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Quick Kicks: Jozy Altidore, USA And Villarreal

Even the most seasoned United States soccer fan might have missed noticing Jozy Altidore's first splash in the national team scene, when at 15 he was the youngest player brought along to the U17 World Cup in 2005.

But it was too soon after the prodigious arrival of Freddy Adu for Altidore to gain much attention merely on the novelty of his age.

Instead, it was his impressive strength that first gained the notice of others and spurred the New York Red Bulls to draft him into Major League Soccer only a year later.

Altidore made his debut and scored in his first professional season, improving every year until Europe came calling for him in 2008. He signed in Spain with Villarreal, and, though he struggled to break into the lineup there, his career on the national team level continued to progress, as showcased by his hat-trick versus Trinidad and Tobago in 2009.

At the recent Confederations Cup, Alidore continued to shine, scoring against Spain the crucial opening goal that triggered the U.S. upset.

Now no one is overlooking either the accomplishments or the potential of a striker who is still only 19 years of age

Altidore sat with for an exclusive interview and answered the Quick Kicks questions.

Do people consider Jozy my first name? Yeah, probably, then that wouldn't count. They don't call me Jozy at home, though. They call me Josmer. So my family doesn't call me Jozy. I guess that's my only nickname - I'm finally getting rid of the stupid ones from the under-17s -- Juicebox, Oatmeal. I never understood those. I'm happy they died out.

Club Supported: Barcelona and Arsenal

Strengths: My physique.

Weaknesses: I don't know. Well, obviously, I know a big weakness, but I don't want to say. In soccer, you mean? I don't know. Goal celebrations? I need to work on those.

Soccer Heroes: Thierry Henry

Career Highlight:
Scoring against Spain

Views on MLS: I think I was doing well in MLS with the Red Bulls. I was playing and improving and I know now how important that is, to be playing regularly.

Biggest Influence: My parents.

Tunes on the iPod: Keri Hilson with Ne-Yo and Kanye West, I've got on repeat. "Knock You Down". Good song.

Dream Car: Bentley coupe, either white with black rims or black on black.

Favorite Movies: In the past year or so? Batman, The Dark Knight, that was really good. Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog was great.

If you follow the U.S. Men's National Team, you'll love their dedicated page on