"At EA SPORTS we believe in identifying the most talented up-and-coming athletes in the world to help us develop the most authentic sports games," said Romain Rossi, Director of Marketing for EA SPORTS. "We believe Altidore is one of the next great American soccer stars and Ochoa is winning admiration from many fans for his exceptional ability."
Altidore is one of only five teenagers ever selected to appear on an EA SPORTS videogame cover. The New York Red Bulls striker joins previous teen cover stars Freddy Adu (FIFA Soccer 06) of Benfica of the Portuguese Liga, Carmelo Anthony (NCAA March Madness 04) of the NBA Denver Nuggets, Wayne Rooney (FIFA 06 in United Kingdom) of Manchester United of the EPL, and Kevin Durant of the NBA Seattle Sonics, who will be featured on NCAA March Madness 08. Altidore is second only to Adu, who was 16-years-old when he appeared on FIFA Soccer 06 and is the youngest EA SPORTS cover athlete to date.
On the world stage Altidore helped lead the US Under-20 Men's National Team to a final eight finish at the recent FIFA Under-20 World Cup where he scored four goals in five games. He has registered three goals this season for New York.
Altidore made his professional debut in MLS and scored his first professional goal during the 2006 season at the age of 16, instantly becoming a fan favorite. He is now a regular in the Red Bull starting lineup and one of the rising stars in MLS and the US Youth National Teams. Altidore is currently featured in an Adidas 'Impossible Is Nothing' international television advertising campaign and ESPN The Magazine selected him an athlete to watch in its annual NEXT issue that identifies up-and-coming sports stars.
"It's exciting to be on the cover of my favorite videogame and I am really looking forward to playing as myself in FIFA Soccer 08," said Altidore. "I can hardly wait to play with my virtual character wearing the Red Bull uniform and taking on the world's top defenders one-on-one."
Youngest Cover Athletes in EA SPORTS History:
NO. PLAYER AGE EA SPORTS VIDEOGAME
1 Freddy Adu 16 years FIFA Soccer 06 (N. America)
2 Jozy Altidore 17 years FIFA Soccer 08 (N. America)
3 Kevin Durant 18 years NCAA March Madness 08
4 Carmelo Anthony 19 years NCAA March Madness 04
5 Wayne Rooney 19 years FIFA 06 (Europe)
6 Carmelo Anthony 20 years NBA LIVE 05
7 Landon Donovan 20 years FIFA Soccer 03 (N. America)
8 Larry Fitzgerald 20 years NCAA Football 2005
9 Wayne Rooney 20 years FIFA 07 (Europe)
10 Alexander Ovechkin 20 years NHL 07
Along with Altidore, Guillermo Ochoa, 22, has excelled internationally for the Mexican national team and is quickly becoming one of its most popular players. Ochoa most recently demonstrated outstanding ability as a starting goalkeeper for Mexico at Copa America 2007, where he helped lead the national side to the semifinals.
"I've always looked upon the EA SPORTS athletes as fan favorites so I'm honored to be named to this year's FIFA Soccer 08 cover alongside Ronaldinho and Altidore," said Ochoa. "When you look back at some of the great players who have had this opportunity, it's exciting to be a part of the EA SPORTS family and contribute to a game I've been playing all my life."
Ochoa has quickly risen into the International spotlight after making his debut with Club America as an 18-year-old. During the Clausura 2005 season Ochoa played an integral part in leading Club America to the championship and he is credited with helping Club America put together a 28-game undefeated streak. He also made his debut with the Mexican national side that season.
FIFA Soccer 08 for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 will create a soccer experience that matches the complexity, finesse and beauty of the real-world game. FIFA Soccer 08 challenges you to master the skills required to play like a pro soccer player in the all-new Be A Pro: Offline Training mode with new Pro Skills. Play the entire game as a fixed player while getting real time feedback and analysis. A new, organic building-block system enables you to combine tricks and skill moves together to recreate signature moves from the real-world superstars or define your own style of play. In addition, FIFA Soccer 08 features a true next-generation ball-striking engine that re-creates the drama and unpredictable nature of shooting, the award-winning Interactive Leagues online gameplay and the inclusion of 620 licensed teams, 30 leagues, and more than 15,000 players.
FIFA 08, not yet been rated by the ESRB or PEGI, is scheduled for world wide release this Autumn on the Xbox 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, NDS, PSP, and PC.