Jozy Altidore Discusses Loan to Mexico, Competition at Striker
Altidore spoke to The Blazing Musket and WPRO's Tom Quinlan after the 1-1 draw to NYCFC
During the last two games, Jozy Altidore has been the first striker to come off the bench for the New England Revolution. The Blazing Musket and WPRO’s Tom Quinlan spoke with Altidore after the 1-1 draw.
“It was good, limited minutes, but obviously it feels good to get out there,” Altidore said after the draw. “So I just hope I can try to get some more minutes as the season goes on.”
Minutes have been tough to find for Altidore as well as fellow striker Giacomo Vrioni. Altidore made his first appearance of the season against D.C. United two weeks ago and also played 17 minutes against NYCFC this past weekend.
With New England boasting five strikers on the roster, Altidore said the competition has been great for himself and the Revolution, even though it has made it more challenging for him to get on the field.
“Fine, it’s normal when you play on good teams you have good players all around,” Altidore said. “It’s actually very nice. I really enjoy it because I think you bring the best out of each other and trainings are really good, trainings are at a high level. So I think if we continue on this way, I think we are going to be a good team.”
Altidore returned to New England after a loan stint with Liga MX side Puebla. He played in six matches for the Mexican club and scored two goals.
“I’ve always wanted to go there and the opportunity presented itself so I was really happy to get out there,” Altidore said when asked about the loan. “I was happy that it worked out and I really enjoyed it. It was a different experience but one I really enjoyed.”
Last year was difficult for New England and Altidore. The Revolution ended up missing the playoffs and while Altidore appeared in 17 games, only four of those were starts and he tallied just one goal.
The 33-year-old thinks that the aura around the club is different in 2023.
“I think the team was maybe in like a transition moment,” Altidore described last year for the club. “Maybe it wasn’t the right timing. We had a lot of things happening. This year I think everybody’s coming in trying to obviously have a better year than we did last year. So I think everybody’s really focused. We had a good preseason and I think it shows in the results so far this year.”
Altidore added that he feels more comfortable in New England this season after being with the club in 2022. With his living situation squared away along with having his wife and family with him, he feels settled into the club both on and off the field.
Even with limited minutes, Bruce Arena has been high on Altidore. After his season debut against D.C. United, the head coach praised the striker for the value he brought to the team.
“Jozy has been making progress throughout preseason and the early weeks of the regular season,” Arena said. “His time was going to come. You could see how valuable his experience was in that game and I thought he gave us a real good 30 minutes that we needed. He’s a very good player.”
With Vrioni continuing to not receive minutes, Altidore is in line to continue to receive a healthy dose of playing time off the bench. His hold up play has been quality this season and he has been drawn three fouls. If he can start scoring goals, Arena’s affection for him will only grow.
Altidore’s next opportunity for minutes will be on Saturday when
the Montreal Impact CF Montreal come to town.