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Altidore scores twice to lead AZ to Dutch Cup Final, ties Dempsey mark for goals in a European season

Jozy Altidore just keeps on scoring goals.

The U.S. Men’s National Team Forward just enjoyed one of the best games of his career, scoring two goals and delivering an assist in AZ’s 3-0 Dutch Cup semifinal win vs. Ajax on Wednesday.

The goals increased Altidore’s season total to 23 in all competitions, with 16 coming in Eredivisie play and the other seven coming in Dutch Cup action.

The victory propels AZ into the Dutch Cup Final, giving Altidore and his team a chance to win their first trophy since he joined the club two summers ago.

Here is Altidore’s second goal, an audacious chip that caught Ajax’s goalkeeper off his line and sealed the victory for AZ:


  1. Doing so now :

    Dempsey, Jozy, Aaron Johansson, Matt Taylor, Terrance Boyd, Bobby Wood

    US strikers who have scored in Europe:

    Brian McBride, Joe-Max Moore, Eric Wynalda, Clint Mathis, Josh Wolff, Edson Buddle, Robbie Findley, Charlie Davies. Kenny Cooper,Mike Grella, Landon Donovan, EJ, Conor Casey, Roy Wegerle, Frank Klopas, Preki

    This is just off the top of my head I’m sure there are more.

  2. If Jozy was to move to a mid-table club in Italy or Germany, he could score


    3-5 goals a season

    8-10 goals a season

    13-15 goals a season.

    either way he’s a star for us. Name 5 US strikers who have scored in Europe and name 2 (strikers) who are doing so now

  3. I’m in favor of using more wingers for the USMNT. I’m in favor because its a better way to play. Dempsey and Gomez have found ways to score in the current system and Altidore could do the same. I’m not convinced that if Altidore goes to a top league that he will be a good scorer. He couldn’t do it before at Hull City. A few months later he’s in Holland scoring a bunch of goals. Did he get that much better in a few months or was it change of environment/different competition?

    He hasn’t scored in a year and a half for the national team. Don’t get me wrong its possible he will succeed in a bigger league but I think people are acting like its a sure thing.

    • not sure if you ever saw him play at Hull, I saw many but not all of his games there. Take this however you want, but only Hunt would pass him the ball, that is no BS. Couldn’t believe it really as I wathced that loser Fagan out there literally never pass him the ball

      I expect posters to rip this post, but I watched those games and saw this happen

      • He had a run of games where he played well at Hull.Despite them being a horrible team.Yeah he only scored twice but he drew three pens.Looked confident taking people on and was their most dangerous fwd during that run.

    • First, it wasn’t a few months later; it was more than a year later. Second, he was only 20 when at Hull City. Players often show rapid progress in early 20s.

      And if you notice, most goals scored by Dempsey and Gomez in the current system were not really a result of any system. A good bounce here, a deflection there… And, in Dempsey’s case, some individual skill. There really is no team system under Klinsmann.

      • The US offense has been about the dynamic duo for a very long time.

        I would argue the system under BB was Donovan on the counter and Dempsey feeding off the resulting chaos, something he excels at.

        Which is a roundabout way of saying that Donovan has been the primary source of goal scoring opportunities for this team.

        Dempsey has been present for most of JK’s time and the offense still is sluggish.

        Clint is a Terminator not a creator..

        Jozy, as I’ve said elsewhere, misses LD more than anyone.

      • Correction so Altidore was at Bursapor in Turkey until May of 2011 and he couldn’t score goals. In August of the same year he goes to AZ and starts scoring goals. He could still make it in a big league but its far from certain. He couldn’t score in Spain, England, Turkey and is struggling for USMNT. We will see. Again, I don’t agree with Klinnmann’s system but I don’t think its all Klinnsmann’s fault a non of Altidore’s.

    • Vic,

      Anytime you switch teams, including playing for your national team, there is always the risk that what worked with your club won’t work at your new club, or with your national team. That is just a given.

      The best way to get around that is to buy everyone on your old team, who helped make you a success in the first place.

      Look at Spain. They went one better and capped most of Barca, which means every Barca game and practice works, at some level, for the national team as well. Tiki taka is also practiced La Liga clubs so the system is very familiar to every player in the Spanish player pool, even the non Barca guys.

      The biggest mistake, if you can call it that, that Spain made was not getting Leo to play for them. But they seem to be okay anyway.

      All Jozy can do is learn as much as he can to prepare. He still has a way to go but if you think he has not greatly improved since he got to AZ, you are sadly mistaken.

      If you want to buy Jozy and insure his success, buy some of those fine AZ midfielders who set him up so well and get Donovan while you are at it.

      • I just don’t see the clinical finishing or killer instinct thats required from a top finisher in a top league. Dempsey is able to find a goal out of no where. The goals Altidore has been scoring are on open nets or his teammates creating good opportunities. I don’t want to take anything away from Altidore, its still great what he’s doing at AZ. Altidore will go to a bigger league next season, however I don’t see the skills to score double digit goals. Will he score 4-6 goals a year in a top league? Probably.

      • You have to remember that at the same age Dempsey was still an MLS player. Jozy is 23 and just starting to come in to his own as a professional. He is doing very well in a decent league. Writing him off at this point is very premature. He has shown great signs of improvement for his club and now needs to go prove himself against the big boys. The next few years will tell us what type of player Jozy really is.

        I think it is harsh to be too critical of his national team scoring record. It has been far too long since he scored, but our entire attack has generally struggled since Klinsmann took over. How many chances per game do we even create? We have not really found the right formula for success yet. If/when that time comes, I fully expect Jozy to be a big part of it.

      • Vic,

        There are scorers of great goals, like Bale for instance and then there are great goalscorers, RVP for one.

        The first one is about quality, while the second one is about quantity.

        In some cases you get both rolled into one, the young T. Henry being one such example.

        Most every club, if forced to choose, will take the great goalscorer over the scorer of great goals any day.

        If Jozy can be productive at his current rate, nobody will care how clinical he is.

        As Cobi Jones says, “It’s how many not how”.

  4. awesome. a classy finish that second goal, a nice physical finish on the first goal, and great vision/skill on the assist. But let’s be honest – he had no defenders on him on the first chance and only one on the second. You don’t get a lot of chances like that in concacaf qualifying (or the EPL/serie A).

  5. I almost want to say “stay in school” for Jozy, ie one more year in the Erdivisie could only help him with his movement off the ball, which still needs a little more development. Then he can play anywhere in the world, literally.

    having said that, he’s going somewhere, for sure. Germany is probably right, anyone except Bayern should want him (Dortmund will need a couple strikers…).

    • Great point. It would help him develop further but then again AZ will want to pocket some big cash for him if they can this summer. If they get an offer of 7-9million he’s gone

      • Ernie Stewart has said that AZ turned down “big money” offers by two Eastern European teams( Russian and Ukrainian league teams?) last summer. I’d guess they were somewhat in the area of “7-9 million” (probably) Euros to me.

        As GW writes below, and Jozy himself has stated in interviews, there is a mutual love affair between Yo-Zee Awl-Tee-Door and the people of Alkmaaar, along with a graet deal of teaching and stability. While we all would love to see him on a name club in a bigger league, AZ has made Jozy the focal point of their attack, which a “bigger” team is not as likely to do.

    • If you read interviews with Earnie Stewart, AZ’s former USMNT stalwart general manager if you did not know, on the topic he makes a point of noting that one of the biggest reasons for Jozy’s success is the stability he has found at AZ. We all know this is something he had not had before AZ. Stewart goes on to say Jozy is enjoying his time in Holland and he now feels very much at home.

      Financial realities are always an issue with AZ but if it’s entirely up to Jozy he may not choose to move at season’s end.

      After all regardless of the destination he would be taking a chance on having a transitional year going into the World Cup as opposed to having another great year at AZ and being on a roll going into the World Cup. And if he does well at the World Cup (assuming the US gets there and he is on the team), along with another good year at AZ, he’d be 23-24, and would be very well positioned for a very big move. And of course he could be an even better all around player by then.

      So, as others have pointed out, staying in school for another year might not be such a bad thing.

  6. After this season, with this goal output, his age, he could be worth $20 million to the right EPL team. And if he keeps progressing and has a good showing at the world cup in 2014, he could really land at one of the giants of European football.

    • If Jozy was an English NT pool player, than your $20M bid from an EPL team would be accurate. However, since he’s a USNT player the value drops by 5-10M.

      All comes down to the club and coach that go after him.

  7. One team (AZ) uses him and he score goals…..another team (USMNT) uses him and he can’t even get a decent shot on goal. Similar to marksmen at a range; one guy (Gertjan Verbeek) uses a gun (Jozy) and hits the target effectively and repeatedly, another guy(Klinsmann) uses the same gun(Jozy) and is off target…way off. For the latter do you blame the gun(Jozy) or question the person’s (Klinsmann) ability to effectively us the weapon?

    • …When you can score a brace on one of the best teams in the Netherlands, with a team thats sitting 13th in the league, it makes the goals even more impressive

    • One minor detail you’ve left out of your, odd, analogy: players on the pitch with him.

      Different skill sets, difference service, different competition.

      • players on the pitch with him; ……on paper, player for player, he has better teammates on the USMNT than AZ….as far as skill sets and service it’s the Coaches job to come up with the right player combination / configuration to be an effective team….as for competition…..quality wise Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord and FC Twente are tougher than Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica and EL Salvador

      • Only half true. The opponents’ style and tactics matter as well. Ajax, and the Eredivise in general, have more open games. I’ve been watching AZ regularly this year, and there is SO MUCH SPACE on the field! Contrast that with a CONCACAF qualifier, where bunker tactics and physicality are on a level often unseen in Europe.

        I do think we should move past the double d-mid formation (I like a few variations of the 4-4-2), but the above comparison wasn’t apples to apples. Cool analogy though.

    • good discussion. the Eredivise is what it is, but it also reveals strengths to be utilized, exploited, in a player like Jozy at this point, at least it seems to me

      can’t tell me because of personel limitations it’s not possible to get Jozy the ball in space 3 times a game in the area as a team…not asking too much. Maybe not enough

      • With the US most of the time I’ve seen Jozy in the final third he is usually very well covered. The times he is unmarked it’s usually because he drops into midfield.

        I haven’t reviewed a lot of the older games but I get the feeling he misses Donovan more than anyone.

  8. Gentlemen, Some Nice Views Expressed. Are We Now Convinced That The Problem With The Team Is Klinsman? He Needs To Go. I Guess The Players Will Eventually Rebel Like Bayern Munich Players Did.

  9. Onus is on JK now to make sure he is incorporated in the game plan. It arguably should be centered around him getting the ball. I’m changing course.

  10. lovely goals from Jozy. All the complaints about no service and it turns out all he needs is about 40 yards of green space in front of him, no defensive pressure, and a keeper in no mans land. See, he CAN be a creative attacker…ok but for real good finish on the second goal.

    The problem we run into with Jozy and Demps with the nats is that we run a system that is a little too regimented for them. Both are players that need freedom to drift and move where they please, especially Demspey. Read a while back on here somebody saying that Demps is too poor a passer to play the #10 role which myself, Gareth Bale, Jermaine Defoe, and Adebayor all think is absurd. The only difference between myself and the other three is that they have scored off Dempsey assists, and in the case of Bale, assisted Demspey. We are an athletic, fit side who has looked best when attacking movement has been free flowing (see the games where zusi and shea switched LW/RW positions at will). Rather than deploying the three DMs like we have recently we need to spread the field and show our quality. Defend with 5/6 attack with 4/5 players. Outside backs get forward, holding mids drop in. Like this:






    I have loved Jurgens tendancies to trot out a different line-up almost every game of 2012. However experimentation time is over. Lets get this 11 set and building chemistry for ’14. The 11 I posted may be the last remaining obvious 11 that klinnsman has yet to try out. Great speed on the wings, gritty holding mids, fullbacks who get forward, a #10 who might be our most potent goal scorer, and a striker who is going to attract lots of attention in opposing teams scouting reports reguardless of international productivity. Dodgy-est part of this line-up: CBs. I believe these guys in front of Howard are capable of stepping up and becoming great players. Im just nervous having our least experienced players are in that position. Nobody knows how the bright lights of the worlds biggest stage will cause these players to react. Everybody else is solid.

    • +10000 on that formation and tactics .Only gripe I have is Gonzo over Boca.Gonzo might be better,might be worse.With Boca you know what you’re getting.

      • 100% agree with you sentiment on boca/gonzo. reguardless, a strong outing by our centerbacks will be the tipping point in us going far in ’14. The other side of the coin could mean a dissapointing early exit.

        This team should always score goals. Unfortunately, we usually are also the recipients of the goal of a young mans life (Jamaica freekicks, honduras bicycle, countless mexican goals)

      • “Freddy had majority good games with USNT!”

        This is a myth, an urban legend, it is BS.

        Bradley gave Adu a long run of games back in 2008 – 2009 and found him wanting.

        Look it up.

        Freddy’s best games for the US come after he has a good run at his club. As his club time decreases so does his USMNT effectiveness.

      • how do you explain him being the best player on the pitch during the last Gold Cup final v. MEX?

        Exactly. Freddy always plays well when in a USMNT shirt. If you refuse to acknowledge that, you’re just hating.

      • Ryan in NYC by way of NC

        Another Adu myth maker.

        I won’t go into great detail about Freddy’s actual senior US team record (it’s very average) because you can look it up.

        Yes, Freddy did start the 2011 Gold Cup Final, and played almost all the way through.

        He was on the field and helped the US get the first two goals but he was also on the field when Mexico came back and scored four goals to massacre the US.

        This sums up Freddy perfectly

        Looks great for a while but then goes down in flames especially when the going gets tough..

        It’s a team game and is Freddy is not really a team player.

        The US midfield including Adu, could not keep the ball away from the Mexicans so of course Bornstein was immediately exploited when he came in. And that made the score 2-1 with the US STILL IN THE LEAD.

        Did Freddy use his amazing ball skills to hold the ball, slow down the Mexicans, and give the US some breathing room?

        No he did not.

        Did he use his skills to mount an attack so that the US could go to three to one?

        No he did not.

        Did he shut down Guardado to help hold the lead?

        No he did not.

        As far as I can tell he did nothing to help the US hold the lead or add to it. He is useless if he can’t help the US by holding the ball or attacking with it. Since he can’t do that and can’t defend, the US was basically playing with ten men.

        Mexico won because they took the ball away and did great things when they had it. In contrast, the US, even with the so called greatly skilled ball artist on board, couldn’t keep the ball away from the Mexicans or add to their lead.

        Freddy would be great if the US played with unlimited subs like they do in college.

        Then you could just put him in your offensive package.

        That was Freddy’s big chance to shine and he failed miserably.

        Freddy is rarely fit. He almost never has gone 90 for the USMNT. He is great when he has the ball but is useless without it and does not seem very good at “showing for the ball”

        Freddy can do amazing things with the ball.

        What he can’t seem to do is find a way to make that fit in with what the team is doing when it really matters.

        Unless he goes somewhere and builds up his overall game, I can’t see any way Adu gets on the USMNT regardless of who is the manager.

    • Can you imagine a healthy and in form Holden and Donovan playing with all of our current regulars?

      That’s your service to forwards right there! Win, win, and win again some more.

      People will start saying that JK is a genius, but it will simply be because his top players are healthy….

  11. He’s really coming along well. Goals come easy in Holland, but there is no reason why Klinsman can’t play to Jozy, Michael and Clint’s strengths. Currently, we play to Klinsman’s vision and nothing else.

    • Michael Bradley had 16 goals in Holland in one season! How crazy is that?

      No matter how easy it is to score, Jozy is improving on his classy finishes.

      As for Klinsi, I don’t think he is a manager. Too much yoga and philosophy, not enough grit and want to win. I don’t care how we play, just win.

      • Totally agree with the last part.When he was leading Germany he laid out the vision and philosophy.It was Löw who actually did all the on hand work with the players.He’s nothing more than a highly paid motivational speaker.

      • “Too much yoga and philosophy, not enough grit and want to win” – Agree

        “I don’t care how we play, just win” – Disagree. I would rather see the team play brilliant and lose, than play terrible and win. Terrible and win only gets you so far.

      • “Terrible and win only gets you so far.”

        You can win a tournament that way..

        “Play brilliant and lose” gets you nowhere.

      • zat,

        Barca loses a lot? Since when?

        They lose a couple of games in a row recently and the football world goes bonkers.

        They adopted tiki taka to win not to lose beautifully.Only stupid people do that not big time professional clubs of whom a lot is expected.

        It is a sophisticated form of slow down ball. The main reason Barca seem so “attacking” is because Messi is a monster. If you look at Spain, who are basically Barca sans Leo, they win a lot and play a lot of close games.

        And they’ve been working on that style since Cruyff was manager from 1988 to 1996. And while they were developing it they had a ton of great players from all over the world come through their doors. So believe me, Barca and losing are very unfamiliar with each other.

        So please don’t give me that BS nonsense about how Barca would rather lose than play “Chelsea 10 men behind the ball”. They can’t do it anyway because they don’t have the players to play that way.

        Tiki taka was taken up by Spain because Aragones was sick and tired of losing by getting beat up by physically dominant sides, i.e. everyone else. Everyone else’s tough guys were tougher than Spain’s tough guys. Tiki taka nullifies the edge that physical teams have. You can’t get too physical with Barca/Spain because getting physical tends to get you out of position and Barca/ Spain are quick enough and skilled enough to make you pay, nearly every time.

        Besides El Bosque is not stupid. Why work when all you have to do is cap most of Barca, add some guys from Real Madrid and relax.

        Barca, Spain and Tiki taka are all about using what you have to win.

  12. The second goal was nice, but the first goal was a nice header from a cross by Adam Maher(it was a hustle play on both their parts), and the assist was a laser to full stride Gudmundsson. Tbh, the assist was, well, tainted, by an uncalled handball on Jozy while gaining control of the ball. The pass may have been the most impressive of his plays, though.

      • AZ is going to sell him this summer so that they can get some money for him. The question is not when he’s moving to a higher league, it is which teams are going to bid for him.

      • Everyreliable pundit I’ve read (including the wise and knowing Mr Ives himself, seems to think Jozy to a top 4 league is pretty much guaranteed.

      • I would not mind seeing him move to Ajax or PSV for a year before moving to a bigger league. Long story short, he should time his move to coincide with the World Cup to maximize value.

      • Moving to PSV or Ajax, would be a fairly lateral move in the grand scheme of things.

        If he’s in form, getting awesome production and comfortable, the only move he should consider is a step up.

        However, I think automatically assuming he’ll be sold or want to leave AZ this summer is premature.

      • It may be premature for Jozy, not for AZ though.If they can get a serious offer of about 7mil€ or more then they will sell.If he scores 10 more goals next season would his price to up that much?Rather than risk him falling out of form next season or injury and getting less for him.I agree he won’t go to Ajax or PSV because they can’t afford him.

      • Possibly not a stronger league, but likely a wealthier club. (Clubs like Porto/Sporting in Portugal, Celtic in Scotland, or Dynamo/Shakhtar in Ukraine may not be in strong leagues, but can outbid many clubs in the big five leagues.)

      • Porto,Sporting,Shaktar yes.Celtic god no!!Their a good club,The league they play in is the same level of MLS, prob worse.

    • Because a low level thug in Singapore paid a former Slovenian player to bribe the Senegalese wife of the 4th official to ensure that Jozy gets a brace for a massive payday to Sepp Blatter.

    • Really? Higher percentage chance? Have you ever played soccer before? Almost any pro player in a 2nd or 1st division league can make a beautiful chip like that. Why would you risk dribbling further when the concise goal is right there in front of you?

  13. Now that is a mark of a confident player who knows how the game is played and has the wherewithal to check where the ‘keeper is..and the belief to take the shot. Somehow, the USA has got to find a way to get him the ball.

  14. Wow, nice goal.

    I’ll save everyone the time:

    [insert comment about Jozy national team scoring drought]

    [insert response to previous comment about lack of quality service to Jozy on USMNT]

    [insert comment about the style of play of AZ vs. USMNT / CONCACAF]

    [insert comment about Jozy-Klinsy drama off the pitch]


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