Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Goalless Jozy Altidore contributes
by Ridge Mahoney, June 20th, 2010 2:29AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, world cup

MOST COMMENTED

[UNDER THE MICROSCOPE] A forward is supposed to shoot, and score goals, so on that basis, Jozy Altidore didn't do much in the 2-2 tie with Slovenia Friday. Altidore took just one shot, a first-time, right-footed attempt from inside the penalty area following a brief melee triggered by a Landon Donovan free kick. His shot went straight to Slovenian keeper Samir Handanovic, who held it firmly. At least he put the shot on goal, but a single shot during 90 minutes of play isn't a lot of production. On other criteria, however, Altidore scored well.

He set up the equalizer for Michael Bradley by heading down a Donovan free kick right into the Bradley's path, and drew several fouls that rewarded the U.S. with free kicks in good positions. So relentlessly did he battle for balls that both Slovenian center backs, Marko Suler and Bostjan Cesar, were cautioned for fouls on Altidore.

The furor in the final minutes over a disallowed Maurice Edu volley started with a free kick, awarded when Altidore – hardly the nimblest American at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds – backed into Cesar while shielding a bouncing ball and then lobbing it over the defender’s head. He and Suler were among many players wrestling and jostling during the free kick; Donovan aimed his free kick over Altidore, whose pressure prevented Suler from jumping to the ball, and Edu slammed the ball into the net.

In the first half, when played a was ball up the right flank, Altiore muscled his way past left back Bojan Jokic and touched the ball forward towards Cesar, whose attempted tackle tripped Altidore – or so referee Koman Coulibaly ruled – and also earned the defender a yellow card. On that free kick, Jose Francisco Torres hit a bending shot that Handanovic dived left to parry.

Altidore’s move was similar to that he used to set up one of his goals last year against Trinidad and Tobago, and also something like the touch that set up his powerful run past England defender Jamie Carragher to bang a shot that keeper Robert Green deflected onto the post. Altidore isn’t all that fast, and it’s sometimes frustrating to see teammates launching long balls he has little chance of getting to, but he’s learning how to wedge his body into a tackler and keep him away from the ball as he angles for goal.

He and Suler had tangled outside the edge of the penalty area in the 61st minute on a ball played straight upfield along the ball by Maurice Edu. Altidore shook off his marker and dribbled towards goal, but Suler made up the ground to tackle the ball away as Altidore tried to nick it past Cesar, who had taken away his shooting angle.

Altidore forced Suler into a desperate body-block at the edge of the penalty area in the 69th minute when he got inside the defender to pursue a Donovan diagonal ball. The Americans protested Suler had denied a goalscoring opportunity and should be sent off, but since Altidore had yet to play the ball and was moving toward the wing, not directly towards goal, the referee decided on a caution.

He barely touched the ball in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the game, and seldom got into sync with forward partner Robbie Findley, whose speed enabled him to run down balls. But Altidore did check back numerous times to link with teammates on short passes, finding Donovan and Bradley each on several occasions.

One element seldom seen in the U.S. attack is a ball played to Altidore close to the penalty area; once he knocks it back or square to a teammate, he bursts into the box for a return pass or a cross. On the shot he put on frame, he needed to react quickly in a crowded penalty area and hit the ball first-time, and got the job done.

As Altidore has showed, he’s rather effective getting out wide and going one-v-one, and since on the flank is where Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan often operate, this is another facet of attacking play that can be developed. In the 25th minute, both Altidore and Findley were in the box as Dempsey came through the right channel, but neither could shake free of their markers and Dempsey couldn’t get the ball to either of them.

Donovan’s great shot into the roof of the net arose partially because Altidore couldn’t get free as Donovan brought the ball toward the near post. In these situations, if nothing else, Altidore needs to make a hard, early run to draw as many defenders as possible, and not wait for the ball to find him.

With Findley suspended, he’ll have a different forward partner in the Algeria game Wednesday, when once again, his contribution will be vital.



2 comments
  1. Scott O'connor
    commented on: June 20, 2010 at 12:41 p.m.
    Jozy is doing many little things. However, I have to agree with Alexi Lalas' comment that he needs to do more to secure his automatic starter spot. I think even Jozy would admit that 2009-2010 has not been a great year for him. He certainly hasn't progressed the way he had in previous seasons. I hope we haven't seen the peak of his abilities.
  1. Will Lozier
    commented on: June 21, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.
    Ridge, the second goal came from the run of play, not a free kick. He does need to start finishing opportunities. Still, informative article that many American newbie soccer fans should read. Cheers

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. U-23s fall to England's Young Lions, 1-0    
A goal by Manchster United's James Wilson in the 72nd minute gave England's U-21s a 1-0 ...
Dunn honored after getting Washington into NWSL playoffs    
The Washington Spirit's Crystal Dunn, who is running away with the NWSL scoring race, was voted ...
Breaking: Bundesliga will debut Sept. 13 on Fox    
The German Bundesliga will air for the first time on network television Sept. 13 when the ...
WCQ: Nowak leads Benna Boys against Guatemala    
The third and final knockout round of World Cup 2018 qualifying begins in Concacaf with six ...
Scouting Report: U.S. vets set for return against Peru    
The USA plays Peru Friday night in the first of two friendly games as it prepares ...
NASL Roundup: Freddy Adu ready to play again    
Freddy Adu's hopes of finding his stride at the 12th club of his professional career haven't ...
MLS: Best of August    
A memorable brother act and yet another superb double-save highlight the best moments from the games ...
What They're Saying: Charlie Stillitano    
"I really think they're true friendships. When a manager comes to my house for dinner, they ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Yes, we fear and don't know. Since they arrested people, things are very questionable with UEFA, ...
What They're Saying: Whitworth athletic director Tim Demant     
''As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives