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A huge day for U.S. striker Jozy Altidore

Dec 15, 2012, 2:47 PM EDT

AZ Alkmaar's Altidore and Valencia's Rami fight for the ball during their Europa League soccer match in Valencia

About a month ago, Jozy Altidore regained national team grace as Jurgen Klinsmann recalled the young striker after a brief, well-publicized roster omission in October. Lesson learned, all parties agreed amicably.

Not long after, AZ Alkmaar technical director Earnest Stewart said Premier League clubs were keeping close tabs on Altidore (among other Alkmaar men). Nice, eh?

And things took a serious turn north Saturday for the 23-year-old striker: the U.S. international hit both goals for his Dutch side in a 2-1 win over Zwolle.

Altidore scored straight-away (in the 2nd minute) and had a second 10 minutes before the break. The road win is big for Alkmaar, now in 12th place in the 18-team Dutch Eredivisie, helping keep the club comfortably above the drop zone halfway through its Holland campaign.

If the Premiership does come calling (and a few more days like this one sure won’t hurt), things will hopefully go better for Altidore this time. He scored just once in 28 Premier League appearances previously during a loan to Hull City back in the 2009-10 season.

Here is his second goal Saturday.

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  1. acieu - Dec 16, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    As a novice football fan where does the Dutch league stand in comparison with other leagues? Is it like the SPL or Championship or below in quality of play?

  2. beelza - Dec 16, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    That is a goal that causes nightmares, starts careers on a downward spiral and turns managers into drunkards. Beautiful.

  3. cornet76 - Dec 17, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    acieu.

    Going into 2013 the Eredivisie is ranked #8 in Europe by UEFA. Look up the list on Google under “ UEFA coefficient.”

    The leagues are ranked by how their clubs do in the various UEFA competitions such as the Champions League and so on. As such the rankings not so iron clad that all the teams from the #10 ranked league for example are automatically better than all the teams from the # 12 ranked league. Often, there are exceptions.

    In Holland offense is emphasized so an attacker like Jozy has more opportunities. Of course, just because you have opportunities it doesn’t mean you will take advantage of them like Jozy has. The kind of productivity and consistency that he has shown is notable regardless of the ranking of the league or the so called ineptness of Eredivisie defenders. They aren’t all crap any more than every defender in the EPL is first rate.

    Jozy’s run at AZ has been characterized by productivity and consistency. Should he finish this season like he did last season then he will have had two very good seasons in a row.
    Probably the main thing to remember is the Dutch league has sent many players directly to the EPL who have done well so, assuming Jozy does not go into a tail spin the rest of this season, his success at AZ is as good an indicator as any that he has the ability to do well anywhere.

  4. acieu - Dec 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    Thanks for explanation and web site

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