[AMERICANS ABROAD]On a U.S. frontline with slim options, young Jozy Altidore has been viewed as a sure thing for the World Cup, but his actions on Saturday cast doubts whether he's ready to lead the American attack.
His English Premier League career at Hull City may be over after he was ejected for head-butting Sunderland defender Alan Hutton in a vicious retaliation that, according to Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, left Hutton with a cut eye, a smashed nose and a chipped tooth. As for the result, Hull's 1-0 loss all but mathematically doomed the Tigers to relegation.
As for the result, Hull's 1-0 loss all but mathematically doomed the Tigers to relegation.
The incident came seconds before the end of the first half when Altidore and Sunderland right back Alan Hutton battled for a ball and the Scotsman threw the ball at Altidore's head.
Altidore responded by headbutting Hutton and was immediately sent off. Referee Lee Probertalso red carded Hutton.
Altidore is on loan to Hull City from Spanish club Villarreal. Financially strapped Hull doesn't have the money to buy out his contract, but in any event he might not be wanted after what happened on Saturday.
West Ham, which is one spot ahead of Hull, won, 3-2, on Saturday and has a six-point margin and an edge in goal difference.
"Jozy reacted stupidly. I'm not going to defend my player," said Hull's caretaker manager Iain Dowie. "He'll be disciplined because of it. It's not acceptable. In a big, big game, he's let his teammates down.''
Altidore faces a three-game ban from the EPL for violent conduct.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce was furious that Hutton got sent off.
"The incident after that is totally ridiculous," Bruce said. "Hutton's got a cut eye, a smashed nose and a chipped tooth so he's close to having really serious facial injuries. That for me doesn't warrant the same punishment but the letter of the law is if you throw the ball I do believe it's a red card."