Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Maurice Edu 1 (Reuters) 

by FRANCO PANIZO

2009 has been an up-and-down year for the Americans Abroad, but two of the younger players made sure to end the final weekend of the year with solid outings.

Maurice Edu completed his recovery from the lengthy knee injury that has sidelined him since May by making an appearance in Rangers' 4-1 victory over Hibernian. Edu came off the bench and played 16 minutes in his first appearance of the season.

Jozy Altidore also enjoyed a good performance, starting and playing 83 minutes in Hull City's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United. Altidore drew a penalty in the second half that would pull Hull level, but the Tigers would eventually fall, surrendering two goals in a nine-minute span.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:


England

PREMIERSHIP

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Everton's 1-1 draw vs. Sunderland on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore started, played 83 minutes and drew a penalty kick in Hull City's 3-1 loss vs. Manchester United on Sunday.
  • Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
  • Eddie Johnson did not dress in Fulham's 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector dressed but did not play in West Ham's 2-0 win vs. Portsmouth on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made six saves in Aston Villa's 3-0 loss vs. Arsenal on Sunday.
  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 3-0 loss vs. Arsenal on Sunday.

  • Marcus Hahnemann started, played 90 minutes and made six saves in Wolverhampton Wanderers' 2-0 loss vs. Liverpool on Saturday.

COCA COLA CHAMPIONSHIP

  • Jay DeMerit started and played 90 minutes in Watford's 0-0 draw vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-2 draw vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.

LEAGUE ONE

  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Millwall's 2-0 loss vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
  • Ian Joyce started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Southend United's 2-1 loss vs. Colchester United on Saturday.
  • Mike Grella dressed but did not play in Leeds United's 3-1 win vs. Hartlepool United on Saturday.
  • Jemal Johnson did not dress in Milton Keynes Dons' 4-1 win vs. Stockport County on Saturday.
  • Jon-Paul Pittman started and played 73 minutes in Wycombe Wanderers' 4-0 loss vs. Yeovil Town on Saturday. 

Scotland

  • Maurice Edu came off the bench and played 16 minutes in Rangers' 4-1 win vs. Hibernian on Sunday.
  • Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 2-0 win vs. Hamilton Academical on Saturday.

———————–

What do you think of these performances? Do you see Edu starting for Rangers soon? Did you like Altidore's 83-minute performance? Hoping Beasley's injury is minor?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad. Bookmark the permalink.

84 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

  1. Ole! says:

    “Jozy Altidore also enjoyed a good performance”

    Ives, put down the red white and blue bong.

  2. Ives didn’t write that.

  3. JT says:

    Another strong performance by Dempsey. His free kick off of the crossbar was a rocket. It is good to know that the USMNT has Dempsey as a strong option for longer free kick situations. However, Dempsey also had two other clear goal scoring chances that he didn’t capitalize on. Hopefully he’ll rise to the occasion again against Chelsea…

  4. John says:

    Re: DMB’s injury – from ESPN Soccernet’s Rangers/Hibernian’s match report –

    The Rangers boss also looks set to be without DaMarcus Beasley for the next few weeks after he suffered an injury in training that kept him out of the clash with Hibs. The United States international has enjoyed a fine return to form in the last few matches and Smith admits his absence is a blow.

    “He has a tear in his thigh,” said the Rangers boss. “I’m not sure how long that will keep him out – two or three weeks maybe. It’s disappointing in the sense that he is just back in the team and doing exceptionally well so it was disappointing it happened.”

  5. JT says:

    Can you really claim that Jozy had a bad game? Yes, his touch let him down on occasions, but he was a threat throughout and easily Hull’s best player on the evening. His volley at the end of the first half was great and he set up the game-tying goal through drawing the foul in the box. It’s only a matter of time before Jozy finds the net in the Premier League, and once he does more goals will soon follow.

  6. Father Time says:

    Read it again son

  7. MOOSE says:

    Why don’t you read the author of the article again, boy.

  8. Arkie says:

    thats so deflating… I had visions of the Beasley of old returning for South Africa. Here’s hoping this is minor and the Beasley of the last couple games returns.

  9. OmarVizquel says:

    Forget about the loss, I’m more worried about the fact that Jozy spells it “Mancheseter United” twice on his Twitter page…

    (not really)

  10. OmarVizquel says:

    Looks about as strong like a blade of grass; gets injured about as often as you’d expect him to. It’s a pity, because he has more talent than anyone on the team except maybe Donovan. Too bad he never seems to be in good enough shape to survive the rigors of a physical league.

  11. OmarVizquel says:

    DMB twitter: “Yea will give u guys more info on the injury tmrw when I go in the morning.. Doesn’t feel as bad as yesterday so jus hopin its a strain!”

  12. mike says:

    yea, man, i love you dudes here on SBI but i don’t know what game you all watched.

    apart from that pk he caused, jozy looked like ish.

  13. Chris in Belfast says:

    It’s in his nature.

  14. SrySnffy says:

    Beasley will continue to get injured until he leaves Scotland. Portugal, France, Holland, Mexico, would all be better options.

  15. Sean says:

    I watched the Man Utd-Hull match and I can tell you this: Jozy had a bad match and was lucky to stay on for 83 minutes. He was lucky that Rafael pushed him in the back to give away that penalty, because he was terrible with his back to goal, gave away the ball too easily, and had a cramp at the 60 minute mark. The commentators were commenting on how it was a shame that he had a cramp at 60 minutes because it shows that he’s not working hard enough in keeping fit. He needs to get his attitude adjusted quickly. He always has troubles with fitness, and he’s 19 or 20. Should be able to run all day.

  16. fischy says:

    His problem wasn’t his touch. It was his fitness…or, lack of it.

  17. Super Chivo says:

    I’ll agree with you that Jozy looked gassed long before he was taken out and he still has lots of aspects of his game that need work, but he looked pretty good. If he only had Fagan’s fighting spirit! But still if he keeps improving his game sense he will develop into a good Premier League striker.

  18. Robert Anderson says:

    So how would him leaving Scotland, stop him from getting injured in training? I didn’t know you didn’t get injured in training in Portugal, France, Holland, or Mexico. Seriously the one injury you can’t blame the League he plays in on and yet you somehow manage to find a way.

    “oh if he trained in this League……” honestly

  19. Alexandria says:

    I don’t think it his fitness per say, I think Jozy gets down when things aren’t going right and he starts to sulk, instead of picking up the tempo, he started to jog once hull couldn’t keep the ball. I think his game today was decent, his touch looked better but I think at times when he had the ball he wanted to go faster then his teamates are capable of, there where plenty of times Hull could go for goal but they didn’t because they have too many pass back sallies on their team. I don’t think he was man of the match for Hull or anything but he has improved since the first couple of games I’ve seen, Hull should have won this game or at least tied with a better defense, Dawson is garbage. along with zayette. All of Man U goals where because of bad defense.

  20. Illmatic74 says:

    Is the part where the commentator said “cramp after 60 minutes” on youtube are something because that was pretty funny the way he said it. Jozy wasn’t good but he wasn’t awful he was somewhere in between.

  21. SrySnffy says:

    Are you seriously saying, a player as frail as Beasley, isn’t more likely to get hurt in Scotland, than in a less physical league?

  22. Alexandria says:

    I don’t think he had a cramp, That looked more like a charlie horse he landed right on another player, if it was a cramp you would have seen them massaging the muscle and that didn’t happen. Like I said earlier Jozy sulks when his teammates can’t give him the ball in good places, without bullard or geovanni in the midfield I don’t knnow how Hull are going to score, everything has to come from the wings and Stephen Hunt and Garcia take to long to send crosses into the box, I think there where only like two crosses from either of them Jozy was in prime position to head the ball but the cross never came, he just needs better players around him and thats not going to happen at Hull.

  23. wilyboy says:

    I agree. Thought Jozy merited more time with this performance. The thing that impresses me so much is not how polished he is, but how much there is still left to work on. The great thing is, he’s already making a positive impact in the toughest of leagues as it is, and there’s the sense that, if he got that first goal, things would come much easier. Ultimately, you can still tell he’s a talent, and could end up peaking just when we want him to… toward the end of the season.

  24. wilyboy says:

    This is what I’m talking about. The man CAN”T SUSTAIN! He can never be part of the foundation. I’m not saying that injuries are his fault. But clearly, relying on him is a mistake.

  25. AI says:

    He got injured in practice, not the game practice. We are talking about practice. He could injured in practice anywhere. Not the game practice. Are you serious, we are talking about practice.

  26. CSD says:

    Beasley has been injured in the MLS, Holland, England the Scotland. Dude will always get injured because he is a skinny little fella that weighs about 100 pounds.

    When everyone was getting excited about his play I said don’t waste our time until he plays injury free until March. He didn’t make it. Don’t care what he does unless he can stay injury free for 3 months. Nice guy wish him the best. If I ever see him I will pat him on his little tiny head and wish him the best, but not too hard so he doesn’t break, tear or rip something.

  27. drbrb says:

    The physical nature of a league must surely translate to more physically demanding practices. So, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a player as frail as DMB is more likely to be injured practicing with a team from Scotland vs a team from Spain or Portugal. Pretty obvious conclusion, really.

    BTW, AI, you name along with the mention of “practice” is hilarious because of the Iverson incident from a few years back. Practice!

  28. VMan says:

    I thought Jozy was just average today. Uneven touch, lack of desire at times, and it also seemed like he was unable to put himself in dangerous positions. Sure, the midfield service wasn’t great, but I was still a bit underwhelmed. I hope he gets more consistent playing time, because he has A LOT to learn. Hard to say if this performance will buy him another extended run. Let’s hope so.

  29. Jim says:

    I watched 2/3 of the game to see Jozy play and as far as I am concerned, he was invisible. He hardly saw the ball but his lack of anticipation is a big part of that. The few times he did try to attack, he was quickly stripped of the ball.

    This was in no way a “good outing” and Jozy simply isn’t good enough, no matter how much his fans want him to be

  30. fifawitz1313 says:

    lol. nice AI referece. Practice!!!

  31. fifawitz1313 says:

    reference*

  32. Neumannator says:

    The fact is Jozy ain’t the savior we were all hoping he was. He’s still young and needs a lot of time to develop but there’s a reason why he has had trouble finding consistent time in the first team. Today’s game was living proof.

  33. Sean says:

    Yeah but the thing to remember is that Jozy is still very young and has time to improve. He just needs to put in the effort to get better. There’s no way in hell a soccer player should be gassed at 60 minutes, especially a player with Jozy’s workrate

  34. ArsenalFan77 says:

    Though I personally thought that Altidore had a terrible game and seemed to lose the ball every time he touched it, the announcers were being a bit harsh. For nearly the entire game the analyst was going on and on about how Jozy was out of shape, had terrible touch, and basically was not fit to play anywhere but the Sunday park league. I don’t know if it was because he has something against Americans because of England vs USA in the World Cup but it was a bit over the top.

  35. Nick says:

    I would rate jozy’s performance somewhere around average…dude is big and physical and still learning to use that. Needs to improve his touch and decision making and for godsake please make a diagonal run. Doesn’t help that hulls defense is abysmal and midfield is non existant without bullard…relegation is in the cards for hull. Another thing is jozy doesn’t quite have that nose for goal and being in the right place at the right time. Some of that will come with experience though.

    As for the fitness thing. Still not convinced he was cramping. The trainers didn’t start stretching him and massaging the leg…sometimes when I’m playing and take a knock I just stretch it…anything that will make the pain go away…

  36. Iggy says:

    it seems like jozy tries to do too much when he gets the ball at his feet, his touch gets a little too heavy at times and then he’s easily dispossessed. the commentators during the game mentioned that he was ‘raw and ambitious’ which is very true, the kid needs some seasoning. so give it time. he needs to find the right balance between ambition and smart play, lets hope his discovers that before South Africa ;/

  37. El Michael says:

    News flash sometimes people get leg cramps who are in shape. Maybe he wasn’t fully hydrayted. or maybe it wasn’t a cramp at all.

    Thought he was the best player on an otherwise bad team. I hope he doesn’t stay with Hull after the loan is up…He needs to play on a better team

  38. Isaac says:

    If Jozy’s fitness is poor, then it’s because of the lack of minutes, which I don’t think should have even happened.

    As for Edu’s situation, I think it’s great to see him back on the field for Rangers. He’s probably just behind Jones, and possibly Feilhaber, to be Bradley’s partner in central midfield. He might not get that much time against Celtic. Edu’s pretty atheletic so I think his recovery will be pretty quicks.

  39. SG says:

    Jozy looked average at best. Not sure he’ll be able to find the goal in SA without Davies making those runs creating space. I think Davies absence will really affect Jozy

  40. anovato says:

    everyone is freaking out about this… but you need to consider where jozy is playing

    because a team makes a player

    jozy was outstanding at villareal, a much much better team than hull city

    a lack of confidence in yourself, and especially your team can hurt a player’s performance significantly

  41. ryan says:

    the SPL is notoriously rough compared to other top flight leagues, and i would imagine this carries over into training. it shouldn’t take a genus to realize rough play in games and in training=more injuries.

  42. According to Sky, “He lacks confidence” he got a 5 rating from Sky.

  43. derrick says:

    it’s utterly amazing how U.S. fans always view their players has “having a good performance” When they clearly played poorly.

    I know many knowledgable Americans but most of them don’t write about soccer. But many people that watch the game are just that watchers. They’ve never played at a decent level and don’t know technique and thus can’t intelligently comment on “a good performance” cause they never knew how to evaluate players, their roles etc. Clearly, many of my fellow American fans, only see what they want to see and are unwilling to critique an American player as they’d critique any other player. Unwilling to critique them unbiasedly. And American players are pumped up and allowed to skate on bad performances.

  44. derrick says:

    season is half over and he has zero goals. great shot. but he didn’t do much else or what he needed to do. couldn’t control the ball and get’s knocked off way to easily. Turns into defenders way to often. regardless at this rate he he scores zero goals. i think he’ll be lucky to get two all season they way it’s going.

  45. derrick says:

    that i agree on. Dempsey however is not a great shooter within the run of play. he mothers most of his shots and often fails to make solid contact. Free kicks he’s done well. interestingly Altidore scored his only Hull goal on a free kick. Kinda makes me think Landon probably shouldn’t be the one over free kicks for the U.S. as he rarely scores off them. And yeah i know he scored in a recent game but his rate of return given the number of years he’s been with the squad isn’t not great.

  46. derrick says:

    thought they were perfectly fair. You’re putting words in their mouth. They critiqued him like they would any other striker. They critiqued Berbatov too, Called out Rooney for not shooting, for giving the ball away and causeing a goal. made fun of Fagan and called him “the angry one”, singled him out for misbehavior, for almost getting booked, for childishly kicking out of frustration. They often said that Altidore was promising and was a raw talent. All true, they praise him and even Charlie Davies’ performance in the Confed cup and said that Altidore would be a handful against England.

    The criticism is fair. the problem is Americans don’t want to hear it. they just want to be told a guy is great. I guess people think if you say it it will just make it true.

    They treated him like everyone else. This it not MLS where you just tell star players they are always great. When they make mistakes they get called on them. And American fans i think need to suck it up and use the same criique against our own players. Why aren’t we saying losing the ball, getting knocked off the ball easily, and having a first touch that can’t kill a ball dead on his feet is unaccepatable. We should demand more.

  47. Charlie N. says:

    At least half the people here have been critical of Jozy. I think he had a bad game as well. Poor touch, goes down too easily, and please- every knock looks like he was hit with a brick, enough with the faces already. That being said; he is young, he does need better service, and he does need seasoning. I think “most” people watching (American or not), CAN look at him and say those things. His future is unknown, but he has the ability to pull it off- lets hope he does. Right now he is not pulling it off

  48. bunker says:

    problem is that Donovan thinks he’s good at it and always runs up to take them

  49. tim from texas says:

    Everyone who knows anything about EPL and Hull, know that Jozy hasn’t found his niche in the English game and is still struggling to make an impact.

    He’s improved on his hold up play, but his touches and passes need work. For every good pass there’s a bad one soon to follow. Creatively, he remains to be seen. “He lacks in confidence” says a lot and it certainly looks it on the field.

  50. tim from texas says:

    I’m in agreement. Rangers want to extend his contract with the way he’s been playing. I say, when he gets his fitness back he plays, plays hard and makes like he wants to sign (just in case they decide he shouldn’t play if he doesn’t), then bolts in free agency back to Holland or Spain.

  51. tim from texas says:

    Your right their criticism was fair. The End.

  52. tim from texas says:

    i think he knows

  53. Gary says:

    Good one, even if not Ives.

    So many here dumbfound me! How on earth can anyone say Altidore had a good game? Did you watch?

    He was a turnover machine! The truth is he belongs in MLS. Hull will get rid of him, and neither Spain nor any other European country will sign him – at least not for any appreciable amount.

    Come back to the States Jozi, at least here you will be able to score! Sheeesh!

  54. Gary says:

    Derrick,

    Bravo man! This is the greatest and truest comment ever!

    C’mon people, you need to be more critical of our players. If you don’t concede there is a problem, then how is US Soccer to get better?

    Jozy is just another mediocre product from our broken system. This is the guy we’re relying on in 2010? Jesus!

  55. Rich says:

    Jozy was subpar at best. You clearly don’t understand the game if you truly feel that Jozy was “easily Hull’s best player on the evening.”

    I love rooting for Altidore, but he had brick feet throughout the match. His poor fitness level showed earlier than it should have for a young player, trying to be a regular in the starting XI. He was lucky to have earned a penalty, as he likely would not have scored.

  56. Pico says:

    The Uhaul (because it is a truckload of crap) vs Manchester United game was ugly and a snore. I would not say Jozy had a descent game at all. It was pretty mediocre. The most troubling aspect is that his shortcomings have not improved since he moved from Spain to England. His first touch is bad and he does not know how to play in the pivot role up front and use his massive physique. He still thinks too much when given time and is easily disposed by defenders.

    But the worst part is his body language. He was criticized for it in the Spanish media and some Xerez fans that saw him practicing. He looks lackadaisical and does not seem to be hustling and the fact that he gets gassed pretty early do not help.

    Yes he is young and has talent and potential, but at this point in his development he should be working on his game technique, not basic skills.

    Cheers

  57. Sonicdeathmonkey says:

    He will, just as soon as you learn how to read.

  58. Goran Hunjak says:

    >> According to Sky, “He lacks confidence” he got a 5 rating from Sky. <<

    I’d say just about average for this game is a fair assessment.

  59. Alexandria says:

    I agree, he doesn’t trust his team mates and who blames him, even the announcers said he shot the ball when he gets it because he doesn’t get the ball enough, Hull need a new coach its ridiculous the team they have.

  60. jcd says:

    The announcer mentioned fitness for when he cramped, but I’m not so sure. It was about the 60th minute and he’d just taken a foul to the back of his leg. It’s either 1) a cramp due to injury, or 2) cramping due to lack of fitness. Cramping due to fitness persists the rest of the game. In Altidore’s case, he was limited for a few minutes, but was back to speed soon thereafter… meaning it was likely due to having been kicked.

  61. Felix says:

    It’s funny how people are so extreme in their opinions of Altidore’s game today against Man U. I thought he was alright, he was able to hold up play at times and was able to get a couple of shots on goal, he also DREW THE PENALTY which tied the game, something the critics are forgeting to mention. At the same time, he did lose possession and made some errant passes, plus his fitness did seem poor. He wasn’t the player of the week, but he wasn’t a dog out there either (as some are claiming). A decent, not great but not bad, performance against mostly Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown.

  62. Super Chivo says:

    The only way Jozy doesn’t play in the EPL or another major European league next season is if Hull gets relegated and still thinks they can afford him, not likely. Sack up and quite whining, how many 20 year old forwards are getting minutes in the Premier League?

  63. The Birchman says:

    Derrick is absolutely correct.

    Gary — not so much.

    This is the issue with American fans. Derrick hit it on the head — critique, but don’t jump off the deep end. Jozy didn’t play well. There have been flashes of brilliance, but there are still glaring issues with his game.

    To say he’s “just another mediocre product from our broken system” is awfully ridiculous. Actually, it’s downright stupid. This isn’t some second rate league where the kid is struggling to get minutes in. He’s playing in one of, if not THE best league in the world, at the age of 20. He scored in a major FIFA tournament against the best team in the world, and Gary over here is acting like the kid doesn’t even know what soccer is.

    Gary is an example of the hugely passive-aggressive American fan base. The fans need to be smarter. He’s not the worst player in the history of soccer and he’s not the next coming of Zidane.

    Jozy hasn’t given Hull much, but they’re awful. He’s raw, 20 years old, and starting to make an impact and the highest level. Let’s quit getting so crazy and realize there’s way too much time left before this kid even hits his PEAK, before we can declare him “mediocre” or a stud.

  64. MIamiFCduros says:

    exactly hes getting minutes in the EPL against ManU ! what other yank forward is doing that!

  65. r.benjamin says:

    Look guys it’s all about context. Jozy hasn’t gotten a huge amount if minutes this year as you know. Playing 83 mins and showing some good things is a good outing at this point.

    I thought the announcers were fair (aside from a little harsh on the knock he took but theylater did rectify it). Jozy is a raw talent that has improved. He lost the ball a few times by being overly ambitious but that’s what want to see. He lost the ball a few times with stone feet but he’s getting better. He lost the ball a few times on field length balls in but few in that spot consistently maintain it.

    He’s not as good at this point as my high hopes had for him but I can still see him being dangerous with Dempsey in the recessed role giving him dimes the way he has been for zamora.

  66. SD says:

    I only watched the first half of the game…i am a jozy fan but he had a mediocre first half today…the problem is his shortcomings will remain so until he leaves hull…..the coaching is awful, which was in evidence by the sheer disorganization of the defense…the only problem is we have to hope that villareal will be willing to keep him in pamplona next season…he is better sitting on the bench at villareal than he is playing at hull…..yes, few game time opportunities but his skills would have improved….

  67. Manny F says:

    He is a forward, no position is more adequate at losing possession than forward. And Jozy just needs confidence.

  68. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Guess what guys… Jozy Altidore is nowhere near the American savior… He is just average but is young and may learn someday..has very very poor touch, jogs most of the match, topples over looking for fouls and whines when he does not get them.. the only thing he actually does well is get into a good hold up position much like Fulham’s Zamora but his touch always lets him down… I see people bag on Eddie Johnson all the time for his touch and laziness but right now… EJ is actually a better player than Jozy…EJ runs now as he learned in Cardiff and with Fulham that it is required.. Jozy looks disinterested most of the match and actually I am starting to think that he has such bad fitness that the reason he walks so much is to make sure he can last 65 minutes… Charlie Davies was miles ahead of him when it comes to being a valued striker in Europe… shame really but until Jozy grows up and takes everything about football serious… he will never reach is extremely raw but loaded potential… also… there was no way he was going to finish that header chance, was going to go way over the bar just from the timing of his jump.. got very lucky with the foul and Fagan is the one that earned it..

  69. r.benjamin says:

    I agree with you..
    However I think this is more an indication of bmb’s frailties in general and of a guy maybe not yet in peak shape pushing it further than his body can currently sustain. Probably because he’s fired up at how he’s been playing and wants to do more.

    Man.. I can’t believe I’m talkin about practice. Must be a wc year

  70. DC Josh says:

    Almost feels pointless to leave this comment with all the posts, but here are my opinions:

    1. What has happened to Spector? It’s very unfortunate he has to battle with Faubert, who is a good fullback. I’m hoping he can fight and win this battle with the Frenchman.

    2. Jozy played very well considering A: his youth, B: the cast around him and C: the center backs he had to face for 83 minutes.

    3. Feel very bad for Beasley. He just can’t catch a break can he?

    4. Stoked Edu is back on the pitch.

    5. Don’t know why I woke up at 5:30 this morning when I’m off all week.

  71. dena says:

    Because Premier League football begins in 30 minutes!

  72. Josh D says:

    Jozy has disappointed me so far in the PL. He’s 20 and starting which says something beyond what people are giving him credit for, however, he looks lost out there and isn’t at a team that will improve him. Game time will but his training is unlikely to.

    Jozy’s main problem is his inability to hussle and his lack of awareness about the play. He rarely sprint. Yesterday they had a break away with maybe two defenders, and instead of running with his striking partner he jogged!! Secondly his positioning is terrible. When players are running at him with the ball, instead of running to either A. make space or B. get open, he stands next to the defender with his arms near his crotch asking for the ball. He does this with crosses as well, instead of making near post runs or any run, he stands there waiting for the ball.

    He needs to be playing for a contract because at Villareal he won’t be playing much and will inevitably be sold. Playing better means finally scoring one (given his starting ratio you would expect that to have happened by now, no matter how poor they are playing), learning to hussle like his teammates and learning to read the game as a striker.

    Hopefully he will learn, just hope it isn’t too long and he gets lost in Europe’s soccer system.

  73. Carlos says:

    Im sorry but Jozy played horrible. Believe me I am a fan, but he simply looked like an amateur player. He was not hustling to the ball and his touch was off. Yes, he had a great shot going into halftime, but nothing spectacular. The commentators where also frustrated with his play on the field and were suggesting that he be replaced by another player going into the second half.

  74. NC Jeff says:

    He probably runs up to take them because the coaches decided before the match that he would take them … thus, blame the coaches. Also, a really good fk specialist has to be able to put a fk in the net, yes, but he also must be able to serve up a dangerous pass … and LD certainly has solid assists stats.

  75. Jose S. says:

    Spector came in as a sub in the first half against Tottenham.

    Did as good a job of trying to contain Lennon as could posibly be expected.

  76. drew says:

    Did anyone else notice how many of Jozy’s teammate’s were screaming at him? Defenders were yelling at him to show for the ball, midfielders disappointed with his runs… I was hoping I was misreading their lips, but they all seemed disappointed in him. He only saw the field because of the quick turn around schedule. Just like a Villareal when he would start the game before champions league match,….

  77. jj says:

    Anybody got a link for Chelsea v Fulham?

  78. Ole! says:

    try atdhe.net.. whites look great!

  79. Ryan says:

    Having watched 60+ minutes of Hull v. ManU, I can now weigh in on Altidore. To me, it’s astounding how raw he truly is. He does not look comfortable at all with his back to goal and his first touch let’s him down virtually every time, even if he manages to keep possession. He has great assets — strength, speed — but he’s so clearly the unfinished product. I’n also consistently disappointed by his work rate. At this point, I don’t believe it’s fitness. I’m sure it’s frustrating to play with Hull; he truly gets no service. But he should be chomping at the bit to make an impression. He’s not earning himself a look with any other top flight club playing like he is. In fact, I don’t think a stint in the Championship would be a bad thing for him at all.

  80. TommyH says:

    Birch- those other guys are right, Jozy can’t score a hat trick against the second best club in the world then he sucks. Cut him!!! Call in Ricky Davis or Kirovsky!! If the US has no Messi or CR they shouldn’t even go to South Africa.

  81. Brett says:

    If defenders are screaming for the forward to show for the ball, maybe they should try building through the midfield like a real football team.

    Jozy seemed to shy away from the ball during moments in attack. I don’t know how they train or what they envision his role being, but he was not fighting across defenders and asking for the ball at his feet.

  82. derrick says:

    there is no requirement that only one person take free kicks though. Like Drogba takes free kicks that are close enough to score but when there is a free kick just inside the opponents half he doesn’t go back to take it. He rarely takes corners too. And to continue to talk about a team i don’t like Chelsea, it’s common to see both Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, and Deco all over the ball for free kicks. No offense to LD but it’s not like he’s Beckham at a free kicks and driven balls. I’ve seen LD certainly have a run of games where his delivery on set piece crosses has been less then good. So he’s not always great on those.

  83. derrick says:

    Jozy would prefer not to play back to goal. I think it’s why as a youth he liked playing with Freddy Adu so much because Adu is central attacker always looking to slip Jozy the ball on the run. But he’s chosen to go to a team without a midfield that plays the ball to him back to goal so he’s going to have to learn to play like that. It was never going to be different at a recently promoted English team. And Bob Bradley likes to do that too anyways so it’s not a foriegn concept.

    He doesn’t suck but i think criticism when fair is going to make him better. When he starts scoring like Jermaine Defoe or Bent we can blow smoke up his ass. He needs time, luck and hard work.

    Athletes in all American sports get criticized for having ineffective games. TO doesn’t have a 90 yards receiving and a touchdown he hears it. We shouldn’t expect it any different cause it’s soccer and cause he’s a countrymen in a foreign land. i just think when it’s fair it’s not a big deal at all. Doesn’t mean the end of the world. just shows there is something to work on.