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Jozy Altidore will pay for vicious head-butt
by Paul Kennedy, April 24th, 2010 5:21PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, england


[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 Probert also 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."

  1. Andrew Stamper
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 7:51 a.m.
    I think Hutton must have gotten the smashed nose and chipped tooth from his pansy dive to the ground - I'm embarrassed to be 50% english after watching a dive like that.
  1. chris cook
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 10:43 a.m.
    Crazy. What's up with Jozy? Why was he pushing Hutton instead of going up for the header in the first place, ending up on the ground himself? Whoops--ref missed that one. Hutton retaliated with a stupid move, throwing the ball at Jozy's head (saving face, I guess). Jozy over-reacted (also saving face, I guess). Hutton dove. Show some class, guys. You don't have anything to prove. Ref, don't be afraid to blow that whistle.
  1. Carl Walther
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 11:35 a.m.
    You can take the player out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the player.
  1. Paul Lorinczi
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 12:58 p.m.
    He is a young player that made a mistake. It is not the end of the world, he just needs to learn from it. Carl - very intelligent comment if you grew up in the 1950s. We are in the 21st Century now. You may want to catch up to it.
  1. Ted Westervelt
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 1 p.m.
    Whoa - I thought racism was only a problem in European soccer. Am I the only one who appreciates this new display of toughness, without condoning the actions? We seem to be pretty good about producing regimented, well behaved players in this country. Jozy was praised by coach Phil for his chipper demeanor. While there are exeptions, including one awesome Fulham midfielder - we're not as well known for producing tough players. Lets keep this where it should be - a professional under the real pressures of the world game who had a momentary lapse in judgement. Like Zidane, I'm sure he'll be fine.
  1. John Hofmann
    commented on: April 25, 2010 at 3:01 p.m.
    If I recall correctly, both of Jozy's parents are professionals and, in interviews I've seen, he has been a well-spoken and mature-sounding young man. I suspect having a ball thrown at your face tends not to be conducive to mature behavior. Let's hope this is an important learning experience for him.
  1. Jerry Lee
    commented on: April 26, 2010 at 12:05 p.m.
    Why does everyone work so hard to play a racism card? It's like people are dying to twist the issue. Leave it for what it is, a conflict between two testosterone filled athletes, and pride...They will get over it, and so will we.
  1. Chad Moon
    commented on: April 26, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.
    Jozy will learn from this. I'm much more worried about his form than a rush of blood to the head. Carl, how was the cross burning this weekend?
  1. Chaz Worthy
    commented on: April 26, 2010 at 5:38 p.m.
    I am a huge Jozy fan and, like most American soccer nuts, I am depending on his size, skill, and EPL experience to give us a legit chance against England et al. Also, I am very sensitive about sportsmanship… YET, upon watching the video of this red card incident, I do NOT think it is a big deal at all…a red card? Absolutely! ... But does it speak, in the least bit, to Jozy’s maturity or his potential as a US team lynchpin? No way, it could have happened to anyone, ever the calmest football… Go USA and, but, til then, NY Red Bulls!
  1. Brian Herbert
    commented on: April 27, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.
    He's made a few poor decisions at Hull this year, but he's clearly driven to succeed so I expect he'll learn a lot from this year. Facing imminent relegation would put most of us in a foul mood, on top of his friend Davies' injuries, and stress about doing well in the World Cup. He deserved the Tarjeta Roja, I'm not making excuses for that, but let's move past this non-story and hope he does too.

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