BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, April 26, 2010
Jozy Altidore saw his English Premier League season and his season-long loan to Hull City end under very unfortunate circumstances on Saturday in their game against Sunderland.
Shortly before halftime, Sunderland's Alan Hutton and Altidore challenged for a ball near the sideline. After the ball rolled out of play, Hutton picked the ball up and threw it at Altidore who was still lying on the ground.
Altidore immediately went after Hutton and the skirmish ended with the young American headbutting Hutton and sending him to the ground.
The referee did not hesitate in showing Altidore a direct red card. Shortly after, Hutton was also shown a red card for spiking the ball at Altidore to start the incident.
The red card to both players meant that the teams would play the rest of the match 10 v. 10 but Altidore did indeed put his team in a very bad situation.
With his team needing the win to avoid relegation, had he simply walked away from Hutton's initial aggression, Hull would have had a man advantage for the rest of the game.
Instead, Hull did not gain a man advantage and also lost their striker for the rest of the game. Hull City would end up losing the game 1-0 and relegation all but assured.
The red card further meant that Altidore will be suspended for the two remaining games of the Premier League season thus bringing an end to his tenure at Hull City.
After the game, attention quickly turned to Altidore for putting his team in a difficult position.
Altidore apologized for the incident and Hull's head coach Iain Dowie did not hold back in his criticisms afterward when he told the press he wouldn't defend his player and that Altidore acted "stupidly" and would be punished for letting his teammates down in such a big game.
For Altidore, it marks the second time this season where his maturity has been questioned. Back in October, Altidore arrived late for Hull City's game against Portsmouth and therefore was removed from the gameday lineup.
To make matters worse, he then posted the incident on Twitter before even talking with the club. Phil Brown, who was Hull City's coach at the time, quickly expressed disappointment in Altidore and told the press that the forward would be fined.
Altidore will return after the season to Villarreal of La Liga who currently owns his contract. The Spanish club must decide if they want to keep him next season, sell him, or loan him out again.
Either way, Altidore has shown both promise and disappointment this season and those incidents will certainly play a factor where he plays next season.