Jozy Altidore speaks with 120 Sports about his return to MLS, Toronto FC, the U.S. men's national team, manager Jurgen Klinsmann and the MLS vs. Europe conversation.
Jozy Altidore is coming off an up-and-down month of March. In his debut with Toronto FC, he scored two goals, but the club has lost three games since. In a pair of friendlies with the U.S. men's national team, Altidore followed a goal-and-assist showing against Denmark with a red card against Switzerland. His return to MLS was one of the stories of the offseason, and his standing with the U.S. men's national team has never been more important as he leads the line for the Americans in an important summer, with the Gold Cup on the horizon.
Altidore joined 120 Sports in Chicago ahead of Toronto FC's eventual 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire this weekend to talk about a number of topics, ranging from his return to MLS to Jurgen Klinsmann to his red card to the MLS vs. Europe conversation and much more.
Watch the full interview here, and scroll below for some select quotes:
On his red card vs. Switzerland: "A lot of times as athletes in a lot of tough moments sometimes, we're not perfect and there will be times when we lose our cool a bit ... I'm not saying it's an excuse, but we're not perfect. In the end, everybody can learn from it, including myself, so hopefully it doesn't happen again and it's something I can learn from and move forward on."
On Jurgen Klinsmann: "He's incredibly upbeat, he's positive, he's more of a motivator to the individual. That's his biggest strength. a lot of the times it's a huge plus for us. He's a guy who is always stressing the positive side of things.
"He is a calm guy, he never shows really his frustration. I can count on one hand the times that I've seen him frustrated. That part he's great at, in terms of instilling confidence in everybody and making sure he's calm."
On advising younger players to play in MLS vs. Europe: "I would say go. Experience that. It's great to play in Europe. Europe, soccer is No. 1 there. You need to understand that, you need to feel that. You need to understand what it takes at the highest level. Before you come to Major League Soccer, you should go to Europe, understand what it takes, and then if that's your choice to come back here, and then pass along to other younger players what you learned, I'm totally for it."
MLS now vs. before: "I think anybody that's involved with the league ... if you look how far it's come in a short period of time, it's incredible. It's amazing to see the sport in our country the way it is now and hopefully it continues to grow."