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Jozy Altidore

Three red cards in one year? It’s time for Jozy Altidore to grow up.


Jozy Altidore needs to grow up. On Wednesday night, the 25-year-old, 87-time United States international picked up his third red card of the calendar year in a game where he wasn’t even on the field. Between club and country, it was his third dismissal of the calendar year.

It’s perfectly acceptable to dislike a call the referee makes (what player doesn’t at some point), but Altidore needs to realize that there are three people on that field who change the referee’s mind — the two assistant referees, and the fourth official — and he isn’t one of them. His actions have consequences. Now he will miss Toronto’s next game as they gear up for their first ever Major League Soccer playoff appearance.

SEE MORE: ESPN wins US rights to Euro 2020, qualifying, UEFA Nations League.

Jozy’s first red card this year was picked up on international duty for the US in a friendly against Switzerland. Jozy was not happy that he had been called for a foul and was subsequently shown a yellow card for dissent. He continued to bark at the referee until he was shown a straight red card for what was later determined to be foul and abusive language.

His second red card was incurred for Toronto FC against the New England Revolution. Again, he was unhappy that he’d been called for a foul, so he kicked Revs defender Jose Goncalves while laying on the ground. He was sent off for violent conduct.

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Wednesday night he was on the bench when the assistant referee and fourth official called referee Fotis Bazakos over and had him dismissed. Again, the violation was foul and abusive language.

A couple of things stand out here:

  • First, US manger Jurgen Klinsmann has named Jozy Altidore captain when Michael Bradley is not in the lineup. These are not the actions of a captain or a leader.
  • Secondly, for as much time as Altidore spends talking about how much he has been verbally abused by opposing fans, opposing players and even his own fans (mostly while playing in the Netherlands), he doesn’t seem to mind dishing out plenty of verbal abuse at the referees.

Don’t misunderstand: It’s not acceptable for him to have to deal with being racially abused by anyone. It’s not right for any player to have to deal with that. But it’s also not right for him to verbally abuse the referees to the point where he’s been sent off twice for it. What Altidore is doing doesn’t reach the level of racial abuse, but it is still a type of abuse – verbal abuse.

SEE MORE: US investors looking into Everton purchase.

All of this comes in a year that Jozy Altidore claims has been one of the toughest of his career. He hasn’t been very effective for the US men’s national team, and he has not been as good for TFC as they were hoping when they acquired him from Sunderland.

Maybe some of this is born out of frustration, but Altidore is about to turn 26. These acts of petulance must stop. He is one of the highest paid players in MLS and is a veteran on the his national team. It’s time for Altidore to grow up.

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  1. DLOA

    October 16, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Terrible journalism. Albeit if this is an editorial then fine….

    How does a 25 year old man need to grow up especially if these are his first 3 red cards (to my best knowledge). Suarez biting 3 different people over several years is an example of a person needing to mature. But a bad run of a couple months and this guy needs to grow up? Not to mention there’s a huge difference between racial abuse and arguing with a ref. Sure u alluded to it but really gave it no justice. It’s acceptable to argue a call, there is a line but it is still acceptable. It is NEVER acceptable to use racial slurs. Quite offended that you tried to draw an analogy there. And how is 13 goals in a season ‘bad form’. He even missed several games with callups and injury yet still scored 13 and you say that’s not worth his price tag? Silly. You should repeat your summer journalism you took that gave you the false confidence to pursue this field

  2. brn442

    October 16, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Nice to see Mr. Harris and WST get a shout out on BeiN Sports last night on this very subject.

    • Christopher Harris

      October 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Man, how do I always miss the shoutouts? What show was it on? Express Extra?

      • Lawrence Dockery

        October 16, 2015 at 2:23 pm

        Is there video of it anywhere?

    • Lawrence Dockery

      October 16, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      Is there a link to that somewhere?

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