Monday, November 3, 2008

More about Jozy

I was originally going to title this post "More On Jozy" but if you say that quickly, it doesn't sound flattering.

Anyway, Jozy Altidore scored his first goal with Villarreal on Saturday as mentioned below. While trying to put that accomplishment in perspective, I thought about other Americans who had scored in the Spanish First Division before.

I didn't have the time to develop the thought because that would have taken actual research and the most I was willing to research at the time was finding the goal on You Tube. Luckily, though, my former blog-mate Andrea Canales found out the info here.

When I was pondering the question of Americans to score in Spain prior to Altidore, I could only think of one: Giuseppe Rossi. Yes, the same Rossi who turned down the US national team multiple times only to wait and eventually play for Italy. Rossi is after all American, born and bred in New Jersey.

But there was another American who scored in Spain, as AC informs us: Tab Ramos. Now, unlike Rossi, Ramos was not born in the US. Ramos hails from Uruguay. And in fact he actually didn't score in the top flight but in the second division. But he is still the first American to score in Spain, according to AC.

And there is yet another American who scored in the second division. Ante Razov had six goals with Racing de Ferrol in the 2000-2001 season. But Ante's short-lived stint only helped Racing de Ferrol escape the throes of the third division.

So perhaps then only Rossi and Altidore remain as the lone Americans to score in La Liga. How significant is that? Actually, quite a bit. Spain and Italy are still top-tier leagues where Americans have not been very successful in, where few Americans have ever played in. Now, Rossi may not play for the US but he's American. Same with Altidore. Same with Edgar Castillo.

Now, as far as Altidore's impact, it only becomes greater if he continues scoring of course. One goal won't mean much in the grand scheme of things. Altidore, though, should continue scoring. He's a can't-miss prospect, the future star of the national team. And when it's all said and done, each of his goals in Spain will be significant.

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