The Man You Need to Follow
We’ve talked about sports a lot on The Well. Mainly the discussion has centered on our love of the OKC Thunder, OK State Football and Basketball and…well, that’s probably about it. There’s been some sprinkles of baseball talk, draft busts and even a wrestling shout or two. But one thing we have slacked on is the World’s game. Yes, I’m about to wax poetic on soccer. In particular, a soccer player; Mr. Jozy Altidore.
If you don’t know who Jozy is, you should spend a little time to get to. He is the hope of soccer in the United States. Jozy is currently riding a 5-match scoring run following a hat-trick (3 goals in one game) against Bosnia (the #12 team in the World) on Wednesday night. With his run he has become the 5th American soccer player to score 20 career goals. He is one of the few American players to be playing in the Premier League, the top tier in the English soccer (equate this to a guy from Mexico starting in the NBA. It’s just not that common). He recently transferred to Sunderland from AZ, where he played a vital role for his team that participated in the Netherlands’ top league.
S/N: Sunderland fans have started to make tribute videos, welcoming Jozy to their club.
Jozy is expected to be THE American to really make a splash in English football (had to say it). Clint Dempsey was close to making the jump, but he stopped getting playing time for Fulham last season. Landon Donovan had a nice run in 2010 while on loan to Everton, but his second stint was not as fruitful. Michael Bradley and Jozy are the only two (besides goalkeeper Tim Howard) to really show something to the English.
What I like about Jozy is that he takes the common perception that we have of a soccer player; White, rich, suburban, scrawny, wimpy, etc…and flips it on its head. Jozy is not Adrian Peterson, but he’s not a little guy (he stands 6’1″, 180 pounds). Like CJ Sapong, when he steps on the field, he is likely the biggest and strongest out.
Jozy should help to lead the US Men’s National Team to a good showing in the 2014 World Cup. My hope is that this increases the American interest in soccer even more. I’m hoping that leads to more young, atypical future soccer stars bred in the US. I love watching soccer, and I’m hoping that the MLS will someday become a mainstay on the American sports spectrum. Men like Jozy, although playing in Europe, can help to improve and validate the current path of American soccer.