Altidore should take his chances with the bigger European clubs

The big hoopla about bringing David Beckham and Cuauhtemoc Blanco to the MLS was to raise its profile by changing the perception that it is at best, a retirement league.
The other way to dispel this notion is to become an incubator of young talent. Nothing can be more satisfying than a homegrown talent such as Altidore being approached by major European clubs because of his impressive development as a player. Of course, the question is not if, it is when? When would be a good time to leave? There are those including Ivan Galarcep who feel that Altidore benefits from staying on to mature as a player.
My contention is if Freddy Adu is reaping the benefits playing for Benfica after spending some very indifferent seasons at the MLS then I can assure you that Altidore has very little to learn hanging out with Juan Pablo Angel and the NY Red Bulls even for another season. If rumours are right, then Real should be his next stop and the sooner the better. He will have much more to learn from Bernd Schuster and Ruud Van Nistelrooy even though his playing time might be limited initially.
Ryan Nelsen, a central figure in Blackburn’s resurgence in the Premiership and Clint Dempsey, one of the bright sparks in the Fulham attack spent a number of seasons in the MLS. Their success overseas in the big European leagues have made recruiters more eager to take a chance earlier in the development of talented MLS players. Altidore has all the building blocks in place for a manager like Bernd Schuster whose player development credentials are impeccable, to hone his skills. Schuster has taken Marcelo, the talented 19 year old Brazilian midfielder under his wing giving him more playing minutes and with talents like Drenthe, Gago, and Gonzalo Higuain already playing regularly, Real seems to be finally divesting itself of its laborious Galacticos image nurtured under the Florentino Perez era.
With increasing familiarity about the time spent developing in big clubs, MLS players are also becoming savvy figuring out whether they will get serious playing minutes. And Altidore seems to have his head on his shoulders.
“That’s the way I see it now,” Altidore said. “The quicker you can get there, the better. Even if it starts off tough, you can always adjust to it, especially if it’s a team that needs you. It’s all about timing.”
So go forth Jozy Altidore and follow your dreams. Don’t waste another season with the NY Red Bulls.

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3 comments on “Altidore should take his chances with the bigger European clubs
  1. i have never seen this guy play but i heard the good stuff about him. but frankly for madrid to get a young foreign player from united states, you have to think that it’s more for marketing wise. and unless altidore knows spanish, it’s pretty much quite hard to settle in.

  2. Shourin, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Altidore would definitely get a lot better playing with Van Nistelroy and Raul, but thing is that he won’t. Altidore will see less playing time than Adu. Also with the eminent buy out or retirement of Claudio Reyna, Red Bull may make a major move on the transfer market on a player who Altidore can learn from and work with. Plus, Altidore will have to be one of the Red Bulls’ leaders in the next season which will be another test to see if he can handle that kind of pressure. And let’s face it, if he can’t handle MLS pressure, there’s no way he can carry the weight of Real Madrid.

  3. Jozy is one of the best talents ever produced by the United States. But a move to Madrid might be biting off more than he can chew. I think he would improve and learn a lot from Bernd Schuster and the veteran players at the club; however, I believe the best option would be to move to a lesser profile club. The success of Michael Bradley at Herenveen and Freddy Adu (more recently) at Benfica has substantiated the fact that moving to, and playing for, a lower profile European club has great advantages. Getting quality game time builds more confidence than attending the training sessions of a top tier team.
    So if Altidore was garuanteed playing time at Madrid then I am all for his transfer, but this is quite unlikely and I feel it is in his best interest to move to a good league and a team in which he will actually play.

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