Now it’s time to delve into the tricky business of soccer babe conjecture. The question: is Jozy Altidore’s girlfriend Illiana Blackshear? Rumors started to float around on the forums of bigsoccer.com way back in 2011 that Jozy and Illiana were dating. If this is true, that’s cool. If not, that’s fine too. Jozy is a world-travelin’ kinda’ guy, and Illiana has a soccer past at Monmouth University. Do the two link up? Illiana works for the New Jersey Nets organization now. Illiana Blackshear is an awesome name, you’ve got to admit. She sounds like a super hero that throws daggers at soccer balls and laughs maniacally.
Either way, Jozy’s a popular export to the British club Sunderland. I think you may find this is a repeating theme among the best American soccer players, so get used to it, but don’t get used to me referring to soccer as “football,” because that ain’t happening. So Jozy’s a Haitian-American fella who was raised mostly in Florida and is now representing us in the World Cup. He’s bounced around on many European teams like Villareal, Xerez, Hull City, Bursaspor, AZ, and most recently Sunderland. That’s a bunch of different countries. I have no idea how he’d be able to sustain a serious relationship other than flying his lady everywhere, but stranger things have happened.
A small detail that jumped out at me– in April of 2009, a few months after having been “loaned” to Xerez, Jozy had to have surgery on his right toenail, and it took over a month to recover. Man, only in soccer will toenail surgery be a big deal. That’s like the equivalent of having a broken finger in basketball or something. Probably worse. Anyway, Altidore’s toes are just that good. He set the record for the highest fee paid for any MLS player to transfer to a club back in 2008 at $10 million, beating Clint Dempsey’s fee by a wide margin. He’s the youngest American guy to score a hat trick in an international game, and in 2013 tallied another hat trick in a come-from-behind win against Bosnia and Herzogovina. So the man can play. Keep your eyes peeled for Illiana in the stands, though I think it’s a probably a long shot.