After a week of tweeting his frustrations about being stuck in New York, U.S. teenager Jozy Altidoreput them behind him and made his English Premier League debut a little more than 24 hours after arriving in England. And quite a debut it was ... With his first touch of the ball for Hull City, Jozy Altidore lifted a nifty lob over Bolton Wanderers defender Zat Knight into the path of Algerian Kamel Ghilas, who scored to give the Tigers a 1-0 win on Saturday. In the half hour he was on the field, Altidore had three clear chances but could not score.
"Airport terminals, swine flu scares, babies crying on the plane, it's all been a little bit crazy," Altidore said of the delays. "But it was all about getting here and contributing to the team as much as possible. It's been very frustrating not being able to do anything proper for the last two weeks. I was running around embassies, listening to hearings, running around with passport photos, running when I can on the treadmill. I was keeping in touch with team-mates the best I could and tweeting all my frustrations.
"I was losing faith. I thought it was all going to be for nothing, but a lot of people worked their tails off to bring me here, the lawyers, chairman, [coach], they all did a great job and I appreciate it. This is what I've been waiting for - a chance to prove my worth."
Altidore had only arrived in his new home by helicopter from London a little more than 24 hours earlier. His arrival in England had been delayed by a delay in being issued his work permit and then the swine flu scare following U.S. teammate Landon Donovan's contraction of the illness.
He arrived in London from New York on Friday morning and immediately flew by helicopter to Hull, where he was given a tour of the city by his new manager Phil Brown.
"I looked into the whites of his eyes," said Brown, "and asked him if he was ready to play.
The 19-year-old Altidore came on for Caleb Folan shortly after the hour mark and linked up well with Ghilas, who had a shot hit the underside of the bar.
Aug. 22 in Hull
Hull City 1 Bolton Wanderers 0.Goal: Ghilas 62.
Hull City --Myhill; Zayatte, Gardner, Turner, Dawson; Ghilas (Fagan, 86), Olofinjana, Geovanni (Boateng, 81), Kilbane, Hunt; Folan (Altidore, 60).
Bolton Wanderers -- Jaaskelainen; Ricketts, Cahill, Knight, Robinson (Samuel, 78); M Davies (Ward, 81), Davis, Muamba, Taylor; K Davies, Elmander (Lee, 71). Referee:Mike Jones (Cheshire).