, and probably hopes people have forgotten, and most of us have. Not this guy.

    Don’t Tread.

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  13. dempsey does more dribbling and tricks…

    well, maybe because the nats need him to create, and he is trying to answer the call by being creative. Not always does it look pretty, but when you try things that are creative you run that risk. I’d rather him keep playing his game, it is very effective.

    Now, if any player seems to play better for his club team than for his national team, I chalk that up to team chemistry more than anything else. They spend the vast majority of their time with their club teams. It is hard to build chemistry in the small amount of games national teams play, that the games are usually vastly spread out, and the fact that the personnel often change due to form, injuries, and the what not.

    Dempsey plays hard for the red white and blue.

    DON’T TREAD!

    (coined by Dempsey, no worn by evey nat via the official jersey, get real)

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  14. BullSh*t

    he got the Bronze Ball in the confederations cup for his performance, the only american to get an award in it, and I think castrol was the company that did the performance index. in it they catlogue the people who cover the most ground. out of the whole tournament, i belive Dempsey, playing for the NATS, was one of the, if not the, top ground covering players. Just because the camera doesn’t always follow him around, or just because you are unable to evaluate a player’s effectiveness, doesn’t mean it is true what you are saying.

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  15. Okay, Fireball, I see your nitpick and I raise you one hair split. I will amend my statement to say that Dempsey does a lot less tricks, dribbling and getting caught in possession now than he did when he first arrived at Fulham. He is much better at picking his spots for that now. That said, I believe we agree.

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  16. I can see Jozy staying at Villarreal and playing, because they may lose two to three strikers and not qualify for any Europe competitions. Surely another year at Hull would be a waste.

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  17. Given the state of their finances Altidore is going to have a chance to earn a starting job with Villareal next season. Rossi is almost certainly getting sold to pay down debt. Nilmar will be a transfer target for bigger clubs too. Altidore got considerably better as the year went on despite being on a team with zero midfield service. He developed into a support striker on a team that needed a goal poacher. But, whether with Villareal or another team his next destination is going to have a position for him more tailored to that team’s needs. Comments I’ve seen by scouts before suggests that top half Eredivisie teams like Feyenoord and AZ are still quite high on him as a transfer target.

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  18. His goal beat Spain! He has scored in La Liga and the Premier League by the age of 20.

    Any other Americans ever do that?

    Didn’t think so.

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  19. Jimmy Johnson with the D Cowboys. He was relentless on his players and their work outs. There was no slacking off and we was there almost everyday pushing the players. Larry Brown in the NBA is another one.

    If Jozy were a complete headcase then I would be worried, but because he appears to be fairly level headed I think he can and will reach his potential.

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  20. Exactly! And yet, this year, we’ll bring players that are 30 or older: Bocanegra, Dolo, and possibly Ching.

    Don’t get wrong, these 30 something guys deserve to go. I’m just pointing out how many young guys we have and if they continue to develop, then in 2014 most of them will be at that prime “soccer age”.

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  21. Granted he probably doesn’t have the work effort of Davies, LD or Mikey but that does not mean he doesn’t work hard. I get the impression that he works to the level of his team. He probably realized that he was the best option at Hull and trained accordingly.

    keep in mind that there are countless examples in sports where players developed stronger work habits at a later time or under a different coach or team.

    A move to a Mid EPL team where he has to fight to get PT might be a good starting point. At a team like Everton for example, he would be in a more stable enviroment, playing for a proven coach and on a team with strong veteran leadership.

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  22. He made Ramos look stupid, but it was not a game winner (although that one v. Juve was sweeet)

    As I said, he’s got talent. But his disapearing acts are notable.

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  23. But he played that way for the Nats long before Fulham, so you saying his Fulham accustomization leads to his USMNT discontent is a little out of order.

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  24. totally serious, are you?

    There have been national team games where ou could hardly hear the man’s name called. Considering his skill level, he is an underacheiver.

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  25. lol.

    for the record, I think dempsey is our most technically gifted player, by far. I just want to say “Boy, he gave it his all” after every game, ala Donovan/Davies/Bradley.

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  26. “You people”? What’s that supposed to mean derek?

    I kid. I don’t care if you’re a racist so long as you got dempsey’s back. Also, I don’t actually think you’re a racist.

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  27. Wow, talk about beating a dead horse……. and I thought this thread was about Jozy?!? Rule #1…. never argue with an ill-informed idiot.

    The only uncertainty around Altidore is which European club he will be playing for next and how long will it take before he’s on one of the best teams in the world. The answer to the second one is…… as soon as he really wants it. The answer to the second comes right after the WC.

    Oh, and Ives…… he played for one of the worst clubs, top to bottom, to have ever disgraced the EPL. Don’t you think that many of his “issues” might revolve around poor coaching, poor management, and poor morale. Just sayin’.

    Yes, he needs to grow up–what 20 y.o. doesn’t?

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  28. I don’t think we are basing our whole argument on 5 games. But what the hell, sure, give me the clutch tournament player who produces in big games for my team.

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  29. I agree but let me nitpick. Dempsey does plenty of “dribblin, tricks, and possession loss” with Fulham. Hodgson will let him do it in the attacking third but not the middle of the field where he can get ‘caught out’ (see Costly 5′ v Honduras which everyone loves to point out). On the USMNT, with less one-touch service in the middle, Dempsey is counted on to create out of midfield more for himself, which is why I agree with R’s comments below. And, I think, why when he was moved up top in the Confed Cup, he became more dangerous.

    Anyway, I really meant to agree: differences in shape, role, type of service on on his club and country have a lot to do with it.

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  30. You’re basing your entire argument on 5 games, 2 of which he looked terrible in! Who’s being ridiculous?

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  31. I agree Josh, Jozy has to have that fire. It seemed at times that he lumbers on the field. aka Casey. Jozy has potential but so do so many in Europe, just ask Adu. The 20 argument is “hogwash”.
    This WC will be big for Jozy.

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  32. Getting someone to work hard day in and day out can be taught almost every time. You just have to know what motivates them. Hopefully will end up with a coach that inspires him to be the best he can be.

    Any thoughts on who that might be in Europe?

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  33. “The simple fact is that when he plays at Fulham he is surrounded by better players, better coaches, has more continuity in training . . .” Agreed.

    Dempsey does more dribbling, tricks and gets caught in possession much more with the USMNT than with Fulham. I think this is directly related to Hodgson not allowing it and Fulham having guys available for one touch passing when Dempsey receives the ball. The lack of this positioning on the USMNT requires Dempsey (and others) to keep possession much more than with Fulham. I also think Fulham has a defined style of play and shape and Dempsey knows his role in that. I do not see a defined style of play or shape in the USMNT under Bradley and this leads to inconsistent play.

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  34. If you’re calling Dempsey an underachiever you’re either ignoring his contributions to the USMNT or you have expectations of superstardom that his defenders don’t necessarily have.

    Who would you have subbed in for Clint after the first 2 Confed Cup games? Someone with less ability but tries really hard’? Let’s just put Heydude in then. Taking him out would have been a mistake..he scored meaningful goals and got the bronze ball.

    Dan et al can worry about him being ‘penned in’ as a starter if they want, but I won’t. He’s the best we got and if we get to the second round it’ll be because he helped us.

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  35. You can’t teach the fire to win. Rooney was a winner the day he stepped on the pitch for Everton. Keane was a winner back with Forest. Tevez has always had drive. Donovan always seemed to try that extra bit.

    Jozy just came across as sulking this season and never ran off the ball, something a striker really needs to learn. I’m concerned and don’t buy the whole “he’s only 20” argument. At 20, playing in the best league in the world, getting ready for the World Cup, and knowing my skill is earning me millions all the while coming from immigrant parents who worked hard to get me to where I am, would be enough to fire me up every time.

    I just don’t think he’s having fun and from that, he can’t be bothered.

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