Altidore’s goal drought continues, but Klinsmann full of praise

Jozy Altidore

By RYAN TOLMICH

Jozy Altidore didn’t find the net on Tuesday night in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 win against Azerbaijan, but that didn’t stop U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann from singing his praises.

The much-maligned forward is facing the stigma of a disappointing season at Sunderland, and a goal drought that has encompassed most of 2014, but Klinsmann insists that his target striker showed well against Azerbaijan, putting in plenty of work even if he didn’t find his way onto the score sheet.

“Jozy did what we asked him to do: kind of keep that defense on their toes, go at them, get these one-against-one battles and create something,” Klinsmann said. “Maybe create something for you as well, which was not created for him since he didn’t score, but he did a tremendous amount of work.

“He’s full of energy,” Klinsmann added. “He’s sharp. He’s going for goal, looking for his chances and creating himself some chances. He did very well. We’ll keep working and hopefully in the next one he scores.”

Midfielder Michael Bradley echoed Klinsmann’s sentiments while also referencing the importance of an in-form Altidore for the team’s chances in Brazil.

“I think he’s looked very sharp in training,” Bradley said. “I think his mentality has been really good, his attitude has been positive and, in every way, he’s a guy that we’re counting on. Tonight was a good step for him. I thought he worked hard, I thought he was sharp. It’s no secret he’s a guy that we count on and expect a lot from.”

Klinsmann cited Altidore’s passion for the national team as one of his biggest strengths, as the head coach believes wearing the U.S. jersey is something that gives Altidore a boost in confidence.

“He looks better every day and I think this here helps him get more and more confident because it’s an environment that he loves,” Klinsmann said. “He loves to be in the middle of the national team. He will come through and he will start to score. Obviously, the sooner the better for every striker, but I’m very, very positive.”

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60 Responses to Altidore’s goal drought continues, but Klinsmann full of praise

  1. Ali Dia says:

    Jozy was aggressive and made himself a handful. He is so close right now.

    • Increase says:

      Ya, he was fine and as he was playing wide out on the wings for much of the game I didn’t really expect a goal from him just due to positioning.

    • sony says:

      but he can’t score my friend!

      • PD says:

        On what planet do you get your data from? Jozy in a NATS jersey is a pretty productive goal scorer . Honestly less critical though goes on here…

    • Chris says:

      What game are you watching. He could score 3 goals next game and I would not be sold. He falls down all the time. Difference between hard work and hard work plus ability. He is not close. I doubt he makes next cycle. He is not World Cup quality forward. Not even close. Sheesh.

      • DubVman says:

        Chris, he’s been to one already. This will make his second. How many times did you go? What team do you play for? You doosh.

        • Chris says:

          What a dumb comment. You can be a fan or a coach and not go to a World Cup. How many did Arena go to ? Bob Bradley? As players. If this forum only exists for guys who have gone to world cups then it wouldn’t exist. If only previous World Cup players are allowed to be fans the game would die.

          I want Jozy to score. I want him to be good. Fact is he is awful. God awful to watch. Damn near ruins the game having to watch him bumble around the field. Frustrating as hell.

      • Nice to Meet You says:

        He could score 4,000 goals at the World Cup and you would not be sold. You are not here to be sold on anything good. Rinse the poison out and come back.

        • Chris says:

          He has scored 2 goals in his last 30 plus games. I want this team to succeed. Jozy will not help with that. What in the hell are you watching?

          Are you related to him?

          I want him to score , but he will never score much at this level because he isn’t that good at this level.

          • analyst/therapist says:

            Here is an abridged list of international teams against which he has scored:
            Mexico
            Germany
            Bosnia (a hat trick)
            Turkey
            Spain

    • AMP says:

      +1, He also seemed super fit, and didn’t show any signs of tired legs.

  2. bryan says:

    i agree with JK and Bradley, i think Jozy had a pretty good game overall. i wished he would have scored too, but he at least looked good and hopefully a bit more focus over the next few days leads to that goal. i’d be fantastic if that happens prior to Ghana.

  3. RedCard10 says:

    When Jozy finally scores, the goals should come in bunches (that’s his MO). Let’s hope he finds a way to score in one of the next two friendlies.

  4. Del Griffin says:

    Jozy is bad. Makes no sense that jk sticks with him, despite his obvious failings. There are better options.

    • Brian S. says:

      Pray tell, what would those options be? Please explain why they would be better options also.

      • shorembo says:

        Because the other options are …. slightly better.

        • Hippocrates says:

          As Brian said, pray tell, who are those better options?

          • Herb says:

            Well, Boyd for one. Oh wait, he didn’t grovel sufficiently to make the team…

            • Brian S. says:

              Why is Boyd a better option though? He isn’t any more physically imposing, he doesn’t have the composure on the ball, and he doesn’t have near the experience that Altidore has. He scored some goals in an Austrian league that is on par with MLS. Jozy put up 30+ a year ago in an arguably better league.

            • Luke says:

              How many goals has Boyd scored playing for the USMNT??? Jozy has 21 more goals for the Nats.

            • Ryan SATX says:

              What has Boyd done to make you think he’s better than Jozy?

        • michael f. sbi mafia original says:

          Hmm, let’s see.. in 2014 Jozy has 2 goals, and AJ has 30+. Why not start him?

          • Brian S. says:

            Why not start them together? Maybe AJ on the left with Dempsey up top with Altidore.

          • Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

            Well first of all

            1. AJ is light of Frame
            2. He does not hold up as well as JA
            3. He is effective playing facing goal

            Shall I go on?

          • Nate says:

            Using that analysis, why not start AJ AND Boyd over both Altidore and Dempsey?

          • The Imperitive Deuce says:

            BWAHAHAHAHA.

            SBI MAFIA ORGINAL!!!!!

            W@CK CHUMP GOTTA KNOW EVERYTHING

            U WAZ THERE FROM THA JUMP!!!!

            TELL US MORE!

    • Ryan SATX says:

      Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    • Chris says:

      Correct he is bad. Not good whatsoever. Can’t even trap the damn ball with out it springing off his foot 8 yards. Like watching a fawn on ice slip sliding around. He is awful. Had a nice run For a year or so as young lad, but has faded quickly. It happens. I’ll take Aron , Wondo, and others all day long. He has body for good target forward but turns ball over 5 times more than actually winning it and holding it. He is by far biggest hole one team. Good dude though. Like him personally. Just not very coordinated.

    • Waldo says:

      I agree and have been saying similar things forever. Fact is, JK has painted himself into a corner with Jozy. He can’t give him the hook now because he’s spent so much time praising him. What else can he to but stay the course. “Puts in a lot of work” … who out there doesnt? He can’t score unless its a tap in, really isn’t much of a dribbler, passing is OK, first touch is usually bad BUT he puts in a lot of work. Sorry but we need more than work.

      If JK sticks with Altadore and the lone forward formation, I’ll be surprised if we score a single goal. Play Aron for Christs sake. He has skills and can score

      • MVMulberry says:

        @Waldo & @Chris
        I hate to agree with you guys on this because it’s a painful truth. I know JK is being positive and trying to coach Jozy through the other side of this drought, but like you guys say…I think it’s more than a drought. I think Jozy’s game, dribbling, trapping, shooting has been on the decline and I don’t see him catching fire in two weeks time.
        I think JK needs to have Aron on the ready for every match, and should even probably experiment with another striker starting combo.

  5. Dc says:

    I was at the game, and not sure the amount of work he did translated on the screen. I think Wondo is rubbing off on him. When he used to just stand there and wave his arms, he is now constantly moving into position and pressuring the defense. And maybe he is not successful every time, but I love that he moves towards goal every time he has the ball. It’s unusual for a striker that size to be that good with his feet. In this game, he was just an inch away from pulling off some pretty awesome moves. I mean like, Ronaldo-esque moves. Jozy will be fine.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Agreed. And yes, he had a few sweet moves, especially in the second half. I heard a few oohs and ahhs from the crowd.

  6. beachbum says:

    looked very similar to the player at Sunderand imo…the one linking up to others thru midfiled and holding up well…did that pretty well for Sunderland actually, and had little service in the area…like at Sunderland

    and just to fill it out, he didn’t score…like at Sunderland

    but he played pretty well imo

    • Dc says:

      Yep. It didn’t help that AZE has 10 behind the ball for about 60 minutes. It was up to the midfielders to link up short passes and the wings to put in good service, not Jozy to break through that.

  7. Nic D "The TX 2 Stepper" says:

    I was happy to see him face up and dribble at the LB, LM and CB. I was happy to see how he stretched the Defense on the left making room for MB90 and Brad to pressurize the left corner of the 18 yard box. He even pulled a nice trick to create some space which the crowd rightfully “Ooooohed” and Awed” but alas he never put the cross in because there was no one in the box to cross to. I can’t remember a single camera shot of him with head down or griping at someone for not getting him the ball.

    In short he looked like the happy precocious 17 Year Old version of himself at RBNY with JPA. I like that Jozy.

    • Paul6 says:

      Yes! that’s exactly what i was thinking when i saw him get the ball on the wings. I loved watching that jozy play. going at players was his strong suit before his size made coaches want him to be a player that holds up play.

    • beachbum says:

      so are you saying not the player at Sunderland this year? or in Holland before?

  8. Shawn says:

    screw that there comes a point where you have to stop falling and start shooting jozy. I want him scoring goals leave most of the hold up and false nine stuff to dempsey

  9. zdub says:

    Am I the only one that thinks Altidore would look great in the position that Bradley is playing right now behind two forwards? Even at Sunderland it seemed that he was the best at linking the attack with the midfield but his weakness is receiving the ball with his back to the goal when he has to turn and attack. Wouldn’t it be better if someone played in front of Altidore, where he could link the midfield and attack and could have the forwards (or forward) drop the ball of to him with him facing the goal.

    I know his defense would be a problem but it seems like there is a better way to use Altidore than what we are currently doing.

    • Benjamin C. says:

      I may be totally wrong here, but Jozy seemed to have a lot of success in Holland when he was able to drift out wide and then make runs back centrally, rather than just being a center forward the whole game and basically being used as the hold-up guy. Looked like he was trying to do some of that last night; it was a nice, active match for him, from my viewpoint.

      • Bac says:

        It’s great that he’s more active, a step up from his game a few years ago, but using the Dutch league is just not a realistic comparison where we are now, and in terms of the previous question, he’s really the only striker we have capable of hold up play..

    • Fair Observer says:

      interesting. ive had similar thoughts. although more of a CF in a 4-4-1-1 sort of role. put AJ/ Boyd/Agudelo in front of him (im not thinking of THIS WC but just as an idea in general, maybe moving forward).

      Jozy has good vision, he’s no pirlo who can GET the ball to the spot he wants, everytime, but he’s a team-aware type striker. so yea have him being the one dropping back to link up and then once his team finds the ST, if the ST has no shot he can turn and lay off for Jozy; where he would be facing the goal rather than back to goal like with sunderland.

      • Waldo says:

        NO… there are enough talented people in that position, don’t need him there.

        He’ll know the end is coming when JK says “I see Jozy as a goalkeeper, not a forward.”

  10. Matt in Bklyn says:

    “He’s going for goal,” says JK. Wow, that was hard to see last night. JA mostly held up the ball, got pushed over in the process. On the other hand, Mixx pounced. I’d love to see Jozy make more runs, he’s got to move to goal… Like Gerd Mueller said when asked how he scored so many goals for Germany, My head told me go here, go there… ha ha, easy to say. Anyway, Jozy, just be quick and go to goal to win those crosses coming in from FJ. You can do it!

  11. Bubba says:

    Jozy is complete feast or famine. The man headed to Europe and completely flopped. Then moved to Holland, where he set the world on fire. At the same time, he was showing next to nothing for the USMNT until, all of a sudden, he started sticking it in the net again on a consistent basis. But concurrently, he headed to Sunderland where he couldn’t find the goal if it was served up to him on a silver platter (which, I have to admit, few of his teammates were able to do).

    Is he just a forward who is unusually cyclical? If so, will he catch fire again soon? Or are there just fundamental flaws in his game that keep him from being consistent? Or are there fundamental flaws that keep him from being good, particularly when faced with quality opposition?

    I worry about Jozy a lot. At the same time, we’ve been there before so perhaps we’re due for an upswing.

    • live all day sleep for Liberty says:

      When he’s on, He’s ON

      He’s basically becoming the USA’s Emile Heskey. The only thing we need is to find our Rooney or Michael Owen.

  12. dude1 says:

    Jozy could really use a goal in this send off series, and honestly, I think that’s all that it would take for him to get back on track. Mentally, he’s very strong.

  13. Julian in SF says:

    I’m afraid I’m not on the Jozy band wagon. I was at the game last night and watched Jozy up close. My impression? I saw what others have remarked repeatedly: Jozy’s touch isn’t good. The ball tends to bounce off his hard foot several feet away. On top of that, I question his ability to create opportunities for himself. If Jozy gets perfect service, he’ll score. Otherwise, he’s going to go on in his current form.

    • Waldo says:

      Bingo

      • Slowreno says:

        When Jozy nets I’m going to scream your name! Followed by: “BINGO BANGOOOOOOOO”. Then I’m gonna smile.

        You have so much hate for Jozy yet you offer essentially ZERO (on this thread atleast) constructive suggestions on how or who could improve our forward setup.

        The team isn’t plug and play and your are missing the point of what Jozy does for the Nats. Hold up and pull bodies away from the box, creating passing channels for goal scoring opportunities.

        However, if the team is creating scoring chances, it’s likely Jozy played a part because he did what he was supposed to do: draw defenders away and/or did what you say he can’t, SCORE.

        • Chris says:

          I completely understand what his role is. I know what a target striker does.

          If Jozy scores, I’ll be as happy as you. I don’t hate the guy. I just hate watching him now.

          Is rather see two true forwards in a 4-4-2. May Aron and Wondo. Let Wondo poach, let Aron create. Will put more on our wingers but I think we are good out wise in MF.

  14. live all day sleep for Liberty says:

    Expect 4 goals in Brazil from Jozy.

    You heard it here HATERS

    • Nice to Meet You says:

      Welcome. Please have a seat in the section to the left, along with the other godlike winners. Have a steak while we open a bottle for you. I’m sorry to report that the 2002 is running quite stale… we assure you that a far superior bottle will be here shortly.

  15. David Liverman says:

    I thought Jozy worked hard all night. The scoring will come. And when it does it will come in bunches