Now, you all know I almost never directly refute something said by colleagues, but I am pretty steamed about this ESPN FC video on so many levels. First of all, Jozy Altidore has been at Sunderland (who everyone concedes have mostly been dreadful as a team) for half a season. Second of all, he has definitely shown flashes of being able to excel in the Prem. On top of that, he is 24, not over 30 like Dempsey. These situations have no great relation.
I am with Steve Nicol all the way; even discussing whether Altidore should pack it in after a few trying months because it is a new level challenge to search out a comfy-cozy place to dominate or chase dollars above all is extremely disconcerting. I also find it part of a pattern of how the striker and other players in Europe are discussed in general in our bubble. This is crazy talk, and it definitely would be giving up if he looked to leave now, let alone for MLS. Our bubble is way too reactionary, often ready for players to move as soon as they miss one or two starts. Is that what the 24-year-old Bradley did on the way to being the player he is now? Or the 24-year-old Dempsey, who came off the bench in 13 of his first 14 Fulham matches?
Reel it in, folks. Like the rest of life, player development is not microwave popcorn. Let the guy find his way and he will.
- Greg Seltzer