Americans Abroad: Altidore starts, Hahnemann posts shutout and more

JozyAltidore (Getty Images)

U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore was handed a rare start for Spanish power Villarreal, but he couldn't keep his squad from being knocked out of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals after a 3-0 loss to Sevilla.

Altidore played 62 minutes, and showed some glimpses, but struggled to make an impact as the left forward in a 4-3-3 attack. Despite failing to score yet again, the fact that Altidore earned a start in an important cup match bodes well for his standing with the club currently in third place in La Liga.

In other Americans Abroad action:

Marcus Hahnemann started and played 90 minutes in Wolves' 5-0 win against Doncaster in FA Cup play on Tuesday. Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United's 4-0 win vs. Huddersfield Town in Johnstone's Paint Trophy action.

Maurice Edu followed his goal-scoring return last weekend with a ten-minute cameo in Rangers' 1-0 victory against Inverness.

What do you think of Tuesday's Americans Abroad results? Happy to see Altidore get the start? Worried about his lack of goals? Think Hahnemann might stay in England rather than come to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Americans Abroad: Altidore starts, Hahnemann posts shutout and more

  1. John says:

    Definitely worried about his lack of goals. I admit that he seems to have a lot of talent, and he’s still young, but it seems that he’s getting worse in the goal-scoring category. I don’t understand it. Watching him in MLS, he had the guts to shoot, take people on, etc. It seems like he’s losing that gusto.

  2. bottlcaps says:

    I predict Josmer will be loaned out with a low,low,low transfer fee.

  3. Thorpinski says:

    Villerreal as a team looked poor today. Their defense gives up too many goals and puts them under a lot of pressure to score and score early.

    I think Jozy will be Ok, and believe he will play well with the NT

  4. Grubbsbl says:

    The Jozy hate has already started. So laughable.

  5. wanker says:

    I predict you have a low, low, low IQ!

  6. maka says:

    sometimes I wonder if Jozy plays in the wrong league

  7. BCC says:

    He did not score many goals in the EPL and he has not scored much in La Liga. These are the top two leagues in the world.

    So, are you really saying that he cannot handle playing at the top level?

    He is young and needs time. No other way to say it. If he works hard, improves his first touch and positioning, he could be a very good player.

  8. Beckster says:

    Glad Marcus continues to get cup starts but I don’t think he is going to start for anyone in the EPL so time to come home….

  9. Phil says:

    having not seen the game, what I want to know is how is his positioning, how is his touch and how is his awareness. if those things are there, then the goals will come.

    folks need to chill.

  10. Match says:

    No matter what, Americans deserve credit for what they’ve accomplished abroad. It wasn’t long ago that ZERO American’s were playing abroad. At least, none with any noteriety. Clap Clap to all Americans playing the great game of soccer abroad!

    Writer for http://www.datecover.com

  11. Shmenge says:

    The best thing he did all game was sprint over and block an attempted clearance from a Sevilla player, which Rossi applauded and tried to get his teammates excited about.

    No one made a run for a nice left-footed cross he made.

    Other than that, he looked like a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robot in a salsa class. So stiff.

  12. Thorpinski says:

    This is the second year in a row where he has not had consistent playing time. People sometimes discount that he started at Hull City as a 19 year old and was expected to help them survive relegation. His coach was completely insane and the other one was only slightly better and as a whole the team sucked. Now he has stability but plays behind some really good forwards, as has already been mentioned he just needs time.

  13. Jacob says:

    Soccer rulz!

  14. Bryan says:

    Uh loaned on a low transfer. Please explain how that works

  15. Jamie Z. says:

    Okay, I had to laugh at this.

  16. Chicago Josh says:

    Jozy looked above average. He created a half-chance in the 1st half that he should have put on frame. Glancing header in the 2nd half forced a save. Spent a lot of time tracking back to his third to defend. He held the ball well and sprang Rossi for a great chance. Selfish teammates shot from terrible angles when Jozy was open and in a better position to score…seemed almost unwilling to give him the ball. Villareal defense looked terrible and gave up a very soft goal in the 6th minute, and it seemed like the rest of the team weren’t putting in their best effort. Defending on corner kicks was poor and the 2nd goal drew an angry reaction from Jozy (who was defending the near post runs).

  17. Brad says:

    thanks for this update…

  18. Ken says:

    SO Jozy is not the wonderkid that he was thought to be. He’s a rough gem that needs a good gem cutter (coach).

  19. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The nerve of you, basing your opinion of how he played based on observation

  20. John in FL says:

    even in your idiocy you are right, a loan means no transfer fee!!!!
    so it will be in fact low low low

  21. Ryan says:

    Although it was against a much inferior club, John Paul Pittman did score 2 goals in his return to the pitch today!! Just keeping tabs on everyone.

  22. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I’m a big Jozy fan. Yes, I agree he needs time and I also happen to believe he couldn’t be at a better club for his development. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed by his lack of production. That’s not hating. That’s just being a fan who wants the best for him. You can’t help but worry when you look at the numbers: NYRB – Aps 37 Gls 15, Villareal – Aps 9 Gls 1, Hull – Aps 28 Gls 1. USNT – Aps 32 Gls 10. He’s performed his best at RBNY and for the USNT. Maybe he left MLS too soon?

  23. Chris says:

    As low as you can go.

  24. Chris says:

    Not to mention the coach kept playing that Egyptian guy who was on loan… despite the fact that he was awful.

  25. Chris says:

    How dare he.

  26. Chris says:

    Drogba at 22:
    Playing in the second division of France. At 19-20 he scored 0 goals in only 2 appearances. The next year he scored 7 goals in 30 appearances (not bad, but still Ligue 2). He then got injured and lost his place in the first team. When he got it back he scored 0 goals in 11 league appearances. He wouldn’t feature for his national team for another two years. Just sayin’.

  27. jayrig5 says:

    Haha, no doubt. He’s the only player who could start this important a match for this important a club at this young an age and it would be a bad thing. Man. You guys realize how young he is, right? And yet, he’s the American playing for arguably the biggest club any American is currently playing for. (I guess you could argue that Everton/Fulham are bigger than Villareal, but whatever.)

    It’s just so funny that I read the headline and story and thought “Hey, that’s great” and others read it and think “This is awful.”

    Goals come with playing time. Playing time has been coming more this year than previous years. Work it out.

  28. ak48 says:

    Nice simile. Not enough poetry around here.

  29. A Chicago Fire Fan says:

    Watched the match, and he still looks below average. I believe that he needs to find a new team if he wants to develop, because he has no hope of ever starting meaningful minutes at a club like Villareal.

    I will be flamed for this, but he is a lazy sob, and I would bet the house on the fact that the only time he works on his touch is when the coach is hounding him.

    That is really the only logical explanation I have for how little progression he has shown in the last couple of years.

  30. Lorenzo says:

    sounds like it was not a high on the agenda game (which is probably why Jozy got the start).

    Thus helping Jozy getting minutes but hurting him in that they were not playing 100%.

    I mean a 3-0 for Villarreal to Sevilla is a little bit telling.

  31. jig says:

    I think its a bit ridiculous to compare Jozy Altidore to Didier Drogba. Not gonna happen. Based on his current progress, I’d be happy if he became Emile Heskey. Which isn’t that bad.

  32. Chris says:

    I’ve read before that his work rate at practice was suspect, but he always seems to work pretty hard in game, at least from the Hull, NYRB, and USMNT games I’ve watched him in.

  33. ben says:

    In our nation’s new spirit of civility, I’ll try not to flame.

    I do think that we place a little too much emphasis on running around and looking busy (and not only in soccer). Berbatov and Drogba have both been accused of laziness.

    Look–he’s 20. He will grow up to be either Drogba or Heski. Heski does work really hard.

    Of course, when I grew up in Minnesota, if we couldn’t find any other compliment for a person, we would say, “he tries hard.”

    Just saying.

  34. srfinger says:

    Comments like these either make you sound so old that you think 1990 was recent history, or so young you dont know about Wynalda, Harkes, Lalas, etc…

  35. radi0head says:

    Lets be real here, he is like 21 years old. He is at a great developmental club. Whats the downside? As long as he works hard at practice and learns a lot, then he is in a great situation! Becoming an amazing player takes time and effort. Lets just all chill out and give him time haha

  36. tnnelson says:

    i must say, i watched the whole match today and his touch looked much improved. he didn’t get the ball in very dangerous places (this was really a result of villareal looking poor overall) but he wasn’t scared to go at players when he did and he had a couple nice flick-ons and through balls to his teammates. he looked okay too when you consider he was playing as a left winger in a 4-3-3 which i was surprised to see.

    i know the goals aren’t flowing and he isn’t getting a lot of minutes, but to me it looks like his time in spain with much more technically gifted players is paying off, because i have criticized his poor touch before and he looked much more confident and composed on the ball today, so that can’t be bad

  37. scott simon says:

    Sorry, but Jozy is over-hyped in my opinion.

    It has been 3 years straight that people keep giving the same excuses. He’s young, he doesn’t get enough playing time, etc. Ok, perhaps that is fine, but if he is still that unrefined as a player, then he doesn’t deserve to start up top with the US National team. Start people that are in form and scoring goals.
    How many years did people give Eddie Johnson or Freddy Adu before we realized that they were not going to be able to compete at the top level. At least not in the immediate future.

    We have some of the best midfielders in the world: Stuart Holden, Maurice Edu and Michael Bradley. We don’t need Donovan there anymore. Move Landon up top with Clint Dempsey.

    Meanwhile Jozy can keep training as he is still “so young.”

  38. 123 says:

    The plan and simple fact is that Jozy needs game to take it to the next level.

  39. 20 says:

    or just writing some irrelevant, bs comment trying to promote his website

  40. Kosh says:

    So it’s ridiculous to compare Jozy (who is very young and nowhere near his prime) to Drogba but it’s fair, reasonable and makes much more sense to compare him/his potential to Heskey? Where do people get this kind of stuff?

    For the billionth time – young man, learning his craft with a top side. He needs time and just so happens to have time on his side. Unless you’ve cracked the soccer potential projection algorithm, perhaps we should just watch this thing play itself out and hope for the best while we support one of our up and coming youngsters.

  41. Jeff Awesome says:

    Jozy is doing fine. That said, the US needs more than just one striker playing in a top league.

  42. Lorenzo says:

    Yeah. I mean it sounds like Rossi and Ruben didn’t heat things up either, which puts things into perspective a little bit better.

  43. A Chicago Fire Fan says:

    Agreed.

    Well, outside of moving Landon up top. He has less touch than Jozy.

  44. hudson says:

    Agree w/ Chicago Josh analysis; Jozy wasn’t getting much love from teammates when he was making runs into the box. Not so surprising they don’t show much confidence in him when he’s gotten so little playing time and when Ross is obviously the primary target. Still, he put himself in some good positions to score but never saw the ball. Otherwise, his touch and passing looked solid, especially in delivering one of the two best set-up chances for Rossi.

  45. StevenG says:

    Seems pretty simple to me, when faced with better competition he has come up short.

  46. Brett says:

    I wish Jozy got to play more, and obviously I wish he would score when he got the chance to play, but honestly his accomplishments to date are better than any American for his age in history. He’s already scored goals in La Liga and the EPL and he’s still college-aged. He just needs some minutes to hit a run of form, and when he does, he will unleash that killer shot of his and make Ray Hudson poop his pants.

  47. Edwin says:

    Did you just say we have some of the best midfielders in the world?

    Okay I will ask in civility what’s your definition of being one of the best in the world? Top 10? 15?

    I have a feeling you can name about 10-15 midfielders of their type i.e. right and left wingers, central box to box midfielders and central defensive midfielders.

    I know in Spain there’s like 8 alone that are much better than our guys. Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabrigas, Pedro, Navas, Silva, and I forget the others?

    You also have guys like Yaya Toure, Essien, Pienaar, Schwansteiger, Khedira, pretty much all the Dutch guys except De Jong, that guy is a thug and THEN we get to the South Americans. Pretty much all of Argentina’s and Brazil’s midfields are better much better than ours, I love our boys, and I’m a USMNT fan hardcore, but lets keep things in perspective shall we?

  48. Bob Bradley 4 Eva says:

    I have always enjoyed the *great* languid players. The Riquelme’s or Valderamma’s, who can dictate the game while jogging. Berbatov has a little bit of this quality too.

    The notion that lots of running is in and of itself desirable is an idea too prevalent in US soccer — and in the UK.

    But Jozy’s movement off the ball is repeatedly disappointing.

    Perhaps Altidore is lazy. But off the ball movement is also about a sort of spatial intelligence and anticipation.

    A totally different player, but look at how Javier Hernandez arrives at the “right” places.

    Other commenters are spot on: Jozy is young. He is learning. In Brazil and in Russia, he might be a much better player than he is now. But a game like today leaves one with the suspicion that he might not.

  49. JFC says:

    we love you jozy we do ooooohhhh jozy we love you. i thought maybe if Juan Carlos Garrido reads this he’ll play em more

  50. jig says:

    unfortunately, you tend not get a lot of “time” in this game, no matter if you need it or not. Especially with a big side. Matters very little what US fans think of him. I assure you, though, if he continues to not score goals, just as he’s done the entire time he’s been in europe, he will slip. That’s a fact.

  51. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Did you the soft goals the starter wayne hennessey gave up the other day… Marcus should be starting… mick is a bonehead…

  52. jig says:

    Dude, if you got burn in more than 40 matches total, you’d finish 1 or 2, which happens to be Jozy’s total.

  53. BBB says:

    I assume the comment was meant as a general statement about our midfield pool being among the top in the world (as a unit, not players). I put us just outside the A-list, but there are a lot of countries that would be happy to have Lando, Disco Stu, JJ and SoB (Son of Bradley) at their disposal.

  54. Andy from LA says:

    I love how nearly every comment on here is about Altidore. That being said, being 20 years old and the 4th striker on the 3rd best club in La Liga this season is really pretty impressive. Think about the fact that Marco Ruben is 24 and he’s just now getting opportunities with the first team (and doing quite well).

    The whole problem with the Jozy situation is the simple fact that he is starting for the USMNT. Should we be starting a 20 yr old who really isn’t a great goal scorer yet? Probably not. But it’s not his fault that there aren’t any quality strikers a few years older than him.

    What should be happening is Altidore should be groomed as a striker of the future, not of the present. And in 4 years, we can absolutely see what he is as a player. But at 20, we can’t fault him bc the US striker pool is laughable.

  55. Chris says:

    I wasn’t trying to compare him to Drogba, per se. I was just trying to point out that we can’t beat up on Josmer too much for not playing/getting goals, when Drogba had the same sort of record at that age.

  56. Andy from LA says:

    To add: think about how many strikers/creative midfielders at age 20 or below are starting and succeeding right now in the premiership: Andy Carroll, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott…

    Sure there are a few others but the list is shockingly short. At age 23 or 24, we can begin to conclude what to make of Altidore as a player. Right now, it’s still about development.

  57. gigi says:

    idk if i wanna use that website…i read the comment fast and i think i might get the clap clap :OOO somewhere right now……ronaldo is getting mad phone numbies on the website.

  58. Jao says:

    If it is still about development than Altidore has no business being at a club like Villarreal, whose desire is to win and to play players who want to win not develop themselves. You have to remember that Villarreal paid a nice fee for him, the equivalent of what they paid for Rossi, so obviously they were expecting some form of output from him. People seem afraid to admit it, but I honestly think he left the States way too early. As a France supporter, it reminds me of Gael Kakuta. He’s riding the pine or “developing” at Chelsea, while all his teammates in the U-20 NT are playing regularly with their respective clubs in France. Better hope Agudelo doesn’t do the same.

  59. Judging Amy says:

    Truth. Jozy might not become a great or world class player, but he’s good in his development right now. Will love it in a few years once he becomes more consistent and the haters have no choice but to stare quietly in awe…

  60. Judging Amy says:

    If Villareal isn’t the place for him, then that’ll work itself out by way of them cutting their losses and trading him away or getting what they can for him. Until they do it shows they value him.

    The notion that higher level clubs can’t develop players is patently foolish. Just because you can’t see the bigger picture value of developing a young player who can contribute down the road (or who you can sell for profit) doesn’t mean the experienced, more football savvy folk at Villareal can’t. The Jozy hate really needs to stop. Even if he is as bad as his detractors think, he is still far and away our best option at striker.

  61. Confused says:

    What Jozy hate? What comments are you refering to? What specifically is making you laugh?

    Why is it every piece mentioning Altidore results in comments mocking this alleged “Jozy hate”, when it’s hardly clear that such hate even exists?

  62. Annelid Gustator says:

    This isn’t hard: he needs playing time to develop, but he still might not pan out. I’m rooting for him to become all that it has always seemed he could be.

    You have to sort a lot of pebbles to find a gold nugget. Consider how different the US situation is–essentially *all* promising youths aged 14 and above in the great footballing nations are developing in a thoroughly professionalized, high-stakes environment. Only a teeny-tiny fraction of them ever break through. He’s just getting started, people, and so is the US.

  63. Ian says:

    John’s right though. Regardless of the competition, his instinct to turn and take someone on seems less and less prevalent to me, and that being an instinct and not a thought process is disturbing. He’ll find it again.

  64. sir coble says:

    He had a good flick to rossi early in the game, as well beat two people for a terrible shot.

  65. Will says:

    this is the kind of post i like to see. someone who actually watched the game and can comment on jozy’s performance.

    i’m perfectly fine with him staying in spain and playing in the copa del rey and europa league competitions this year. just being on the bench in the league is showing that his coach does believe in him to some extent. he’s still young and this year of experience will only help in his development

  66. Josh D says:

    I think in perspective, in Europe he’s not so young anymore… 21+ in Europe generally sees you as having a good 50 games under your belt if you’re going to keep at the top.

    Now there are late bloomers and it’s not to say Jozy is not talented, but his age is increasingly becoming less of a factor. Especially as it’s not age that is going to help what he’s lacking which is A. goal scoring instinct and B. urgency in his play.

  67. Josh D says:

    But your comparison is even more far fetched than saying Jozy should be starting on Madrid – fact of the matter is, the odds of you playing in a terrible league and not scoring goals but one day waking up to be one of the best in the world is less likely than Jozy continuing to grow and develop.

    Jozy has the skills and physique needed – you just feel he needs a coach who’ll light a fire under him and make him play with confidence and urgency. Don’t see that happening where he’s at.

  68. RK says:

    You think you are worried? Ruben has now consistently shown that he is the better goal-scorer, and Nilmar will be back in February.

  69. RK says:

    This team isn’t deep enough to play in 3 competitions, after the plethora of injuries that hit them in the last month.

  70. DC Josh says:

    Thanks for the direct-source opinion. Not that other people didn’t watch the game too. But I like it when posters use what they just saw in a match to analyze how “said-player” played.

    It is interesting that he played in an advanced left winger role. I automatically envision Henry for Barcelona when I think of this position. It isolates you outside and if you can’t beat a player one-on-one, you’re in for a long day.

    Jozy is perfectly fine where he is. Villareal are a Champions League knock-out round caliber club, and Jozy consistently makes the bench. He has very good forwards ahead of him in the pecking order. Honestly, I wouldn’t want him anywhere else but Villareal.

  71. BenH says:

    I think that’s why a lot of people, including myself, sometimes get frustrated with him. We are comparing him to Javier Hernandez. Both around the same age, at big clubs, but one is performing brilliantly in his first year while the other…well, hasn’t done much for his club.

    Frankly, though, Hernandez was just named one of the top 10 goal scorers etc. He is simply better than Jozy. If we put it in perspective, there’s a lot of hope that our 21 year old can still turn into something very productive. I think Hernandez, barring injury, will just be special. Jozy may not ever get to that but if he can just be productive for our NT that would be good enough for me at this point.

  72. RK says:

    That’s funny, because he was accused of tracking back too much in the first half.

  73. BCC says:

    I watched the match as well. He does look like he is improving, but he still has moments where he seems that that he does not understand his role in the offense.

    He made some decent runs, however, and his teammates feed him the ball. Sevilla looked quite good — given the talent level on that team it is surprising they do not win more games.

  74. JJ Hickson says:

    Andy Cole on Owen Coyle
    “He made the Burnley players 10 times better than they were.”

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    He needs to go to Bolton so Coyle can develop him. And if Coyle can’t do it, its never going to happen.

    Bolton are most likely going to get Carlos Vela on loan after they get a CB to fill for Cahill which will most likely be apart of the Vela loan deal.

    They’ll get Vela and then unload Elmander.

  75. Soccernste says:

    Saw the game. Better in the first half when he was out left linking up. Jozy was a part of everything good the Villareal did in the first half. In the second half he was playing centrally and leading the line. By that time V as a whole was half way to the showers with people launching balls over his head. Service and deadball delivery from Villareal was atrocious.

  76. Good to see Altidore getting in on the action at Villareal… hopefully he starts putting the ball in the back of the nets and builds up confidence.

    http://www.soccerinmyeyes.com

  77. Overrated says:

    He had it made playing with JPA. He would now be playing with Henry. Too bad MLS can’t pay these guys before they go “Out-The-Door”

  78. Steve says:

    You’ve got to be kidding.