“There were a lot of options,” Altidore said. “People were saying I was forced to Toronto or something like that. I just thought at this point in my life it was something that I was ready to do.
“I was ready for the public opinion and backlash. The project they have here excited me the most.”
Even more than the plethora of opportunities he had on Europe’s mainland.
Altidore explained why he chose Toronto FC over four German clubs, two French sides, two Italian teams and a potential loan move within the Premier League.
But there are a lot of goodies in that interview so go read it.
While he is not playing much for Hamburg, Bayern Munich is at least making money off Julian Green. According to one report out of Germany, Bayern Munich is getting paid each time Green doesn’t make Hamburg’s gameday roster. And that has happened a lot this season.
It’s almost the weekend, but here are a few things to check out.
First off, welcome Roderick MacNeil to the site. He is going to helping out now and bringing back The OT Report from the dead. He did a midweek edition last night. We are probably going to tweak the format around a little bit.
The Daily Mail (your first sign that it likely wasn’t true) had a report in January that Tim Howard was looking into a possible MLS move. Everton’s manager Roberto Martinez is expecting Howard to see out his contract at Everton and told the press that Howard is still his #1 keeper. Nothing to see here.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle talked to Tim Ream as he continues to put in solid efforts for Bolton.
Former USMNT goalkeeper Frank Borghi passed away this week. He will probably be remembered most for his performance against England in the US’s upset at the 1950 World Cup. Resident goalkeeper historian Will did a good job of collecting news/links/information on Borghi over the last week.
We have had a couple goals so far this week. Herculez Gomez scored yet another goal for Puebla in Copa MX action on Tuesday (highlights). Dating back to his first stint with Puebla, it was his 13th goal in 22 career games across all competitions with Puebla
Nermin Crnkic scored a goal yesterday in Jablonec’s 2-0 win over FC Copenhagen in something called the Atlantic Cup (highlights). It appears to be a friendly/winter break tournament that no one attends.
Heading back to Mexico last night, 20-year-old Jesus Vazquez scored a goal in Leones Negros’ 2-0 win over Necaxa. Looking at our goal tracker, that is already the fourth goal scored by an American against Necaxa since January 21.
Sticking with Copa MX, Joe Corona wore the arm band for Tijuana last night in their 3-2 win over Coras de Tepic. Fellow Americans Alejandro Guido, John Requejo Jr. and Paul Arriola also saw the field for the Xolos. Jon Arnold got some quotes from Arriola following the match.
Also in action on Wednesday, Rubio Rubin went the full 90 minutes in Utrecht’s 1-0 loss to Willem II. While Tim Ream went 90 minutes in Bolton’s 2-1 loss to Liverpool in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.
Bobby Wood left the USMNT camp so he could sign with FC Erzgebirge Aue. There seems to be some confusion among the American folk (thanks to trying to translate German reports) on whether he signed a permanent deal or if it is a loan deal (I think it is a permanent deal). I think the confusion comes from most articles talking about Erzgebirge Aue bringing in two players, Wood and Román Golobart, with Golobart coming on loan while Wood signed a contract through 2016-17.
We had some goals this weekend. Aron Johannsson scored his first goal of 2015 in AZ’s 3-1 win over Heracles (highlights). In Scottish League One action, Kevin Dzierzawski scored a goal in Peterhead’s 2-0 win over Stenhousemuir (highlights). And while it wasn’t a goal, Tim Ream was credited with an assist in Bolton’s 2-2 draw to Wolves on Saturday (highlights).
And we had a few goals in friendly action this weekend. Alfredo Morales scored a goal in Ingolstadt’s 2-0 win over Shawn Barry and LASK Linz. As for Shawn Barry, he scored a goal in LASK Linz’s 2-1 win over Trnava. Babajide Ogunbiyi scored a goal in Viborg’s 4-2 win over OB. And Paul Arriola scored a goal in Tijuana U-20’s 4-1 win over Morelia on Friday. Jon Arnold was there and got some quotes from Arriola.
Staying at Tijuana, Greg Garza had to be subbed out of Tijuana’s senior team’s win over Morelia after taking on a hard tackle. He tried to play through it, but it was bothering him too much.
Alex De John is now with IK Start in Norway’s Tippeligaen. De John has made a nice jump from Ekenäs IF (Finnish third division) to TPS (Finnish first division) to IK Start (Norway first division) in three seasons.
We posted yesterday in the US-Chile pre-game primer about how Gedion Zelalem is currently ineligible to play for the US, but Grant Wahl/Sunil Gulati are making it sound like the FIFA exception will go through and he will be eligible later this spring.
Also in the link above, Wahl is hearing that US U-20 center back Cameron Carter-Vickers could be training with Tottenham’s first team in the coming weeks.
FIFA announced its finalists for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and for the FIFA World Coach of the Year. While no USMNT players made the Ballon d’Or list (how did Alan Gordon not get nominated?!), Jurgen Klinsmann is one of the 10 finalists for the Coach of the Year award.
FIFA also plans to show off its new logo for the 2018 World Cup later today.
It looks like the USMNT might play Switzerland in a friendly in Zurich in March.
Congrats to the US Women’s National Team for winning the CONCACAF Women’s Championship and clinching a spot in next summer’s World Cup. Since 1990, the US is one of three countries to qualify for every men’s and women’s World Cup (also Germany and Brazil).
Michael Bradley is going to have surgery this week to correct a lingering nerve issue in his foot. This is an injury that has been bugging him for most of the season. Jeff Carlisle asked him if it was an issue prior to the World Cup, which he said no, but I guess it got worse as the season wore on.
Jake Keegan went 90 minutes yesterday in Galway FC’s 2-1 win over UCD in the first leg of the Irish Premier Division promotion/relegation playoffs. Galway FC scored two late goals to steal the road win and now host UCD on Friday for a chance at promotion.
After scoring 12 goals in 14 games with the U-23 team, Jann George finally saw some first team action with Greuther Furth’s senior team in their 5-2 loss to FSV Frankfurt.
We had some goals this weekend. Matt Taylor scored twice in Saarbrücken’s 4-1 win over Pirmasens. Christian King scored twice in Ararat’s 3-2 loss to Ulisses in Armenian Premier League action. Jerome Kiesewetter scored his second goal of the season on Saturday in Stuttgart II’s 1-0 win over Unterhaching. And over Tigres’ last two games, we have had goals by Jose Torres and Herculez Gomez.
I saw a Clint Dempsey rumor (loan deal back to the Premier League) has been circulating the interwebs in the last 48 hours, but it all came from a short “story” from the Daily Mirror with no quotes (except for an out of context quote from Klinsmann). Come on people, I thought we were better than that.
And finally, no matter what happens with the rest of his career, Stuart Holden is still awesome.
Tim Ream went the full 90 minutes and was involved in the first goal of the game in Bolton’s 3-1 win over Brentford. Here is the first goal of the game with Ream being credited with an assist by some sites.
The US is now unbeaten in its last 19 home games after Tuesday’s draw to Honduras. Here are the highlights and here are some photos. And I found this stat to be interesting from Matthew Doyle about Michael Bradley playing behind two true forwards.
While Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando seem to have the #1/#2 spots locked up over the next year, Will took a look at the depth behind them and gave some other options aside from Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson. He also went USMNT hipster on us and gave us some other options at the U-23 level.
While Joe Gyau is out until January with his meniscus injury, Schwatzgelb.com takes a look closer at Gyau’s career.
Julian Green and Fabian Johnson are both back at their respective German clubs and training again despite their recent injuries.
In case you missed it, US Soccer made a great Landon Donovan tribute video. Even without video of the actual goal, the goal against Algeria never gets old. ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle takes a look at the early Landon Donovan days.
Tim Ream will have a new manager at Bolton as Dougie Freedman stepped down last week. That is probably too bad for Stuart Holden, as even though he was wasn’t the manager who brought Holden over, Freedman seemed to like him. Hopefully the new manager will give Holden a chance once he returns from injury.
Tim Howard wants to see more American goalkeepers in the Premier League.
Speaking of the Premier League, some clubs are now open to talking about possibly playing some league games outside of England. If this were to happen, you would have to think a couple would be played in the US.