Positives are hard to find on a team that has lost four of its last five games, but New York Red Bulls have at least one bright spot: 16-year-old Josmer Altidore.
Born in New Jersey of Haitian parents and raised in Florida, Altidore has played just 70 minutes this season but has scored twice. On Sept. 16, he struck from long range in a 1-0 win over Columbus, earning a valuable three points for the Bulls, which are two points out of the playoff zone with three games left. Last Saturday he stroked home from close-range in a 4-3 loss to D.C. United 16 minutes after being subbed in.
A member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Camp in Bradenton, Altidore scored 19 goals in 25 games for the U-17s and played in the 2005 U-17 World Cup. He played Florida youth soccer for Boca Juniors and Schulz Academy.
Altidore's two goals in three games could earn him a starting spot on the frontline over struggling Edson Buddle, the Red Bulls leading scorer with six goals in 2,088 minutes of play this season.
"It's good to see the young kid get in again and score a goal," Red Bulls coach Bruce Arena told the Herald News. "He's someone we certainly need to start giving more time to."