Monday, February 4, 2013
Altidore wants to move on from racist chants
MIAMI -- Jozy Altidore wants to move on from last week's racist chants directed at him during a Dutch Cup game.
"It was an unfortunate event and very disappointing for everybody involved," Altidore said Monday in remarks released by the U.S. Soccer Federation. "I've spoken on it, and I felt I let all my thoughts out in that moment. I just hope that we can all just be better and that it never happens again."
Altidore told The Associated Press last week that when spectators made monkey chants during AZ Alkmaar's 5-0 win over Den Bosch on Jan. 29, it was a stain on all. The referee wanted to stop the match but Altidore, who is black, and his teammates persuaded him not to.
"Anytime it happens I think we all should be ashamed," Altidore told the AP. "It's very embarrassing for everybody, you know, because at the end of the day we are, as a society, trying to move forward. So when that happens I think everybody takes a loss."
Altidore practiced with the U.S. national team on Monday ahead of its World Cup qualifier Wednesday in Honduras.
"We are very pleased with how Jozy reacted -- very professional, very mature -- and we gave him a big compliment for that," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.
The 23-year-old forward has a career-high 20 goals for his club this season.
"I've been feeling good on the field. I've been getting myself in front of the goal and trying to create chances for myself and my teammates," he said. "I'm just excited for the opportunity if I play against Honduras to try and do the same thing I've been doing at Alkmaar."