Jozy Altitore to Villarreal

Altitore joins Villarreal and will step inside the Yellow Submarine – contract terms not agreed upon just yet but transfer fee is upwards of 10 million.

His name sounds like a brand, his last name is like some kind of airline. Well the kid’s off to play in La Liga, no more MLS for him. He’s off to play with Robert Pires at Villa, and face players like Ruud, Rual, Robinho, Eto’o, Ronaldinho, and so on in La Liga. The last two names might not play in for Barcelona much longer, but either way he’s off to one of the best leagues in the world and the MLS gets a pile of money for him.

Is there any other business where you can make as much money while sitting on your hands? While a player develops? You sign a player for a few years and then sell him off for nearly 10 million dollars.

There was talk that he’d lost focus, a poor attempt to draw in some controversy and attention—not newsworthy. Even if he did lose focus, who isn’t going to lose focus when your names been mentioned by clubs like Real Madrid and you’re playing on turf for the Red Bulls? Do we forget how old he is? The kid’s just 18 years old but he’s a tank. He’s a blogger for the NY Times (is he now going to do his pieces in Spanish?). He’s the future of the U.S. national team. Have you seen Eddie Johnson play, well Jozy makes him look like a school yard player—someone who’s just learned how to play. Sure, Eddie’s got blazing speed and potential, it’s just that we’ve heard this too long and he can’t control the ball or get his feet under him.

Jozy will join another American, Giuseppe Rossi, who’s also a Jersey kid but chose Italy over the U.S. He’ll join a team that finished in second place last year. There’s a chance he’ll play in the Champions League. There’s a chance he’ll be loaned out to Recreativo Huelva. Which would be perfect, he’ll get more game time until he’s ready for the first team.

Other record MLS transfers – a short list so far but I’m sure this will grow in the years ahead

  • Fulham paid $4 million for Clint Dempsey
  • Sunderland bought Claudio Reyna for $5.7 million

The talk about Jozy losing focus and not training like he should was bollocks. The young players with confidence, talent, potential and a feel for the game should be supported rather than always investigated. What separates the best players from the average ones is their confidence. They’re not afraid to take players on and try to make that clever, unexpected pass. Jozy’s got the confidence and he’s got class too. In his first national team game he scored a goal and also went up to Marquez after the game like the kid he is. Marquez might just be facing Jozy now on a regular basis.

From his NY Times blog:

After the game I went over to Marquez and told him that I watch him play every week because Barcelona is one of my favorite teams. I really don’t remember if he said anything, I don’t know if he speaks much English. He kind of laughed and said O.K. I think he understood me though, I mean, he’s played around the world and much understand some kind of English.

But hats off to Jozy and enjoy the tapas and have fun learning Spanish.

Freddy Adu: He too is the real deal. Did you catch him in the Spain versus U.S. match? He’s got some pop to his game and lifts the team with his willingness to take other players on.