May 7, 2012, 9:25 AM EST
Good news all the way around for U.S. international Jozy Altidore, whose side finished the Dutch Eredivisie season on the rise Sunday with a 1-0 win – a triumph tied to some far-reaching implications.
AZ’s 1-0 win Sunday over Groningen is important because:
Altidore is OK, after all: The U.S. striker took a big spill last week, banging his head into a hard structure along the sideline. He reported feeling “out of it” for a few seconds but never lost consciousness, and was eventually diagnosed with nothing more than a back bruise. So his start in Sunday’s match says good things.
He assisted in the important game-winner: Altidore’s entry pass helped arrange Erik Falkenburg’s goal, so he can feel good about his part in the big day.
This means extra rest for the striker: This might be the most important element in the big picture. AZ’s win, combined with a loss Sunday by Heerenveen, gives Altidore’s club fourth place in the final Dutch Eredivisie table.
In this case, there’s a big difference between fourth and fifth.
At No. 4, AZ gets a berth in next year’s Europa League qualifying (in August). A loss Sunday would have given Heerenveen that No. 4 spot – and that would mean extra games in the Netherlands, which would have been extra work (and possibly even a delay) before Altidore reports to the U.S. national team camp set to begin next week in Orlando.
The United States’ summer schedule begins May 26 in Jacksonville against Scotland.
This means extra opportunity for Altidore and AZ: Assuming he stays (and there’s no reason at the moment to believe he will not), Altidore and AZ get a shot at Europa League play. That’s big stuff for a small Dutch club like this one – one that’s been built wisely by former U.S. international Earnie Stewart, by the way.
Dec 18, 2014, 11:50 PM EST
Luke Shaw is ready to make his return after nearly a month out of action.
Dec 18, 2014, 10:21 PM EST
Mix Diskerud is on the move, and he may be headed south of the border.
Dec 18, 2014, 9:14 PM EST
Chicharito isn’t getting games for Real Madrid, but his agent insists he won’t end his loan deal early.
Dec 18, 2014, 7:46 PM EST
It may be 14 years after the fact, but Paul Scholes is owning up to his fault in one of the greatest goals of all-time.
Dec 18, 2014, 6:20 PM EST
Inspired by Monday’s loss, the USWNT were out for vengeance — and goals — against Argentina.
Dec 18, 2014, 4:36 PM EST
Find out who went where in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Thursday.
Dec 18, 2014, 3:00 PM EST
As we head into the busy festive season, here’s how the rankings of power look before Week 17.
Dec 18, 2014, 2:46 PM EST
Winger set to return to full training, may return to action this Sunday at Anfield.
Dec 18, 2014, 2:11 PM EST
Germany end 2014 on top, as the USMNT sit steady inside the top 30.
Dec 18, 2014, 1:26 PM EST
Balotelli will now miss Liverpool’s match against Arsenal this weekend.
Dec 18, 2014, 12:45 PM EST
Rogers worries about anti-gay laws in Russia, Qatar during World Cup tournaments.
Dec 18, 2014, 11:46 AM EST
Scunthorpe win 14-13 on penalty kicks… really?
Dec 18, 2014, 11:10 AM EST
Klinsmann’s son make six saves, but gets second-yellow as youth side beat Germany.
Dec 18, 2014, 10:17 AM EST
USMNT attacker heading back to MLS.
Dec 18, 2014, 8:50 AM EST
Vegas, baby! New soccer stadium gets seal of approval from city council… all they need now is an MLS expansion franchise.
Dec 18, 2014, 8:19 AM EST
Reus has been speeding around in his Aston Martin without a license. Gets biggest motoring fine in German history.
Dec 18, 2014, 7:54 AM EST
Dig into all the latest gossip, right here.
Dec 17, 2014, 11:13 PM EST
Could Cole be returning to the Premier League?
Dec 17, 2014, 10:35 PM EST
Bad jokes make Christmas.
Dec 17, 2014, 10:10 PM EST
- Paul Scholes: Thierry Henry’s legendary goal vs. Man United was my fault 1
- Premier League Power Rankings: Arsenal, Everton rising, Saints falling 2
- Robbie Rogers: FIFA “insane” to host World Cups in Russia, Qatar 5
- Stoke City confirm Brek Shea is finalizing move to Orlando City 1
- Soccer stadium approved in Las Vegas, as MLS expansion talk heats up in Sin City 2
- Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus fined $665,000 for driving without a license 1