Jozy Altidore – Roots In Haiti
The son of Haitian immigrants, Altidore always seemed to be ahead of his peers and was mature for someone his age. When he first played organised football at the age of five, young Altidore had a shot so hard that the parents of the other players complained about him. “The parents were upset at the way he kicked the ball,” his mother, Giselle Altidore, recalls. “He kicked it very hard. They wanted to get their kids away from his shots.” So he wound up playing with older children in U-7 football. “Ever since, he has been playing in higher age levels,” Giselle said.
Altidore smiles when he reminisces about his early days. “I made friends quickly in that team,” he says. “It was a mixture of boys and girls. I remember my dad saying, ‘I’m sorry, you’re going to have to leave the team.’ I remember saying, ‘I don’t want to leave. I like this team’. He kept telling me that I kicked too hard.”
Then Altidore smiles and laughs. “I guess at that time, it was keeping their kids safe from my shot or something like that,” he jokes.