Martin Rogers writes that U.S. coach Bob Bradley should be concerned about Jozy Altidore, the USA's first choice forward who last weekend headbutted an opponent and will be banned for the remainder of the English Premier League season. The headbutt generated more attention than anything Altidore did in the preceding eight months at Hull City.
Altidore scored just two goals this season and failed to lock down a permanent starting role with one of the worst teams in the EPL. Yet Altidore will be the one who leads the U.S. frontline at the World Cup. After Altidore and Hutton tangled while chasing down a loose ball, Hutton threw the ball at his opponent’s head as it went out of play. Altidore responded furiously, leaping to his feet and shoving his head into Hutton’s face. Both players were red-carded and sent off.
But Bradley knows Altidore fits more comfortably in the USA lineup than he ever did at Hull and Bradley won’t be panicking too much. Last season, Altidore saw hardly any action for his clubs in Spain, but that didn’t stop him from turning in several productive efforts at the Confederations Cup.