Monday, November 26, 2007

Jozy Altidore to Real Madrid a Bad Idea

Rumors have been hot and heavy the past few days that Jozy Altiodre, the first American teen strikerto ever elicit serious interest from top European clubs is being heavily scouted by Real Madrid. Altidore, whose development has been remarkable to this point in his career could throw it all away by going to a club where his development will be stifled and where his national team service could become less frequent (as it did with Tim Howard once he went to Manchester United).

Altidore has better technical skill than any American has ever had at his age. His confidence on the ball and ability to play with his back to goal are something the National Team has been lacking since the retirements of Eric Wynalda, Earnie Stewart and Joe Max Moore some years ago. Altidore has the potential to take his place alongside the aforementioned names as titan in American Soccer attacking lore, but these next few years are critical. As we have seen with several other national team pool members, going to the wrong club could stifle a players development and in turn hurt US Soccer.

Real Madrid is a super club that deals in finished articles. Altidore would be much better off playing out his MLS contract or going to a league like the Dutch Eredivise where premium is placed on player development. In a place like Holland or Portugal Altidore could develop under the radar with some of the top technical coaches and trainers on the European continent. For me, long term that would be a better deal for US Soccer than the glitz and glamor of Real Madrid.


Starting11 said...

totally agreed; altidore won't play regularly at Real Madrid. Better for him to play at home, than sit abroad--for now any way.

Anonymous said...

Playing actively in any league can only help Jose’s development. While I can understand the logic, a much bigger question looms: How does an American become an International Superstar? While the MLS has developed players good enough to start for teams in top tier leagues (EPL), I wonder if a USA league can develop a World Class player. This has been discussed ad naseum for a number of years (Gardner, Mahoney, etc.). Perhaps this is just a matter of time but how much of a gamble is it for Altidore to stay? BTW- who will coach the NYRB’s next season?

I guess this also begs the question: Did the MLS help or hinder the development of the Biggest Midget in the Game (Adu)? Was he underperforming at DC/RSL or is he overperforming now? Furthermore, can his recent success be attributed to his experience in the MLS or his new team?

I’m fairly certain that even if Jose bombed at Real, his value would soar. Would you rather be a Real Madrid flop at 22 or a productive starter for the New York Red Bulls? He’d get much more notice in La Liga. As far as dreams- what’s your choice: get subbed in during a Champion’s League game or start against the Rhino’s in the US Cup?

All I can say, Jose, no matter what you decide, insure those feet. Heavily.

asiansportsfanatic said...

Kartik, I completely disagree with you. Altidore or any other US star player needs to jump at the chance to join any top-level club anywhere in Europe.

Staying in MLS is like staying in baseball's minor leagues. You develop your skils when you are surrounded by other players that are better. Altimore was one of the best players in MLS last year and the only way he will be able to keep developing is to head to Europe and train with the very best in the world and hopefully he will be able to win a starting role in the future. Staying in MLS will ruin Altimore. I hope he gets his chance in Europe.

Anonymous said...

What's the big deal about Jozy joining Real Madrid? He goes there, plays for Real Madrid Casilla for half a season then joins the first team for pre-season training. By next Septemember he should be playing some games with the first team or on loan with a decent team.
Or should he follow the Johnson/Donovan path of mediocrity?