Aug 5, 2009

Another Yank striker to join the EPL

In a move that will officially announced tomorrow, 19-year old U.S. Men's National Team striker Jozy Altidore (follow him on Twitter. While you're at it follow Soccer-Source on Twitter) will join Hull City of the English Premier League. Altidore's current club, Villareal, for reasons yet obscure do not see a need for the 6'3 player. Nor did Xerez, a lower division Spanish club who was Altidore's loan destination last season.

Expect things to be different at Kingston. Phil Brown's side are hurting for forwards and the EPL fits Jozy's game like a glove. Having watched him up close when he was with the New York Red Bulls from 2006 to 2008, we can say this with utmost confidence.

Altidore is a beast of a young man (and we mean this in the nicest way possible) who has no problem using his substantial size to his advantage. But he's also quick on his feet and technically sound for a player of his size. Admittedly, his left foot needs work, but he makes up for it with his savvy, energy level and what the French call "a certain I don't know what"--a sixth sense for sniffing out and capitalizing on goal-scoring opportunities that all great strikers are blessed with but which nobody can seem to quantify. Not surprisingly given his physical stature, he is strong in the air and scores many goals off headers.

Additionally, Altidore is a joy to watch. He dominates opposing defenders (not just Major League Soccer slackers either, as anybody who saw the U.S. bitchslap defeat Spain in the Confederations Cup semifinals can attest. Altidore scored a goal in that one). He's the type of player you as a spectator just have to watch, even when he doesn't have the ball.

At 19 years old there's no telling how good he can be (especially if he develops a left foot). He could become the first Yank to win a scoring title in the EPL. Who knows, he may even lead Hull to Europe some day (though probably not this year. Let's not get ahead of ourselves).

Bottom line: We expect great things from this move and Hull City fans have every reason to as well.

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