Since publishing the roster breakdown of the forwards, the New England Revolution has officially welcomed USMNT veteran striker Jozy Altidore. As such, I am adding an addendum to the breakdown of the forward options. So let’s look at Altidore and how he fits into the Revolution attack.
2021 started ominously for Altidore. Disagreements with former coach Chris Armas saw him sent off to train independently. With the dismissal of Armas, Altidore was brought back into the fold. He proceeded to make six appearances before needing foot surgery and missing another six weeks. Once healthy, he came back for the final six matches for Toronto FC, making 16 appearances and playing 768 minutes. Altidore scored four goals in those matches, doubling his total from 2020 with similar minutes.
2022 is a chance for Altidore to refind the form that made him a regular USMNT call-up. Having been hampered by injuries throughout his entire career, especially during last season. Altidore will need to prove that he can stay healthy throughout a whole campaign again. He will also be coming into the Revolution with something to prove, especially after how his last year in Toronto went down. Having issues with the coach early in the season did not help his cause before missing 11 games through injury. In a new location for the first time since 2015 and not having as much weight on his shoulders, Altidore will be looking to rediscover the form that made him a vaunted striker.
If the Revolution can get him healthy and confident, this could be a fantastic signing. A veteran presence who has played in the CCL and MLS for ten seasons between his time at Red Bull and Toronto is a good option. They are also getting a player with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. This can lead to Altidore finding the form he had in 2019. The most considerable risk is his injury history.
As someone who has had troubles in the past, if Arena and his staff can get him right, this could be a steal. With Buksa most likely leaving in the summer, they have a proven goal scorer to come in and assist when needed. If he is healthy, I think he can bag ten goals this year for the Revolution. If not, there will be pushback from the fanbase.
What This Means For The Group
This most significant change that Altidore brings for striker depth is to push Rennicks and Kizza down in the pecking order. As a player that Bruce knows and trusts, he will see game time once healthy. He offers similar qualities to Buksa, being good in the air and having strong hold-up play. Getting him up to speed and working in combination with Bou, Gil, and the rest of the forwards will be paramount to making this work.
Kizza still offers something different with his pace over Altidore, but his lack of experience will likely keep him down on the depth chart. The bigger person this affects is Justin Rennicks. Both players have a similar style, which will push Rennicks most likely back down to Revolution II. While he can learn a lot from Altidore, it will hopefully light a fire underneath him as well. He can strive to make starts and take opportunities, at the very least in US Open Cup.