Altidore records hat-trick in AZ romp

Jozy Altidore returned from the Dutch League’s winter break in style, recording a hat-trick in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-1 win against Vitesse Arnhem.

All three of Altidore’s goals came in a 15-minute span in the second half and the hat-trick haul gives him 14 league goals on the season, tied for second-most in the Eredivisie. He scored on a pair of headers and a close-range finish.

Here are the goals:

What do you think of Altidore’s hat-trick performance? See him having a big year for the U.S. Men’s National Team? Think he’ll be sold for an eight-figure transfer this summer?

Share your thoughts below.

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75 Responses to Altidore records hat-trick in AZ romp

  1. bhags says:

    love the born in the USA chant after the third goal

  2. @NotAlexis says:

    How long have they been singing “Born in the USA” after his goals? That must be awesome to hear live.

  3. MikeG says:

    Not sure about his contract status, but I hope he stays around for another year or so. If AZ can reload the roster, instead of rebuild in the next few years, I hope Altidore stays put.

  4. Sarcasm says:

    Lazy Altidore, two of them just bounced off his head! He needed two touches to score the third:-o And he didn’t even score the game winner! And BTW, scoring goals in the Dutch League is too easy, none of the top goal scorers there ever go on to success in bigger leagues.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      These sarcastic anti-Jozy posts are hilarious and have only gotten better with time.

    • drewcore says:

      Ahhh, I see what you did there…

    • Jake says:

      He also ended up on the ground after two of his goals. I mean… Come ON! Stay on your feet Jozy!

    • Old School says:

      Why didn’t he score 4?

    • Tyler says:

      Good point. None of either guys were or are any good after they left the Eredivisie. Bergkamp, Ronaldo, Van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar and Suárez

    • Sheriffbart says:

      Hopefully “lazy” will not be in his bag of tricks anymore. I think that is one of the knocks on him so far in his career. He seems to be getting better with movement without the ball and getting into good positions to receive. He is beginning to remind me of a Drogba or Ibrahimovic. He is also becomming a better first defender. HOWEVER all three of those goals were defended about as poorly as I have ever seen. Yet a goal is a goal and he stuck them in. Much better than no hitting the frame. We will see soon if he can produce for the MNT in the Hex.

  5. Eugene says:

    Yes and yes! Big year for the national team and a big transfer coming, which is good, Altidore deserves it

  6. Dan in New York says:

    None of those were complicated goals but they were three powerful finishes. Bravo Jozy!

    • TomG says:

      Good point. Though the marking by Vitesse was absolutely shameful, the finishing was strong. Jozy actually should have had a fourth but he fell down in the box. While the goals were not necessarily among Jozy’s best, the highlights don’t show Jozy’s great passing, movement, and hold up play which was superb all day. He actually began the sequence on the first goal and had a fantastic 40 foot laser of a pass with the outside of his foot, right to Maher on the dead run.

    • bottlcaps says:

      All three goals came from crosses close to the endline when jozy got into the box. If Jozy is to be effective for the USMNT, perhaps we should be looking to play to his strengths. Indeed Jozy may have had a fourth had his first touch not let him down in that instance, which also, by the way came from a giveback cross into the box on a counter.

      Instead of balls out of the midfield for jozy to hold up, perhaps he might be more effective on quick plays and runs to the endline where his strength and power in the box are hard to stop, even against a cupcake defense or against a tough one.

      • TomG says:

        It was actually not his first touch that let him down on the fourth but his balance. He stumbled and fell in the box. I disagree somewhat with your assessment of Jozy’s strengths. He is a very versatile player who can do just about everything well, including hold up play. AZ uses him to hold up play as well. The difference is that, after holding the ball up and distributing it, the ball moves around and Jozy has the opportunity to get it back in a position to score. The current incarnation of USMNT, with 3 D-mids, does not have the ability to string multiple passes together in the offensive third, so Jozy never gets the ball back. The US system relies on goals to be scored with one, two or three passes max, so Jozy may be able to get some assists and hockey assists off of hold up play, but very few goals. Jozy has to improve his high pressure defense because that’s where most of the goals for USA are coming from these days until Klinsi is able to find more skilled CMs and faster wings that he trusts to play his system. Jozy’s passing ability is his most underrated skill, but it’s fairly useless because he doesn’t have enough players on USMNT he can work combination plays with in the offensive third.

        • CroCajun says:

          This is the best synopsis of the USMNT attacking woes and why Gomez has worked better in the “system” (if you can call it a system) than Jozy despite Jozy’s superior ability that I’ve ever read.

          Kudos homie.

  7. PetedeLA says:

    What was #2 thinking on that last goal? “Here comes the big guy who’s already scored a brace. I bet if I get behind him that will hinder him from receiving the cross!” WTF!!!!

    On the one hand, that’s got to be the worst defending I’ve ever seen in professional European match, on the other hand, he took his chances very well.

    Is this his first hat trick?

    In any case, kudos to him.

    Honestly, I think he’s ready for the next big leap. I could actually see him doing pretty well at a team like Schalke, Wigan, or even Arsenal.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      I agree about #2, it’s almost as if he was trying to throw the game. Who does #2 work for!?

      • GW says:

        This business of awful defending in the Eredivisie is a bit overblown.

        There is a good case to be made for the argument that every goal requires some sort of defensive breakdown. Zlatan’s recent golazo does not happen without that awful clearance by Joe Hart.

        Before coming to England from Holland , Luis Suarez scored a goal every 1.5 appearances, Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored a goal every 1.8 appearances and RVP scored a goal every 4.0 appearances.

        Jozy has 29 goals scored in 52 appearances since he went to AZ. That is a goal every 1.8 games which is impressive at any level and compares favorably with Suarez, RVN and RVP.

        There are a lot of really good creative attacking players in that league and guys like that make a lot of defenders look bad. And scanning the rosters of the Netherlands national team over the last 20 years will tell you they also produce a lot of good defenders. And if you are going to tell me EPL teams play great defense all the time then you did not watch Stoke vs Swansea or Norwich vs Liverpool this weekend.

        • Michael Stypulkoski says:

          I see my Austin Powers reference has gone unrecognized. 😉

        • bottlcaps says:

          Well Said!

        • TomG says:

          I would tend to agree and most of Jozy’s goals this year have involved Jozy beating defenders, but the goals from yesterday showed some pretty shamful marking. The third goal, in particular involved some pretty shoddy marking. Love Jozy and love his movement, passing and finishing, though.

    • Joe+G says:

      He’s had a league hat trick in Sept. 2012.

      link to

    • Joamiq says:

      Yeah, the hat trick is awesome, but the defense seemed to be playing a game of “let’s see how far away we can get from this guy”

  8. TomG says:

    We’ve never had an American lead a Euro league in scoring, have we? Definitely not a top 7 Euro league. It would be pretty cool if Jozy could close the 2 goal gap and end the season in the lead.

    • Andrew says:

      For that matter, we’ve only ever had an American lead any foreign league in scoring once. That was Herculez Gomez in Mexico a couple years ago.

    • bottlcaps says:

      The leading goalscorer in the Dutch League (W.Boney, who ironically plays for Vitesse) is gone for at least 3 and maybe as much as 5 Eredivisie games. So its a good possibility Jozy may take the League lead back. At the halfway mark, Jozy is on pace for 28 (TWENTY_EIGHT!!!!) goals, which is even more than Bradley’s 20+ season a few years ago. Of course, Altidore has been real streaky and this season virtually carries the teams whole scoring load. With some help from another scorer, to take the heat (and multiple defenders)off JA, he may become a bit more steady., hopefully for club AND country.

      • Josh D says:

        Which is worth noting. Bradley may have been the top scorer for awhile at some point in that season.

        And reminding us of Bradley’s season also reminds us goals in holland don’t always transfer. But Jozy can only score against what’s in front of him. And he is!

        • GW says:

          Josh D,

          Bradley hasn’t really been asked to play the same role he did at Heerenveen since he left there.

          • TomG says:

            Yes, and if you watch the highlights of Bradley’s goals, they were not at all sustainable. They were almost all products of clever trailing runs where he just snuck into the box and tapped or slotted it into the net. They were very much the product of the system, rather than of any individual skill. Many of Jozy’s goals, on the other hand (yesterday’s not included) have been Herculean efforts with Jozy shrugging off defenders, blasting the ball from long range or slaloming through the defense.

          • GW says:

            Josh D,

            “They were very much the product of the system, rather than of any individual skill.”

            I remember watching highlights of a lot of those goals. And you are right most of them seemed to come from trailing the play and arriving in the box or around the edge of it at the just the right time.

            But if you think that is not a skill in itself, you are wrong. It’s called ghosting in on the blind side. Martin Peters and Paul Scholes were great at it.
            It requires skill and timing and I see players screw it up all the time. I can point you to many similar situations where the trailer arrives just a second too soon or too late or he blasts the ball weakly at the keeper, wide or over the bar.

            What Mikey did that season was too consistent to be just lucky

            • TomG says:

              It’s not luck but it’s a product of the system and not sustainable on other teams and in different leagues.

            • TomG says:

              I would not call that a skill, but rather a tactical awareness. Hence my statement. By skill, I generally mean ball skills. It is debatable, but that was how I was referring to it.

              • GW says:

                Shooting accurately on goal is a skill.

                And if you think Heerenveen is the only team in the world that ever scored goals by having a player arrive late in the box …well you have got to be kidding me.

              • TomG says:

                He doesn’t have a particularly accurate shot, GW. Most of those shots were into pretty wide open nets. I absolutely love MB and don’t want to make it out as if I’m not a fan but the guy is not a natural goal scorer. The stats speak for themselves. I predicted at the time, that MB’s tear that year was an aberration and I’ve been proven correct. I really don’t see what you’re arguing. Is your argument that MB has had an invisible 20 goal season since then that somehow everyone else has missed? Do you realize that his best year outside of that season is a whole 4 goals and all other seasons, his best tally is 2? What’s your argument? You’re not making any sense.

  9. isaf says:

    Holy crap

  10. isaf says:

    I predict he finishes with 26 goals but AZ are so inconsistent

  11. Original Aaron says:

    Don’t want to come off as a Jozy-hater. I wish him all the success in the world, but I gotta say- damn that was some bad defense. On all three goals there was no one within 3 yards of him.

    • tony says:

      yh maybe bad defending, but he really does have good movement, and i was really impressed with hes touches in front of a city fan i’ll probably take him over Dzeko at the moment

    • GW says:

      Do you mean to tell me you’ve never seen players miss easy chances?

      Go to You tube and you can find dozens of videos of players missing even easier chances than what Jozy had.

      Even from those chances what Jozy did was not easy. I bet Dzenko would have put at least one of those over the bar.

      • CroCajun says:

        Great point that people seem to miss. Jozy has been clinical this season, which wasn’t always the case early in his career.

    • Northzax says:

      You play against the defense you have in front of you. Otherwise the only thing we’d ever see is golazos. Sure, we all love to see curling 30 yard upper vee far post blasts, but the great majority of goals are scored by abusing defensive mistakes. That’s what good players and teams do, take advantage of the other team’s mistakes. Well taken.

  12. Joe Dirt says:

    I propose a new nickname for Jozy.

    So long as Rod Smart of the XFL doesn’t mind.

    Jozy’s new name, which given the enormous hateraide over the years seems appropriate.

    I christen Jozy the new and improved…..


    He’s officially bad ass beast material now.

  13. 2tone says:

    I gaurantee he is sold this up coming summer to either a Bundeslige team or Serie A team. Just a hunch.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      The rarely seen guaranteed hunch, ladies and gentlemen!

      • biff says:

        ha-ha….but I truly (honest) have a hunch that Jozy might be snapped up before this January transfer window closes. Lot of teams still looking for more scoring punch and they might be willing to take a risk with Jozy if the transfer fee is not too outrageous. Yesterday’s hat-trick certainly will catch the attention of a few teams who are in the market for a forward. (No doubt Jozy’s agent is very pleased with Defender Number 2.)

        • g? says:

          On that note, this probably made AZ VERY happy. Any talk of a slump is gone, and he’s back in the #2 top scorer spot. Price ^^

          • GW says:

            Initially, it seemed like Jozy would be sold in the January window.

            Usually, it’s a seller’s market as buying clubs are usually in need and the price can be jacked up a bit.

            However, AZ doesn’t look like they have a ready replacement for Jozy.

            If they let him go , Jozy makes up such a huge part of their attack, they’d have to be concerned about relegation.

  14. Josyjosy says:

    Someone refresh my memory. There was some discussion last year about Josy thriving at AZ but not for the USMNT because they were different systems.

    Someone remind me what formation AZ plays and why that does not translate so well to the national team.

    • TomG says:

      They play a decent amount of 4-3-3, but people get too hung up on formations. Lots of teams have the same formations but play it completely differently because of different personnel and tactics. AZ likes to possess the ball, knock it around, spread the field wide, and score off of movement and combination play. USMNT under Klinsi is generally committed to playing a very narrow, empty bucket with 3 d-mids and scoring off of high pressure, turning the ball over in the offensive third. Jozy is a highly skilled player with a great shot, great vision, good hold up play and excellent passing ability. These are great tools for a passing system where you have multiple touches to show off your skills and you can start a sequence and expect to get the ball back in 3 or four passes. The current incarnation of Klinsi’s system is better for a guy like Herc who is just going to run his head off, pressure defenders and constantly make runs, hoping someone will spring the ball free and squirt it his way. Jozy is improving in his high pressure game, but I don’t think he’s as good as Herc at this point.

  15. Grubbsbl says:

    Still not sure what to make of Altidore. At the very least he is in good form, but for every top player to come out of Holland there have been just as many Afanso Alves’s. I hope he isn’t in the 2nd category, and to be fair I don’t watch enough of the Dutch league to know for sure. But I know the narrative that Jozy doesn’t score because the USMNT midfield can’t create enough isn’t fully true as well. The USMNT isn’t Spain but his play has been poor at the international for quite a while – in fact Guatamala away in WCQ really exposed his inability to make the correct runs when it counts. Il gladly eat crow, but he hasn’t won me over yet.

    • bottlcaps says:

      Disagree on some points. Jozy has not found the right combination with the USMNT as it is in a period of flux as Jurgen Klinsmann tries out new players and new formations. Jozy has not mastered the basics of playing as a lone striker or with his back to the net with any consistency, yet in more than a few games, it is what JK put him in for. But Jozy has done very well in playing off another forward, withdrawn strikers, winger and midfielders. In the game against Vitesse, he used his strength and speed to get into the box before the defense did. He does still make the wrong runs, but he has been correcting himself. On the goal he didn’t score for AZ, he found himself in an offside position and pulled back as another AZ player made his run, totaling fooling the Vitesse defense.He is learning quickly.

      Jozy’s other problem is that he is AZ total offense right now. If Jozy does not score, AZ lose a majority of times. He is still very inconsistent and streaky, but when he is on can score bunches. He will not imitate the Alves failure when and if he moves into another League. Jozy is just learning his limitations and as he concentrates on his strengths;. ie., his speed, power, and using his height and physicality he can overpower many of the smaller Eredivisie defenders.

      Klinsmann will need to tailor his offense, if he wants to bring out the goals in Jozy, get him into the box on quick plays and crosses. Even with the more skillful and bigger defenders he is still a handfull But id JK continues to play him as a stand up or target forward or as a lone striker formation, he will not play to Jozy’s strengths as he is now.

      • TomG says:

        Agree with a lot of what you said. I disagree that Jozy is not a good hold up forward. Jozy plays a lot of hold up with AZ. The difference is that he has support. He holds the ball up, coolly distributes it to begin the offensive sequence, then makes a run and gets it back at the end of the sequence. With USMNT, he is expected to win an erratic long ball against 2 or 3 defenders. Even if he does this, he typically has no support, with his only choice to pass it back to a d-mid and never get it back. Jozy’s lay off to Deuce for the goal against Italy was masterful, but it’s pretty rare that the US is able to get him the ball that deep.

  16. wendellgee says:

    I hope he is either sold now, or right after WC 2014. I’d prefer our key guys not to have new club situations in the season right before the World Cup.

  17. biff says:

    Reading the comments above, seems to me there is a double-standard used to judge Jozy’s exploits at AZ compared to Wondoloski’s at San Jose and how their respective efforts for the USMNT are evaluated. If Wondo would miraculously be superimposed for Jozy on those three goals yesterday, I suspect the overwhelming majority of posters would be focusing on the poor defense and easy nature of the goals.

    Lot of excuse making for Jozy’s poor USMNT performances, such as: it is not Jozy’s fault, but Klinsmann’s poor tactics and the poor service from his USMNT teammates. But with Wondo, it is: “yeah, Wondo can score easy goals in MLS but, dag-nab-it, he just don’t have what it takes to score at the international level.”

    In my mind Wondo has never really been given a decent chance with the USMNT to show what he can do while Jozy has had countless opportunities. I am a fan of Jozy (although I was hugely disappointed by his silly tweet denouncing Klinsmann) and hope Jozy can get it together at the international level. But if he cannot quickly start producing in the first few Hex games and keeps struggling as a member of the USMTN, I don’t care how many goals and hat tricks he scores for AZ I will want Klinsmann to use strikers for the USMNT who can get the job done and regularly put the ball in the back of the net. At some point, Jozy has to produce for the USMNT–or else!!!

    • Andrew says:

      Dunno what you’re talking about man.

      Maybe you’re right about how people would downplay Wondo if he scored those goals, but Altidore has been the target of way too much flak for quite a few years. All those tongue-in-cheek comments (‘Omg why didn’t he score 4, why does he look so lazy out-the-door hur hur, etc.) represented the actual opinions of some fans for quite some time.

      So basically, I’d say it’s refreshing that people are finally recognizing what a talented striker Altidore is.

    • TomG says:

      Those were Wondo goals, but have you ever seen Wondo win the ball over 2 defenders, make a turn move to discard another, slalom through 2 more defenders, toe drag past another, and blast the ball into the corner from outside the box past a stunned goalkeeper all on the same play? I didn’t think so. I guess you just conveniently missed that goal, Biff? That and all the others where he displayed skills, strength, and athleticism that are simply beyond Wondo? If you like to watch soccer games and see a beautiful bit of skill or power or athleticism, it’s pretty easy to see why people get excited over Jozy.

  18. Brett says:

    I would **** my pants if I were a goalie that close to an Altidore half-volley.

  19. Will says:

    Love the close ups of the Dutch fans…hilarious

  20. Zack says:

    Great pass on the third goal

  21. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I would trade all those goals for 2-3 in the qualifiers. Hopefully JK and Jozy can get on the same page soon.

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