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Europa League: Your Running Commmentary

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The Europa League is back in action today, with several quality match-ups on the schedule and two Americans in action.

Sacha Kljestan earned the start for Anderlecht in its clash against Greek side AEK Athens. Jozy Altidore isn't in the starting lineup for Villarreal's match against Greek side PAOK, but he is likely to see time as a reserve.

The day's earlier matches featured the Liverpool-Napoli tilt, as well as Borussia Dortmund-Paris St. Germain.

If you will be watching today's matches, or have been watching the day's earlier action  and want to discuss the results, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

Comments

  1. If he gets a shot off, he shouldn’t shoot straight at the keeper. It’s not that complicated on what folks are complaining about with Jozy.

    Can he get there – maybe.

    Still yeah he’s in the rotation at Villareal which is something. Would be more impressive if he could actually score now and then.

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  2. You say that players go through ups and downs in form, which I agree with. But you can’t argue that the “downs” in Jozy’s case far outweigh the “ups”. I can’t think of many personal “ups” for the guy since the goal against Spain, which was a long, long time ago.

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  3. I would say he has “started to show his talent”. Altidore did not have the opportunity to rise through the youth ranks of a major club. He earned his shot in Europe by showing his potential in MLS. He has already scored in La Liga and the EPL, at just 20.

    As you say “in European terms” Jozy is behind schedule, but considering how he has gone from NYRB to Europe, I don’t think he is far off schedule.

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  4. I’ll second this opinion. Form is a huge factor in soccer. Even the very best players go through periods when they don’t look good. Jozy’s had ups and downs which is very normal for a young soccer player.

    Edson Buddle is a perfectly good MLS forward, but he’s 28, and he just doesn’t have the tools to be any more effective than Eddie Johnson on the international level. I’d rather see young guys like Brek Shea or guys we haven’t seen before (Wondo) getting chances even if they don’t pan out. Jozy’s our striker for now and the future. The only question is who’s gonna play alongside him.

    Jozy is a cut above even with his current slump.

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  5. So tired of the “he’s still young” excuses for Jozy.
    “Just 20 years old” is different in soccer. Because physical skills are so important, players peak earlier. Prime is 24-28, not 28-32. A 20-year-old in European terms has gone through European academy training and spent at least two years as a full-time professional. Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas, two of the biggest stars in the world, are just 22. Twenty-year-old Thomas Muller, in his first season for Bayern Munich, scored 20 goals and was pivotal on a team that went to the Champions League final. Jozy isn’t young by soccer standards. He’s the age where he should be starting to show his talent.

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  6. Ahhhhhh reason. The majority of forwards develop finishing like defenders and keepers develop positioning, instincts, etc…through experience. That being said, some of Jozy’s missed chances have been shocking but that could come from a lack of confidence or bigtime minutes.

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  7. I think there’s a lot of misplaced anger toward Jozy. He’s doing pretty well, actually – getting minutes for a top team in a top league is pretty good for a 21 year old kid. The problem is that people pile expectations on him because he’s the only quasi-legit forward we’ve got for the USMNT.

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  8. Yah buddle is scoring goals, but He’s 27-28 and he’s not necessarily a prospect for 2014. That’s what this cycle is all about. Looking for new younger strikers and grooming the young ones we already have. Altidore is still 20, people seem to forget that, and he’ll be 24 at the next world cup, he’ll be good by then.

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  9. You’re right, I just said argument because I’ve seen it several times from several people and for some reason it seems to be a common thought/misconception

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  10. Ha good to see in the time I typed that other people have posted the same thing. Also, reverse the situations. Would Edson Buddle find consistent playing time at Villareal OR Hull? I personally think he tops out as a good, sometimes dominant MLS striker. The trick is to catch him in his dominant form.

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  11. I don’t get this “Jozy didn’t get any minutes at Hull” argument. He was a regular starter in the Premier League and appeared in 28 games overall. He saw plenty of the field while he was there. Finishing is a whole separate(and legitimate) concern, but Jozy was not lacking in minutes while he was at Hull.

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  12. You know, when you have to make sh!t up (ie, Altidore didn’t play at Hull) to support your argument , it usually means you don’t have a very good argument.

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  13. Honestly? Who the heeeeeelllll do you want to start over him? And if you say Buddle, or Gomez, or Wondo, or Grella or anyone else, i would gladly tell you why Altidore is starting over them.

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  14. Jozy Altidore doesn’t play at any club, Villareal or Hull, because he is not good. Period. No one outside of the USA can understand why Bob Bradley continues to play this guy.

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  15. Sacha has done well for Anderlecht today. He had a hand in the first goal as Lukaku fed him, he took a shot, keeper blocked the shot into the path of Boussoufa who then scored.

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