Jozy Altidore Makes 1st Appearance of 2023
"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."
Jozy Altidore made his first appearance of the 2023 MLS season and he impressed Bruce Arena and his teammates.
The Blazing Musket is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Altidore played 28 minutes against D.C. United. The 33-year-old recorded seven touches, won two ground duels, and was fouled twice while on the field.
The veteran striker used his physicality to wear down his opponents and put in a solid shift on Saturday night. Similar to Bobby Wood, Altidore has impressive hold-up play to help New England maintain possesion.
Arena was pleased with the striker’s performance in the 2-1 win.
“Jozy has been making progress throughout preseason and the early weeks of the regular season,” the head coach and sporting director 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. You can see he’s getting fitter and you know, there is going to be a place for all of those guys this year. Certainly, today we played, if I’m not mistaken, we played four strikers today. So you know, that’s a real positive for us.”
Altidore came into the game for Wood and was the first striker to come off the bench. DP striker Giacomo Vrioni didn’t find his way into the game until the 87th minute. Choosing Altidore to come off the bench is telling along with Wood garnering yet another start over Vrioni.
With Altidore continuing to get fitter, minutes will be even harder to come by with New England boasting five strikers on the roster. With a packed schedule that features the U.S. Open Cup and Leagues Cup, the Revolution will need to utilize every single one of them.
DeJuan Jones thought that Altidore brought a necessary spark off the bench against D.C.
“Jozy [Altidore] has a lot of experience,” Jones said. “He’s a big-time player who’s played in a lot of different places, played for the national team, and I thought today he was excellent. When he came in, he brought energy, he made a difference for the center backs. He’s holding balls up for us and yeah, I thought he was excellent tonight and just gave us a really good spark off the bench.”
Saturday was a positive step forward for Altidore as he made his return to the field. Revolution fans should expect to see him more as the season progresses.