Bruce Arena Impressed by Jozy Altidore's Preseason Performance
The striker will be looking to prove doubters wrong after a difficult start to his career in New England.
Jozy Altidore’s New England Revolution career didn’t get off to the best start but after returning from a loan stint with Puebla in Liga MX, Altidore has impressed Revs head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena.
“Well, [Jozy Altidore] had a good preseason, suffered a little bit of a mild muscle injury last week and just got back into training today, but we have good competition at that number nine position with [Giacomo] Vrioni, [Bobby] Wood and Altidore and I'm hoping that they keep competing with each other and the end result is that we get a lot of productivity out of that position, so we just have to wait and see but Jozy has had a real good effort in preseason,” Arena told media on Thursday.
Altidore played in 17 games for New England in 2022 but only made four starts. The striker tallied a single goal in 589 minutes played.
Things didn’t improve for the veteran in Mexico. While with Puebla he appeared in just six matches and scored two goals.
Now back with the Revolution, Altidore will once again be faced with a challenge for minutes. Along with Designated Players Giacomo Vrioni and Gustavo Bou (who will be arriving in New England on Friday), the 33-year-old will also be competing for minutes off the bench with fellow veteran Bobby Wood as well as Homegrown Player Justin Rennicks.
Captain Carles Gil further discussed Altidore and just how deep New England is at striker.
“Like you said, [Jozy Altidore] is back again and he's trying to push hard to find a place. We have now three strikers with Gustavo [Bou] as a fourth, so it will be hard to play. I think he had some injury problems, but I think now he's fine and ready to play.”
With Altidore just returning to training, it will be interesting to see if Arena trots him out on Saturday. Whether it is Saturday or the home opener on March 4th, fans will be hoping to see a new and improved Altidore in 2023.