U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Altidore to be sold to Villarreal for $8 million (updated)


U.S. national team forward Jozy Altidore has been sold to Spanish club Villarreal for a fee of $8 million, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed on Wednesday afternoon.

The New York Red Bulls confirmed that they have reached an agreement with Villarreal on the fee. Sources tell SBI that the fee is $8 million with a sell-on clause and performance bonuses that could increase the fee to $10 million.

According to sources, Altidore has already reached an agreement on a new contract.

The sale shatters the old record for largest transfer of an MLS player, which was set when Clint Dempsey went from the New England Revolution to Fulham after the 2006 season.

The deal has been agree to in principle, but cannot become official until July 1, when the European transfer window opens.

Altidore is still expected to play in the Red Bulls match against Chivas USA on Thursday.

What do I think of the move? I think it’s a dream move for a player who was ready for the jump. Yes, he did lose focus and was distracted by the impending European move, so he wasn’t training or playing as well as he could have been for the Red Bulls, but he’s still a good kid and quality prospect who could flourish in Spain (and let’s face it, older and more experienced players have fallen victim to Europe-itis as well).

I have said for more than a year now that I thought Spain was the best league for him to go to and now not only will he be there but he will go to a smaller team where he can get playing time (assuming the scenario where Villarreal loans him to Recreativo Huelva happens.)

What will this mean for the Red Bulls? The team will be hard-pressed to replace him, but will have resources to bolster the team in several areas. They won’t find a player as good as Altidore this year, but they will have the chance to add multiple upgrades this summer and will have a nice war chest to go and sign a high-profile designated player in 2009.

I also think that ultimately, losing Altidore early and getting a chance to replace him this season could have its advantages. Altidore was slated to miss considerable time with U.S. national and Olympic team duties, so now the club will be able to acquire a player who will be here the full schedule and who presumably won’t be distracted by an impending move to Europe.

What do you think of the news? Share your thoughts below.

  • Brian

    why on Earth would he risk getting injured against Chivas USA if this deal is done? RBNY have four or so more games before July 1–how many will he play?


  • Joamiq

    “Red Bulls spokesman Andy McGowan said Altidore was unlikely to play in Thursday night’s home game against Chivas USA because of an ankle injury”

    Well, I guess that’s that. I was really hoping to see him wear that jersey one last time . . .


  • northzax


    what are you talking about? three teams (DC, Chivas and NYRB) can bring in two players (you’ll notice only one has signed yet) this year and three next year. even without exposing player to other teams under the odd rules, that’s one player this year and two next year. Are there three players in any of their systems worth more than a developmental contract? obviously not.


  • northzax

    and I should clarify, I don’t know if Mayern counts as an ‘official’ academy signing. Even the highly touted Kassel wasn’t offered more than a bucket of warm spit by Red Bull, if he was a season from being Jozy, you’d think he’d be worth at least 30 grand…


  • Bobo

    Uhhhhh… yeah, Rossi is still at Villarreal. Scored a couple of goals this season, from what I’ve heard šŸ˜‰

    Rossi and Altidore could conceivably play together in a couple of seasons or so. Altidore is going to have to really impress at Recre if he’s going to be recalled to Villarreal and get serious minutes there.

    But I suspect that by the time Altidore is playing regularly with the first team, Rossi will already be at AC Milan.


  • Eugene

    Great news, the challenge will be very important for his development. Villarreal was a mid-table team for a while but club management appears to have really improved and they performed very well last year (as everyone knows). Even if Jozy was at Villarreal, I think he would be competitive for minutes against Rossi and Kahveci Nihat — who was absolutely outstanding this season. It would be a great place for Jozy to learn with those strikers there. If he gets loaned to Recreativo Huelvo, hopefully that would result in him getting lots of minutes, otherwise it would be a waste of time.

    The next couple years for Jozy will require a lot of hard work and a little luck, hopefully he just puts his head down and pulls through, then he could become a great player.


  • rocky

    fantastic news for jozy and us soccer, now jozy needs to work his butt off because he could become a star, on a great team. Go jozy make us proud!!!!!


  • Eugene

    Actually, I guess it should be Nihat Kahveci. Jon Dahl Tomasson is also there and is competitive.

    Kahveci is really their number #1 striker, at least by how things appeared to stand at the end of last season.


  • aristotle

    Good news for Josie, but….

    How many American strikers of note are left in MLS now?

    Let’s see. There’s Twellman, who will also be gone if he ever stops getting injured. Then there’s Ching. Kenny Cooper is another, and I guess Donovan if you consider him a striker. After that it gets really weak. There’s not going to be anyone left soon. Is this good?


  • Music

    “Last year when I was watching the US play in the U20. I told my dad about how everyone(only amuricans actually) thought that Adu was going to be a great player.”

    Umm… Adu was amazing in that tournament.


  • royce

    let me defend my earlier comments:

    of course EJ wasn’t good tonight. he squandered two goals… but at the same time, the point i was making is that the US offense is so terrible that EJ is looking improved and more dangerous than just about any of our other attacking players. case in point: can someone name at least one other US player off the top of their head who even had a shot on goal in these last two games in the run of play???

    didn’t think so, or maybe EJ’s clear misses are clouding your memory… it’s amazing

    in my opinion, bradley needs to go, but not because of EJ.. he needs to go because of altidore, adu, ching, rodgers, orozco, bornstein, demerit and other striking omissions…


  • papa bear

    possibly the least shocking news of the season. I thin Ives and 1 or two others were the only onces fairly convinced he’d last the year. There was simply no way with all the international call ups and the ‘strike while the iron is hot’ thing going on.

    I LOVE that he is going to La Liga and not England. Watching us play Spain and watching the negative approach to the game B. Bradley employs with 2 d-mids and constant long balls while Spain moved the ball around effortlessly reminds me how much we still need to cure players of English-itits in this country.

    I look forward to seeing Jozy on GolTV next season!


  • papa bear

    @Posted by: northzax | June 04, 2008 at 05:02 PM

    Chicago can sign players as well from their academy.

    You are right about no one really impressing enough to warrant a big contract though. However, there is a kid who is 14 or 15 in the Youth Fire (I think his last name is Pena) who is supposed to be a pretty tasty looking striker. I hope so for the Fire’s sake and for the sake of the league showing that they can develop quality youth prospects.

    I have no doubt Chivas will have some interesting players next year. They have a positively giant youth system in place that was mostly just Chivas d Guad’s California youth system that was converted to CUSA.


  • Branc

    The first thing that came to mind when I heard this is maybe this is how RBNY is going to be able to afford to pick up the Venezuelan players Rojas and Cichero. Who will the Bulls pick up as a partner to JPA? Does Echeverry get the job by default?


  • mike ruze

    Good for Jozy. Hope he kicks Rossi in the face with the ball then kicks Benedict Arnold in the Nuts when hes down.

    Red Bulls throwing in the towel after being shallacked by the Fire and Houston.

    Good move JCO.

    I understand your dissapointment 4now.First losing Altidore and then prospect of a crooked anti american used car salesman becoming the president.

    Im from Chicago, trust me, you dont want anyone From Crook County IL holding natl office.



    I hope that Jozy will get loaned out to a team where he can start. I hope he doesn’t get stuck on the bench. I was hoping that he would get transferred to a less well known club where he might have a better chance of starting. Hopefully Ives is right about Recreativo Huelva. If Altidore starts, he might end up developing enough in the next couple of years to be a threat at the 2010 World Cup.

    Good Luck Jozy!!!!


  • martha

    Good for Jozy getting away form JCO’s anti offense philosophy.

    Jozy sould feign injury unil July 1 instead of risking getting hurt playing for a crap team going no where.

    Kinda like when JCO had Marmol feign injury in a feeble attempt to keep him away from Chicago…

    whats good for the goose…..


  • say what

    Altidore struggling to handle early success

    By Ives Galarcep

    Special to ESPNsoccernet


    Updated: June 2, 2008, 1:31 PM ET

    How much is too much for an 18-year-old soccer player to handle? We might be learning just how much from Jozy Altidore.













  • Bobo

    OK, people… he’s being loaned to Recreativo de Huelva. He would have to be the league’s topscorer next season in order to be considered ahead of Nihat earlier than a couple of seasons from now. Also, Rossi is a supporting striker / fantasista who can also play (extremely well) on the wing. They won’t be competing with each other for time.


  • J

    Northzax…all I was saying is that there should be no penality to bring in youth players ie if you sign one, than another team with a youth system can sign one of your players. To me, that is discouraging factor for teams to bring up players and take their investment seriously. Though Jozy was not an academy player, my point is, teams could use the academy system to their advantage and reap the rewards of selling players, and right now, they can’t really.


  • MonkeyBoy

    Does this mean that Jozy won’t be playing in the Olympics?? I think there’s a good chance that his new team will put up a stink about him playing for the U23’s. Of course he could play in the WC qualifier instead. It actually adds to the likelihood that McBride will be one of the overage players selected.

    Anyway, good for Jozy, good for MLS and good for US soccer. If he does well in La Liga, then he should open some doors in that league for other US players. It’s good for MLS because it’s more evidence that talented young players can use the league as a starting point to move to the top Euro leagues — making it easier to sign top young talent.


  • Gene

    I think it is a good move, both for Altidore and for the U.S. national team. Looking at Freddie Adu’s game yesterday, you can see the difference following his time at Benfica. Hopefully, Altidore can do as well, if not better, and get more playing time at this high level. Plus, he is young, he gets to live in Europe for a bit, and he’ll make a lot of money – what’s not to like.

    The more interesting question is whom do the Red Bulls get to replace him? Any leads on that?


  • Jez

    Villareal will be a great club for him: excellent manager, a recent history of success but none of the immense pressure of Real or Barca. Hopefully he does us Yanks pround.

    The only problem is he could be in a relegation dog-fight next year, not always so good for a player with his potential.


  • brett

    for all the people harping on the depth at forward for Villareal needs to keep 1 thing in mind… players move around in europe all the time….

    just b/c they have 4 really good goal scorers doesnt mean they’ll be around in a year or 2… Jozy gets loaned and gets 1st team time…. Rossi has mentioned his hopes of going back to Italy… other players will be bought out or move… Jozy will have a starting chance will Villareal in a year or 2…. unless he goes above and beyond any of our expectations in such a short time, where he may be brought up earlier then that….


  • brett

    Jez- jozy’s being loaned, not traded to Recreativo de Huelva… so if they are relegated, he’s still on Villareal’s options to pull back or loan to another team…

    it all depends on his play

    Mokeyboy- the olympics are up to Jozy, not villareal…. if jozy decides to start familiarizing himself with spain instead of the olympics then its his choice…-per ives on another thread


  • PCFC




  • brett

    it boggles my mind how some people who have a mls side so close dont go to more games…

    hell if Indy had their USL team back id be a season ticket holder O.o


  • Isaac Mundia

    Well….i knew jozy wasn’t going to be in MLS forever. everyone did. but of all places to go LA LIGA?? wow…I think hes only like the 3rd American player to go there (Keller, Rossi). This is going to be one interesting Spanish Primera season….


  • kike

    villarreal got nihat, who is one of europe greatest strikers, and rossi, who last season scored a lot of goals. But Villarreal is playing champions league, so that is a lot of matches to prove this kid, he will have to score goals in limited minutes


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