While Clint Dempsey has rightfully earned most of the acclaim among Americans playing pro soccer in Europe this season, striker Jozy Altidore's quietly been having a tremendous year for Dutch Eredivisie team AZ Alkmaar with 18 goals on the campaign, helping to lead his squad to possible Europa League qualification. (He's also been writing a pretty nifty New York Times blog.)
Unfortunately, Altidore left yesterday's match with NEC Nijmegen early after being bumped by a defender and sliding across wet turf headfirst into the insipid signage that rings big-time stadium pitches. While he was originally reported to have suffered head and neck injuries after being knocked out, today's prognosis is a much better one. Altidore has a "big bruise on his back" and his status for this Sunday's match is doubtful.
Regardless, the news is positive for his role with the U.S. Men's National Team in this summer's fixtures (including the big friendly against Brazil) and, later, the start of World Cup qualifying. Watching the video, it's a quick realization that it could have been a lot worse.