Tag Archives: Jozy Altidore

The Dutch Job: Jozy Altidore’s Resurgence with AZ

By Kevin Koczwara

Jozy Altidore’s move from Major League Soccer to Europe looked like a bust a few months ago. The former New York Red Bulls forward moved to La Liga side Villareal on June 4, 2008 for $10 million, making him the most expensive American player ever bought from Major League Soccer, surpassing the $4 million Fulham paid for Clint Dempsey. He was just 18 years old then. The world looked like it was at his feet.

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Jozy scores in AZ debut

Jozy Altidore already scored as many goals for his latest club, AZ of the Eredivisie, as he scored for Hull City while on loan from Villareal in 2009/10 season (he played 28 games for Hull City that season).

It took one match for Altirdore to get himself on the score sheet for his new club. That’s a good sign for the U.S. Men’s National Team. The striker still has the potential that so many people saw in him while he was breaking through the ranks at the New York Red Bulls while still a teenager. And don’t forget that he’s still relatively young at 21-years-old.

Altidore’s goal comes at the 8 minute mark, or so, in the highlight below. It’s the least impressive of the four goals from the match between AZ and PSV. New USMNT coach Jürgen Klinsmann will hope that some of the skill displayed in the other goals will rub off onto the forward.

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Revolution still have work to do

By Ryan Fleming

Let’s breathe for a second. Sure, they are 1-0-1. Yes, they are just a measly two games in. So, should the New England Revolution fans be that excited? Probably not, but I’m impressed.

This isn’t saying that if I was a fan, I wouldn’t be over the moon, as they say. Fans of any teams, but especially soccer ones, have a long memory. It wasn’t that long ago (a year) that the Revs played some uninspired ball. Sure, they were stricken with injuries, players were playing out of position, but the bottom line is they just plain stunk.

For now, the stormy days in New England seem to be fading.

Shalrie Joseph, who took a leave of absence from the team to enter the league’s substance abuse program is with the team, is playing his part – dominating the midfield, spraying passes and for now, scoring goals. Much can be said about the presence of Joseph. The lanky midfielder is by far the best player on the New England roster and as important as any player to any team in the league. Scoring two goals in two games will get your name recognized and published, but for an underrated midfielder in a market that isn’t anywhere near the top of the league, Joseph could start getting some much-deserved publicity — especially if the Revs continue to play well.

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Quick thoughts on U.S. and Argentina friendly

Messi working his magic in and around the box. The little man seems to glide across the field when watching him in person. (Courtesy Alison Ciarleglio of APC Studios)

By Kevin Koczwara

1.) Jozy Altidore needs a partner in crime — He’s not a hold-up striker. Altidore is a ball at his feet type of player who likes to pass and move  and take on defenders. His body looks like it should be a that of a bruising center forward, but he’s not, no matter how much people want him to be.

Altidore works best when he has someone playing directly alongside him, and last night was proof, again. When Juan Agudelo came on at halftime, Altidore transformed, starting to hold up play a bit, open up space for other players, and connect passes. The 4-5-1 may put the best players on the field for the U.S., but it doesn’t work for the type of forward Altidore is. He can’t hold up play or swing the ball wide and get in behind defenses with break-neck speed on the counter. He is a solid, ball at his feet type of player who knows how to open space for his partner.

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USMNT draws with Argentina thanks to Agudela's second half goal

By Kevin Koczwara

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Juan Agudela has made a name for himself on the international stage for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Quickly. The 18-year-old striker again proved he was more than worthy of earning a spot on the team by scoring his second goal in three games with the USMNT.

Agudela’s goal sealed a 1-1 draw with Argentina, who scored in the 42nd minute when Esteban Cambiasso slammed a rebound from six yards out into the net. Anything less than a win for Argentina looked unlikely for much of the game as it controlled the tempo, almost all of the possession, and had the majority of the chances on net.

Argentina toyed with the USMNT at times in the first half, dominating the possession, forcing the U.S. deeper and deeper into it’s own end. Stretching play from one side to the other. Argentina forced Bob Bradley’s five-man midfield deep into its own end for much of the opening 45 minutes.

Angel di Maria had a great chance to open the scoring in the 34th minute when he found some space in the box after the U.S. was unable to clear the ball. Di Maria weaved around a few defenders but found himself to close to the touchline and had to shoot with no angle. Tim Howard made the easy save.

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Yanks In Need of Revolution

U.S. striker Jozy Altridore has shown flashes of brilliance on the field when leading the Americans attack, but at other times his poor first touch has let him down. Courtesy Paul Blank

By Ryan Fleming

After watching the 0-0 yawnfest that was the United States Men’s National Team against Colombia and then a mediocre performance by the Yanks against Poland just a few days prior I was stricken with some revelations.

1. Are they really any good?

Did the Yanks overachieve in the World Cup? It has been known for sometime now that you cannot value a player based alone on his performance in the world’s greatest sporting spectacle. Sure, their 1-1 tie to England in both of the team’s opening games of the tournament was lucky, albeit maybe deserved. The Yanks came out on top of the group, ahead of the Three Lions, as well as Algeria and Slovenia an overall mediocre group even with the likes of England present.

Since being eliminated by Ghana in the second round, the USMNT lost to Brazil, 2-0, then came away without a win over mediocrity once again this past week.

The USA really hasn’t put forth an impressive performance since its 3-1 win over Australia just days before the World Cup. Sure, it managed some thrilling, late-game heroics over Algeria and Slovenia, but does that constitute an overall “good” showing?

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What the Future Holds for the USMNT

By Kevin Koczwara

It has been over a week since the United States Men’s National Team was humbled by a young Ghana squad – the youngest team in the World Cup Finals – in extra time at the World Cup in South Africa. I have had enough time to soak in the pain, the misery and the confusion of seeing my country lose at the World Cup when I truly thought it could advance in the tournament and make major strides, you know, kind of like how the Italians, Argentines and Brazilians must feel right about now.

Then I got to thinking about the future of U.S. soccer and how bright it may be. The squad that went to South Africa was a good mix of veteran players and up-and-coming talent. The roster manager Bob Bradley took with him had a good mix and set a good framework for the next World Cup – 2014 in Brazil.

The Yanks will have major questions to answer during the qualifying for the 2014 World Cup: who will their core defenders be? And who will supply the much needed goals?

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Next Step for the Yanks: Ghana

Courtesy nwistheone Flickr

By Kevin Koczwara

Bob Bradley came out with the perfect game plan against Algeria to secure a victory for the United States Men’s National Team, earning the top spot in group C and a spot in the next round of the World Cup.

Bradley’s substitutions were spot on and his plan to attack The Desert Foxes from the first whistle was perfectly executed by his men on the field, well, almost perfectly.

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Yanks Need Magnificent Comeback Against Slovenia

By Kevin Koczwara

Jozy Altidore pleads with Koman Coulibaly

U.S. Soccer player Jozy Altidore pleads his case with referee Koman Coulibaly after a disallowed goal cost the United States a win against Slovenia on Friday. (Photo Courtesy NetDugout.com.)

The United States Men’s National Team saw its World Cup dreams slipping away Friday when Slovenia, the Group C leader, scored in the 13th minute. Valter Birsa fired home a left-footed shot from just outside the 18-yard box after the Yanks defense backed off, giving him enough space to pick his corner.

The shot caught American goalkeeper Tim Howard and the rest of the Yanks off guard. Howard’s face told the whole story as the ball buzzed by him, bending away into the side netting, he looked confused and concerned.

Howard and company had every reason to be concerned but no reason to be confused – they were under-performing.

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Who Won’t Win the World Cup Part 6: Group F

By Ryan Thies of the Long Beach Post

We’re now three-quarters of the way in, and despite talking about 20 different countries and why they won’t win, I think today’s might get me in the most trouble…

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