Klinsmann backs Altidore, confident USMNT striker can have big World Cup

Jozy Altidore

photo by ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore is not a finished product yet.

That is the message U.S. Men’s National Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has for anyone who questions how valuable Altidore can be at this upcoming World Cup.

Altidore is coming off of a disappointing season at Sunderland in which he scored just one league goal a year after lighting up opposing defenses and setting the U.S. foreign-based scoring record with AZ Alkmaar. The lack of production has led many observers to speculate just how effective the veteran forward can be at this summer’s World Cup, but Klinsmann is not all that worried about Altidore just weeks before heading to Brazil.

Part of the reason for that is because Klinsmann knows firsthand just how good Altidore can be, as evidenced by the string of strong showings he put forth for the U.S. in 2013. Another part is the often overlooked fact that Altidore is still just a 24-year-old forward with plenty to learn and much to add to his game.

“I think it’s very important that you understand kind of the phase a player is in right now as of today, what phase of his career he’s in and what he learned so far throughout his career and what he’s able then to do also in the future,” said Klinsmann on conference call with national media on Monday. ”I think Jozy is still a very young player and he’s going through a learning curve, and one big learning curve was this year at Sunderland and it will continue to be Sunderland as long as nothing happens maybe after the World Cup, he gets transferred or whatever.

“We’ve worked with him the last three years from a much younger player into a more mature player. He played very, very good games for us, scoring very important goals for us, but still we see Jozy in his development phase. Jozy is not built yet, Jozy has not reached his potential yet. Our job as coaches is to help him reach his highest potential.”

While Altidore may still be a work in progress, he will head into Brazil with his share of expectations. Altidore is no longer the bright-eyed, 20-year-old striker that was going into his first World Cup four years ago. Instead, he is a much more seasoned player and one that will need to help carry the scoring load this summer if the Americans are to successfully navigate themselves out of a difficult Group G that includes Ghana, Portugal and Germany.

That may seem like a lot of pressure on the shoulders of a player facing plenty of criticism these days, but Klinsmann insists it is just the next step in Altidore’s development.

“I think the next two months will be part of that next learning curve for Jozy Altidore and I always said that he has so many upsides,” said Klinsmann. “He hasn’t shown it yet in different places maybe, but I think we saw last summer a big part of those upsides in the World Cup qualifiers, even in some friendlies as well.

“We coaches, we look forward to now having him in camp and to bring kind of our influence into this whole next step. We believe that Jozy can play a very big World Cup this summer in Brazil.”

Altidore may be a shoo-in to make the final 23-man roster, but he will need to perform well in the preparatory camp in Stanford, Calif. and the ensuing friendlies to convince Klinsmann that Altidore is still worthy of spearheading the U.S. attack.

Doing that will cross off on item off the to-do list and move Altidore onto the next.

“Obviously, he has to work now hard the next couple of weeks to confirm our trust and confirm our support, which I think he will do absolutely,” said Klinsmann. “But he’s still a player to be developed. He’s not there yet.”

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136 Responses to Klinsmann backs Altidore, confident USMNT striker can have big World Cup

  1. Micronesia Justin says:

    I wonder how many upsides I have.

  2. EspinDOHla says:

    I hope Jozy destroys Pepe and nets the hat trick vs. Portugal.

  3. Josh D says:

    As long as Jozy hustles this World Cup then he’ll do well. If he brings his Sunderland attitude then luckily we have a bunch of scoring players who’ll happily leave it all out on the pitch.

    I like Jozy. But I can’t stand to see so much talent wasted because of attitude. Wickham is a perfect example of a young striker who was thrown to the side by Sunderland, but who took his chances this season and single handily kept them up. And he did so by creating his own chances and busting his butt out there, chasing down everything that came near him.

    These next three friendlies will tell us if Jozy gets to start against Ghana. I just hope Klinsi lets our other strikers get a proper runout to really know if anyone is ready to take the spot.

    • KN says:

      I hope he gives Boyd a chance to play on the pitch

      • arsenal says:

        + 1. I think Boyd deserves a shot and I think he will get it in the friendlies.

        • JayAre says:

          Non of our strikes has anything close to Altidore talent. No one wasn’t to here that but its true. They been on the same teams (iceman) and in the same camps and no one camp close to taking Altidore job. When you listen to Boyds interview you can tell he knows he’s clearly behind Jozy. So lets just hope Jozys national team form is good because his replacements are not as good.

      • BrianK says:

        Yeah,…and I hope he gets a chance to play on the field, too.

    • Ice says:

      what attitude?

      strikers should have a bit of an “attitude” but what do you mean exactly?

      • Mason says:

        He means he doesn’t want Lazy Antiscore to show up.

      • Jesse says:

        I don’t get it either. Unless it is latent racism, I don’t understand why people say Jozy has an attitude.

        • Mason says:

          Tom Brady is an “intense competitor” and Richard Sherman is a “thug”.

          • Roman Lewandowski says:

            Compare their postgame interviews…or a highlight reel of their on-field taunts.

            • Jesse says:

              Not a fan of the attitude Sherman plays with either, but he is not a thug. He’s a well spoken educated dude who plays with emotion. I’d take that every day over Jay Cutler’s attitude and I’m a Bears fan.

              • Matthew R says:

                +1, Sherman has a degree from stanford with a 3+ GPA, a majority of the people who criticize him can’t hold a candle to that

          • Jesse says:

            I despise Brady, so a prissy little dude.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Jozy totally has an attitude! I mean, just look at the way he’s poppin’ that collar in the photo. So much attitude, only a honey badger could care less.

        • GW says:

          It’s not latent.

        • Josh D says:

          Racism? What a cheap shot. Attitude as in laziness and unwillingness to sprint when te rest of his team has been doing so for 90 mins.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            You wanna see lazy? Look at Timmy Howard. He hardly moves around the field at all—to get him to even cross the half line the ref has to call half time.

            Now some will make up excuses that he’s just keeping to the field area where coach assigned—”sticking to the game plan”—but I know better. If Bradley or Zusi can run all over the field, then Howard has no excuse.

          • GW says:

            Josh D,

            Do you really think any player can get as far as Jozy has by being so obviously lazy?

          • Jack says:

            You can’t just call a striker lazy because we don’t know what they are asked to do. Some strikers are asked to occupy the center backs and keep them in the middle. While other are asked to find pockets of space. So unless your the manager it’s kind of foolish to say a striker is lazy or not.

            • Dan says:

              Jozy has grown up a lot in the last 2 yrs…he was dropped from the USMNT after Twellman and Darke destroyed him on air during a game, asking if he was even awake? Young, arrogant, rich….like Freddy Adu – except he seems to be growing out of it

          • Jesse D says:

            Not a cheap shot at all. I’ve racked my brain for years trying to understand. For the first time in all those years I’ve exhausted all other options. That is all I have left.

            Unwillingness to sprint?

            Three things:
            First – he sprints all the time. I hate it when he exerts all his energy on D.
            Two – It takes him out of position and he just isn’t quick enough to truly create havoc. Altidore has much better uses than chasing down lost causes. Bring in a guy like Bedoya for that.
            Three – he is a big dude, he is going to run out of gas before other little guys if he plays the same way they do.

            When Altidore decides he is going to make sure he hustles he has his worst games. When he is calm, does his job and looks for opportunities to get open in the box, he is at his best.

        • Chad says:

          No-one mentioned anything about race except you…so who’s the ‘racist’? If you have seen a few games with Jozy, you can tell that he’s not always putting in 100%.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            I have seen tons of games with Jozy and you’re right: sometimes he only put in 97%.

            I just know that “running around” in soccer is a poor measure of effort or contribution.

          • Jesse says:

            Hence me calling it “latent”. I know it isn’t being directly called out. I’ve racked my brain and I can’t figure out why else you guys say he has an attitude. Dempsey and Donovan have way bigger attitude issues than Altidore. It isn’t even close.

          • Jesse says:

            just to be clear. If I’m answering your rhetorical question the answer is YOU Chad.

            • chad says:

              You pulled the race card, so it’s all on you.

              I’ve seen countless games with Jozy and think he’s a great player…but it’s obvious that he often fails to track back on defense or chase down a loose ball.

              • Jesse D says:

                That makes complete sense Chad. So when MLK Jr brought it up, that made him the racist. Not the people who thought he was “lazy” and had an “attitude”. If you ever stop and look in the mirror Chad, really stop and look, it is going to hurt.

        • Dan says:

          He’s known as ‘Lazy’ Jozy in Europe for his ‘lack’ of work ethic that got him dumped the first time. He has issues sleeping and missing practice and was dumped when he overslept and missed a club match….* hands worthless race card back to Jess

          • Jesse D says:

            Just to be extremely clear. You brought up lazy after the fact. That wasn’t the discussion point. Under Chad’s logic, since you brought up lazy, that makes you the lazy one. Clearly several other people see your condescension as hard to classify as well.
            Jozy was called out for having an “attitude” problem. That was the statement that had no basis. Say you think Jozy wears out too soon. Say you want him to track back harder. I disagree, I want him to conserve his energy to play off the ball on offense, but that is a legit conversation. Calling him out for having an attitude problem is what made no logical sense. That was the statement that I can’t find anything to attribute too. I find it frankly amazing, that you have gone out of your way to defend this statement that Jozy has an attitude problem. Have you ever watched an interview with the kid? He is a sweet kid. Could he work harder, could he have done better with some opportunities, sure. There is no way that kid has an attitude issue though. Dempsey is the American soccer star with an attitude problem. *steps away from weird little man playing with cards.

            • Chris C says:

              Jesse, please re-read the thread before going on and on about this. You are making a fool of yourself. No one, except for you, brought up race. “Attitude” was mentioned in the context of no putting in as much effort as he can, being lazy. A lazy “attitude”. Here’s the original “attitude” quote:

              “As long as Jozy hustles this World Cup then he’ll do well. If he brings his Sunderland attitude then luckily we have a bunch of scoring players who’ll happily leave it all out on the pitch.”

              So, his “Sunderland attitude” is derived from the previous sentence saying that if he “hustles” he’ll have a good World Cup. His “Sunderland attitude” is one of not hustling, or being lazy. A LAZY ATTITUDE!

              The rest of that guys comment had to do with lack of hustle and being lazy. Nothing race related at all. You brought that up, seemingly because if your lack of reading comprehension. Don’t try to pin it on someone else or say that their logic is all wrong because it’s not. It’s absolutely true that you brought race into this. You can scroll up for proof.

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        I’ve always been impressed with Jozy’s interviews. He makes pretty insightful comments, not the usual “We’ve gotta go out there and do what we know we can do.”

        Admittedly, I haven’t watched many of his Sunderland matches.

    • Patrick2 says:

      If he doesn’t score a goal in the group stage, but displays “Sunderland form” by:

      a) Bullying a heated rival’s backline, winning balls, and coming up with brilliant assist like he did against Newcastle, or
      b) Winning a penalty kick that wins a game against a hot team nobody expected Sunderland to have a chance against (Chelsea) which was very much a key win in avoiding relegation.

      ….I could live with that.

    • bottlcaps says:

      While I have to admit that Jozy’s demeanor may seem to him an attitude, I think he takes direction well. At times he seems to be lost in games and kind of wanders the fiels.
      I think, though it has more to do with coaching, tactics strategy and position rather than lack of hustle.

      Even Klinsmann has fallen into the trap by using JA as a stand-up centre-forward, able to take in route one balls with his back to the goal and allowing teammates to position while he distributes the ball….. It didn;t work for the USMNT when JK tried it, it did`t work forr DiCanio and didn’t work for Poyet. Yet Verbeek at Alkmaar found great success using Altidore. Why? Verbeek (and Ernie Stewart) discovered that JA plays better facing the goal with the ball at his feet, using his speed and size on the run to blast past smaller defenders. Andm Yes, Verbeek used him as a lone forward, but mainly to close out games, much like Poyet did towards the end of the season with JA. Letting him lose upfront which required opposing teams require him to be marked by one, two or even three defenders, preventing them from going forward into the attack.

      If indeed, JA is used properly and can get the good passes from Bradley, Dempsey Donovan or the wingers, then look for JA to have a very good WC. The USMNT midfield is a whole lot better than Sunderlands, and JA;s familiarity with the US team, buttressed by good tactics, strategy and play, can only help Jozy. andthe US team get out of the group.

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        Considering Sunderland made the Great Escape and climbed to 14th with a terrible midfield, the US MNT core midfield and even the second unit could have gotten the Black Cats qualified for Europa League.

  4. malkin says:

    LOLzy

  5. 2 dragons says:

    Jozy will come up BIG.

    He’s due. Horrible club season. It’s karma. Expect a hat trick against Ghana.

    He’ll have the best WC performance for any US striker

  6. 2 dragons says:

    they need to promote the NT. Get people to know who Jozy, Clint and Tim Howard are. Not enough people do already

    • smash says:

      Then you should watch the 6 part series starting tonight on ESPN called – US National Team: Road to Brazil
      Its behind the scenes of US training camp leading up to Brazil. It should showcase the whole team quite nicely.

      • beachbum says:

        it’s OK, but in reviewing the US 2002 run they didn’t even show any goals or footage from beating Mexico…wtf? I get they have lots of Mexican fans, but that should be rubbed in at every possible moment imo…the greatest victory for US soccer ever over our bitterest rival in a game Mexico knew they would win, in a World Cup!

        it doesn’t get any sweeter

  7. Joe says:

    I feel like Donovan and Dempsey are gonna be on the 23 just because of the qualities they bring
    Altidore is not a lock to me… we have a lot of forwards and he’s gonna have to step it up
    Johannson is not a lock either he’s gonna have to prove himself in the freindlies
    Wondolowski is basically competing with Boyd for the final forward spot I highly doubt both will make the final roster

    • Joe says:

      Boyd HAS to score if he wants to make the final roster.

      • Chicago Josh says:

        Boyd is a lock. If Jozy is suspended or injured, Boyd is the only other player on the provisional 30 who can play target forward. (So can Juan Agudelo but he didn’t make the cut). Aron and Clint can both fill in, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

        • Jesse says:

          lock? certainly not. Boyd has a good chance because of the target forward capabilities you mention. Dempsey is tough enough if not powerful enough. Boyd has to beat out somebody. If it is Wondo, he has to beat out a guy who has scored in bunches over the past year for the US. I think he has to do more than just show up to camp to make that happen.

          • Chicago Josh says:

            Wondo’s “bunches” have come against island nations, a South Korean B team, and a Mexico team missing its Euro players. I like Wondo for his hustle and locker room presence, but IMHO I don’t think he makes the roster.

          • Jesse says:

            Wondo can only score against the team plays against. He’s earned a shot in this camp, by doing well with his B team opportunities.

    • Joe says:

      Another thing I noticed is that Joe Corona plays a similar role to Donovan and Dempsey. I think for that reason alone he won’t be on the final roster.

    • Jack says:

      I don’t think Johannsson is safe either, he’ll have to step up to make the 23.

    • JayAre says:

      Remember when Klinsmann was talking about the ‘spine to the team’ he mentioned Jozy. He’s a lock. He had a bad season but there’s no one close to him when you look at pure number 9′s on the team, Boyd plays a 9 too but he’s not as good as Jozy and Wondo is more of a support striker. For out formation to work and our spine to stay on the field we need to play a 4-2-3-1 and jozy is the only viable center forward

      • Joe says:

        That brings up the issue of form because boyd is in way better form then altidore but how does that factor into the team?

        • JayAre says:

          Do you really believe we stand a better chance of winning with Boyd on the field as a 9? Klinsmann isn’t going to sit around and wait for Jozy to be in form again. He’s going to make sure it happens during the camp and friendly (feed Jozy the ball till he scores) I remember Howard saying Jozy will be the teams breadwinner (or something like that) in Brazil. Jozy is going to Brazil and he’s starting

          • Vic says:

            If Jozy displays the form of last year in the next 3 friendlies then Altidore is clearly better. If Altidore displays his Sunderland form or USMNT when he didn’t score for 18 months than Boyd could be better. I’m not advocating Jozy sit. However, if he doesn’t score in the friendlies I don’t think he should start every game of the World Cup.

            • GW says:

              Vic,

              If you watched Sunderland , it was clear that Sunderland was a far more hostile environment for Jozy than the USMNT will be.Which is why EJ was such a hard cut to make. But Boyd is white hot and EJ is cold right now so that forced JK’s hand.

              Using any of the other strikers in Jozy’s place would dictate a significant tactical shift. As presently constituted ,the USMNT attack works best if Jozy is going well so it seems like it’s better to try to get Jozy going rather than counting on Boyd on short notice.

              Hopefully Jozy will respond and show well early in the camp and send off games. If not, JK and his staff will have some decisions to make.

              In any case historically, unused players on World Cup squads are usually defenders.

              Why?

              Because what you usually want is an attacking sub. And it is easier to get an attacking player to play defense than it is to get a defensive player to create or score a goal. So JK may wind up taking more attackers than people expect.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Re: why defenders are not subbed

                I would add that it is much more difficult for defenders to sub into the game because so much of their job requires having a feel for the opponent in addition to keeping rhythm with the rest of the back line.

                Subs don’t have a feel for the game. While that’s terrible for defenders, it is an advantage for attackers: they come in with something new and different.

    • TC says:

      You are an idiot if you think there is any chance Jozy’s not going to Brazil.

    • MikeV says:

      Did you read the title of this story?

  8. Cairo says:

    What’s the over-under on the # of goals Wondo will have to score during the three tune up matches in order to convince his doubters he’s valuable? 1? 3? 5? Is there any number that will convince the doubters?

    For my part, if he gets a game and a half, he’ll get at least one goal in these tuneups. The nats are even better at getting balls into the box than the Quakes are, and only Dempsey rivals him as a poacher. How people rank Boyd ahead of him is beyond me. I’ll wager he’s on the plane barring injury. Heck, I’d prefer he starts with Dempsey tucked in behind. Yeah, I’m a fan…

    • Michael F. says:

      Agree he’s ahead of Boyd. How is that a question. I think he’s earned being on the plane even if he doesn’t score in the tune-ups.

      • TheFrenchOne says:

        only to serve light refreshments and bring Boyd an extra blanket

      • Jesse says:

        question is on talent. Boyd has more pedigree, and theoretically better chops for competing against other talented players. Wondo is the ultimate over achiever. I’ve got nothing against Wondo, if he makes the team great. He just has never shown the type of elite skill set that would attract interest from clubs around the world.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      4.
      Two goals would be enough to show fans that Boyd should be on the team, one would be enough for Green, but if Wondo scores everybody will just point out that it was against Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Nigeria.

    • bryan says:

      “How people rank Boyd ahead of him is beyond me.”

      oh idk, probably because KLINSMANN ranks him higher. who was at every single WC qualifier he was healthy for? Boyd was. who was at every A team friendly/camp? Boyd was.

      this shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Wondo has to prove to JK that he deserves to go to Brazil over Boyd.

    • Dman says:

      I depends on the quality of the goals.

      Hes walking away from the goal keeper who kicks the ball off the back of Wondo’s head, and then then keeper trips and falls on his face as the ball slowly rolls across the line.

      If that happens 5 times I still wont be convinced of Wondo’s ability

    • Nate says:

      come on dude. You cant be too impressed with 5 goals against Cuba and Belize…

      • Good Jeremy says:

        And three goals in the last two games against South Korea and Mexico at neutral stadiums? I’ll take a hot hand who is scoring against World Cup opponents.

        I don’t see him starting, but when we’re throwing numbers forward trying to steal a goal late in the game I wouldn’t want anyone else in there. He has pure poachers’ instinct and an incredible ability to finish.

        • Nate says:

          how was the south korea game played at a neutral venue? Both games were on US soil. Mexico had none of its European players, who have all (with the exception of Vela) been called to the 30. That was a B Mexico, a far cry from its 2008 best, and from what youll see in Brazil. That South Korea team was not full strength, either. Is that’s Wondo’s entire resume at age 31? Im skeptical. Hope youre right, but skeptical.

  9. Michael F. says:

    The closer we get to the World Cup, and the closer I asses the US and Group G, the more worried I get. I dream we beat Ghana and tie Portugal. By then Germany will be through with 6 points and roll out the B team. We snatch a win and get in to the second round with a group best 7 points. Germany squeaks in with 6. That’s my dream. Any chance it becomes a reality?

    • JayAre says:

      The problem is everyone is discounting Ghana like we haven’t learned our lesson by now.Even if we beat Ghana they can beat Germany on any given sunday and that’ll make the Germany game harder. Call me crazy but I think we can beat Portugal with ease.

      • bb says:

        With ease? I’m really worried about who is gonna contain Ronaldo on the wing.

        • JayAre says:

          That is why I think we will beat them. Real Madrid is complete team and Ronaldo makes them better. Portugal is not. Thats why Germany is so scary on the International stage. No real stand out guys like Ronaldo but they are a complete team with a complete bench.

      • Mason says:

        I don’t think you’re using “discounting” correctly regarding Ghana. All I have seen here is that the US must beat Ghana to have any hope of progressing. This says nothing about Ghana, except possibly that we consider them a step below German and Portugal.

        • Ronaldo Messi says:

          They are ranked lower than Germany and Portugal and have NOT the history of Germany and Portugal. They do not have Ronaldo and the many outstanding German players. That’s why that’s a MUST WIN game. A draw would not be devastating, but a loss, a loss my friend against Ghana and we are 0-0-3. Btw, Ghana has our number I must remind you, so that makes it even harder.

    • Bach's Thumb says:

      Germany’s B team is a title contender still. That team we beat 4-3 had like 6 players total that even made their top 30.

    • slowleftarm says:

      USMNT can compete in this group. This is not a situation like Australia this year where it’s pretty certain to be three loses and then head home or even Costa Rica where the other three teams are pretty comfortably better. The US might not get out of the group but they shouldn’t be overwhelmed, there’s enough talent there to be competitive.

      • Ronaldo Messi says:

        Your post sir, makes more sense that the “we will beat the” “remember 2002″ idiotic passionate touchy-feely posts I’ve seen around here. USA vs. Ghana is the final in reverse for USMNT.

    • PN says:

      I agree the odds are not in our favor. I’d rather the Nats be placed in any other group than this one. However..
      - The order of games does work to our advantage. Starting with Germany or Portugal would be more of a challenge. We can hope Germany is through by the 3rd game.
      - I question how ready the European teams are for the humid playing conditions in Brazil. The Nats have at least had some experience with games in this climate in CONCAFAF.
      - One of the reasons why we beat Portugal in 2002 was many of their top players had a very short break before flying across the globe for the US game. Just about everyone save for a few are available now for the Nats.
      But on the flip side..
      - Brazil is a big country, and the Nats ended up with a brutal travel schedule – the worst of any team in the tournament. All three group games are far apart from each other, and far from the team’s base hotel.
      - Do not underestimate how undesirable is is for any team in the WC to play in Manaus. It is in the middle of the jungle, and the games will be played on stamina-sapping heat and humidity. And don’t forget – everyone needs to get immunized to prevent getting malaria. Teams that play here will be a distinct disadvantage. But, it’s probably more desirable than Qatar…!

      So..just enjoy the games, and hope the breaks go our way.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        FYI: there is a strong possibility that the weather during the match in Recife will be worse—perhaps stiflingly worse—than during the match in Manaus.

      • atleticodemadridfan says:

        Yup.
        And I believe that we will win!

      • Dirk McQuigley says:

        A WC in either Afghanistan or Iraq is more desirable than Qatar.

    • Matthew R says:

      You highlight a point that everyone seems to forget, Germany will not roll out their B-team because they need the extra points in order to top our group and play Russia (or whoever takes second) instead of Belgium, who could seriously beat just about anybody if they play to the best of their ability. This notion that any team, not just Germany, will roll over for another team in the World Cup seems silly to me.

    • 1st Time Caller says:

      You;ve got it all wrong. The best we can hope for is to DRAW Ghana and then beat Portugal.

      Portugal is the best matchup for this squad and IMHO the most beatable. Their advantage in the group is way inflated because of solely because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence (a man who still has much to prove on the biggest stage) and I just have a feeling when it really comes down to it CR7 is not clutch enough to carry a team here on the biggest stage.

  10. Joamiq says:

    I hope Jozy gets the opportunity to run at defenses a little and combine with Dempsey/Johannsson. He’s so much better playing like that rather than being stuck up top as strictly a back to the goal holdup striker.

  11. Brain Guy says:

    Maybe the wrong thread, but how big are the defenders Altidore will face? I know the Germans are probably huge, but what about Ghana and (especially) Portugal? Might Jozy be able to pull off one of those “I shed you like a drop of water” turns he did against Spain in the Confederations Cup?

    • Santo says:

      These days he’s a lot more likely to pull the ” I’ve just been shot by a sniper” move

    • Jesse says:

      Pique is pretty big. That is who he beat right?

      Portugal assumed CB pair Alves and Pepe are both 6’2″ or 6’2″ 1/2
      Germany not sure who will start Boateng 6’4″ Hummels 6’4″ Mertesacker 6’6″
      Ghana Mensah is 6’2″ everyone else is actually kind of short.

      • shaggie96 says:

        It wasn’t Pique, it was Capdevila, still a fairly good-sized defender, but not as big as these guys.

        • Brain Guy says:

          Thanks to all. Interesting information. Now I’m wondering how massive (as opposed to how tall) they are. Jozy is no Peter Crouch, after all.

  12. sregis says:

    Klinsi is clearly setting the stage and at least verbal confidence in hopes it lights the necessary fire in Altidore. This is key w/ all his choices, but none more than jozy. If he catches that challenge and fire in the leadup games and takes the momentum to Brazil, it doubles our chance of advancing, IMO. Not a huge risk considering our alternatives.

  13. beachbum says:

    will playing with a group of players that WANT to play with him and through him make a difference his game? we’ll see. I hope so and believe so

  14. Joe says:

    I don’t understand the hate for Altidore. He’s 24. He won’t be in his prime until the next World Cup. And most strikers are only as good as the service they get. Very few have been exceptional with poor service. Sure he missed some great chances, but every striker has. He just never should have signed with Sunderland. Put him on a mid-level squad with a solid midfield, and he would have bagged 10 goals.

    He’s absolutely critical to the success of the USMNT. In terms of importance, I think it goes: 1. Bradley 2. Dempsey 3. Altidore. We’re not world beaters, but we have a very solid midfield with Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, JJ, Bedoya, etc. Then pair him with a hyper-active and technically sound Bacon and Altidore is very dangerous.

  15. Lost in Space says:

    Ultimately the strategy that JK and his staff put together will determine who from the 30 will be selected for the final 23. Based on the 30 players called in….Jozy & Boyd are the big bodied strikers. Guys to pound the opposition in a physical way, drawing penalties, back down CB’s, and keep the defense honest. Dempsey, Donovan, & AJ, and Wondo will be the late runners playing off the target strikers (underneath) or deployed as 2nd strikers in a 4-4-2. It’s for this reason that Wondo is being brought in as security for AJ in the event he isn’t over his recent injury (ankle).
    For me….I’d start Jozy to be the physical presence to beat on the defense. Then switch it up later in the match and deploy speed options (Donovan/Green) with Dempsey up top. Changing on the fly to tactical switches of this nature.

  16. milbo says:

    Josy just needs some sunshine and Cacaça

  17. Duke says:

    I know JK is betting the farm on Altadore but I am highly skeptical that somehow he will find a way to do what he doesnt do on a weekly basis at Sunderland. Some will say Sunderland is a bad team and its not Jozy’s fault. Ask yourself… how will it be different in Brazil? We still do not have a creative midfielder that will get him the ball. So Jozy will plod around looking for service that will never come.

    My greatest fear has come true. That is JK is taking us to Brazil with a team that I doubt will get out of the group stage and I’ll go further… will not score a goal. Maybe one goal at best but certainly not enough to advance. It we look good in the friendlies I will withdraw this prediction but for that to happen… Jozy needs to score goals in bunches.

    My last question is…. if Altadore is not looking good in the friendlies and others are out performing him…. will JK have the guts to sit him down or will he back him to the end…no matter what he actually does?

  18. LarryT says:

    Jurgen doesn’t admit to his mistakes, he plays them.

  19. Techskillz416 says:

    Though I have no problem with Jozy as a person or player, I’m still very confused on how you can back a Player like Jozy, then not back EJ and say its because he’s having a down year at DC United. United has played all of 9 games, while Sunderland’s season is OVER and Jozy scores 2 goals, one being BPL play. EJ scored a brilliant goal v Mexico that was called offside, and yet the season hadn’t even started for MLS yet. I think it’s a huge mistake not bringing into at least the 30 man roster…

    • Murray Braun says:

      You’re absolutely right but EJ has been much more of an ass in statements and his lack of patience. Right now EJ screwed himself in JK’s eyes as too immature to bet on. If Altidore is held scoreless in the first two warm-ups, expect to see EJ called in for the last warm- up.

      • Techskillz416 says:

        I understand what you are saying but still it makes no sense to me. Now i’m not comparing EJ to Mario Balotelli, but he is the most immature player on the face of the planet, but does Italy, a team soaked with tradition leave him off the roster? You cannot afford to leave guys off the roster because they are not boy scouts. This is also a reason why we will never accomplish anything with JK or the Current USSF staff. Because they will do an inferior player based on a players hustle, over their overall technical abilities and skill. Its good for the children to see and learn from, but it isn’t helping the Federation either.

        • Bac says:

          You’re assuming that the reason JK left him off was his immaturity. Well define why you think his immaturity is the reason?
          Is it statements he made recently?
          Is it his attitude at the end of the season with Seattle?
          Did he do or say something in the last camp before the SK game?
          Or is it immaturity in his play and lack of preparation and hustle and form this year?

          To compare him to Mario isn’t even in the same league..
          Mario is 100 times more immature as a person on and off the field and 100 times more talented on the field.

          To say JK and the USSF will never move forward because they won’t play a skilled player like EJ… hmmmm… u mean a solid yet inconsistent backup who can jump high is going to define the future of the USSF… hhhmmmm… any other examples????

      • Bac says:

        He can’t call him in for the preliminary roster. He could only call him in as a replacement for one of the final 23 man roster if one of those 23 gets injured prior to the first game.. and I believe it must be a documented injury, so he can’t just call him in like that

    • Bac says:

      Interesting interview by ex usmnt assistant coach yesterday who said he 100% agreed with the decision to leave EJ out.
      He cited being in attendance to watch him play and said not only was his play poor, but there was no hustle, no passion in his effort, and didn’t look like a guy prepared to go to a WC.
      When asked by Greg Lalas if he could be valuable as a sub for his ability in the air he said yes, but the way he’s been playing compared to the other options JK had to choose from he said EJ looked way behind and unprepared.
      He also added he thought it was based only on his current form, nothing else.

      Some people are questioning JKs decision to exclude him, others have questioned EJs recent comments or his attitude…
      Maybe people should be looking at his play, his preparation etc.
      The one game I saw he looked uninterested, walked around a lot, stood there in an offside position lazily.. and when he had the ball he couldn’t put 2 decent touches together..

      Ultimately it’s JKs decision.. but considering JK helped re-energize his career, gave him a lot of PT, and called on him a lot when most people thought he was done… he must have a reason why he left him out

      • Techskillz416 says:

        YOU CANNOT SAY IT WAS BASED ON CURRENT FORM AND THEN BRING ALTIDORE INTO THE ROSTER…. Why do people not see the hypocrisy in this lol??

        • Bac says:

          “I” didn’t say it.. “I” quoted the ex usmnt assistant coach who was interviewed yesterday who agreed with JK.
          But I will say again one thing nobody wants to consider in this debate…
          JK backed EJ big time. EJ had been an afterthought. EJs career had gone in the tank. EJs entire career has been up and down. And JK brought him back into the team, JK backed him, JK played him plenty.
          For JK to exclude him he must have a very good reason.. whether u like it or not, agree or not, JK gave him more than enough opportunity… this is on EJ…

    • kevino says:

      Because Altidore is a better overall soccer player than EJ. He has better technique and can pass the ball, and even dribble an opposing player. EJ is just fast and can jump high, that’s about it.

      • Techskillz416 says:

        So your basically saying that everything JK says about Club form is the most important thing to make the WC Roster is BS then correct? Because if you are going on OVERALL…. EJ excellent run and score v Mexico that was called back for offside was the most recent accomplishment between the two players…..