American forward Jozy Altidore hasn’t been able to stop scoring this season … for his club team in the Netherlands that is.
Thursday the 23-year-old American notched his 31st goal for AZ Thursday in the Dutch Cup final vs. PSV Eindhoven in Rotterdam. The goal in the 14th minute proved to be the game-winner, as AZ won 2-1 to win the KNVB Cup for the first time since 1982.
As always, whenever Altidore scores for his club team the question extrapolates as to why he can’t do so when Jurgen Klinsmann calls the New Jersey native into the U.S. National Team? Altidore has scored 13 senior-level international goals since his debut in 2007, but none since late 2011.
There’s no easy answer as to why this distinct dichotomy has developed. Comparing club soccer to international soccer is, often, an apples to oranges type of thing, as the free-flowing, high-scoring nature of Dutch soccer is far from what’s seen in most CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
Lately Altidore, in the games Klinsmann’s actually used him for the U.S., has been isolated alone up top devoid up the same service he’s seen weekly at AZ. At the same time, Altidore hasn’t exactly made the most of the chances he’s been given which is what you have to do in order to become an impact player on the international stage.
Altidore’s form at AZ would make you think he’ll play an important role in the U.S.’s three qualifiers next month, but we’ve seen Klinsmann doesn’t seem to value what a player is doing at the club level when he calls players into the U.S. camp, so long as they’re healthy and getting minutes.
More interesting might be the future of Alitdore. After four failed stops in Europe, including Villareal and Hull City, Altidore seems to have found a home at AZ. His play this year figures to make him a name we’ll read about in the summer rumor mill,.
Wherever Altidore might go, we should know by now it won’t likely make that much of a difference toward how he’ll play when he dons the United States kit.