USMNT Daily Update: Altidore’s latest gem, his USMNT goal drought, and his forgotten national team goals

Jozy1-blog480 

By IVES GALARCEP

When Jozy Altidore slalomed through RKC Waalwijk's defense on his way to his eighth, and most beautiful goal, of the season on Sunday, the goal left many U.S. fans wondering when he will start scoring goals like that for the U.S. national team. His current goal rut stands at just one goal in his past 13 national team appearances, a stretch of more than 15 months that has led to understandable concerns about when his production for the U.S. will kick in.

That drought is also why it seems many have forgotten that, for all the struggles of the past year, Altidore actually has scored goals for the national team before. He has scored 13 to be precise, a total that has him in a tie for tenth place in the all-time career scoring list. When you consider that Altidore is still just 22, the 13-goal total is actually pretty impressive.

How many American players have scored more goals before the age of 23 than Altidore? Five? Ten? Nope. Just one. Landon Donovan, who scored 19 goals before he turned 23.

So Altidore, the player who seems like he never scores for the national team, actually has more national team goals before the age of 23 than any player in U.S. national team history not named Landon Donovan.

He just hasn't scored many of those goals lately (and hasn't scored a national team goal in ten months).

A closer look at the U.S. national team's all-times scoring leaders, and their production before the age of 23, helps puts Altidore early production into some interesting perspective. The next person on the list of leading scorers before the age of 23 is Eric Wynalda (11), followed by Eddie Johnson (nine) and a three-way tie between Joe-Max Moore, DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Bradley (all with eight).

How many national team goals did Clint Dempsey score before turning 23? Try four. Cobi Jones? Just two. Bruce Murray? He managed one. And Brian McBride? He didn't score his first national team goal until he was 24.

This isn't to suggest that there isn't a cause for concern about the fact that Altidore has just one goal in 12 matches under Jurgen Klinsmann, and has yet to score in 2012 for the USA. He does need to start producing more. The point is to remind people that Altidore has scored goals for the national team before. He has scored important goals. He has scored in the Gold Cup, in the Confederations Cup, on the road in CONCACAF qualifying, and he's also scored against Mexico (in his first national team start no less).

Unfortunately for Altidore and the national team, most of those goals came two, three and four years ago. What Altidore has not done is score for the USA lately, and, until he recaptures that scoring touch, the questions will persist. In the fickle world of international soccer, the only thing that matters is what you have done lately, and the dozen national team goals Altidore scored before Klinsmann's arrival are becoming a distant memory.

As impressive as he has been in the Dutch League, and as clear as it is that he is improving as a player, Altidore needs to create new memories with the U.S. national team, both for Klinsmann and for those many fans who have already begun to forget the goals Altidore scored in his early national team years.

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166 Responses to USMNT Daily Update: Altidore’s latest gem, his USMNT goal drought, and his forgotten national team goals

  1. kevin_amold says:

    I mostly agree with this analysis, but the question arises if a lot of the players that altidore was compared to were called up and played with the same frequency as altidore at ages 18-23. Id do the research myself, but im trying to hold down a job here….

  2. Rick says:

    Jozy’s has only scored 3 goals since October 2010, and his last goal came on November 16th 2011 in a friendly against Slovenia. Before that? June 14th against Guadeloupe.

    3 goals in 2 years. Yeah, real quality there.

    (SBI- Do you really not grasp the fact that I pretty clearly acknowledge the drought he’s in?)

  3. Alex says:

    Jozy has often played with Kyle Beckerman in midfield behind him and Danny Williams on the wing.

    Yeah, real quality there.

    The problem isn’t necessarily Jozy. He does shoulder some blame, but you’ve got to look at the players he’s got around him. He’s not the only one struggling to score for the US. The team has struggled to get goals for a while.

  4. Rick says:

    Honestly Ives, the entire article kind of sounds like a “we’ve hyped the hell out of Jozy lately, so we’re going to briefly drop a couple paragraphs indicating that his national team form is horrid just to be balanced.”

    (SBI-If that’s how you read it then I can’t really help you. Main point was to put his total USMNT goals in perspective at this point in his career at his age, and to remind people that he actually has scored goals before since some seem to be under the impression he has never scored for the USMNT.)

  5. Flagermunsen says:

    As long as he has more goals that Bruce Murray, I’m happy.

  6. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    Top scorer in a top 10 league. Yeah. Quality.

  7. Jack says:

    Jozy’s lack of goals isn’t bothering as much as his lack of production. He’s been turning invisible during national team games and isn’t even getting that many SHOTS on goal. Magnificent player, but he lives and dies by the service and space he gets.

  8. Jared says:

    Per Wikipedia, Wynalda wasn’t even capped until he was almost 21 about 5 months before WC 90. I’m also pretty sure the US didn’t play nearly the amount of official games (friendly or qualifiers) back then. Throw in the fact that the US didn’t need to qualify for WC 94 and that hurts Wynalda’s opportunities.

    (SBI-Wynalda played in 38 matches before he was 23. Also, he made his debut at 20 years and 8 months and played 18 matches his first year on the national team. Altidore played a combined 6 matches through his first two years with the national team. The USMNT actually played plenty of friendlies back in that day, and they played considerably weaker competition to boot.)

  9. Realistic fan says:

    Players that have as many or more goals than Jozy in the last year.

    Orozco Fiscal
    Carlos Bocanegra
    Michael Bradley
    Gomez
    Donovan
    Jones
    Ricardo Clark
    zusi
    Dempsey
    Buddle

    So think about that before you claim Jozy can’t score because he gets no service.

  10. Old School says:

    Too bad that hasn’t translated to Nats goals.

  11. Colin B says:

    I think this story was written verbatim a few weeks ago with the point being that a difference in strategics and personnel is the cause for the lack of production. Jozys club team plays fluid attacking soccer with creative midfielders. The US team talks a big game about changing style but often fields 3-4 defensive mids which amounts to little or no service for Jozy and co. Jozy has not been the featured forward under the Klinsmen era so he cant be faulted for that. Jozy is a polarizing figure because we fans see so much talent in an area we sorely lack it but his career has not followed a perfect path.

  12. vic says:

    Not really sure why he’s getting so much attention. If he scores for the national team then great let him play more. If not then let him play less. We have established players playing well (Dempsey and Gomez) and others that are emerging. I understand why Messi got so much attention with Argentina when he wasn’t scoring. He was leading La Liga in scoring but wasn’t scoring with Argentina. Lets not pretend that Altidore is our Messi.

  13. Steve says:

    I don’t understand all the hate for Jozy. Its not like the US has a prolific scorer on teh world stage who is being denied PT by Jozy. Plus, I don’t see anyone younger than him that has more potential.

    Yes he has not been dropping goals like crazy but he is tremendously promising for us and Klinsman seems to be pushing him to create more for himself….which to me seems to be the right button to be pushing right now.

    All in all, I am content seeing it our with Jozy. Thanks for the article Ives.

  14. David JS says:

    the list you compiled has 2 players who could possibly have been considered to be playing the same position as Jozy while scoring said goals (Gomez and Buddle). Maybe the real issue is the way we’ve been playing, our forwards aren’t being given the chance to score.

  15. Old School says:

    Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t.

  16. NATO says:

    Jozy if you score a hat trick on Sunday, you can have my wife for a month

  17. NATO says:

    Jozy will score 25 goals this season. I’d love for him to stay another season at AZ to pad up his stats and then leave for an Italian or French club after the WC

  18. irene says:

    when Jozy scores 3-4 goals at the next WC, no 1 will ever doubt him again

  19. David JS says:

    but numbers can only be presented and interpreted by men or women, therefore they are just as susceptible to deception.

  20. Old School says:

    Well, there’s very little argument for his production/work rate.

    So, they’re quite telling in this case but I’ll concede your point. Numbers can be twisted.

    This, however, is not a case.

  21. irene says:

    A turn of fates. 3 years ago when he barely had time playing with his club, he was scoring left and right for the Nats. When he’s doing the same with hs club team, he’s dry with the Nats.

  22. Old School says:

    ^ BasedGod?

    (if you don’t get the reference, it’s cool. for those that do, I hope it creates a laugh)

  23. irene says:

    8th best league in Europe

  24. dan says:

    If only all bright prospects developed nicely like Altidore.
    Not being sarcastic. He’s on exactly the right path a USMNT fan would want him to be on.

  25. CrazyMike366 says:

    Its not just Jozy that’s in a goal drought – its the entire team! With all the lineup experimentation, Donovan/Dempsey/Bradley being out for entire camps, and Jones being pushed up the field to ‘create’ its no wonder we haven’t been scoring goals.

    Its also important to note in Jozy’s case that he hasn’t started as many games under Klinsmann as he did under Bradley. Jozy’s spot isn’t secure anymore due to the emergence of Terrence Boyd and the continued success of Herculez Gomez. For proof, just look at Jozy’s 2012 stats – 2 games started, 4 times off the bench.

    In addition, for all AZ has done to develop him as a player, they have repeatedly been a pain in the butt when it comes to releasing him for camps and international duty. Maybe we would have made it to London if he had been on the U-23 Olympic qualifying roster? Maybe he’d have scored against Brazil and dropped a hat trick on Scotland? We’ll never know unfortunately.

  26. Old School says:

    ” Lets not pretend that Altidore is our Messi.”

    Too many people act as if he’s our “Messiah” though.

    I think your first point was spot on: If he scores, play him. If he doesn’t, he isn’t immune to riding the bench.

    National team duty is so spread out and quick that you gotta find your form quick and make an impact. Especially with the importance of the matches coming up.

    Show up or sit down. That goes for anyone.

  27. irene says:

    this is the interesting thing. Do you sit the best US player for his club if he’s not the best for the Nats.

    say if say Lisandro Lopez was a better striker for Argentina than say Higuain or Tevez.despite those 2 being much better strikers for their clubs and bigger names.

  28. harry potter was british says:

    The National Team needs to be built around Jozy. He will be playing for the next decade or more. Clint and Landon have maybe 2-3 more years before they burnout.

    In the past the team was built to accomodate Clint and Landon but no more

  29. You are not so crazy as your name would imply. I agree that it’s much more about the overall USMNT situation and other external factors than any drop off in form. As Klinsy and Ives have both noted in past statements, the international game doesn’t always create as many chances and the U.S. style of play is still basically “bunkerball” even if a new philosophy is beginning to take hold. Just go to your DVR and compare USA v. Mexico at Azteca this year versus this weekend’s Tottenham game – even BPL teams playing on the road against favorites can come out flying on attack, while all we do is hunker down against evenly matched or better teams. But the talent pool is deepening and once we get a quality #10 I think things will change and that will help guys like Jozy.

  30. Old School says:

    I don’t think being the best player on your club has anything to do with it.

    Club level and national team level are two different things.

    If this was the case, Wondolowski has as much of a strong argument to be permanently starting.

  31. Old School says:

    They’ll be around, at least, until Brazil.

    After? Perhaps you’re on to something. Until then? Clint scores for the Nats.

  32. I have never seen a team successfully make a deep run in Wcup by being built around one striker. I am not saying striker’s haven’t gotten the credit, I am just saying that the fundamental challenges lie elsewhere and we can’t do as you suggest. I love Jozy’s field play, but he needs help from an attacking style of play, more dangerous wingers, and more creativity at midfield. If defenders get pulled away to mark other players, then Jozy will look good. (But per latest Youtube vid, Jozy doesn’t mind having defenders around)

  33. GW says:

    Back around 2006,I believe, Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored something like 26 goals in all competitions for Man U.

    Then he left for Real Madrid.

    The following season they didn’t actually replace him with a another big scorer ( Saha nominally replaced him). Instead Man U. went on to actually score more goals in total than when he was there but they spread it around a lot of players. Klinsmann isn’t particuallry fussy about who scores as long as someone does. All your list does is more or less prove that.

    People forget that he Jozy had a good World Cup even though he did not score and that he was looking very dangerous at the Gold Cup until he got hurt.

    Since then he hasn’t really featured for the US and he hasn’t had a lot of scoring chances in great part because he has not played a lot of games for the US in 2012.

    Given all this, Jozy’s US “slump”, if that is what it is, strikes me as no big deal.

    Football history is littered with the bodies of plenty of really good scorers, many far better than Jozy, who were left off of their national teams for long periods of time because they did not fit the “style” or because they pissed someone off ( strikers tend to be volatile). Gomez fits what JK is doing currently just a bit better because even if he does not score he contributes in many other ways . Of course, that actually detracts from his scoring and Herc wouldn’t have to do that if we had a midfield that was performing better.

    Strikers are inherently streaky players and if they get cold you have to stick with them until they heat up. That is often hard for national teams, who play so few games , to do. It is possible that Jozy will never score for the USMNT again though I doubt it, since there is a good chance Jozy could still be a very productive striker long after JK leaves the USMNT.

  34. David JS says:

    because Orozco Fiscal and Rico Clark scored as many goals as him in the last year doesn’t say anything other than exactly what it says. I’m not saying the guy is perfect or that he has played wonderful for the USMNT recently, but how many goals have other forwards scored that were in the run of play and largely their creation? We are in a transition period where we aren’t scoring many goals in the run of play, which isn’t completely Jozy’s fault by any stretch.

  35. David JS says:

    a voice of reason! well put.

  36. THomas says:

    When you start out any statement saying ‘Per Wikipedia’ you lose most, if not all, credibility.

  37. harry potter was british says:

    that’s my point. You have a great striker like say Jozy or Wondo but they fail to perform for the National team as the manager would like. do you drop them and start a lesser quality striker but 1 who fits the role the manager wants?

  38. NATO says:

    I do not

  39. NATO says:

    after Jozy what’s our striking depth? You have Gomez. Okay. Wondo. He needs a few more chances. But maybe he’s not up to par. Boyd needs time. He should be ready by 2014. what about Agudelo? Bunbury?

  40. THomas says:

    Ives, in order to post comments after an Altidore article please make people pass an idiot test. For some reason Altidore really brings out the dumb in people.

  41. Tom says:

    Not true.

  42. cairo says:

    This reality of this seem so obvious–except, evidently to SBI posters. Jozy is a very talented guy who has developed confidence and chemistry with his club team. With the Nats, he neither has the freedom nor the chemistry with his teammates. In Holland, we see him turning and splitting defenders, taking chances with back heel passes, etc. In one of the last two games with the Nats he hit a backheel into the path of…no one. With his AZ mates, they know he might do this, and he knows they will make that run.
    This is not rocket science. Confidence and chemistry equals results for talented players like Jozy. He’s not there yet for the Nats…

  43. Spectra says:

    Goals this year:
    Dempsey 4
    Donovan 3
    Gomez 3

    No one else has two. Some post here make it sound like the leading scorers hav 10 and altidore is sitting around with zero. Also the team has played eleven games this year. How many did jozy miss?

  44. Old School says:

    Not sure why you’re stating “which isn’t completely Jozy’s fault”. I didn’t state that, nor did I imply it.

    Jozy isn’t scoring. You can create reasons why by adding criteria but other players are. Is there a lot of goals? No.

    People are scoring though and they seem to be starting regularly.

  45. Old School says:

    I think you start production with the Nats. If someone is producing, albeit making constant attacking runs that opens up play, creating distribution or scoring, you reward that production.

    Can you make the argument Jozy adds any of those right now…for the Nats, not his club?

  46. Old School says:

    It’s a ridiculous reference, I don’t imagine many will.

    All good.

  47. marden08 says:

    not true

  48. Old School says:

    I’d love to see Agudelo or Bunbury (who is hurt) step up but I don’t think JK believes their ready for this level yet.

  49. Darwin says:

    I think there’s more to this than people appreciate.

  50. Darwin says:

    Do you think they’re ready? Personally, I don’t see them stepping up just yet. I see tons of quality and potential in Agudelo, but he’s still young and not consistent. Bunbury’s form dropped pre-injury. I honestly see Sapong making the step up before Bunbury.

  51. David JS says:

    wasn’t trying to put words in your mouth. I’m just saying, people keep pointing out “Jozy isn’t scoring” without pointing out “almost no one is scoring”. At least conventional goals in the run of play. I’m fine with Herc starting over Jozy with how they’ve both played for the NT recently. All I’m saying is it’s misleading to look at these things so out of context.

  52. THomas says:

    What? World Cup 2010? Spain (Villa) and the Netherlands (Van Persie) both utilized a lone striker in the final. Spain in the 2012 Euros didn’t use any out and out striker most of the time.

  53. David JS says:

    yup, last game he came on in the last ten minutes, tried a backheel and no one followed it and he looked like an idiot who lost possession when he should be holding it. Just watching him recently you can tell he’s trying to find a way to instill his newfound confidence and attacking flair within the construct of the USMNT. If and when he gets some time, he will flourish. It just may not be in WCQ because we are at the point where risk averse and grinding out results has to be the mentality.

  54. Jake F. says:

    Rare comment.

  55. BSB says:

    I know people like to use shock stats like “hasn’t scored for 10 months” and the like, but when you break down those 10 months, it looks like:

    Sept. 11, 0-1 vs. Jamaica — late sub

    Sept. 9, 1-2 at Jamaica — started and did not do much

    Aug. 15, 1-0 at Mexico — not called (with many others)

    June 12, 1-1 vs. Gautemala — sub only and not fit

    June 8, 3-1 vs. Antigua — sub only and not fit

    June 3, 0-0 at Canada — not with team because of AZ

    May 30, 1-4 vs. Brazil — not with team b/c of AZ

    May 26, 5-1 vs. Scotland — not with team b/c of AZ

    Feb. 29, 1-0 at Italy — started and was one of the best players on the field; set up lone goal of the game.

    Jan. 21 & 25, Camp cupcake — did not participate

    Nov. 15, 3-2 at Slovenia — started and scored.

    So, since he scored 10 months ago against Slovenia, Altidore has started twice, once a superb game against Italy, the other the game at Jamaica in which the entire team was disjointed. He was a substitute in the two June qualifiers, but by all accounts was not fit because AZ insisted on him accompanying them on their trip to the Caribbean, which also caused him to miss the three previous friendlies. Then, he was a late substitute at home against Jamaica.

    So really, the “10 month” drought boils down to one modest game at Jamaica, one excellent game against Italy, one late substitution against Jamaica, and one extended debacle with AZ releasing him. Is that what we really use as evidence that he “can’t score for the national team”? The last 10 months of results don’t prove the point that Jozy can’t score for the national team; not even close. They show 1 goal and 1 assist in the last three games (Jamaica, Italy, Slovenia) in which he was fit, present, and utilized. Like Old School said above, men lie, women lie, but the numbers don’t lie.

  56. David JS says:

    and Sapong is over a year older than Jozy. Not saying that disqualifies him, but because he’s been around people don’t realize how young he is. The guy is young, he is good, he’s getting even better, and right now our NT is built without him and it’s not a good time to experiment considering one bad result and we could be out of WCQ. Jozy will be a big part of the NT for a long time, but we aren’t risking a change from what has been a successful formula at least until we qualify for the Hex.

  57. louis z says:

    To SBI – I think you got something here…’Unfortunately for Altidore and the national team, most of those goals came two, three and four years ago” and “The USMNT actually played plenty of friendlies back in that day, and they played considerably weaker competition to boot” If memory serves me right, he got a combine 6 goals against very weak national teams, which oddly enough those same teams aren’t as weak as they used to be.

  58. David JS says:

    you prove his point. Take Spain’s 10 guys behind the striker at WC2010, put in any of the top 3 Spanish forwards, and you get the same style of play. Netherlands, same is true. And Spain playing without a CF at the Euros proves it even further. Spain’s team is built around it’s midfield. The Dutch team was built by running possession thru Sneijder behind the striker. They didn’t build their teams relying on one man up top finishing off every attacking move they created.

  59. David JS says:

    agree with your entire post, except your last sentence. you make a good point that numbers are only as truthful as the men telling you those numbers.

  60. Louis Z says:

    well said. maybe because national play is more defensive than open play of his club league.

  61. You have changed your initial position from writing “built around” to “utilized.” There is a difference there and that difference is what I am talking about. Aside from the semantics, my main point is that we need more than a team that is sculpted around a central piece like one individual striker who might get injured. We need a team that takes pressure out of our own end by forcing deep turnovers and a team that transitions the ball effectively into the attacking third. If that helps Jozy score, then great, but it’s not to say we are built around him. I think utilizing Altidore is a great idea though, as I am a fan of the young lad.

  62. louis z says:

    you sounds like an accountant. Numbers lie if you know how to manipulate them.

  63. dcpohl says:

    About 14 months ago I was way more concerned about Jozy finding a good club situation than I was about him scoring goals for the national team.

  64. I love Boyd, he’s similar to the Charlie Davies type player that we now miss on the team. But there is nothing wrong with Gomez either who, IMO, could play in Europe. He’s crafty and sneaks behind defenses very well. But, yeah, wouldn’t it be nice if we ran out of room writing because there were just too many players to write about?

  65. BSB says:

    Jozy did about as much as Gomez or Dempsey in the game at Jamaica, which is to say, not a whole lot. Before that you have to go back to the game in Italy to find a game in which Jozy was fit and starting for the Nats. In that game I would say that yes, he did do all of those things.

    Gomez earned his starting spot during the 5 game stretch in May-June, and I don’t begrudge him the role of current first-choice striker for the Nats (nor do I think Jozy begrudges him either — Herc and Jozy seem to be nothing but on the friendliest terms with each other), but the idea that Jozy is a moper not up to the speed of play in the international game (or any similar theories), frankly, is unwarranted.

  66. …one more thing, I have ALWAYS been an Eddie Johnson doubter and still believe that he will grow old before he will impress us in the Nats jersey, but his recent form is intriguing. no?

  67. BSB says:

    I was just Old School for effect, since I was reversing his assertion. Men and women make numbers lie all the time.

  68. BSB says:

    I was just *quoting* Old School

  69. Ives needs to put a “like” box after these comments. I have nothing to add, just wanted to “like” this because facts are stubborn things and you have summed it up well.

  70. louis z says:

    someone said that numbers don’t lie, here is a perfect example…Donovan scored his 3 against a very weak scotland team. that is it, one game. would you concider him currently the second best scorer for us? Now Demps and Herc have spread theirs around. It really depends how you read the numbers.

  71. louis z says:

    name me attacking midfielder that is ready for the NATS.

  72. David JS says:

    ditto

  73. Adam M. says:

    If Jozy were scoring a bunch of tap ins, there might be cause for concern. But you cannot watch the breadth of quality he has displayed scoring for AZ this year and honestly come to the conclusion that his lack of scoring for the Nats is his responsibility. Until the Nats drop there overly defensive style and use more attacking players, goals will be hard to come by for anyone.

  74. Scott says:

    A voice of reason. His slump also coincides with lack of playing time with LD and MB…who he just happens to have great chemistry with on the field. That being said, I am in the form and production camp. International play is a game of now. Produce or sit.

  75. This Guy says:

    Terrance Boyd is the future.

  76. NATO says:

    Good point but I doubt we ever see him in a NT jersey again same with Cooper.

  77. sigma says:

    JOZY is the world class striker we’ve been dreaming about. He’ll be a starter for the next decade. I wouldn’t be suprised if he climbs up to 200 caps.

    He’s on his way to a big club

  78. Old School says:

    “Jozy did about as much as Gomez or Dempsey in the game at Jamaica”

    Correct me if I’m wrong but Jozy was a sub, correct?

    Most of people’s displeasure with that performance wasn’t the result but was the lack of effort…as a sub.

  79. lprevolution says:

    This is why I still read this blog after, what? 7 years? Thanks Ives for caring what our opinion’s are and responding.

    Cheers.

  80. Old School says:

    Sorry, I should have clarified: No, I don’t believe they’re ready either.

    My “would love to see” them is more based on their potential.

  81. jerp says:

    he has hardly had a chance with Klinsmann yet. started two games and one of those he was awesome in (Even though he didn’t score). let klinsmann put his team together and let jozy find his place on that team (as a/the starting forward). we are just at the beginning of the process of really putting the team together for 2014. Klinsmann has been experimenting a lot, been trying a lot of new players, has been learning a lot about a lot of things. it will come for him and jozy if they do things right, but it is not something to panic about or be worried about.

  82. Old School says:

    I wouldn’t call him “world class”. I think that’s a part of the problem, too: perception.

    We *want* Jozy to be world class, therefore, we expect him to be that. He’s not (yet).

  83. Joe B NYC says:

    But Jozy isn’t starting regularly for the national team. Can we all just think for a nanosecond here?

  84. Old School says:

    There’s a reason for that. Can we all use our eyes?

  85. beachbum says:

    No one is scoring for the Nats. Jozy scored plenty before Klinsmann arrived. His scoring drought for the Nats has coincided both with Klinsmann’s arrival AND his scoring explosion at club…very interesting facts

    and you blame Jozy?

  86. beachbum says:

    more so, the consistent lack of quality linkup play from midfield, whether up the middle or out wide, in Klinsmann’s lineups. it’s undeniable. when that linkup play arrives let’s see what happens

  87. beachbum says:

    +1 spot on man!

  88. beachbum says:

    +1

  89. beachbum says:

    Benny…been here all along, already proven, and stuck on a god-awful team. If Klinsmann called him up, Benny would work sooooooo freakin’ hard to show his quality and that he’s better than that cess pool at Gillette. He would come in highly motivated

  90. beachbum says:

    IF Jozy had been started in that game then MAYBE the Nats would have scored from all that attacking play Zusi and Dolo created. Instead a dearth of goals even tho finally there was link up play!

    And all you can do is critique Jozy’s forward play that game?

    seriously man, you are missing a TON of analysis in your analysis

  91. beachbum says:

    Bingo! please post more often

  92. Shane says:

    ++++1

  93. beachbum says:

    Bunbury? That’s your answer? come on man. I like Bunbury, excellent counter attacking player who is at his best facing goal. In Klinsmann’s system, he’s a square peg for a round hole and it’s been revealed. He’d have been an excellent player in Bradley’s system

  94. beachbum says:

    yes it is. He has improved

  95. beachbum says:

    me too

    LIKE

  96. beachbum says:

    of course. Funny thing is that when the USMNT finally got some nice attacking linkup play thru midfiled vs. Jamaica in Clumbus, Jozy wasn’t on the field. How many goals did that attacking midfield play produce with Jozy on the pine?

  97. Steve says:

    Here is a challenge…

    Name a player, Jozy’s age or younger (right now), who plays the same game as Jozy, that you would replace Jozy with if you could.

    and dont waste everyone’s time with other forwards that have a different style than Jozy (i.e. Neymer, etc.)

  98. BSB says:

    No, Jozy started that game in Jamaica with Gomez up top and Dempsey behind them. Jozy was subbed off for Boyd at 72 minutes, and Boyd did equally little. After the early goal, the USA went into a shell in which no one up top got any service or did anything of note. In post-game interviews, it was Gomez (not Jozy) who stated that the guys up top can’t do much if the guys in the middle are not providing service. It was that game above all others that started the recent debate about how much we can expect out of our strikers if the midfield is too defensive and does little to link with the front line.

    It was the the game in Columbus where Jozy was a sub. In that game the midfield was much less defensive and many more chances were created, though none were finished until Gomez latish free kick. Naturally, Jozy didn’t finish any of the first half chances, since he was on the bench. The final 10 minutes in which Jozy was on were some of the most confused play I have seen out of the Nats for some time — some seemed to think they were trying to put the came away by scoring a second, some seemed to think we were just trying to bunker and survive, no one was communicating at all.

    The game writeups are easily accessible at ussoccer.com. You don’t need to take my word for it.

  99. BSB says:

    And Bunbury is effectively the same age as Jozy (3 months younger, I believe) — he’s not exactly one for the future compared to Altidore. Agudelo, on the other hand, is 3 years younger than Altidore, and so he has the potential to develop a lot before he reaches Jozy’s level of experience. Time will tell.

  100. Shane says:

    Keep up the pressure on the soccer jesus Ives. It is long overdue by someone in this country

  101. kikl says:

    Europe’s scoring leaders as of 10/1/12:

    - 1- Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar) 8 goals (7 games)

    - 2- Yura Movsisyan (Krasnodar) 8 goals (9 games)

    - 3- Falcao (Atlético Madrid) 7 goals (5 games)

    - 4- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG) 7 goals (6 games)

    - 4- Carlos Bacca (Club Brugge K.V.) 7 goals (6 games)

    - 6- Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 6 goals (6 games)

    - 6- Demba Ba (Newcastle) 6 goals (6 games)

    - 6- Mario Mandzukic (Bayern) 6 goals (6 games)

    - 6- Edinson Cavani (Napoli) 6 goals (6 games)

    - 6- Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 6 goals (6 games)

  102. Old School says:

    “IF Jozy had been started in that game then MAYBE the Nats would have scored from all that attacking play Zusi and Dolo created.”

    Sorry, I can’t play a what-if game with you. No one wins.

  103. Old School says:

    Jozy scored under Bunker-Bob, right?

  104. Old School says:

    Who said that was my answer? The statement was we need *more* options.

    Reading comprehension issues?

  105. Da Trufth says:

    klinsmann needs to call in Ricardo Bocanegra on Atlas instead of Jose torres.

    Mikkel Diskerud is another

    Freddy Adu

  106. RLW2020 says:

    NOT TRUE!!! wiki might be the most important website ever, right up there with SBI!

    Thanks SBI for the stats, I have been looking for something like this for a while. People don’t seem to understand that Jozy is so young. What he has done so far is incredible and he is so far ahead of most players at his age, as well as most US players in their prime. If he falls behind Gomez or Dempsey in their prime thats not a serious problem. He will be the best striker this has come up with.

  107. RLW2020 says:

    heres my 2 cents; who cares about the past 2 years! He was scoring all over the place in qualifying and the confed cup and that was back when he was barely getting club minutes. Now that qualifying is back up and his club form is top notch i expect Jurgen to get the most out of him.

    I hope he puts a few in over the next two games in Antigua and KC and shuts up all the haters.

  108. Dimidri says:

    Best post ever. preach.

  109. Darwin says:

    Then again, so have Cooper and Rolfe.

  110. Darwin says:

    Hey. He’s the messiah.

  111. Darwin says:

    Jozy and Yura lead UEFA leagues in scoring. Well, I’ll be…

  112. andrew in tally says:

    Good piece. Jozy, like Eddie Johnson, drives people to the extreme. folks need perspective. Jozy can beat people off the dribble, run at defenders, play with his back to the goal and score from long range. Name one other forward that can do half of those. It’s a coaching failure if the team can’t find a way to get him on the field to use those talents. Herc does bring a few things, but does anyone remember him at the World Cup 2010? I was in S.A. Against top level competition he just wasn’t good enough.

  113. peaton says:

    Yeah, its reversed. Before Josey put them in against CONCACAF, and one thought, hmmm…inconsistent competition. But now he’s doing well in Europe. I think over the long run he will have a fine record for USMNT. However, Bradly scored 15 in Holland to, as did Alves who busted in Middlesbrough. Please do not take this as a slight on J.A., who is doing great. Really, he has shown good character after bouncing around Spain and Turkey.

  114. Old School says:

    Don’t you mean the “USA Messi”?

  115. GW says:

    If Jozy keeps it up he will be gone at the end of the season if not January.

    This would be his second really good season in a row. I can’t see keeping him much longer. His stock will be about as high as it can get and after all AZ bought him as an investment.

  116. jerp says:

    here is a theory that meshes with your unrelenting hating on jozy:

    your hatred seems to be rooted in the jamaica game (there can be no other root since jozy has only started for klinsi ONE other time in more than a year). In that Jamaica game, it is agreed that NONE of the forwards showed well mostly because the midfield play was awful. during this game, jozy was partnered with gomez. jozy was subbed out at 72 minutes for boyd. perhaps it looked like jozy was so “lazy” is because he was told to play that way (didn’t boyd play pretty similarly). good chance klinsi told jozy to sit in the space that gomez leaves (since, as you profess, gomez is such an incredible mover off the ball and all). the point is that your opinion that jozy is lazy or had a crap game is an uninformed opinion based on your extremely limited analysis.

    let me take this a little further than what someone else wrote above: gomez earned his starting spot when jozy was not with the team for a stretch in the summer. jozy was not there because of club commitments (not soccer related). this pissed juergen off, and i bet you anything he was rooting for gomez to give him a reason to punish jozy.

    for whatever reason, the fact is that jozy has not played much for the us in the last year. Of course, most of his goals were scored 2, 3, and 4 years ago!! he will get back on track… he and klinsmann just need to get through this period and i think they both understand that fully.

    your point that “jozy scored under bunker-bob” is what this is all about!!! he HAS scored goals for the national team. how are you saying that he is not? he has not been scoring lately, but that is because he has started TWICE in the last YEAR

  117. solles says:

    The USA played FAR more games from 90-94 than it has done in any cycle before or since, if you’ve ever wondered how Cobi Jones got 150 caps or whatever it is, it’s because the USA team was in residency for 4 years leading up to the 1994 world cup, because of the lack of a league.

  118. dcm says:

    A bunch of overly critical arm chair soccer player on here. Ives is just bringing to attention the side that no one seems to bring up on these forums, like a good journalist.

  119. Old School says:

    “here is a theory that meshes with your unrelenting hating on jozy”

    Sorry, I’m not hating. I just don’t drink the koolaid.

    This is the primary reason this topic has become so polarizing: one side believes what their eyes tells them and the other side calls them haters.

    I actually like Jozy a lot. I just expect more out of him and am not willing to make excuses for why he’s unable to replicate even a figment of that production he enjoys at the club level.

    The rest of your diatribe wasn’t read. I apologize for the time you’ve spent on it. The fact that you said my hate “comes from the Jamaica” match is ridiculous.

    No, my opinion comes from his body of work, or lack thereof, with the Nats in recent years.

    People, it’s possible to have an opposing opinion without being a hater. It’s also possible those with opposing opinions can either be: right or have validity.

    Novel idea, I’m sure to some of you.

  120. Bham Chuck says:

    Ok — does anyone else see the bitter irony here. US soccer has gotten to a stage where one of it’s best international strikers (stats wise) cannot produce for the national team, yet the national team still competes.

    Jozy, may not be able to really shine in the current scheme of JK. Altidore relies very heavily on open play and wide open space. International soccer does not offer as much space and the defensive schemes are much better than the Dutch league. (no offense)

    Still — going to be interesting to see if Jozy can change his style to fit w/ JK. Otherwise — he may be, dare I say…Rooney Jr.

  121. jerp says:

    is this you throwing in the white towel?

    forget the fact that i joked around by calling you a “hater”.

    the point of the post is that jozy HAS scored for the national team A LOT. the fact is that he has just not gotten many opportunities under klinsmann. how do you know so much about jozy and what he is capable of for the national team when he has not played much for the national team recently? to let you know, I am basing my confidence in him on his past performances with the national team when he HAS played (even you acknowledge that) and on his current performance for his club team (which is the only recent and decent sample and which you would be crazy to discount [now you are going to tell me that you don;t like my opinion because i called you "crazy"])

  122. Louis Z says:

    Benny is not even starting! you are thinking the old Benny from BB days, those days are gone. keep it current. nice try.

  123. louis z says:

    Those are AMs but hardly ready for prime time.

  124. Eric says:

    I’d like to declare jerp the winner here by unanimous decision. I mean really Jozy has scored vs Spain, assisted vs Slovenia at the most crucial time, assisted vs Algeria, almost had the winner vs England, then scored two goals in the Gold Cup before pulling his hamstring. Then has been busy solidifying his club situation while seemingly putting the U.S. team on the back burner for a while. I mean in the past year besides the extremely recent World Cup Qualifiers vs Jamaica had Jozy really underperformed. The only friendly of note was vs Italy where he performed well and then there were the money grabs for U.S. soccer before the qualifiers vs Antigua-Barbuda and Guatamala. Now people are calling for our most in form striker to lose his spot in the team because of one bad performance in Jamaica and then the mop up performance back in the U.S. I dont know if you know this but coming on in the 75th minute of a game and expecting a player to be firing on all cylinders is asking a lot. And lets not forget the amount of travel involved for the kid. Netherands to Jamaica to Columbus in what was likely a week and a half period can best testing for the most experienced pros. In conclusion, everyone’s entitled to their opinion but I just can’t agree with someone that just seems so blinded to facts and reason.

  125. GW says:

    Jozy’s “slump” is more indicative of a larger issue with the USMNT rather than a particular flaw with Jozy.

    Even if you don’t watch him play, a modicum of research and cold logic will tell you he is a better player after two seasons with AZ. It is certainly illogical to think he is WORSE now than when he was an important cog for the USMNT..

    Everyone acts as if his scoring feats are to be diminished because they come in the attack oriented Netherlands yet those same people get all moist when Boyd, who is roughly the same age, is a lot less experienced, plays in a much weaker league, and is scoring fewer goals. I like Boyd, and he has a bright future, but It’s amazing how much, holding your hand over your heart during the anthem, running around like a bull in a china shop and sweating a lot positively impacts many USMNT fans’ perceptions of soccer players.

    As JK and others have noted in the international game defenses are tighter and chances are fewer. When JK took over the first thing he did was tighten up what had been a leaky defense. Any defense that lets a 2-0 lead in the Gold Cup final turn into a 4-2 loss is shaky. And there had been issues before that such as constantly giving up early goals.

    JK did this largely by having his midfield play more defensively and do a better job of shielding the back four. Stressing possession even more and working the ball out of the back also helps keep pressure off of the back four. Under JK the US is tighter defensively but they also don’t score a lot. With the midfield heavily defensive oriented and no Donovan around, the attackers are spending more time dropping back into the midfield to find the ball and the game.
    Hence the preference for Gomez, who seems well suited to this style of play. That also is why JK is so committed to keeping Fabian at left back. With Johnson and , to a lesser extent these days, Dolo, as fullbacks there is always the danger of an overlap down the wings. And it’s also why Cameron, whose athleticism, speed and skill help keep the defense from being too “defensive”, will start every game he is available for.

    The point is it takes less time and is easier for a national team to tighten up defensively than it is for them attack consistently and effectively.

    Unless you are a football factory like Spain or Brazil, good attacking players are hard to come by. One way to get around that is to play high pressure and attack en masse so to speak, but that takes a little time to work out, it’s hard to play for 90 minutes and you still need a certain level of attacking skill. And if you attack as a team it just stands to reason that the scoring chances for any one given individual decrease.

    Others here have pointed out that Jozy has actually had very little time, for a variety of reasons, to get integrated into this new scheme. He may never score as frequently as he once did for the US but Jozy is very team oriented and I believe he is mostly worried about winning. I have no doubt he will get his share of goals once he gets more time with the team.

    Besides, he will almost certainly be sold soon and maybe his next manager won’t despise Klinsmann as much as Verbeek does.

  126. Since 82 says:

    Half of you guys are insane. The forward position, Jozy included, is not the problem on the NATS.

    Our lack of meaningful possession, quality service, and/or creativity from the MF has plagued or attack in most games. As routinely noted, Jozy was not in form or was not available in other efforts.

    Jozy is developing into a world class forward. Period. He is the least of the national team’s problems.

  127. David JS says:

    Romelu Lukaku (age 19) isn’t a perfect like for like, but he’s honestly the only person I could even think of. Good exercise… thought provoking

  128. monty says:

    I will never understand the Jozy haters. Aside from Gomez, who has undoubtedly had very good form for the nats as of late, who would you rather have on the field rather than Jozy??

    Players go through scoring droughts all the time but that doesn’t mean they should be written off. If you can’t see Jozy’s skill and potential then you simply don’t understand quality when you see it.

  129. Old School says:

    “the fact is that he has just not gotten many opportunities under klinsmann.”

    …and this is Klinsmann’s fault? Jozy has done one of two thing: hasn’t produced or hasn’t been fit.

    That’s Klinsmann’s fault, though. Meanwhile, others playing his postion/spot have.

    Odd.

    It’s all on JK, though. Oh, and all on the “haters”.

  130. Old School says:

    ” I mean really Jozy has scored vs Spain, assisted vs Slovenia at the most crucial time, assisted vs Algeria, almost had the winner vs England, then scored two goals in the Gold Cup before pulling his hamstring.”

    All under Bob Bradley. Since then? Nada.

  131. Old School says:

    No one is writing Jozy off. In fact, if the “haters” were writing him off, there wouldn’t be such lengthy debates.

    “Gomez, who has undoubtedly had very good form for the nats as of late, who would you rather have on the field rather than Jozy??”

    Other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln.

    Yes, other than Gomez…you know, the player that HAS been in good form with the Nats, has made good runs, has showed awesome work rate, has scored some goals and HAS started over Jozy.

    Yea, other than him….how was that play, Mrs. Lincoln?

  132. Old School says:

    What’s interesting is Jozy wasn’t fit / hasn’t produced.

    Generally, those two things will contribute to a dip in goal scoring.

    Who else should I blame for lack of fitness or production? Oh, let me guess “the haters”?

  133. Old School says:

    “he has hardly had a chance with Klinsmann yet. started two games and one of those he was awesome”

    That’s not on Klinsmann, that’s on Jozy…and “awesome”, please.

  134. Leo says:

    I don’t know if we usually agree or not, but I want to give you a +one million on this one.

  135. Leo says:

    Oh, sorry to tack on another comment, but it’s also pretty nice to have an attacking side that happens to play for the same one or two teams in the same league. I’m looking at you, Barca and RM.

  136. Juan Agudelo says:

    Please keep talkin bout me

  137. Leo says:

    I think everyone has received your assertion that Gomez has produced more for the USMNT in the past year than Jozy has.

    I think the questions people have responded with are:

    - Has Jozy played/started enough in that time period to warrant a fair comparison?
    - If Jozy has played enough, are there concerns about the USMNT’s midfield above and beyond Klinsmann’s comment that Jozy should be able to create his own chances?
    - If Jozy has not played enough, is it due to factors within his control (not training hard enough, being out of form, laziness) or is it due to factors outside of his control (travel, European schedule, club commitments)?
    - Is the ball getting played from the back through the midfield to Jozy effectively, never mind creating chances?
    - Has Jozy had enough time to integrate into Klinsmann’s system? Has he been given a fair chance?

    I have seen all of these questions asked in the comments above; I don’t think any of them are unreasonable or irrational.

    “one side believes what their eyes tells them and the other side calls them haters.”

    I would challenge you to look again.

  138. Dw says:

    Wiki cites it’s sources, it’s using references for pretty much all it’s facts so i mean there really is no credibility lost at all

  139. Dw says:

    Deuce hasn’t struggled to get goals lately…

  140. Dw says:

    It always depends on how you read the numbers but numbers are numbers. Everyone is going to get their stats in a different way..some in one game and some spread out but that is how it is for everything. It seems like the people who back jozy make up something about the numbers being misleading while people that don’t back jozy, the “haters”, seem to say the numbers tell all.
    I think we can all agree that jozy is a beast. He is a physical specimen and he isn’t the normal soccer player. He looks like a running back playing striker. He is in form now and it’s only a matter of time. Give him chances and let him use his strengths. I have been very critical of the guy, i have to admit. I have been disappointed with his outings for the US but i think we all know that he is a baller. He will come around for the US. He is learning to be more of a creator it seems like and that is whats needed for the national team more so than a club team considering our national team is defensively minded. Results will follow

  141. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Well, JK called out Jozy in the recent interview he gave for ESPN. He stated he had to work a lot harder at the international level to score goals. I think Jozy will be fine, but it will take him a few years to put it together at the international level. We all saw the goal he scored against Spain and wonder why he can’t play at that level of intensity all the time. Part of it is Jozy’s workrate and part of it is the lack of continuity with the Nats’ midfield. I like Boyd’s overall game better anyway…Jozy can take all the time he needs.

  142. Evan W says:

    “Officially” according to UEFA it is the 8th best league in Europe, but most people know the Dutch league is better than the Ukranian league. Next year that will be reflected in the league rankings where the Dutch league will be 7th.

  143. Joe from Philly says:

    No offense, seriously. But I’ve been reading your posts for a while now (you post more than Ives does) and I’m left wondering…is there ANYTHING you like about the US National Team or this web site? Seriously, do you like anything at all? Judging by your posts I’d say no, but that then makes me wonder why you post so much?

  144. PD says:

    Riiiiiiight, they were the only players of quality either of those sides had.

  145. Joe B NYC says:

    The reason being that Jozy’s coach hates Klinsmann ( condensed to make it simple for you). Again, let’s think please…

  146. matt says:

    Not once has Jozy, Dempsey, Donovan and Bradley played together under Jurgen.

    Not once.

    I feel sorry for Jurgen that our four most important attacking players have never played together under him.

  147. jerp says:

    he had club commitments. “fit” does not just refer to fitness. most star players are not “fit” for their national teams 100% of the time because they are so valuable to their club team. it is noone’s fault and that is another point that you are missing. when games matter, i promise you he will be “fit.”

  148. Andy says:

    How many times in the last 10 months has he started a game with both Landon and Dempsey (our 2 creative attacking players)?

    Oh…none. That explains it.

  149. America says:

    Jozy: What have you done for me lately?

  150. Ball Winner says:

    actually i thought most of the debate here was pretty intelligent. Good stuff all.

  151. jerp says:

    you don’t think he was awesome against italy? beginning to sound like you just like arguing…

  152. walterpayton2.0 says:

    dope dope dope lil b reference

  153. jerp says:

    you are just being ignorant now. it has been explained to you many times that the reason he has done “nada” (1g, 1a in 3 starts actually) is because he has not been there! and the fact that he has not been there or “fit” is not his fault — not klinsmann’s fault either. the fact is that he had more important things to do for the sake of his career. klinsmann was not thrilled by this, but he sent his message as he needed to and i promise you that they will both move on like big boys. altidore secured his spot as our #1 forward a long time ago. that does not mean that klinsmann had to hand it to him — he has done a good job of making jozy continue to earn it, but it is nothing more than that.

  154. Turd Bradley says:

    Fellow Turds-

    This is sorta like no duh Ives or anyone sitting around thinking this. Of course he is going to show better in a league where he consistently trains with the same team for months instead of days and usually the teams they play are at a slightly lower level.

    Of course he is going to do better in a feeder league like the dutch where many younger players are trying to make a name fore themselves.

    Of course it is hard for anyone to produce hard on the international level when you are no longer the most athletic guy on the field by a long shot.

    Of course when the line-up and system is consistently changing around you will not be consistent especially at the international level where he totally depends on his service. Good to see him create for himself in the dutch league.

    Still have huge questions if he is disciplined or technical enough to be effective at the top international level where space and chances are limited.

    Turd

  155. Judging Amy says:

    Yes. The essence is, acknowledging that Herc is playing well (though IMO not as lights out as his admirers profess, perhaps in a bid to bolster their arguments for sitting Jozy), should Jozy be 1st choice striker or at least be playing alongside Gomez?

    I think there are definite arguments for Gomez over Jozy. I think the arguments for Jozy to be given a larger role with the National team are becoming stronger what with Altidore’s great club form/goals and Gomez’ lack of playing time/goals for his own club team. Despite what those dismissive of Altidore’s achievements at AZ might think, club form, while by no means solely determinative, should definitely be a factor when it comes to answering the question I posited in the first paragraph above.

    I think the proposed explanation for Jozy’s lack of Nats form by his supporters (lack of opportunity) is a reasonable one, but I understand the skepticism of his detractors on this point. If his club production continues at such a magnificent rate though, it will be harder and harder to accept the idea that he just sucks for the NT and that’s why he gets no playing time.

  156. pd says:

    Torres was in the midst of a severe goal drought last year for club and country, but his ship is righting. It happens. Strikers are defined by their last goal, just like keepers are defined by their last “soft goal”. It’s part of the biz and I don’t see why it’s news.

    How we as fans extrapolate the emotional reaction we have to frustration over individual results says as much about us and our understanding of long-term development as it does about the value of any given player (The passion is great, but it has it’s place).

    It also says loads about the assumed expectation of a fan. If you as a fan of US Soccer will not be satisfied until your team wins a world cup I actually pity your tortured soul. The USA winning that trophy in Brazil would be the ultimate Cinderella story, and we’re as close as we’ve ever been in terms of fielding a consistently strong side. To think that “only wins matter” and that “on any given day we can stand with the best of them” is a nice idea, but leaves a lot to chance. I for one want to see the US become as strong as any top 10 program, not simply be lucky. If the USA winds up being as strong as Portugal or Holland that would be no small feat–and yet they’ve never won the World Cup.

    I would suggest that if you are one of these fans that you consider reframing your concept of victory and your concept of excellence. The goal right now for US Soccer should be getting as many exceptional young players focusing on their craft YEAR ROUND, training in the best environments they can have access to YEAR ROUND, and willing themselves to the next level (not in terms of payday, but challenge and building skill). Once that internal culture is established in EVERY player in the national team pool, the wins against bigger sides will come more steadily and we will no longer be a plucky underdog but a true world power in the sport. Michael Bradley is a textbook example of how that should be happening.

    Is Jozy finished with his development? Wul dI like to see him score a hat trick each match, especially against a “weaker” opponent? no doubt. Nevertheless, his progress in Holland is something to be sincerely excited about and to hope continues, not dismiss simply because he’s not scoring goals for the national team. You can dress that position up as pragmatism, but in truth it’s naive and short-sighted.

    JK has said many times this team is in transition. It’s clear he is building from the back. It’s also abundantly clear that our creative attacking options are now the biggest hole in the pool and finding players that will replace Dempsey and Donovan will take years to address, not just a few camps. It is my fervent hope that we’ll see players like Luis Gil, Freddy Adu, Joe Corona, Graham Zusi, Brek Shea and Mixx Diskerrud make their way into similar development situations as Jozy has in the next season or two (are you listening Eddie Pope?). All of them are of the right age for such a jump and since the attrition rate for such an endeavor is pretty high when you condier injury, burn out and plain old potential not being as high as expected, it would mean that at the end of that period we’d probably have one or two really solid options come 2016 (yes, at least 4 years from now).

    We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way. Like Michael Bradley, Jozy’s current success is another important marker of that progress, so be patient and just enjoy the journey, people!

  157. DEAC says:

    You’ve got to play him if you want him to score. Love what Herc Gomez has done with his career, and loved the goal he scored vs. JAM, but he’s been getting the time at striker over Jozy even though he’s not exactly pouring them into the back of the net, either.

  158. BSB says:

    There are obviously some issues invovled, but Mario Balotelli I think would qualify.

  159. Allen23 says:

    This just brings to light, the travesty of the U-23 team not making the Olympics.

    It would have been a great opportunity for a player such as Jozy, to play in 3 or 4 important quality matches.

    One other quick point… I believe you play the hot hand. Jozy is clicking right now and has a nose for the goal. JK has to call him to Antigua later this month. At that point it is up to him to earn his spot.

  160. JCC says:

    It could also be that Altidore turns out to be a player like Claudio Pizarro, Hugo Sanchez, or Samuel Eto’o, strikers that have had great club careers but so-so ones with their national teams.

  161. louis z says:

    good observation. I guess Jozy needs to be playing at the right time.

  162. GW says:

    Reply October 02, 2012 at 02:39 AM
    Leo said in reply to GW…
    Oh, sorry to tack on another comment, but it’s also pretty nice to have an attacking side that happens to play for the same one or two teams in the same league. I’m looking at you, Barca and RM.
    ______________________________________________

    Leo,

    You bring up a great point.

    Obviously with comparatively little practice time and many fewer games, national teams can get a great jump on things by capping as many players from the same club as possible. Prime examples would be Germany, built around Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchengladbach, and Holland built around Ajax and Feyenoord back in the 70’s.

    And of course, the obvious ultimate example would be modern day Spain. The down side is the inherent factionalism that may introduce into the team but it’s probably worth the headache.

    For those who constantly bitch and moan about why the manager does not cap this guy or that guy who is playing well for their club, they should examine your point.

    Sir Alf Ramsey, the manager of England’s 1966 World Cup winning team had three West Ham cornerstone guys; Hurst in attack, Peters in midfield and Moore in defense who always played.

    Ramsey was often criticized for playing his regular Bornsteins ahead of others who might have been in better club form. He said he did it to improve “understanding” and maintain continuity in the team. We would call it team chemistry.

    But in a world filled with fantasy leagues, most USMNT fans think in terms of individuals and their stats and place little value on team work.

    Many USMNT fans can’t understand the dichotomy that Jozy presents

    Most US fans are used to the idea of a player playing for one team at a time. It is hard for them to envision doing well for AZ for example and not doing well for the US, never mind that those are two completely different sets of players, schemes,coaches and opponents.

    In comparison to a unified team like Spain the current USMNT has guys scattered in various leagues around the world. JK has a German contingent, a Mexican contingent, an England contingent, an “other smaller European league” contingent and an MLS contingent. And one guy in Serie A. from what I can tell it seems like a great bunch of guys and everyone is very tight personally but they are still stylistic playing differences.

    The point is one of JK’s biggest challenges is blending all these disparate elements into a coherent whole.

    As it relates to Jozy, the team that he was comfortable with was built around attacking on the counter. It rotated around Donovan and Dempsey and had MB90 as the dominant midfield presence. Some of those guys are still around but everything else is different and Jozy has really had very little actual time on the field with these guys. And we don’t counter much anymore.

    If you need an example of how talented players can look pretty useless when transplanted to a different system look no further than the New York Knicks. Stoudamire is an All Star pick and roll player, fast break kind of guy stuck on a half-court offense team without a Steve Nash style point guard. And he is teamed with a ball movement killer in Carmelo. The end result is you’ve got a bunch of talented players who don’t really fit together and are sitting around going nowhere fast.

    That anyone is thinks this is down to Jozy’s lack of skill, talent, patriotism ( failure to hold hand over heart)or work rate tells you a lot about the basic ignorance of many USMNT fans.

    Boyd and Gomez, everyone’s current favorites (at least until the next hot new guy comes along, maybe this Icelandic kid?) have done reasonably well and produced what? Three goals in eleven games all from Gomez. Mind you I think Jozy should be paired with Gomez but Jozy could equal that total in one game with a little luck.

    Going forward it may be that JK’s system and player pool will never really find a way to incorporate Jozy’s talents or Jozy will not be able to adjust enough to fit into what JK will be doing. That is too bad but it would also mean the US is probably doing well enough without him.

    This would not necessarily be a reflection on Jozy. He might still be a good or even a great player. This happens all the time. Lots of great club players never make a dent internationally. Not that Jozy is in their class but it has taken years for Argentina to figure out how to use Messi, and Portugal has yet to fully utilize Cristiano Ronaldo. It took Italy and Cassano quite a while to get together. And so on.

    Jozy will be fine. The USMNT will be fine. Hopefully, they can be fine together.

  163. pd says:

    shame we can’t get Yura to do the one-time switch… I remember being really impressed with him when he played in MLS.

  164. David JS says:

    +1
    could use more of your “Crazy” here on SBI Mike

  165. David JS says:

    didn’t think of him, true though. Karim Benzema is only 24 as well

  166. Gary Page says:

    Thanks for the further perspective. As I recall, Rooney recently went something like close to a year without scoring for England and Messi only recently has begun scoring with regularity for the Argentine national team. A lot depends on circumstances.