Jozy Altidore was red-carded in first-half stoppage time of Hull City’s game against Sunderland on Saturday. The 20-year-old U.S. striker head-butted Sunderland right back Alan Sutton after Sutton threw the ball at him following a scuffle for possession.
According to Sunderland coach Steve Bruce, the blow left Sutton with a broken nose, a chipped tooth and a cut above his eye. Sutton was also red-carded in the incident.
Needless to say, this was not the way Altidore wanted to go out in the Tigers’ biggest game of the year—they ended up losing 1-0 on a seventh-minute goal by Darren Bent and are now effectively relegated. To stay up, Hull City would need to not only win its last two games while West Ham loses its last two, but also somehow engineer a 23-goal swing in goal differential in the process.
In other words, the Tigers are done in the Premier League.
And after his performance, the on-loan Altidore may be done at Hull. On Sunday, he apologized via twitter; click here for the text.
He no doubt realizes he made a mistake and how much more costly it would have been if Sutton hadn’t also been sent off, but the incident casts doubts on his credentials as the top (healthy) striker in the U.S. national team pool. World Cup opponents will no doubt keep this incident in mind when they face Altidore in South Africa.