A Sparkling Debut

Was Bob Bradley watching GOL TV this morning? How about Peter Nowak? If they did happen to stumble upon Villerreal’s La Liga match with Deportiva, they would have been shocked by what they saw. The same player Bradley has not called into the national team since February came on at halftime and immediately made his presence felt. Altidore replaced Guille Franco, the Mexican international (who was of course born in Argentina and thus why Hugo Sanchez would not call him into the national team, but he has been recalled by Sven Goran Eriksson) transformed the match.

Maybe Bradley and Nowak don’t like the indivudual confidence and flair both Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore demonstrate on the pitch. This is something new for American footballers who have since the days of Tab Ramos and Hugo Perez been less technical and more hard working types. But what was obvious today is that the confidence and flair Altidore possess allowed him to fit right into a team that finished 2nd in arguably the world’s toughest league last season. At the same time players consistently selected above Altidore for the US sqaud struggle to find the pitch. Eddie Johnson did not play for his second division side, Cardiff City this weekend, nor did Michael Bradley who is playing for a Bundesliga side that was just promoted.

Unlike Bruce Arena who selected in form players regardless of where they played and generally did not pick those not featuring regularly on their side, Bob Bradley has his own ideas as to player selection. We can only hope he was watching GOL TV this morning and realizes that only one American is playing for a top four side in a major European league: Jozy Altidore.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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5 Responses to A Sparkling Debut

  1. don says:

    greatly put. agreed with everything. bob bradley is a fool.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Michael Bradley did not play BECAUSE HE PLAYED vs. Trinidad and Tobago and got to Germany late. Jozy played BECAUSE HE DID NOT PLAY vs. Trinidad and Tobago and was allowed to get his feet on the ground with Villareal. But whatever works for a blog is fine. Jozy will get plenty of time to prove if he's a national team striker. But first things first. Qualify. Donovan and Beasley barely played in the qulifiers pre-2002 and were key players in Japan/South Korea. Relax.

  3. Soccer Guru says:

    This is a fantastic piece.

    Do you really think Bradley omitted Altidore for Jozy’s well being when Mo Edu and Michael Bradley were called into the team right after switching clubs? How about Eddie Lewis who signed with the Galaxy but was unavailable for 3 of his first 4 Galaxy games due to National Team duty?
    I saw posted somewhere else a very valid comparison between Podolski and Adu. Did Low decide Podolski did not warrant a place on the Euro squad thanks to not playing at Bayern.

    Altidore was not hurt badly and was not called in for the three pre qualifying friendlies while Eddie Johnson was. That tells you Bradley’s bias. As the piece points out it was Bruce Arena who considered club form. For Bradley it is merely an excuse not to pick people. If club form mattered Bocanegra wouldn’t have been picked for the summer friedlies, while Beasley, Dempsey and Johnson still wouldn’t be picked.

  4. brizzle says:

    “Maybe Bradley and Nowak don’t like the indivudual confidence and flair both Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore demonstrate on the pitch.”

    Yes, exactly. Our coaches, with all their scouting reports and personal knowledge of the players, are idiots. They don't like attacking flair or confidence. We bloggers and internet know-it-alls are far more superior to these idiots, who couldn't choose paper or plastic correctly standing in like at Safeway. Yes, yes…I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. These guys hate America and want to destroy us from the inside out…first, by demolishing our NT.

    Man, you guys are right. I can't wait until we can boot these revolutionary soldiers and find real men equipped to handle a football team…you know, someone with years and years of experience, and the required “A” license from the USSF. You know, some like all the rest of us?

  5. FC USA says:

    So Brizzle anyone without a coaching license is unqualified to criticize or critique coaches? Have you ever said such and such is an idiot in any sport? If so, then your post is hypocritical.

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