At a time when every part of the American framework, from it’s economy to it’s global automotive influence to it’s leadership, is uncertain, there is one positive element that the country can look forward to.
That is the all powerful Haitian American – Josmer “Jozy” Altidore. A product of the esteemed IMG Soccer Academy, he has literally been destroying defenses week in and week out in the Dutch league. With eight goals in as many games and 21 goals in 43 matches for Alkmaar Zaanstreek (AZ) since joining them in 2011, he has proven his ability to adapt in the European scene to his many critics out there.
At 6 – 1, he has all the ingredients of a world-class striker. He has the ability to turn with the ball that too instantly allowing him to run past the defenders who are tightly marking him. His speed and agility on the ball cannot be under estimated, especially considering his height. Left foot – right foot, you choose it, and he will convert. And lastly, his finishing is ALMOST that to his idol’s, Thierry Henry – caressing the ball past the keeper in a very majestic manner.
It’s a beautiful sight to see him run at defenders. It would be similar to watching a raging bull run towards you while you are at the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. The only difference being that this bull would use his agility and speed to get past you without goring you, and ironically enough, he was a bull once himself. A New York Red Bull.
(The below goal he scored against RKC Waalwijk is an example of what he is capable of. Forward it to 1:02 if your patience is asking the better of you)
It came as a surprise when it was reported that current national team manager, Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming US qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala, did not require his services.
The reason being his recent performances for the national team were not up to par with the expectations of the German manager. A few ineffective games do not necessarily mean that he won’t deliver when needed. If it took the $50 M man, Fernando Torres, more than a few games to find his form for Chelsea, then it shouldn’t take Altidore all that long to do the same (at the international stage). His exclusion from the team is especially shocking, considering that the team will have to do without the services of their star playmaker Landon Donovan.
This by no means will deter the striker from doing anything apart from what he is currently doing – scoring goals for the club that pays his wages. He has matured and grown with every touch of the ball along with the experiences in different countries (Spain, England, Turkey and currently the Netherlands), that he has managed to learn from. It will only be a matter of time, when we see him back in the English Premier League making a name for himself. To take that further, it will not stop at EPL. That is for sure.
And he is only 22.