Next Generation: Altidore: A star or another Adu?

La Gazzetta Dello Sport profiles Jozy Altidore under this headline.
It is the usual missive on his massive presence.
What’s intriguing is that he is juxtaposed against Freddy Adu.
Altidore’s move to Hull is seen as a step in the right direction whereas Adu’s European perambulations are going nowhere. It is even more strange given that Adu is just a year older than Altidore and still is part of the USMNT although his Gold Cup recall was driven by Bob Bradley’s desire to see him improve his form.
What a difference two years makes. It seems just yesterday that Adu helped Altidore score two goals in a memorable win against Brazil in the U-20 World Cup. Yet, here we are and Adu has already become a byword in unfulfilled promise and fading prospects.
“The goal is to avoid becoming “the new Adu”, given that poor Freddy seems destined to remain a great promise unfulfilled.”
“The fact is that today Altidore is the most interesting player in the U.S. landscape.”
What a difference a goal can make. Altidore’s Drogba like performance against Spain in the Confederations Cup semi-finals created international shockwaves. Suddenly the Spanish media that did not give him the time of day while at Villareal were hailing the new Beast. Reactions by his team mates especially Joan Capdevila were sought and clubs came calling taken by his physical presence.
However, it is useful to keep all of this in perspective because before this rejuvenation his career trajectory was uncannily similar to that of Adu’s. Altidore was heading towards insignificance with his Villareal career, shunted to second division Jerez where prospects did not improve. Adu’s move to Benfica saw little action and he was traded to Monaco where he again drifted in and out of the first team.
Adu has to rebuild his career and get regular first team action. He is hamstrung by the fact that he has to compete with a group of established attacking midfielders who take precedence over him in national appearances. He has to figure whether he wants to be a big fish across the pond or if he wants another lifeline in the Mediterranean. The smart move might be coming back to the MLS. Ask Landon Donovan. Otherwise articles about his premature demise will keep on coming.

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