Jozy Altidore

Ellis Park Johannesburg World Cup 2010 Slovenia v USA Match 22 (2-2)18/06/10 Jozy Altidore (USA) celebrate Donovan's goal Photo Fotosports Internationals Photo via Newscom

Position: Striker

Club: Hull City AFC (England)

Club Career

In 2006, at only 16, Altidore made his debut for the New York Red Bulls of MLS.  Following a nine goal season the next year, Spain’s Villarreal paid a record (for an MLS transfer) $10 million for the teenage striker.  Altidore never consistently made the lineup for the Spanish 1st division side, and was loaned to Xerez of Spain’s 2nd division in January 2009.  In a move that was supposed to ensure more playing time for the teenager, Altidore and Villarreal were flabbergasted that the striker made no appearances for Xerez, though a contributing factor was minor toe surgery in April 2009.

For the 2009-2010 season, Jozy has been suiting up for Hull City FC (once more on loan from Villarreal) of England’s Premier League, but Altidore has yet to find consistent playing time.  His work rate and hold-up play have drawn rave reviews, but Jozy has only hit the back of the net twice.  Altidore’s club strike rate leaves US national team fans wanting, but to be fair, at age 20, current American superstar Landon Donovan was back in MLS after a failed stint in Europe.

National Team History

Though his club career has yet to fully flesh out Altidore’s potential, Jozy, at age 20, already holds a few American soccer records – youngest goal scorer in MLS, youngest player to both score a goal and earn a hat trick for the US national team, and first US international to score in La Liga, Spain’s premier division.

Altidore was a contributor in the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying campaign in 2008 and 2009.  Often the youngest player on the pitch, he scored the most goals, 6, for the US in qualifying competition.  But his most famous goal for the national team came  against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal when he outmuscled Villarreal teammate Joan Capdevilla and slotted the ball past Iker Casillas (widely considered the best goalkeeper in the world).  Altidore seems to have laid the foundation for what may end up being the finest ever career for a US striker.  Hopefully his legend will continue to grow in the 2010 World Cup.

Official US Soccer Bio

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