Posts Tagged ‘Jozy Altidore’

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Weekend Stuff: The Important Junk

November 30, 2008

Wow.  Jozy Altidore started today for Villarreal against Recreativo Huelva and that is the nail in the potential-loan coffin.  Josmer is now unable to go on loan to another club this year and that means he will stick around with the Yellow Submarines for the rest of the season. Hopefully their striker injury woes can continue so Jozy can keep sniping minutes.

Freddy Adu. Once again, Adu did not get off the bench for Monaco.  At this point, you have to wonder, will anything happen in January?  It truly seems that Gomes does not plan to give Adu a chance in the lineup and it seems like poor Freddy can’t catch a break.  Will he ever be able to sign with a team who ACTUALLY intends on playing him (as opposed to just using him for marketing purposes?)  Sure, Adu isn’t the savior of soccer, but he is more than capable of playing football in Europe.  When is someone going to take him seriously?

And then there’s Michael Bradley. Just as it seemed he was settling in at BMG, he scores an own goal.  Yes that’s right, Bradley scored the first goal of the match in the 17th minute. Unfortunately it went into his own net.  It was more of a bad deflection than anything so I don’t think it will haunt him too much, but nonetheless, Bradley didn’t play his best.  By all accounts, the BMG defense was horrid as usual and so they once again drop points.

Over in London, Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes for Fulham in a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.  Dempsey battled the whole game and had some strong efforts in the attacking third.  Friedel made some excellent saves off a few Dempsey shots and hopefully Hodgson is liking what he sees from the Texan.

And finally, poor Eddie Johnson. He didn’t even make the bench today against Swansea in a match that saw Ross McCormack return from injury and score.  Things look bleak in Cardiff for the Grown Ass Man.

What did you think this weekend? TELL US!

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Thanksgiving Week: Waiting For Happenings

November 28, 2008

It’s been a slow holiday week, but in the spirit of posting SOMETHING, this is what’s rumbling:

Kenny Cooper: Increasing rumors about a connection with Eintracht Frankfurt have heated up the transfer talk for this FC Dallas striker.  Pair that with the fact that Dallas doesn’t seem to be willing to pay DP money for KCoop and it looks like he’ll be gone in January.  Now the only question is WHERE.  Expect suitors to come out of the woodwork over the next few weeks.  Perhaps Rosenborg and Cardiff are still interested?

Eddie Johnson: After a kind and encouraging newsweek for EJ, he played like crap against Plymouth.  To make matters worse, two Cardiff strikers are coming back from injury.  Looks like Edward will be dropped back to the bench and stuck as 4th choice striker. Lame, but can any of us actually be surprised?

Freddy Adu: Still can’t buy a game for Monaco.  After scoring for the USMNT last midweek, Freddy didn’t get of the bench in his next club game.  You could argue that ‘oh he needed to rest,’ but that’s BS in my book because he’s an 19 year old who has hardly played all year; he can handle a double gameweek.  We’ll see what happens this weekend.

Jozy Altidore: With Nihat back from injury, US fans are still holding their breath to see if Jozy is used for Villarreal in the next month.  If not, we can expect Josmer to go on loan where hopefully he will find some first team minutes.  That’s something everybody wants.

Oguchi Onyewu: As we approach the January window, it’s time to turn our focus back to Gooch.  Where might he end up?  His contract with Liege expires this year, so it seems they must sell him (if he does in fact wish to leave).  Marseille have reportedly been sniffing around the US Centre Back, and recently Anderlecht has also shown some interest (although Liege would never allow that).  Word has it that Onyewu wants to make it back to the EPL, but I’m not sure any clubs there care.  Hey…Arsenal could use a centre back…Muahha.

Landon Donovan: While it seems his move to Bayern is all but set, we still haven’t heard much from Don Garber and the MLS.  I don’t expect them to prevent the move, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a few more stupid comments and get a little bit dirty.  Landon must be counting the days until January.

Chad Marshall: The young Columbus Crew defender has had an outstanding year in the MLS, capping it off with a goal in the cup final.  Now, it seems he has ambitions to play abroad and there is plenty of interest.  Crew wouldn’t be able to pay him the money he wants, so look for Marshall to head oversees in January.

What else is going on people? Still stuffed full of Turkey?

-psc

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Guatemala: Starting Lineup and Live Blogging!

November 19, 2008

Well surprise surprise! Check out Johnny Thorrington!

Guzan
Thorrington Goodson Parkhurst Bornstein
Mastroeni (c) Clark
Adu Kljestan
Cooper Altidore

Cooper and Altidore will start together. That makes my heart sing.  I called the Goodson Parkhurst combo also, and I’m curious how they fair against a pretty physical Guatemala attack.  Thorrington at right back is curious, and Bornstein hasn’t been in the US team for a while, so the defense makes me a little bit nervous.  Especially since Guatemala will be salivating for a win and attacking strongly.

what do you think of the lineup? check back for some live updates as the game kicks off!

–psc

90th min – Game over! Wow! A dream game for this US Squad.  Sure there were a few close calls in defense, but what a great creative attacking show from our young guys!  Kenny Cooper came to work, and got the job done!

85th min – Great save from Guzan! And the cleansheet stays safe…

82nd min – Davy Arnaud comes on for Freddy Adu and now almost all offensive creativity is sucked from our attack.

78th min – It seems that with Jozy and Kenny leaving, so went our attack.

75th min – Jozy and Kenny come off for Brian Ching and Conor Casey.

USA 2 GUAT 0

68th min – GOAL FREDDY ADU! 2-0 USA! A terrific free kick from Freddy after Jozy won the foul.  Great reason to be happy for him after his recent club struggles.

64th min- Great goalkeeping by Guatemala to deny Sasha at the backpost after a Cooper cross.

63rd min – strong long shot from Pablo and Goodson almost puts in the rebound.

60th min – Some BEAUTIFUL work by Adu and he nearly gets played in by a tricky one touch pass from Kenny Cooper.  Wowowow. Such fun attacking football.

55th min – strong shot from Freddy Adu. I’m really glad that Freddy is taking shots freely.  That’s what the USMNT needs.

USA 1 GUAT 0

53rd min – HUZZAAAAAAH GOAL! KENNY COOPER IT IS! Excellent linkup between Jozy and Kenny, and the tandem we’ve dreamed of is coming true!

47th min – Quick snapshot volley from Jozy and he just can’t keep it low.

46th min – Out of the gates right away and Cooper sends a dangerous cross into the box.

HALFTIME – Bright attacking football from USA so far, and we are unlucky to not have a goal.  I hope there aren’t any changes at the break, because this is a fun group to watch and I think everyone is performing well (yes, even Thorrington).

36th min – Freddy Adu plays a teasing ball in and Cooper can’t get it settled in time for a volley. But ooooh it was almost there!

30th min – Cooper heads off the crossbar, but is flagged for offsides.  Real positive stuff for USA so far in this first 30 minutes.

28th min – Great run by Ricardo Clark and it’s nearly rewarded when he plays a neat 1-2 pass with Adu.  He almost ends up through on goal.

21st min – WOW. Referee blows a CLEAR penalty call as a Guat defender takes out John Thorrington in the box.  That was clear as day, how did he miss that??

20th min – some beautiful one touch passing between Jozy, Kenny, and Sasha but Bornstein flubs the low cross.

17th min – GREAT run and shot by Freddy! Kljestan almost finds the rebound, by the Guat keeper makes a good save.

15th min – Thus far, US is attacking very strongly.  Guatemala is giving us plenty of time to turn and run with the ball in midfield, which really suits our strengths…

12th min – Some great interplay between Adu and Sasha leads to a great through pass to Jozy but he opts to play it across the goal instead of shoot.  Should’ve shot there Jozy!

10th min – Jozy draws a foul 35 yards out.

6th min – Jozy again using his strength to hold off the Guatemala defender and nearly lifts the ball past the keeper.

3rd min – Kenny Cooper is nearly played through, but he’s just offsides…

1st min – Quick show of strength from Jozy. Oooh boy.

PREGAME – Anthems have passed and now we’re kicking off!

PREGAME – By the way, where is Marvell Wynne?  I’d much prefer to see him terrorizing the RB spot as opposed to Thorrington…

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Game Day! And More Goal.com Junk

November 19, 2008

Only a couple hours left until kickoff for the WCQ this evening against Guatemala.  As we get ready for this match, what do we think the starting lineup will look like? Let’s take a stab.

Guzan

Bornstein Goodson Parkhurst Gibbs

Adu Mastroeni Clark Kljestan

Ching Altidore

In a perfect dreamland, Kenny and Jozy would be up top, because that’s what US fans want to see.  Two exciting young strikers who, if able to form a partnership, could terrorize international defenses.  Hopefully we can go into haltime with a goal or two, and if so, hopefully Cooper can come on for Ching after 45.  That’s very wishful though, I expect Kenny to be a sub around the 60th minute or so (maybe even later). This will be an important game for Freddy also, as he struggled last time he had a run out, and if he IS deployed on the wing tonight, his performance will be important to watch.

And if you want some true pre-game entertainment, head over to this Goal.com article by Noah Davis to see him do a little victory strut.  I wrote a piece in September, criticizing Noah’s call for Thorrington and Arnaud to be included in the US Squad.  And now that they’ve appeared on this roster, Noah feels “vindicated” and thinks he’s walking in step with Bob Bradley’s psyche! Please.  If Thorrington or Arnaud see the pitch tonight, it’ll be for a handful of minutes and they’ll make no contribution. Book it.  If my starting lineup is close to being correct, I think the subs will be Cooper, Sean Franklin, and perhaps an unknown third depending on how the game shakes out.

Listen, I don’t mind that Thorrington and Arnaud are here for this game.  The game has no significance and alot our European Stars are hustling for PT across the pond.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves like Noah Davis and adopt the attitude that “Yea! Bob Bradley is really giving these guys a shot! And hey, maybe one of them could come in and really WOW us!”  Because that is simply not the case.  Noah says:

“Sure, there are stars who are locks for the 2010 World Cup Team, but a huge number of spots remain up for grabs”

A huge number of spots are up for grabs? Not so.  Yes there are a few spots up for grabs, and yes anything could happen injury-wise in the next year and a half.  But neither of those spots will go to Arnaud or Thorrington.  When picking attacking players for a World Cup bench, you don’t go with age or perceived “experience” (I would argue that the experience Arnaud and Thorrington have is not valuable), you go with players who can bring an injection of pace, creativity, and threat.  Players like Charlie Davies, Sasha Kljestan, and Freddy Adu (if Adu doesn’t mature enough to own a starting spot himself). Not a 32 year MLS veteran.

No offense John or Davy, but my eye remains on the bigger picture. And hey, if Thorrington scores a 10 minutes hat trick tonight, egg will be on my face.

Ready to watch the game?

–psc

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A Tear For Llorente Means A Break For Jozy

November 17, 2008

News out of Villarreal today is that Joseba Llorente has torn a muscle in his thigh.  The injury came in last weekends 2-2 draw with Malaga and now the striker is facing a month on the sideline.  While this may be bad news for Llorente and Villarreal, it could be nice for Altidore who suffers when the strikeforce is at full strength.

We can expect Rossi and Franco to continue starting up top, but it seems that Altidore will be the first striker off the bench in the next few games.  At least until Nihat returns to form which might be soon.

But before we think this is a great opportunity for Jozy, let’s remember that there’s another side to this coin.  If Jozy plays another game for Villarreal, he is unable to be loaned out in January.  I believe that is the rule.  So while Jozy may get to play in the short term (in Llorente’s absence), in the long term he may find himself trapped deep in the rotation once spring rolls around and every striker is healthy.

So we’ll see what happens this weekend, and if Jozy makes an appearance.  But before that, we can turn our attention to Wednesday and hope Jozy has a strong showing against Guatemala.

Thoughts?

–psc

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20-Man Roster For Guatemala Game

November 17, 2008

Bob Bradley released the roster for the Guatemala game this Wednesday and Jozy and Freddy are the only boys to venture over from Europe.  John Thorrington (Why Gody Why) and Chris Role (Kill Me Now) are the new domestic additions.  Take a peek:

GOALKEEPERS

Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins, Matt Pickens

DEFENDERS

Jonathan Bornstein, Sean Franklin, Cory Gibbs, Clarence Goodson, Drew Moor, Michael Parkhurst

MIDFIELDERS

Freddy Adu, Davy Arnaud, Ricardo Clark, Sacha Kljestan, Pablo Mastroeni, John Thorrington

FORWARDS

Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Kenny Cooper, Chris Rolfe

Alright, so despite the inclusion of Chris Rolfe and Papa John Thorrington, there are some things to be excited about.  First off, Corey Gibbs makes his return to the National Team and there’s a chance he might sneak a start (I suspect he’ll be fighting with Drew Moor for the RB spot).  On first glance, my gut tells me that the starting defense will be Bornstein, Goodson, Parkhurst, Moor. But Gibbs could slide in for Moor.  And Franklin could be a late sub, just to give him a taste of the Senior crest.

In the midfield, my gut reaction is that we’ll see Adu, Clark, Mastroeni, Kljestan lining up.  I’m surprised that US Soccer lists Davy Arnaud as a midfieler, but I don’t expect him to see the pitch anyway (but I suppose you never know).  Some people may be sad to see Freddy on the wing, but where else would we put him in this squad? I don’t think he’d slide into the center because that would push Pablo or Clark out, and I just don’t see that happening.

Up top, the forwards pose an interesting dilemma.  First, I have to figure that Jozy will start.  Why else would we bring him over from Villarreal?  That implies that Brian Ching and Kenny Cooper will be fighting for the other spot, and that makes me extremely worried.  Because knowing Bob Bradley and the US Soccer contingent, Brian Ching will start.  Which breaks my cold, black heart.  This game means nothing and we really need to see what Kenny Cooper can do in a strong runout.  Cooper has been much more productive in the MLS, but because Ching is a “USMNT veteran” he will get the nod?  There is a chance that Cooper will start, but given the traditional and safe ways of Bradley, I don’t have much confidence in that possibility.  Hey, there’s always the chance that Cooper and Ching would start up top together, although that would be mind boggling.

What do you all think of the roster?  Who do you figure will get the start?  Are you sad not to see Danny Szetela in this lineup? Because I am. I have some more in depth thoughts, but I’ll post those later.

–psc

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Clint Dempsey: “I’m Back”

October 27, 2008

Clinton Dempsey scored the leveling goal today in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth.  He came on in the 77th minute and found the back of the net 9 minutes later off of a Nevland cross.  Fuck Yea. It’s about time Clint is seeing the fruit of his hardwork pay off, and you could definitely sense relief after he scored.  He ran to the fans and was clearly saying “I’m Back!” repeatedly as he celebrated.

I hope he is back, and I hope that Hodgson sees that Dempsey can bring some valuable skill to the squad. Clint’s goal capped off an otherwise dissappointing weekend among American’s in Europe and beyond.  Adu didn’t get in the game for Monaco, and the French team failed to win yet again.  Jozy didn’t make the bench for Villarreal, but with the Copa del Rey about to start, I’m hoping he gets a strong chance at those matches.   Edu sadly didn’t make the bench for Rangers, but Beasley did go 73 minutes and had some really strong effort in attack; he kicked off the buildup that led to the ‘Ger’s second goal.

This is a double gameweek for England, so we’ll have another chance to check in on Dempsey on Wednesday.  And since AJ went 90 minutes today, who knows, Clint might even get the start.

–psc