Monday Morning Centerback: Altidore finding his fire

Jozy Altidore 2 (ISIphotos.com)

Jozy Altidore is 20 years old. He's a starting striker in the English Premier League and he's begun playing the type of soccer expected of him when he drew a $10 million transfer as a teenager.

Oh, and in case you forgot, he is American.

This seems silly to point out here, but it seems some folks lose sight of the fact that Altidore is a 20-year-old American striker playing in the world's biggest league. He hadn't scored a league goal until Saturday's beautiful finish in Hull's 2-1 win vs. Manchester City, but even before that goal he was already showing signs of being a young player figuring things out.

A 20-year-old American striker playing (and now starting) in the world's biggest league who is playing well as a starter. Think about that for a second. Doesn't that sound like a strange combination? It should, because there has never been one before, which is why American fans need to appreciate watching his evolution as a player.

Sure, Altidore's goal against Manchester City is just one goal in league play, but the signs in recents weeks are promising for a player who saw most of his first year in Europe wasted on benches in Spain. He could have let that time disillusion him, but Altidore's exploits with the U.S. national team surely helped keep his confidence boosted. Even after arriving in England, and having his Twitter fiasco threaten his playing time, Altidore kept pushing forward and kept giving manager Phil Brown reasons to put him on the field.

Now here we are, five months from the World Cup and Altidore is playing inspired soccer and looking more confident with each passing week. Whether it's the natural progression of maturity, or the motivation of wanting to play well for his family and all the rest of the people in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, or both, Altidore is playing with a consistent fire we haven't seen since 2007, Altidore's only full season as an MLS starter with the New York Red Bulls.

In 2007, Altidore got the first taste of being a regular starter and the way he blossomed that year is very similar to how he's now looking for Hull, with his game growing as he makes full use of his combination of size, speed and strength. Things are a bit different now, with Altidore gaining invaluable experience playing against the best defenders money can buy. The goals hadn't come before Saturday, but what had come was a real belief that he can play on that level. You could see that much in the way he has gone at defenders and in the way he has pushed his way into the action.

Saturday's goal is hardly a destination, but moreso a starting point for a young player who is striding confidently into uncharted territory for an American striker. He is still learning as a player, and is far from a finished product, but these are positives, negatives. And no, one goal isn't enough, but it could mean everything if it helps Altidore find his identity as a goal-scoring striker in the English Premier League.

A 20-year-old American goal-scoring striker in the English Premier League. Sounds strange doesn't it?

Maybe not for long.

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96 Responses to Monday Morning Centerback: Altidore finding his fire

  1. The Gentleman Masher says:

    He and Jan VofH seem to pair really well together…he set up VofH last week, and VofH returned the favor this week!

    Hoping Phil sticks with that pairing – with matches against Blackburn and West Ham coming up, they have a great chance to move towards safety.

    Keep it up, Jozy!

  2. AdamTheRed says:

    He’s 20.

    all the more impressive.

    (SBI-Yes, even more impressive. I got 21 on the brain when I checked and saw ’89.)

  3. Erik says:

    I think he has been playing well and to his strengths. He is not the player who will win headers lumped up from the back like Hull tends to play.

    I wish more US fans would cut him some slack as he is just 20 and it also took Dempsey a year or so to figure things out in England. And, he ended up back on the bench as well.

    That was a hell of a goal and in addition to that he’s set up some goals and earned some PK’s – good on ya Jozy, keep on playing!

  4. TheJester525 says:

    yes, very fair point. He is a real talent, and sometimes ppl forget to realize how far he has come.

  5. sammy says:

    The goal just capped two great performances. He drew the PK and assisted the goal in Hull’s last game, then within 8 minutes Saturday had Citeh’s best center back on a yellow, later forcing a yellow on the other. He has become a handful for opposing teams, period – who are used to dealing with fast, strong, technically superior attackers every week – that’s impressive. Jozy does something no other American striker in the UK has ever done – plays best facing, then and going direct to goal. If Davies can get back in time for the WC, those two up top will put fear into every one of our opponents.

  6. bigdeadbat says:

    amen

  7. fan4usa says:

    It was a fantastic strike, and the first of many we will likely see!

    What was just as impressive as his goal was his play off the ball and his excellent passing.

    He was the difference up front for Hull!

  8. DC Josh says:

    In your face Jozy haters. Give the kid a break, just because his goals-to-games ratio isn’t Droggish does not mean he sucks. He is an individual and will blossom into his own player. Come on Jozy.

  9. CSD says:

    Thanks for some perspective Ives. Unfortunately USMNT fans put a lot of pressure on the few US players that excel to any degree. Every action or non-action is exaggerated. Also something to think about with Altidore is this that summer could potentially be the first of 3 World Cups for him.

  10. John says:

    Freddy who?

  11. fan4usa says:

    Also impressive was his class-act reaction after he scored the goal – a very humble tribute to US and Haiti.

  12. kpugs says:

    Haha, I wasn’t going to say anything but then again you can’t just determine age by subtracting the year of birth from the current year. No harm no foul though.

  13. CSD says:

    When Jozy is in NY Ives takes him out and that’s not what his fake ID says that Ives got him.

    (SBI-Shhhhh.)

  14. Pico says:

    Ives,

    Where do you envision Jozy ending up after this season. The Villarreal president has made it pretty obvious that they are trying to sell all the players they have on loan given the options they have in their B team.

    Cheers

  15. kpugs says:

    That’s counterproductive to say the very least. Adu is also very young. Hating on him is just as bad as hating on JOzy. Get a frigging grip man, this kid turned pro at 14 and to write him off now is idiotic.

    The same way people crapped on Jozy when he transferred to Spain at 18 and didn’t immediately score a million goals. Enough is enough, let the young kids have a chance.

  16. Franky says:

    I think the kid is just naturally growing as a player. I played college ball and I wasnt half the player at 20 that I was at 22. And Jozy is playing in the premier league, so I can imagine his growth trajectory is much faster than mine as an american college player

  17. Manny F says:

    You know whats even sicker? That fact that both can possibly have 3 more World Cup cycles to play in, well, at least Jozy. I don’t see Davies playing until 35.

  18. Fre says:

    Unrelated post. Ives, can you start doing a short feature every few days that briefly details injuries, updates, and suspected return dates? I’m getting ulcers here.

    By my count we have ten Nats out: Torres, Edu, Beasley, Holden, Dolo, Dempsey, Clark, Davies, Gooch, Jones. I’m constantly scanning Google news to find out if there’s any change in suspected return dates. Help a brother out here.

    Congrats with the move to Fox — onward and upward!

  19. Pat says:

    He’s playing well with a player who can hold the ball up, instead of someone trying to make him a hold up player.

    Don’t get me wrong, he needs to be able to hold the ball up, but that’s not necessarily his strength right now.

  20. I love Jozy and am a big fan. Let’s not jump the gun here.

    As soon as other clubs start paying attention to him, let’s see how he responds to the attention he will be getting on the field.

    If he can keep up the form, he is not at Hull next year. A bigger club will probably come calling and there will be no way Hull can match the wages he could fetch.

    If the lightbulb is going off and he is gaining confidence, I think he is going to be a natural for a larger club to pick up.

  21. blokhin says:

    the difference between Jozy and other Americans whom the apologists have continued to make excuses for over the years, such as “his coach hates Americans,” “a lot of management changes,” etc… is that Jozy’s clearly earned playing time through his work in practice. Though he hasn’t scored goals until now, there was clearly a reason why the manager is willing to put him out there every week and that facing down his competitition every day in practice and not waiting for somethnig to be handed to him… meanwhile Freddy Adu keeps sliding down the European pecking order and we’re still waiting for a club that will put him in the startnig line-up….

  22. Josh D says:

    I would say he must do a bit more to get a team like Hull to buy him because they just don’t have the money and while he is starting to produce, it’s hard to justify spending that much on a striker who isn’t scoring a decent amount of goals.

    I think if he continues this run of justifying his play and has a good run in the World Cup, you will see a team like Fulham take him on. A team not a the top but in a position where they can invest in some youth and spend the few years it takes to get them to the top, a team lacking in the striking depth, and a team with a few change to spare but if at what 6 million pounds, Jozy with experience in the EPL will be a nice addition to a midtable youth.

    I haven’t read any Hull fans screaming to sign Jozy so I think his stint at Hull doesn’t continue after the season.

  23. otergod says:

    i think the major point here is that placed on a team that actually might service him, he’d have scored much much earlier then this.

  24. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Fantastic news!!! hopefully he can keep this form until the end of the season and beyond!

  25. Hush says:

    I’ve said all along, 20yrs old and playing the best league in the world, can’t hate on that. Omar Epps would say, he’s got the Juice now. :)

  26. Shark says:

    Yeah but where are all those folks who are still calling him lazy and unfit? Gimmie a break….this kid is starting to blossom the past three games and has all the tools to be a a big star….but it takes time…and patience is a virtue many fans just don’t have these days….sit back relax and watch this young man’s career start to take off it’s goign to be fun….:) Especially this summer in South Africa…

  27. ahm says:

    ives congrats on the move to Fox soccer. will we be seeing you on FSC in the near future? also good article on jozy. the future is bright for the USMNT

  28. einar says:

    how about daniel williams? same age a defender but is holding his fort well in SC Freiburg

  29. green says:

    Seems like just yesterday he was being piled upon for being lazy, while he was still a teenager. Didn’t really get what people’s beef was back then.

    Great to see him settling in and getting the consistent playing time. Nice goal, btw.

  30. green says:

    Don’t worry, his time is coming soon if he finishes up the season keeping his starting spot. Just too hard to ignore a BL1 level starter, who came out of nowhere in such a short time.

  31. ERic says:

    I’m trying not to think about another Haitian that played for the US against England in the World Cup, and trying not to imagine a repeat.

    Still, what a great storyline that would be…

  32. Jamoke says:

    I don’t know what this adds to the discussion, and I am aware that players progress at different rates, but here is a glimpse at other strikers during their 20th year:

    Drogba: Had yet to make a professional first team appearance for Ligue 2 Le Mans
    Torres: 20 Goals in 49 Apps for Athletico Madrid
    Luca Toni: 2 Goals in 25 Apps for Serie 3 Fiorenzuola

    USMNT:
    Eric Wynalda: At San Diego State
    Brian McBride: At Saint Louis University
    Landon Donovan: On loan from Bayer Leverkusen to San Jose already
    Charlie Davies: Scored first goal for Hammerby 1 day prior to his 21st birthday.

  33. Yossarian says:

    I continue to maintain that he has a little bit of Drogba in him. My question for the Ives’ Gallery is this: did his tenure in Spain actually harm his game? I feel as if he, ever since the yellow submarine, has been too focused on diving and drawing fouls rather than attempting to run through and over contact the way he did with NYRB. I think this actually retards his development because he is looking more to draw fouls rather than make a play with his skills and tools. Only now is he beginning to shift his focus more towards making plays over drawing fouls. Thoughts?

  34. j says:

    since he’s found his form and hull’s improoved he has set up 2 goals and scored 1 in three matches not bad

  35. Felix says:

    Good perspective Ives. American fans have been SO desperate to see a fellow Yank do well in the big European leagues that we tend to be overly-critical when things don’t turn out they way we would like.

  36. Stephen says:

    And that is why he’s going to Fox Sports. Excellent article Ives. Thanks for the insight and perspective.

  37. CapeCodFutbol says:

    Well-balanced and good perspective, thanks. It’s been a pleasure to watch his progress, he was truly a handful on Saturday.

  38. Murphy says:

    I agree–just think if he had a good midfield feeding him crosses.

    Ives–you are right on this one. Don’t forget his goal vs. Spain last summer. He will be what, 25 in 2014?

  39. r.benjamin says:

    Good perspective here. As we all know and on display in every pro sport the difference between a 20 year old and 24 year old is huge.

    Has everyone noticed that Altidore’s improvement coincided with the introduction of a solid midfielder? Everyone is raving about Cairney, as they should, and also all of a sudden Jozy is finding the ball more often. A lesson in the presence of a calming midfielder.

    Drawing two yellow cards against Man City was ‘almost’ as impressive as the goal.

    Jozy sometimes taking free kicks.. is also certainly something to take note of.

  40. Sninho says:

    Well, as great as that was, the Nats still didn’t advance out of the group stage. I’ll take the 1-0, but not at the cost of advancing.

  41. Rory says:

    He’s a 20 year old American who shucked off a Spanish National team defender to score a goal in a FIFA tournament no less!

    It’s good that he struggled a bit early in the year, I think that will make him a better player through the ups and downs later on.

    Plus, MAJOR props to Bob Bradley for sticking with him when he wasn’t playing much in Europe. Before the Trinidad hat trick he hadn’t done much with the Nats either, but Bob Bradley kept him around.

  42. Josh D says:

    I think it was on Big Soccer, where they had the stats from players of equal age and playtime in the whole of the EPL and Jozy had the best stats.

  43. Rory says:

    His ability to draw fouls IS a play he makes with his skills and tools. Drawing a foul can be a skill and as the Italians show every year it’s an important tool in your arsenal.

  44. golfstrom says:

    Man, why is everyone so manic depressive. Here’s the thing: yes, Jozy is only 20 and playing in the PL, the first American to do so, and this is indeed all fantastic. But these are merely platitudes in the face of a striker who had no goals in 17 PL appearances. The goal this weekend was great and here’s hoping he’s turned a corner. If he can achieve something like a 1 in 4 strike rate for Hull, that would be awesome.

  45. inkedAG says:

    I’d have to disagree here. How many teams has Freddy been a part of in Europe and now that he’s in a forgettable league, he’s finally getting some playing time. Nothing of note for Benfica, Monaco or that other Portugal team he was a part of. Furthermore, Freddy didn’t exactly post MVP worthy performances in DC or Real Salt Lake. Adu is done. If he does get better, wonderful, but I highly doubt it.

    As for Jozy, I have an expectation for Euro bound American players. Get there and kick that a$$. More often than not, US players are benchers or subbers. Frankly, I’m tired of that. I want a guy to transfer to a team and start for once. It happens all over the world to all sorts of players. Why not us?

  46. Sorry to get off topic, but has anyone heard anything on Dempsey after his latest MRI(I think it was 2 weeks ago)? I have been unable to find anything about him online.

  47. Yossarian says:

    Yes, but for a young player still developing his skills, I feel it can be counterproductive if he drops to the ground every time he feels contact. At NYRB, he was able to show many more skills than he has in the Prem & La Liga. Part of this is obviously the pace and quality of the game, but part of it might also be that his mindset is more towards drawing fouls than making a special move with the ball. I think he will never reach his superstar ceiling if he doesn’t shift his mindset more towards scoring goals rather than drawing fouls. He needs to be a bit more daring, though I feel he’s made strides the last few weeks.

  48. other eric says:

    Sninho…lame.

  49. other eric says:

    golfstrom, I think Michael Bradley addressed fans like you after drubbing Egypt.

  50. Limo says:

    very very good post

  51. Pico says:

    Actually the Villarreal situation was complicated from the beginning mostly because of the timing of his original purchase and his loan to Xerez.

    I can’t recall the name of an Irish reporter that covers Spanish football who once compared Jozy to Ronaldo (El Fenomeno) in the way he faces the goal and runs at defenders. Unfortunately for Jozy, when he arrive at Villarreal, his skills and touch were not to the level to be able to play in the first team and it was supposed to take at least one full year in a lesser team or the B league to get used to the style.

    Well, the Xerez loan was a nightmare, but I think at some point someone realized that Jozy might not be suited for the Spanish game. That and the fact that Villarreal has a couple of players in their B team that are waiting to make their move up.

    It is a pity because it would have been interesting to see him develop the touch of the Spanish game. But if he is happy and has success in the EPL, more power to him.

    Cheers

  52. Limo says:

    dude is likely to return to the pitch for Fulham a little before the season ends. He should be fit for the World Cup as of now.

  53. BrianK says:

    Call me crazy,…but as I watched Arsenal’s very smooth and elegant,…yet smurffish forwards and midfielders (Walcott, Arshavin, Fabragas, Nasri, etc.) get swept aside by Chelsea with the strength and power of Drogba, Anelka, Ballack, Terry, etc.,…I couldn’t help but think that a strapping lad like Jozy could help the Gunners.

  54. baquito alyeska says:

    Love that pic.

  55. HoneyHell says:

    golfstrom…a couple of points. 1) it takes time to settle into a team and learn the tendancies of your teamates. Since the break I’d say Jozy has made significant improvements in his understanding of the game and his team. 2) Strikers need service. If you’re a striker and all your service is desperate boom balls out of the back to run down…you’re not going to have a lot of success in scoring. but Now that Hull’s midfield is actually stringing passes together maybe Jozy can actually get some decient service and go on a tear. In any case well all have to wait and see if Hull & Jozy can keep up the good work and continue to improve.

  56. TimN says:

    Well, it’s one goal…however, 20 year-old starting stikers in the EPL have traditionally been from powerhouse football nations, so this is definitley encouraging. We may need him to carry quite a load up top this summer, ESPECIALLY if Davies cannot get back.

  57. HoneyHell says:

    Would love to see that….an american in one of the top 5-6 teams. Unfortunatly don’t see it happening for a few more years, Say after the 2014 WC for the likes of Bradley, Jozy, Edu, etc… They have to finish their development, as not many TOP clubs are going to Sign US players a development prospects after the Adu & Johnson failures.

  58. B1879 says:

    Why not the first of 4? Won’t he be 32 in 2022? He may lose a step, but he’ll have the same physique and an even better knowledge of how to use it.

  59. Colin Ferguson says:

    That is a great point.

    I hadn’t thought of the possibility of such a move but it would be an excellent one for Arsenal and Jozy. He’s certainly young enough to fit into Wenger’s transfer strategy and he brings a physical presence and power that Arsenal sorely lack. Playing at Arsenal would certainly improve Jozy’s range of passing and tactical awareness.

    The only problem is that Jozy is, as has been said, not a target forward as of yet. Would Wenger sacrifice two of this tricky diminutive playmakers in order to put Jozy and a target forward like Dzeko up top? (by the way, I think that pairing would be unstoppable)

    If Arsene can admit that the current system will certainly crush West Ham, but cannot defeat United or Chelsea, then he might accept the need for two physical forwards. In a perfect world (not that I think this would ever happen) an Arsenal lineup might put Fabregas and Denilson/Song in the middle, Nasri and Arshavin as wings/attacking outside mids, and Dzeko and Jozy as strikers.

  60. golfstrom says:

    I understand completely those points. That’s why I suggested such a low strike rate. Anyway, I support Jozy 100%; he is still by far our best healthy striker right now. Just trying to be realistic (I know, what am I thinking).

  61. joshstpaul says:

    boo-effing-hoo.

    where were you 10, 15, 20 years ago?

    perspective, crybaby, perspective.

  62. You’re just playing with me Josh, aren’t you?

    Jozy in white is a dream.

  63. Braden says:

    Like Jozy, Wayne Rooney played his first world cup following the season in which he turned 20. Here are his career stats as of the end of the 2006 World Cup:

    18 Goals in 80 Appearances for Everton 02-04
    36 Goals in 91 Appearances for Manchester United 04-06
    4 Goals in 22 Appearances for England, Including 4 World Cup Games (did not score)

  64. I think the term you’re looking for is Bipolar.

    And if ecstasy for every Jozy goal followed by sorrow for every failure or setback is bipolar then count me, and many other otherwise sane USMNT fans, as one on the emotional seesaw that is following their emerging national team.

    Every injury punches me in the gut, and every goal scored fills me with joy.

  65. Jamoke says:

    I believe it was reported that Hull has an exclusive option to buy that was placed at £6.5m, so if they want him for that much they can have him. Another wrinkle that is worth noting is the new TV deal that the premiership negotiated worth £1.8b, which has £50m+/yr distributed to each club (the previous deal was worth ~£28m/yr), takes effect starting at the conclusion of the current campaign. Obviously this cash infusion won’t all be used for transfer fees / player wages but it can be assumed that some percentage will.

  66. El Michael says:

    24 in 2014

  67. El Michael says:

    he wants to play for Germany

  68. Bob says:

    The Hull fans want Jozy to sign badly. See their comments at: link to sporthull.co.uk

  69. bilyaletdinov says:

    Move aside, Jay-Z. We’ve got Joe-Z

  70. ThaDeuce says:

    Well said Mr. Ives

  71. elduderino says:

    Freddy Adu is not 20 years old. Face it. He’s either forged his birth certificate or his parents did and didn’t tell him. He hasn’t grown an inch since he supposedly was 14. He was 5’8 then and is still 5’8 today. Stop being so naive. This stuff happens all the time in sports with the money at stake.

  72. war says:

    Jozy is will be the American Wayne Rooney. The US can do well at this world cup and have a real shot in years to come with some of our key talent playing at the top level. We have a young squad that have at least 2 cups in them(including this one). I’m not worried about Onyewu because Milan will keep him playing for the next 10 yrs anyway.

  73. Jdavids says:

    Preach it Ives!

  74. EricFC1980 says:

    Don’t forget after the first yellow Jozy drew the Man City GK made a nice save from Jozy’s free kick very early in the game, before his 1st GOAL.

  75. Goalscorer24 says:

    It is nice to see, but lets not get over excited. Let’s see where he is at come World Cup time.

  76. CrispyST3 says:

    Yup, and then imagine Findley coming on as a sub late in the game……i know Findley is young too, and plays in the MLS, but he’s dangerous too, his touch is really good

  77. CrispyST3 says:

    JFT is 5’5″…and he’s 21

  78. RLW2020 says:

    i can only dream how incredible that was to score a goal in an EPL game… at 20 years old too.. Heres to years of goals in the future!

  79. CrispyST3 says:

    I’m sure we’ll have other up and coming youngsters by 2014 that will be great for 2018….but yes, it would be nice to have them there as a veteran prescense

  80. CrispyST3 says:

    Freddy Adu is the type of player that needs the team to be built around HIM! But no club is gonna spend money to do that

  81. CrispyST3 says:

    IF he scores alot this world cup cycle, then 2014, then 2018, he MIGHT compete to break Ronaldo’s record for most goals scored in World Cups

  82. jdeezy says:

    Extremely exciting to witness his development unfold, & obviously very encouraging for this summer.

    Have caught most of his games this year & feel his progress, while maybe not spectacular or “highlight worthy”, has actually been largely steady & fairly visible to see for anybody willing to pay attention.

    I understand there will always exist a certain element of knee-jerk “the sky’s falling” overreactions among US fans regarding our players. Doesn’t make it any easier to live through for those of us with, shall we say, a more “grounded” outlook. I suppose one could chalk it up as increased passion & further evidence of the growing US soccer market?? And to be fair, I suppose the crazies exist all over. But again, no less painful to experience nonetheless.

    Came across this on one of the Hull sites, thought it worth passing along. Apparently US Nat fans aren’t the only ones who have been anxiously awaiting Jozy’s first Prem goal. Supposedly all proceeds above cost (stated as 10%…yes I admit to being inherently skeptical of “charities” & related causes) will go towards Haiti relief efforts.

    link to zazzle.com

    “Jolazo”!!

  83. SrySnffy says:

    Someone that hasn’t overreacted to one game?! Shocking.

    That said, I hope Jozy continues the good form.

  84. bigdeadbat says:

    you guys may be getting a little ahead of yourselves. yes, it’s very exciting, but let’s just see how he does this summer.

  85. Jonny2bad says:

    wow, that’s some optimism!

  86. JCC says:

    Oh god. All this after one goal.

  87. jdeezy says:

    Edit: Think I just realized shirt wasn’t from Uk-based site. Followed a couple quick links from a Hull forum w/o paying much attention. Been a long day. All about a good cause, but was more excited, well…when it looked like the Brits were excited about Jozy. After further consideration, I will hold off until I secure some old skool Bo Jackson’s to match that lovely color:)

  88. Joamiq says:

    No. All this after generally improved play of late.

  89. ATX Chuck says:

    jozy’s 5 assists are equal to that of rooney, anelka and teves. only a handful of strikers have more assists. he draws penalties, fouls, and yellow cards. his persoanl point contributions are REALLY helping them stay afloat.

  90. Lil' Zeke says:

    Cultivate a skill worth having for gosh sake. I’ll take the beautiful game over the ugly game any day.

  91. HoneyHell says:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. 1st the US is a defensive minded team who use the couter attack as their primary weapon. This tends to lead to low scoring matches. 2nd, even if he does do well this WC…does not mean he’ll be on the roster for either or both the 2014 or 2018 WC’s. Different coaches like different types of players based on their systems. Additionally he could fall to the wayside like EJ did after the 06 WC, or fall victim to injury. You never know. He needs to take advantage of the opportunity he’s got, then look to the future.

  92. What I can’t understand is why so few people seem to GET this idea. Yeah…a striker’s primary responsibility is to score. But it’s not his ONLY responsibility. Jozy has been increasing his contributions in so many other ways, yet for some reason the only thing people seem to be focusing on has been the lack of putting the ball in the net.

    Yeah…it’s just one goal. But if it was ONLY one goal, then this article never would have been written. Jozy’s game has improved SO much more than just that single goal could ever show. It’s nice that Ives (and others) are noticing.

  93. inkedAG says:

    Who says I am crying about anything?

    And don’t worry about where I was 20 years ago. I’m old enough to not think I’m cool by being snarky on a message board.

  94. Bill says:

    Agree with the gist of your argument, but Jozy has just 2 assists

  95. ATX Chuck says:

    bill – if a goal results in a drawn pk the player drawing the pk gets credited with an assist.