In a Dutch Cup match yesterday against second-tier Den Bosch and their bottom-tier fans, AZ Alkmaar’s U.S. striker Jozy Altidore was subjected to racist chants and abuse.
In addition to reportedly persuading the referee, who was prepared to call off the game, to continue it, Altidore responded by scoring a goal, setting up another, and then giving the following interview after AZ’s 5-0 victory:
AC Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng had his way of handling this particular sickness earlier in the month, Altidore has his. They’re both justified, and they’re both dignified.
What’s really needed is for Sepp Blatter and FIFA to stop making fatuous pronouncements from on high, and to get in the trenches and do something tangible to confront this problem head on.
Altidore’s goal was his 20th of the season in all competitions—a career high—and his eighth in his last six games. He’s tied for second in the league in scoring, and he’ll be suiting up for the U.S. in next Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras.
The U.S. striker and former Red Bull scored his league-leading eighth goal of the season in a 3-3 tie against RKC Waalwijk on Sunday, and this one was his best yet.
Take a look:
The control, the balance, speed and agility—that might have been the best goal of Altidore’s career.
He also had the assist on AZ’s third goal.
Can he bring his goal-scoring touch to the U.S. in this month’s World Cup qualifiers? He’s due for the Yanks, having scored just one goal in his past 13 U.S. appearances.
U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore doesn’t look all that much like Laurence Tureaud, the actor known as Mr. T, who played B.A. Baracus on the laughable, lovable mid-1980s TV show The A-Team.
But to the goofy Dutch journalist who did a recent postgame interview with the former MLSer, well, the two are dead ringers. The lame comparison, awkwardly made (though graciously handled by Altidore), has spawned the following A-Team themed clip from YouTube channel Eredivisie Live:
We get it, AZ Alkmaar are an A-team, and Altidore is African-American, just like Mr. T, but … come on. This is weak sauce. (And just for the record, the catchphrase was “I pity the fool,” not “Shut up, fool.”)
But hey, nice goals! Here’s to many more this season.
The burly U.S. international may have had a quiet couple of World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica last week, but Jozy Altidore’s club form remains at an Everest-like peak. This weekend he bagged three goals and an assist in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-0 demolition of Roda JC.
Five games into the season, the former New York Red Bull has seven of his team’s 10 goals, and three more than anyone else in the Eredivisie.
He scored two goals with his left foot, one with his right, and his passing, movement, and finishing were on point. See here:
If he weren’t stranded up top so much with the U.S. national team, we’d be willing to bet he’d start pumping them in at a similar rate for the Stars and Stripes.
U.S. fans take note: Your national team resumes World Cup qualifying in a couple of weeks—taking on Jamaica in a home-and-home set on Sept 7 and 11—and while they may not have in-limbo attacker Clint Dempsey for those matches, they should have striker Jozy Altidore, whose current form suggests he’s more than capable of filling the goal-scoring void left by the disgruntled Fulham star.
Altidore struck two more times this past weekend, leading AZ Alkmaar to a 3-1 win over Heracles and matching his two-goal performance on opening day against Ajax.
All he has to do is keep this up the rest of the way and he’ll bank a record 68 goals.
Two thoughts on this clip:
1) How good is the Dutch Eredivisie, really? Not to take away from Altidore’s performances—and plenty of players have jumped from the Eredivisie to top leagues in Europe—but is Heracles really that much better than say, Toronto FC? Their defense, especially on Alkmaar’s second goal, is enough to make you wonder.
2) Maybe it’s our long history with Fahrenheit, but does the Celsius temperature scale seem wanting to you? Lacks the descriptive power of Fahrenheit, where a hot day can climb into the 90s or 100s. That 30-degree Celsius pregame reading in Alkmaar? Not very impressive. (And it translates to roughly 88 Fahrenheit, which is not that hot—especially for Altidore, who grew up in humid New Jersey and sizzling Florida, two locations where the heat calls for the more finely calibrated Fahreneit system to accurately reflect just how miserable you are in it.)
U.S. midfielder Jozy Altidore looks like a grown-ass man in these highlights from AZ Alkmaar’s season opener against defending Eredivisie champs Ajax Amsterdam. The 22-year-old New Jersey native scored both of his team’s goals in the 2-2 draw:
Have you ever inadvertently bumped into one of those concrete planters on a city sidewalk? Not a lot of give on those, is there? You tend to get bounced off rudely—kind of like what happened to the defender who challenged Altidore in the box on that first goal.
On the second, Altidore gets it going with a sweet backheel and then finishes high to the near post—a goal-scorer’s, whatever-it-takes kind of finish.
Can’t wait to see this guy back in the U.S. shirt this fall.