Altidore speaks on Xerez, his goals and Mexico’s new coach

Jozy Altidore (Reuters)

by GIANFRANCO PANIZO

If Jozy Altidore were to make a list of the best moments in his professional career then his hat-trick performance in the United States' World Cup qualifying win over Trinidad & Tobago last week would probably be at or near the top of the list.

That record-setting performance (he became the youngest American to record a qualifying hat-trick) capped a strong pair of qualifiers for Altidore, who also helped spark a stunning come-from-behind draw at El Salvador last week when he scored in the 77th minute of the 2-2 encounter. He followed up that showing with three more goals in the United States' 3-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago, making him the American's leading goal-scorer (5) in World Cup qualifying.

Altidore's hat-trick against the Caribbean islands on April 1 raised a few eyebrows, including those of the folks over at FIFA.com, who sat down with the U.S. national team forwardto discuss a variety of topics. Altidore touched on subjects including his status with Xerez, his record-breaking achievements and even Mexico's appointment of new head coach Javier Aguirre.

What do you think of Altidore's comments? Think he will warrant some time with Xerez before the season is over? Will Altidore get the starting nod against Costa Rica and Honduras in June? Do you envision him starting at forward in South Africa 2010?

Share your thoughts below.

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38 Responses to Altidore speaks on Xerez, his goals and Mexico’s new coach

  1. RK says:

    Nothing really new here. Just some player-speak.

  2. Isaac in Tampa says:

    Frankie runs so much FIFA.com mistook him for a midfielder.

  3. Luke in NC says:

    Favorite comment: “We’re not concerned about Mexico at all.”

    Obviously he meant in a “we-only-focus-on-improving-ourselves” kind of way…..but its still an awesome line.

  4. Fred Smilek says:

    Altidore is a problem. He is the Lebron James of Soccer

    The Society to Save Endangered Species was formed by Fred Smilek and two of his colleagues; Charlie Mack & Jonathan Korny. Fred Smilek stays active in raising awareness for this cause. [www.fredjsmilek.com]

  5. The Gentleman Masher says:

    I liked the reference he made to Mecheda…I hope he really has the perspective that he needs to always be ready.

    I have to think that’s what helped him against El Salvador…

  6. Anthony says:

    I was itching for something like this. . .

    How did it feel to score a hat-trick against Trinidad?

    “It felt like crap.”

    (Nothing new here, but I’m glad he’s not pouting, but showing a mature attitude.)

  7. Pico says:

    It appears Jozy is more focused in his training to the point that he is being considered for this week’s squad against 2nd place Hercules. Local paper note about the team’s training this morning:

    link to canalazulino.com

    Cheers

  8. garbaggio says:

    Xerez vs Hercules would be a pretty big matchup within Primera A. Only 1 point separates 1st from 2nd and there are other chasers not far behind them with plenty of games left.

    1st place Xerez is far from clinching anything but a win this weekend could mean a lot to their chances of moving up to Primera.

  9. garbaggio says:

    I guess it’s called Segunda (2nd Div) or Liga Adelante not Primera A.

    Either way, it’s a big weekend for the team trying to make it up to the top tier of Spanish soccer. Hercules won 8-0 last weekend.

  10. madmax says:

    Altidore has a clear choice, remain at Villarreal/ Xerez and become the next Freddy (no play) Adu, or join another club where he can play.

    I hope its the later, Jozy can be a force in SA, 2010 but he needs to play, somewhere.

  11. Turtle says:

    “Sometimes as a young player you can find yourself looking ahead to where you want to be and miss out on the chance that comes your way because you’re not focused on the task at hand.”

    This is not player speak. This is a reply by a kid very mature for his age. The continuation of this answer – the Macheda reference – only proves that he understands what he said. he’s not just regurgitating what parents, agents or coaches have told him. Jozy is a class act. I’m looking forward to his summer with the nat’s and the next season at Villareal.

  12. Dave says:

    From the article previously mentioned:

    El punta norteamericano causó buena impresión por sus movimientos en ataque y se llevó la ovación de los aficionados azulinos tras marcar un gol, después de hacer varios recortes en el área

    Basically, he made a good impression w/ his movements in attack and received an ovation from the fans behind the goal after several plays in the area.

    It’s funny how the football world works, I just like that Jozy is playing so damn well that these clowns at Xerez basically have no choice now but to give him a look, lest their own fans mutiny-and what a game for it to come-I expect him on the subs bench this weekend, hopefully coming on in the second half.

  13. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Josy has mastered the cliches at an early age, hasn’t he?

    As for impressing during training…of course it might be true. And it might be that four goals in two games in qualifying have made the coaching staff look stupid for not playing him.

  14. kevin says:

    Possibly 2010, it is a long ways away, but I think we should be focusing on the 2009 games. He will start in South Africa in 2009.

  15. cam says:

    “he’s the lebron of soccer”

    umm, i fail to see where that could be a problem…

  16. Frank says:

    Altidore = Eddie Johnson!

    EJ had many goals against CONCACRAP opponents and where is he now. It was El Salvador and T&T for gods sake. I doubt the world soccer scouts took much notice.

  17. Fresno Pete says:

    To put words in the mouths of others, I think the Lebron reference means Jozy presents REAL matchup/defending problems for opposing teams. Big, fast, but the skill of someone half his size (Adu?).

  18. Red Card says:

    fifa.com wrote:

    “FIFA.com: How did it feel to come on as a sub late in El Salvador, down 2-0 and knowing goals were needed?”

    This is a misinformed question because it implies that the score was 2-0 when Jozy came on. Jozy came on in the 61st minute with the score 1-0. Later, in the 72nd minute, Castillo scored El Salvador’s 2nd goal making it 2-0. Jozy’s goal was in the 77th minute making it 2-1.

  19. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Frank, if you can’t see the difference between Eddie Johnson and Josy Altidore…I just don’t know what to tell you

  20. ThaDeuce says:

    I hope he starts the next qualifiers, does well, and has good form in the World Cup. Players I want starting at the same time for the world cup… offensive: Ching, Donovan, Altidore, dempsey, torres,

    can’t beat it.

  21. JB says:

    Altidore is not in the same situation as Adu at all. Villareal is a revolving door of top talent, for which the club gets paid quite well. If Altidore keeps working his chance is going to come simply because Villareal will sell his competition at some point.

  22. Mig says:

    well, at this point there is a difference but while I’m excited about Altidore, I was also rather thrilled about EJ scoring in his first 5 or 6 qualifiers.

    Could Jozy be one knee injury away from becoming EJ2? Sure. Then again, so can any player so I’m still pretty thrilled with Altidore’s prospects.

  23. ThaDeuce says:

    “Sometimes as a young player you can find yourself looking ahead to where you want to be and miss out on the chance that comes your way because you’re not focused on the task at hand.”

    This is not player speak. This is a reply by a kid very mature for his age. The continuation of this answer – the Macheda reference – only proves that he understands what he said. he’s not just regurgitating what parents, agents or coaches have told him. Jozy is a class act. I’m looking forward to his summer with the nat’s and the next season at Villareal.
    Posted by: Turtle | April 09, 2009 at 11:09 AM,,

    To put words in the mouths of others, I think the Lebron reference means Jozy presents REAL matchup/defending problems for opposing teams. Big, fast, but the skill of someone half his size (Adu?).

    Posted by: Fresno Pete | April 09, 2009 at 12:23 PM

    both well said posts, the only thing i would add is to fresno’s…and the work rate of heyduk.

  24. sonicdeathmonkey says:

    Frank, if you really believe Altidore=EJ, then I suggest you may want to switch from crack to crack lite. Seriously.

  25. jonathan says:

    Frank, ej never scored a goal in la liga… Ej wasn’t 6″2 and a beast… Are you really comparing the 2???

  26. LJ says:

    The LeBron reference just meant that he was the best at his given sport in the US. Nothing more.

  27. DC Josh says:

    nothing surprising really from Jozy.

    He is class all the way around. Our MNT future. I hope whatever team he is on, that he continues to work hard. Honestly the situation he is in, having to fight everyday in training, will help him more than given a spot on the roster despite his form.

    I will never forget watching him at RFK for the first time and being in awe of his size and speed.

    Class and quality, all the way around.

  28. The Gentleman Masher says:

    EJ never scored the kind of goals Altidore has for the US…strong, confident, not just poaching.

  29. LD says:

    “As for impressing during training…of course it might be true. And it might be that four goals in two games in qualifying have made the coaching staff look stupid for not playing him”.

    Yes those coaches at Xerez are so stupid that they have their team in first place…

  30. Alex says:

    I am so tired of all the CONCACAf(P) remarks I would like to see any european team play in central america, any of them, but guess what we won’t!! you now why because, european teams can’t play on bumpy pitches, in places so secluded and 3rd world its just too beneath them, but none of you who claim this european might give any of them crap for tying angola, or beating faroe island 6-0, poland, poland people a team the US regularly beats is doing well in there group and for the love of god scotland is second, have you seen their group? They won’t make it out of the playoff round but its the principal of it all.

  31. yankdeez says:

    Looks like Jozy’s staying w/ Xerez, he must finally be making an impression w/ the club. This just appeared on a Villarreal site, submarinoamarillo.net

    “Confirmed finally Jozy Altidore plays for Xerez in the Second Division until the end of the season. El acuerdo se ha cerrado recientemente en la Ciudad Deportiva, en una negociación integrada por el director general del Villarreal CF, Fernando Roig Negueroles, y el futbolista; y por parte del Xerez, el director deportivo, Miguel Ángel Roldán, y el secretario técnico, Antonio Poyatos. The agreement has been closed recently at the Sports City, in a negotiation comprise the director general of Villarreal CF, Fernando Roig Negueroles, and football, and by the Xerez, the sporting director, Miguel Angel Roldán, and the technical secretary, Antonio Poyatos.”

  32. madmax says:

    Not playing is not playing no matter where it’s at. A fan might think that sitting in the stands with SAF for two years is a great thing, but an athlete knows it’s a disaster.

    Jozy get out of Villarreal/ Xerez as fast as you can.

  33. JCC says:

    “As for impressing during training…of course it might be true. And it might be that four goals in two games in qualifying have made the coaching staff look stupid for not playing him”.

    Yes those coaches at Xerez are so stupid that they have their team in first place…

    Posted by: LD | April 09, 2009 at 06:15 PM

    My thoughts exactly. This is what I don’t get. Why do people think Xerez is stupid for not playing Jozy when they are in first place and are close to promotion, and are winning without him? It would be a completely different story if they were a languishing mid to lower table team. If that were the case, then yes Xerez would be incredibly stupid to give Jozy some minutes.

  34. Pico says:

    madmax,

    In the words of the great philosopher Harry Callahan: “Opinions are are aholes, everybody has one.”

    You are posting the same argument over and over and is wearing thin. BTW, Jozy has only been at Xerez 2 1/2 months and the worst he could do is another 2 1/2.

    I am sure his people will make sure something like this does not happen again.

    JCC and LD. Exactly. And they have the best or second best scoring ration in the league.

    Cheers

  35. Leonardo says:

    arguments aside, i think it’s worth noting that the US team really respects Jozy (w/ exception of Tha Deuce, naturally). in the post game interviews everyone mentioned Altidore’s work ethic, especially Donovan.

    it seems like the team – maybe by Bradley’s urging – is molding Jozy into the go-to guy. I know I’m being “Captain Obvious” here but it’s worth mentioning.

    Jozy’s teammates actually *believe* in him and *respect* his work ethic. that’s saying tons when it comes from veterans!

    i’m stoked that the team feels more cohesive than before. USA USA USA!

  36. Pico says:

    Jozy is in the list of players (20) called for tomorrow’s match. The coach still has to trim two players before the game.

    link to xerezcd.com

    Cheers

  37. madmax says:

    pico
    “madmax,

    In the words of the great philosopher Harry Callahan: “Opinions are are aholes, everybody has one.”

    and on an opinion page one could expect a$$holes and opinions yours is well lubed

  38. madmax says:

    There are two player paths that Jozy could follow, one Adu, the other Rossi.
    Fortunately for Rossi, SAF realized that sitting at United would not benefit the young American and he released/sold him so he could play full time.
    The results speak for themselves. SAF knows a bit about player development I would say. I hope that Villarreal/ Xerez does the same for Jozy.