Jozy Altidore Is Simply Not a Good Striker, and He Is Not Getting Any Better
When Jozy Altidore first came onto the scene, he took the US Soccer world by storm. Altidore socred three goals in his first seven appearances for the New York Red Bull, helping them on their playoff push. In his first full season in the MLS, he scored nine goals in 25 matches. Altidore then became the yongest player to ever score for the US National team when he scored in a friendly against Mexico.
Altidore's popularity kept rising, especially after scoring the first ever US hat-trick in World Cup qualifying against Trinidad and Tobago in April 2009. But since then, Altidore has failed to become the striker everyone hoped he would be.
Despite not catching on at Spanish club Villareal, Altidore continues to be US manager Bob Bradley's primary choice at striker. Many people believe he is out of form simply because he is not playing many games for his club team, but that just isn't true. Altidore spent last season playing for Hull City in the Premier League, where he played in almost every game. He scored just one goal.
Altidore has now made 33 appearances for the US Men's National team scoring just 10 goals, three of which came in one game. The lack of goals wouldn't be a problem if Altidore brought something else to the table. The problem is, he doesn't. In his 33 appearances, Altidore has just one assist, and that came at last years World Cup in South Africa.
Altidore came up as a big forward with speed. Since coming up he has slowed down, and doesn't use his strength to his advantage. Against Argentina, the US played several long balls to Altidore as their target man. Instead of going up and trying to win them with his head, Altidore always fought for position to let the ball bounce by him and the defenders so he could chase it. While this worked, Altidore was never fast enough to actually catch up to the ball and gain possession before it was cleared.
While Altidore has worked hard to earn himself name recognition among even average US fans, he is not producing on the field, and isn't progresing at all. It may simply be time to start trying to see how other strikers do, since we know Altidore won't do much.
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