Altidore finds his place in Europe

JozyAltidoreAZ (Getty)

After three trying years in Europe, Jozy Altidore finally found a place that felt right, and a club that gave him the chance he had been working so hard for. The result has been a return to the goal-scoring ways that made Altidore such a highly-regarded prospect as a teenager with the New York Red Bulls.

Altidore enjoyed a dream season with Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, scoring 22 goals in all competitions, and finishing tied for seventh in the Eredivisie. Not everything worked out perfectly though. AZ blocked Altidore from joining U.S. national team camp on time, wanting him to get some rest after a long season. That move set his fitness level back for the national team by several weeks and ultimately costing him his starting place on the national team for the recent World Cup qualifiers against Antigua & Barbuda and Guatemala.

Though clearly unhappy with the circumstances, Altidore took it all in stride and is now focused on what lies ahead as he prepares for his next season in the Netherlands, and the remaining World Cup qualifying cycle, which he is intent on regaining his starting spot for.

Here is my FOX Soccer feature on Jozy Altidore, which covers Altidore discussing topics ranging from his relationship with AZ manager Gertjen Verbeek to being benched for the recent USMNT qualifiers. Altidore also discussed his critics, which he has more of than most 22-year olds.

Here are some outtakes from my extensive interview with Altidore:

ALTIDORE ON HIS FAILED LOAN AT XEREZ (where he never actually got to play)

It was definitely strange. I was told I was going to go there and play. It was supposed to be a media type thing. They had never been in the Primera Division and I was going to go there and help them get there. It’ll be great for me. Then I land there and I’m told from the get-go that I’m not going to play. It was a tough situation for me, but it taught me that everything isn’t always what it seems.

ALTIDORE ON DEVELOPING HIS HOLD-UP PLAY AT HULL CITY

I think I gained and lost a bit. When I was younger and coming up with the Red Bulls, I was running at people, but since I’ve come to Europe I’ve had to become a hold-up player just because you have to be able to hold up the ball if you want to get minutes. I think when I went to Hull that part of my game really became a lot better.

ALTIDORE ON VILLARREAL, AND AZ 

I went to Villarreal and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, or what they told me it was going to be like. I feel a world better (at AZ), finally being in a great place.

ALTIDORE ON HIS DUTCH 'ACCENT' 

Sometimes when you’re talking, especially with people that don’t understand English, you have to talk how they talk so they understand what you’re saying. It’s not certainly that I’m growing this Brad Friedel thing. That’s not happening man. It’s just that if they talk to you in a funny way, and you talk to them (with an American accent) they’re like ‘huh?’, so you have to throw that kind of flip on it so they can understand it.

ALTIDORE ON THE BOND WITH HIS USMNT COMPETITION

You’re always fighting for your position, that’s obvious, but I think with the national team it’s more a team-oriented thing. It’s different on a club team. You’re kind of out for yourself. It’s still team-oriented, but then guys can be gone next year. With the national team, you’re with these guys for the next 10 years so you have that connection. 

ALTIDORE ON NOT BEING ABLE TO JOIN THE RECENT USMNT CAMP IN TIME

I wanted to be there with the guys because I wanted to get the best out of it, but there was nothing I could do because my club said no. I couldn't even go train with a club team or anything because of the legal things and risking an injury.

——-

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67 Responses to Altidore finds his place in Europe

  1. James says:

    I still cannot believe the hate this kid gets at all. It boggles my mind.

  2. GSScasual says:

    Because RB developed him… ipso facto, instantly hated… jealous is strong amongst MLS fans

  3. Old School says:

    Hate?

    I think there is a fair bit of criticism for his questionable fitness time and time again for the Nats.

    I’d love to see that club commitment and success consistently translate with our Nats.

    Until then? I expect more of him and that’s a positive thing. If I didn’t think he was capable of taking his game to the next level, I’d be completely fine with Gomez leading the attack and Jozy on the bench.

    Hate is hyperbole. Criticism is more accurate.

  4. fischy says:

    I don’t think that has anything to do with it. Adu gets exactly the same thing. It’s about raised expectations and disappointment. It doesn’t justify the hateful comments that are so often posted — but those comments say a lot more about the hateful people making them and their disappointment in their own lives that finds expression in anger at famous people..

  5. maxq says:

    Read Ives’ article. The fitness thing wasn’t Jozy’s fault.

  6. Rondo says:

    I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with NYRB

  7. Old School says:

    Review his entire career.

    Managers questioning fitness isn’t a recent revelation. Why does that need to be reminded again?

    People aren’t haters for stating facts and reciting respected observations.

    ===================

    (SBI-You really seem to be taking the whole “Jozy haters” comment personally. Why do you assume that refers to YOU and YOUR criticism of him? There is nothing wrong with criticizing Altidore, and if that’s what you do then that’s fine, but to suggest NOBODY can be called a “hater” is a bit much. The fact is that there are people who flat out can’t stand Altidore, who think he’s terrible, who think he simply can’t play, who think he should never wear a USMNT uniform. THOSE people are irrational. THOSE people are the “haters” being referred to. If that description doesn’t fit YOU then move along, but for you to keep saying “Nobody hates Jozy” suggests you really haven’t been paying attention, or maybe you’ve just managed to miss what plenty of other people see on a regular basis.)

  8. Old School says:

    I’m responding to the statement as you’re responding to my commentary.

    Does that imply you’re taking my opinion personally?

    I’ve never been labeled a Jozy “hater” but I think it’s a copout by people that want to simply drink koolaid rather than being observant and calling a duck a duck.

    I think Jozy is incredibly talented. I do have sincere questions about his drive and desire.

    Your report verifies my opinion:

    “It was definitely strange. I was told I was going to go there and play.”

    People can read that how they will but I think that’s an incredibly telling commentary that he feels entitled, rather than willing to walk through a fire to earn his place.

    (SBI-You offered up repeated comments suggesting there is no such thing as “Altidore hating”, and then repeatedly cited your own standards for criticism of him. You repeatedly made it about you, which is why I asked the question. And no, me addressing comments on SBI isn’t me taking anything personally. It’s something I do to help the conversations move along on here.

    As I said before, being critical of Altidore is one thing. There have been things to be critical about in the past. I have been critical of him in the past (I wrote the first mainstream piece that ever criticized him for his training habits just before his Villarreal transfer). That being said, there are CLEARLY people who take that to an extreme and use it to offer up skewed and overly negative slants that are completely overboard. If that’s not YOU then why are you even getting involved in the discussion? To me, you come off as very sensitive to the subject of “Jozy hating” perhaps because you’ve been called one a few times.

    Nobody is calling YOU a Jozy hater, but you look pretty silly suggesting there aren’t people who do “hate” him, or have a very irrational dislike for him.

    BTW, the way you interpreted the Altidore comment about Xerez was a reach. He was told before the loan move that he would have a good chance to see playing time, but when he arrived, and BEFORE he ever trained, the club’s manager told him he had no intention of playing him. The Xerez debacle came down to a club board making a move that a manager didn’t ask for and didn’t want. That wasn’t Altidore’s fault. He was basically lied to about how things would be. That wasn’t about Altidore feeling entitled, and the fact you took his quote that way suggests to me that you’re inclined to think the worst of him.

    And for the record, I just want you to know I respect your opinion. I know you are a regular commenter, and you’ve always held a pretty rational and reasoned view of things. Not always popular opinions, but solid ones. In this case though I think you’re mistaking the acknowledgment of the existence of haters as some sort of suggestion that nobody can criticize Altidore (or any other player).)

  9. elgringorico says:

    Didn’t know about his charity. That is so awesome for a 22-year old who isn’t even terribly wealthy (by professional athlete standards). He shows the maturity of 30-year old and has grown a lot. Nothing but love for the kid.

  10. Old School says:

    I find it incredibly hypocritical that you’re suggesting I was being “silly” responding to a statement that was not directed at me, whilst you’re doing the exact same thing.

    If you call that silly, you’re clearly comfortable with being of the same ilk.

    I won’t deny Jozy has his haters but I think the term is thrown around blindly to describe people who aren’t wearing rose tinted glasses or drunk off the koolaid.

    It’s possible to be critical of players you rate. I’m providing an example.

    I find it comical the vehement offense people on this board, including staff, take to peoples assessments of players. Tim Ream being a perfect example.

    The sensitivity is “silly”. That’s not exclusive to me. If you’ve convinced yourself otherwise, that’s “silly” too.

    (SBI-There you go again, making this about what it has nothing to do with. People are free to criticize players, and express critical opinions of players. Nobody ever said any different. BUT, to suggest that there aren’t people who take it to the extreme, who become irrational about certain players, is being either blind to reality or living in denial.

    And how is it hypocritical for me to say you’re being silly by dismissing the existence of a group of people that most people who read this site would gladly agree exist?

    Let’s agree to disagree. In your world, all critics are rational, and no fans are overboard and no fans hate any players. Seems like a nice world to live in. Too bad that isn’t reality.)

  11. Old School says:

    “And for the record, I just want you to know I respect your opinion. I know you are a regular commenter, and you’ve always held a pretty rational and reasoned view of things. Not always popular opinions, but solid ones. In this case though I think you’re mistaking the acknowledgment of the existence of haters as some sort of suggestion that nobody can criticize Altidore (or any other player).”

    I appreciate that respect and I assure you it’s given towards your website and it’s posters.

    I enjoy a healthy debate as much as the next guy.

    Just wanted to clarify nothing is personal but the back and forth is always in good spirit, albeit, passionate at times.

    That’s the reason I continue to come back to this site. The diverse opinions are always respected, even if disagreed with.

  12. Vic says:

    Altidore should be commended for the season he had at AZ. That being said, the question becomes can he improve even more? We know he can score against good competition(Dutch League, Concacaaf opponents). The questions becomes will he score against top competition(EPL, La Liga teams, top national teams). Dempsey and Mcbride can/were able too. If Altidore doesn’t raise his level I see other players taking his spot for USMNT.

  13. john.q says:

    RELEASE THE TROLLS!

  14. Eddie says:

    Thanks, Ives. I enjoyed the read. Yes, there are a lot of haters out there. Hopefully, Jozy will continue to get better and shut them up.

    I’ve seen nothing to suggest the US has a better forward (unless you count Dempsey as a forward) than Altidore right now.

  15. Eddie says:

    I would like to see Jozy eventually back in England, just not with a disaster like Hull.

  16. Judging Amy says:

    Never understood the hate for any Nats player when we all root for the same team.

    I can dig the criticism and people having their favorites but haters take it overboard. Not just with Jozy but those who hate on other nats (Mikey B and Landy come to mind). Then there’s the dorks who label players with lame and unimaginative nicknames (Landycakes is a prime example).

    Seeing Jozy praise and be happy for Herc emphasizes how ridiculous it is to hate players for your own national team. Agree with fischy, says more about the hater than the hated.

  17. Judging Amy says:

    I thought the Jozy haters would be gone after his great season in the Eredivisie but how does it go again…”haters gonna hate”

  18. crocajun1003 says:

    Sort of goes directly in the face of the lazy guy with a poor work ethic persona the haters tend to portray him with…

  19. Mike says:

    We need to draw a line here.

    Saying that Jozy has a history of being out of shape and not putting in effort is not hating. It’s just reality.

    Saying that Jozy sucks, well that is hating.

    Reason based criticism is never hating, regardless of how much you like or dislike a player.

  20. crocajun1003 says:

    The hate during the last five friendlies was particularly disturbing. The criticisms made showed many fans weren’t paying attention to Jozy at AZ this season.

  21. Rlw2020 says:

    Good story ives, i think everyone is super anxious for Jozy to become the next superstar. Fact is he is still learning the trade and taking good time to do that. I hope he stays at AZ for as long as it takes to become a complete player and then moves up. No question he has the capibility to be an EPL striker but not yet, and i am so happy for him that he understands that .

    Just imagine if adu and jozy went to college and were just now breaking into mls/usnt…

  22. Rlw2020 says:

    You didnt like his goal vs spain?

  23. Rlw2020 says:

    Hating jozy because he is not scoring goals in the champions league like he was in mls by the age of 20-23 is wrong. People just dont realize that an american developing his game in Europe isnt as easy or a simple path like video games or imaginations make it seem.

  24. Mig22 says:

    C’mon folks, we all know what the word ‘hate’ in this context is going to mean. It’s sports hate and that is kind of a mild form, yeah? Some of it is irrational vitriol, other times it is accurate, if somewhat uncharitable, criticism. I probably fall into the latter group.

    It was an interesting article. I wish him well, certainly. Maybe he has found his place and maybe that place is to start part of the year and be a solid goal scorer in the Dutch league. There is certainly no shame there and if it is less than our expectations, well that’s our problem I guess.

  25. crocajun1003 says:

    The problem here is that a lot of this “history of being out of shape and not putting in effort” was created by fans trying to explain events that they could not entirely understand. Granted, there were some instances where coaches cited training habits, but as a whole we as fans tend to point to work ethic and training habits to explain why a player is not receiving playing time when there can be other explanations.

    While your point is valid, I think we need to draw another line and remember that Jozy has been a teenager for the bulk of his professional career. Now at 22 he’s starting to right the ship and cash in some of that potential we saw in him all those years ago.

    Yes, Jozy has had a history, but did not also a young Clint Dempsey have a history of show boating and losing his head early in his career? Was not young Michael Bradley once a red card waiting to happen?

    My point is that players grow in both ability and maturity and what was true of them in their youth may not necessarily be true of them now.

    When I think of Jozy these days, I see a player that was brought in as a project and was not expected to earn much playing time this year at AZ, but his effort on and off the field demanded it. I see a player who has worked tirelessly for Haitian charities, and a player who is finally starting to get it.

    Yes, Jozy has a history, but at some point shouldn’t we let that go?

  26. Eric says:

    Jozy’s had his ups and downs. I remember watching him play for Hull City nearly every week and you would see all the work he put in but he just couldn’t get on the score sheet so everyone labeled him as lazy. Now that he’s in the Netherlands getting consistent playing time and getting on the scorer sheet its nice to see him starting to develop his talent. I say that he scores 28 goals in all competitions and finshes in the top 5 in scorers in the Eredivisie. Just my prediction.

  27. RK says:

    Also, Pelligrini never wanted that Xerez loan — that was the chairman’s doing.

  28. bryan says:

    good stuff Ives! really enjoyed getting some insight into all of that. i, for one, had no idea his coach was Bradley’s coach.

  29. fish says:

    good stuff. There are posters on here who, if Jozy has one missed touch or missed run or bad pass, immediately talk about how horrible his game was and how lazy he is. That’s not criticism, that’s hate (yes, sports hate as the poster explained above). The expectations of him every game by those who can’t seem to stand him are completely ridiculous

  30. Jamie says:

    One goal doesn’t prove he can do it consistently.

  31. Vic says:

    In fairness there’s a number of players who have received hate other than Altidore: Bradley, Klejstan, Shea, Bornstein and Edu. Even Dempsey got some earlier in his career. Players receiving the least amout of hate: Donovan, Cherundolo, Bocanegra and Howard.

  32. Judging Amy says:

    Absolutely. Sports haters (I like that term mig) don’t restrict their hate to bad players (see LBJames and the weeping/sulking that will go on after he wins his 1st championship) or just one target.

  33. ben in el cajon says:

    Exactly, and let me add another name, Didier Drogba, who scored 12 goals in 4 years in France’s League 2 when he was in his early 20s. Yes, you read that right: Drogba, League 2, ages 20 to 24, twelve goals (Wiki).

    Is Altidore the next Drogba? No. We want Altidore to be the best Altidore instead.

    It makes no sense to project Michael Jordan greatness onto an 18-year-old and then criticize him for 14 years because he didn’t fulfill your fantasy.

  34. ben in el cajon says:

    LBJames will always be terrible forever until he wins 12 NBA championships and wins a game of golf against Michael Jordan.

  35. Mark says:

    I personally do not have much faith in Jozy Altidore. In my opinion, I think he is simply overrated. I’m not disrespecting him as a person in any way. I honestly have the opinion that he has a bad first touch, he flops way too much, shies away from most tough challenges, and has a poor work rate.

    Please do not label me a troll or a hater, b/c I’m simply providing my own opinion in a mature manner. You don’t have to agree with me.

  36. marco says:

    I agree with old school that calling people ‘haters’ is often used to squelch criticism of a favorite player when the criticism contains facts that are difficult to dispute. The term is misused and often adds nothing to the dialogue. One’s argument must be refuted with facts, not slandered to be legitimate.

  37. mike says:

    It stayed under the media radar during his time at Hull City that he was struggling with a calf injury, but to his credit he didn’t use it as an excuse. Appearing to be nonchalant doesn’t amke him lazy

  38. byrdman says:

    While I root for Jozy to play well, and get on the score sheet, and I try to watch him whenever I can find him on the Web, I have to admit, that I was not impressed with his performances this past month. After all the goals, and hearing about his work rate, I didn’t see near enough movement off ball. I also didn’t see the calculated runs that I had hoped to see. Now I don’t think Gomez is the answer full time, the difference in effort is sizeable. I’m not talking about tracking back on defense, which some would say, actually hurts the team(This is not my opinion). But I’m talking about the selfless runs to the corner to spread the defense, and opens the channels for others.

    I like the ferocity of Boyd attacking any ball he could get near. That being said, Jozy has the best overall makeup(size, skill, understanding, etc..) of all our present strikers. Gomez is smarter, and more clinical (Stretch) but does not have the strength and raw ability to be outstanding. But there is definitely a role for Gomes. Now I think JK is motivating Jozy.

  39. GW says:

    Facts are not enough.

    They have to be viewed in context and often, that does not happen. And quite often I’ve seen facts quoted that are “partly” true.

  40. GW says:

    I’m pretty sure Jozy has never played on a Champions League team and he won’t this upcoming season since I’m pretty sure AZ is in the Europa League.

    Anyway, it’s hard to score in the Champions League if your team isn’t in it.

  41. GW says:

    You’re wrong about Donovan. He has plenty of haters

    Someone spoke about reasoned criticism not being hate but what I have often seen here is the use of a very limited set of “facts” to support their hate.

    What is interesting is that Bob Bradley contributed greatly to this culture of haters drawing conclusions from almost no facts.

    When you never explain anything you do in any meaningful way, you leave a vacuum for speculation and wrong-headed assumptions that often have nothing to do with reality.

    As American sports fans most of us are used to a huge amount of information on our athletes and their games. Think about how much information we have on Tebow or on the current Heat-OKC series. Comparatively speaking, we knew almost nothing about USMNT games, especially when Bradley was in charge.

    I think he tried to protect his players by not saying anything other than the obvious about them but in doing so left them open to the far more vicious imaginations of his detractors.

  42. GW says:

    This is what I mean about “context”. Or maybe I should say “unrealistic expectations”

    The “fact” is Jozy did not do too much this past monnth.

    Jozy plays in a very different system at AZ than what JK uses. That is one reason JK was so angry about Jozy missing so much time; he knew he was not going to be able to work Jozy into the starter’s role. JK is impressed with Gomez and likes Boyd,Agudelo and so on but it seems clear to me that right now, he sees Jozy as his starter long term. Gomez is great but he is a different kind of forward from Jozy.

    Regardless it just means JK has a bit more proven variety now at his disposal.

  43. marco says:

    One example might be, on an Adu blog, I agree with Bradley and Klinsmann not selecting Adu and cite his minutes played over a number of years. A response might be ‘why the hate for Adu’, or ‘another Adu hater’. This doesn’t challenge my argument or dispute the numbers. It’s just name calling to protect their hero. When I see ‘haters’ being used I know there will be probably be no new argument presented, certainly not with any facts.

  44. marco says:

    Even if the writer never cites a fact and only offers opinion about why Jozy shouldn’t be on the team, it’s very likely he doesn’t, hate, detest, abhor, or find Jozy personally repulsive. Calling them a ‘hater’ is just name calling, nothing else. It’s a poor choice of words.

  45. This Guy says:

    I would like to know why Jozy quit placing his hand over his heart during the National Anthem? No soccer writer has the balls to ask that question. He put it over his heart in the U20′s and U17′s and then suddenly stopped. As an American he has that right but there must be a reason. Calling no balls on SBI.

  46. GW says:

    “there must be a reason”

    Not necessarily. Maybe he tried it that way one day and found it more natural.

    Is that something you do when you listen to the anthem? I don’t do that. I just stand at attention. I used to do that at school ( 3rd grade as I recall).

    Does that make me a fascist commie?

    Interesting.

    My guess would be you might be reading way too much into that gesture.

  47. Slobodan says:

    time and time again for the nats? wait, what? For the past few years it was why can’t he find consistent time and score at the club level. He has long produced for the nats. Now, he has for the first time since his first and second years with NYRB found consistent playing time and scoring success and you question his productivity for the nats? He led the team in scoring during the last cycle despite not playing regular minutes for Villarreal, Jerez or Hull.

  48. Enough says:

    It’s really sad to see ugly politics spill over into sports. It just goes to show how easily people are brainwashed and how important it is for them to be on the “right” side with what they perceive to be the majority. This “hate” nonsense is now as bad in sports forums as it is in the political world. Many words have had their meaning changed so that they can be used in political attacks, and hate is one of the biggest. If someone doesn’t agree with you they are a “hater”. If they disagree with you and you are a minority, then they are a hater and a racist.

    Now, just like politicians, we have athletes who should never be criticized. If they are criticized, then it’s because the people who are doing it are “haters”. I’m so sick of hearing people say things like: “I can’t believe how much hate this player receives!”. Hate? Did someone say they wished they would die? Did someone say they wanted to hurt them or wanted to kill them? Perhaps they said something nasty about their ethnicity? No. They said they suck or they were lazy or something similar in reference to a sport.

    Just because politicians are sleazy and dishonest doesn’t mean sports fans have to be. I wish they would ban the use of the word hate from these forums. The overwhelming majority of the time it is the people who are calling others haters that are the ones who are really hateful. They have little to offer when it comes to discussing sports so they make posts attacking other posts and call people haters. One loon posting here even went so far as to analyze the personal lives of people who dare to criticize athletes performances, and suggest that they must have psychological problems. Perhaps we should all follow that old adage from Grandma. If we don’t have anything positive to say then we shouldn’t say anything at all. What fun! Being a fan is not being a hater.

  49. bb says:

    “No soccer writer has the balls to ask that question.” Not quite, no soccer writer asks that question because they don’t care. They don’t care because IT DOESN’T MATTER! People can show respect however they want. One of those ways is to put your hand over your heart. It’s similar to praying in that it is a personal thing. Who are you (not you personally, but generically) to question that about a person? To each his own, man. Of all the issues to discuss on a soccer blog to choose this seems silly to me.

  50. wildchild says:

    Good luck Jozy! Rooting for you and the rest of the USMNT from here in Boise, Idaho. Keep up the good work!

  51. marco says:

    I looked again at the uses of ‘hate’, and ‘hateful’ in some of the above comments. The word ‘criticism’ should have been used instead, in nearly all instances. Ex: ‘I don’t know why Jozy gets so much hate?’ This should have been …gets so much ‘criticism’, not hate. By using the word hate, the writer confers that all others who disagree with him are bitter, spiteful individuals who spew only their venom at Jozy. There’s no proof that’s the case. ‘Hate’ is the wrong word because as used, it’s name calling that tries to stifle all criticism.

  52. Davy Crockett says:

    Cherundolo doesn’t get hate, but I get tired of seeing all these comments about “we need to start Lichaj (Chandler, Spector, Simek, name your RB).” It’s not hate, but it’s certainly not respect.

  53. GW says:

    Then again, Jozy is the player who is often blasted by his “haters” for his half squatting stance in the team photo.

  54. GW says:

    “Perhaps we should all follow that old adage from Grandma. If we don’t have anything positive to say then we shouldn’t say anything at all. What fun! Being a fan is not being a hater.”

    Then you would have very few postings.

  55. GW says:

    marco,

    This latest post sounds overly defensive, as if you have a problem with people calling you a hater for criticising Jozy.

    If what you write about Jozy is fair and you can back up what you say about him,f++k them all.

    If you can’t back up what you say about Jozy with more than just “because I say so” ( I have seen this argument used on SBI ) then you deserve whatever venom is spewed your way.

    On a forum like this your defense is the soundness and logic of your comments. You can’t expect any protection from anyone or anything other than what Ives gives you since this is his blog and he is the ultimate authority.

  56. Wut says:

    I was under the impression that AZ played a formation somewhat similar to what Klinsmann is running. Care to elaborate a little? At the very least Jozy is playing the CF position almost exactly like he does at AZ.

  57. RNG says:

    One reason for the Jozy hate is because of his style. Even when he’s trying his hardest, he never looks as if he is going full out–like a Herc Gomez for example. Jozy almost always seems to be jogging, which is why he gets labeled “lazy.”

    That said, having watched a number of his AZ games, he can definitely turn it on when he needs to.

  58. Duneman says:

    UNRELATED to Jozy…but…just wanted to say I find the squat odd. Is it just me?? I have done it with team pics…all teams do it…but the front row always seems silly with everyone a bit different…and squatting over the grass pitch just seems a little odd to me. Maybe the US can be the one team that just has everyone stand in mass. Tall guys behind. Shorter guys in the front slightly between the two guys behind him…..or just like some TV show promo with everyone just in a “bunch” rather then two rows. Is the two row with squat some official FIFA rule? Its not a “serious” question….but I must admit I am a bit curious…

  59. Marty says:

    Those are the words I wanted to say, you’ve said the words for me.

  60. Footballer says:

    So Giovani dos Santos is the most skilled player in CONCACAF (his goals against USA and recently Brazil undeniable), but has not played minutes for Tottenham. So the minutes thing is overrated. This country will never win anything deny players like Adu the opportunity to carry the team and be creative. Let’s see where Landon Donovan will carry you, oh he has not done crap in 10 years. Keep believing minutes is more important.

  61. Vic says:

    The hate Donovan has received is mainly from foreigners saying that he’s not good enough for Europe(a ridiculous comment). Some say Dempsey is better than Donovan because of his European achievements. However, I haven’t seen many people say Donovan shouldn’t be a USMNT starter like I’ve seen with the other players I mentioned.

  62. Old School says:

    Giovanni dos Santos is talented but to call him the “most talented” while ignoring the hottest player in CONCACAF, Clint Dempsey, is biased and slightly ignorant.

  63. marco says:

    I do ignore personal attacks, and calling someone a hater is just that. I treat it as name calling. I haven’t expressed an opinion on Jozy or Adu on this thread, but here is your comment suggesting I did.
    “If you can’t back up what you say about Jozy with more than just “because I say so”

    If directed at me, this is entirely made up. My only comment on this thread is about the misuse of the word ‘hate’ and how it is just juvenile name calling.

  64. beachbum says:

    “My only comment on this thread is about the misuse of the word ‘hate’ and how it is just juvenile name calling.”

    not if you are actually hating, then it’s factual and simply calling the hater out

  65. GW says:

    Now Vic, remember we just had a big discussion on facts.

    Can you prove that “The hate Donovan has received is mainly from foreigners saying that he’s not good enough for Europe(a ridiculous comment).” ?

    If you can’t prove, and I sincerely doubt that you can, that then it’s just your opinion which is fine.

    However, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone have that point of view. The view that he’s not good enough for Europe I’ve seen come mostly from Americans, i.e. they talk about how he choked there all the time. It’s how he got his Landycakes nickname, something Americans call him not Europeans.

    Donovan haters are fine with him starting;they don’t have a choice. Since he broke on the scene he has always been an unquestioned starter, pretty much on merit (or because we had no one better, which is almost the same thing). So they just focus on other things.

  66. GW says:

    In general, right back sometimes reminds me of first base in that it seems like anyone can play there. So there is almost always a comparatively long list of candidates for the position.

    And USMNT fans are nothing if not fickle. Nothing is better than the guy they haven’t seen much of because he hasn’t screwed up enough yet.

  67. GW says:

    marco,

    I don’t follow all your comments so I have no idea who you have written about and what youhave written about them.

    What I wrote :

    “If you can’t back up what you say about Jozy with more than just “because I say so”

    was rhetorical. If you haven’t done that then my comment is irrelevant and I have no issue with you.