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U.S. Men's National Team

Altidore completes transfer to Sunderland

AltidoreSunderland

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

It is now official. The U.S. Men’s National Team will have another player in the English Premier League this season.

Dutch club AZ Alkmaar announced Tuesday that a deal has been finalized for Jozy Altidore’s move to Sunderland, which has also announced the completion of the transfer. The deal was first reported on Friday.

According to AZ, Altidore passed his physical with Sunderland, and signed a four-year contract on Tuesday. In accordance with club policy, AZ did not reveal the transfer fee.

It will be a return to the Premier League for Altidore, who spent the 2009-10 season on loan from Spanish side Villarreal at Hull City. Altidore made 28 appearances and scored one goal for the Tigers that season.

The 23-year-old striker is coming off two successful seasons with AZ, which included last year’s 31-goal campaign that broke the record for an American playing abroad. Altidore is also in great form for the USMNT, scoring in four straight June matches.

Altidore becomes the first USMNT player to play for Sunderland since Claudio Reyna played for the Black Cats from 2001 to 2003.

What do you think of this move? Excited to see Altidore playing in the Premier League again? Think he will do well at Sunderland?

Share your thoughts below.

122 comments
  • SanFran415

    Huge mistake. Hope we’re not looking back at this as a career-derailer by the World Cup.

    Like

    • Arkie

      If he survived Hull City and the Turkish club (Bursaspor?) I bet he can survive this even if it isn’t immediately perfect. That said the only Sunderland fan I know (perhaps the only one that exists in America before this) is very excited and believes that he will get plenty of minutes and reminded me that other than last year Sunderland had been a solidly middle of the pack team. Hopefully last year was a fluke or Jozy has a clause that allows him to look for a transfer if they get relegated…

      How many years did he sign for? Anyone know that?

      Like

      • Matt B.

        Two of my friends are huge Sunderland fans (for what reason I do not know) and now the 2 teams they support have a common theme: Altidore

        Like

    • Luke

      Why is this a mistake? It’s not like he was going to the big 4-6 clubs in EPL and it’s not like Sunderland is a Hull. They do have some decent players and Jozy is a more mature player than the 19 year old he was when he played for Hull. Did you say the same thing about Dempsey when he joined Fulham? If he hadn’t scored the goal against Liverpool in the final game in 2007 that kept Fulham from being relegated, his career might be totally different. All you can ask before the World Cup is to get playing time and to have good, competitive games. I think Jozy gets both at Sunderland.

      Like

    • TomG

      Certainly RISKY due to PDC’s volatility as well as the rebuilding nature of the club, but not necessarily a mistake. Sunderland is traditionally a solid mid-table outfit which is exactly what Jozy is looking for. There also isn’t any competition for Jozy’s minutes if they go with 2 strikers as is currently thought. They have been the most active BPL club thus far and with all the new talent, he’s on equal footing in learning the system.

      Like

    • Colin

      Why is this a huge mistake exactly? Want to back up your statement?

      Personally I think it is a decent transfer, if not ideal, as he will have a real opportunity to start on a team that is in the processes of rebuilding, has some reasonably creative talent (sessegon, Adam Johnson), and plays in one of the best leagues in the world…

      Like

    • GW

      Well Di Canio is basically clearing out the old team and bringing in a new set of players.

      Something about there being a “drinking culture” before Di Canio got there.

      Anyway, we’ll have to wait until they finish all the transfers to see what kind of team Jozy has around him. It sounds like Di Canio is going for it, it being a much higher place in the standings.

      Like

  • Andrew Hauptman OUT!

    Hopefully Di Canio doesn’t drive him nuts. Actually, will Di Canio survive the season?

    Like

      • Chris Morrison

        As a Sunderland fan who lives in North East England I think it is a good move. If he gets service, he seems good enough to stick’em in. Di Canio should last the season. He has managed to do one thing to the squad that his 2 predecessors didn’t….scare the life out of them! And that was needed, given the sometimes appalling levels of motivation they were showing before he showed up.

        Like

    • Josh D

      Di Canio is many negative things, but he’s a great coach and his record proves that. His problem, like Keano’s, is his personality. He wants things done his way and won’t stand for it.

      And the fans did like him. He stopped the player bus and picked up fans whose bus broke down on the way back from an away game. And gave out free pizza to other fans who came out to shovel snow.

      I think he does well there.

      Like

      • TomG

        I’ve heard Verbeek and PDC compared on other blogs as they are both demanding disciplinarian style managers, but what made GV great for Jozy was that he’s also a fantastic teacher and communicator. He’s also very patient and would spend hours after training working with Jozy until he corrected his technique and understood the principles. I’ve heard more about PDC as a motivator, disciplinarian, and personality, but nothing about him as a teacher and developer of talent.

        Like

    • Beto

      Is that the largest ever for a USMNT’er?

      Dempsey was around 11.8m usd right?

      Like

      • NE Matt

        Yes, largest ever. He actually broke his own record transfer fee.

        Like

      • Tony in Quakeland

        When Jozy first transfered, Ives asked who would break his tranasfer record. I said, “Jozy himself in two years”.

        Okay, so I was wrong on the time, but right on the guy!

        Like

      • GW

        13 mill US translates to about 8.8 million pounds.

        Deuce cost somewhere between 6 and 7 million pounds.

        So it’s not a monster signing but it’s not small signing either.

        Like

  • Stopher

    Crazy coach, few quality service-providing midfielders… I hope I’m wrong but this doesn’t seem like a recipe for success to me. I think Jozy would’ve been better suited in Italy.

    Like

    • Francois

      This. We’ll just have to wait and see what they can manufacture in the transfer window. Hopefully they get some quality midfielders that will actually play the ball on the ground and try to play attractive, attacking soccer.

      Like

      • SanFran415

        Um, what?

        We’ve never had a crazy coach and Jozy’s been getting immaculate service.

        Like

      • GW

        Di Canio was a former striker who was brought in to change the culture of a Sunderland team that was sliding past mediocrity into badness.

        Some people in Germany thought JK was crazy for living in Socal while managing Germany.And a lot of you thought JK was nuts until he started winning.

        A little thin I know but hey, the comparison is there.

        Like

      • beachbum

        not nuts, but identifying some true issues with his formations and tactics. we were proven right btw GW when Coach changed both the formations and the tactics (and also the player callups and positioning to boot!) while you were here telling us we were wrong

        Like

      • GW

        “we were proven right”

        So JK just should have consulted SBI and saved himself a lot of time?

        Like

      • beachbum

        um what?

        finally receiving that service you mean, since the Germany game. Before that? it was anything but immaculate, more like non-existent

        Like

  • 2 OKC teams 1 cup

    Just hope he can maintain his current form going into the world cup. Big year for him and the USMNT

    Like

  • The Rhoff

    Would have rather seen him make a sneaky move to Tottenham. They are desperate for strikers and have really built a solid midfield with Dembele and now Paulinho. I think Jozy could be next year’s Benteke on the right team. Not sure that Sunderland is that team. Actually, pretty sure they aren’t.

    Like

    • patrick

      but… beteke was on Aston Villa, which is pretty close to Sunderland…..

      Like

      • GW

        Villa were worse.

        And if Jozy can “do a Benteke” for Sunderland and then do well in Brazil well forget about it.

        It will be write your own ticket time for Jozy.

        It

        Like

    • Beto

      He has a much better shot at PT at Sunderland. Probably would have been a great fit at Spurs but i doubt they would start the season with just him, Defoe and Dempsey up top; they will bring in a champions/premier league tested striker or their fans will riot.. Im thinking Benteke or Dzeko.. Basically climb the EPL food chain one step at a time.

      I cant say too much about Sunderland but going up against EPL defenders will be huge for Jozy; especially next year when we wont be facing off vs concacaf but the best of the world. I know he isnt going to get 30 goals again but as long as he gets to start every week in England this move will be a success.

      Like

    • John

      Wilfried Bony is only going to Swansea after having a 37 goal season and missing a month for ACON. Jozy just needs to take this opportunity and do everything he can with it.

      Like

    • The Garincha

      Agree Rhoff, I thought Jozy would be a steal for the Spurs and a great fit. And I am willing to say at this point in their careers Altidore is better with far greater upside than Defoe and Adebayor.

      Like

  • Pepe

    Sunderland already has several young, talented strikers. Why on earth did Jozy think that this was a good idea?

    Like

    • GW

      Pepe,

      Maybe it’s because he believes in himself?

      I know, it’s stupid to think that our dumb American players are better than Sunderland’s primo young strikers but you know how young guys are.

      They get this stupid idea, probably from JK, that maybe they can do better and there they go.

      Jozy should have gone back to MLS to guarantee he gets playing time.

      Like

    • Madaoua05

      Um, which strikers, praytell, are you referring to? Ji has scored just 2 goals in 2+ years on the team, and only 5 while on loan to Augsberg. Graham scored 0 goals last year, and such stellar clubs on his resume like Carlisle United and Darlington. Wickam is only 20 years old and was on loan last year. The only striker worth his pence is Fletcher and is dealing with the injury bug.

      I think this situation, at least from the perspective of competition at forward, is perfect for Jozy. Now, as for the coaching situation, well…

      Like

    • Bumby Hemmingway

      Young and potientally good strikers. Scott Fletcher was the only productive foward for Sunderland last season.

      Like

    • Gary Page

      This must be the Pepito who posts anti-American stuff on Goal.com all the time, making statements that have no basis in fact. Best to ignore him, he’s a hater unmoved by facts.

      Like

  • biff

    This is a perfect move for Jozy. Better for Jozy to take a small step up the ladder and succeed than try to move too high too fast and ending up falling. He’s been through that. Sunderland is going to do better this next season than last season and Jozy will be starting games and getting plenty of PT in one of the top leagues in the world. If he does well, then he moves on to a bigger team in a year or two and will be only 25 or 26.

    Like

      • Chris H

        What makes you think he won’t? A ~$13 million transfer fee is probably the biggest move that Sunderland will make during the window, and they wouldn’t splash that kind of cash if they didn’t plan on playing him. Also, Jozy was very explicit before the window opened that he would only take an offer where he would get playing time, so I’m assuming he talked to Di Canio maybe just a little bit about that before agreeing to the transfer. Maybe you know more than Jozy and Di Canio about Di Canio’s plans…but I doubt it.

        Like

      • Rocco

        I’d say his transfer fee is a good indicator. Most managers are not in the habit of paying $12 MM for players to warm the bench if they can help it.

        Like

      • KCTC

        What makes you think he won’t? Jozy is built like a brick house, has learned to play with the run of play and with his back to goal. He has learned to position himself to be successful and create space when he needs to. His last 4 national team goals all speak to that. Each one he put himself in a position to be successful. Now he moves to a coach with striker experience and an offensive mindset. The biggest change is the quality of the defender but Jozy will tally 12-15 EPL goals next year at a minimum barring injury. You must be a Mexico fan, clearly hating on US players while watching all forms of your senior national team languish for the past 12 months. Celebrate the player, he’s doing well for himself!

        Like

  • chris black

    As a sunderland season ticket holder I am delighted with altidore signing. He is exactly what we need. He has pace, strength and an eye for goal. If he does the business for us he will be worshipped by 40,000 mackems. Good luck jozy.

    Like

    • biff

      If you are for real, chris black, a true season ticket holder, then please tell us more about the club and the city. Is Richard above full of stuff? Or is the city as bad as he says? What about Di Canio? Has he won over the fans? Is neighbor Newcastle your biggest rival? Are fans optimistic for a much better showing in the PL? Or will they be happy with 14th place?

      P.S. How did you end up on SBI?

      Like

      • malkin

        He very well could have ended up here after googling the transfer today. I have seen that happen before

        Like

      • John

        I found myself checking Sheffield Wednesday boards to see what the fans thought of Stuart Holden’s play. So its no far stretch that Sunderland fans would want to know what Americans think of there starting strikers move.

        Like

  • andrew

    Relax people. He has a solid partner in steven fletcher (the only player on the team that could score goals last season it seemed so you shouldn’t worry about him having to fight for playing time) and several players that can provide great service in johnson larsson and sessegnon. Sunderland ate a solid mid table team that he can continue to develop at

    Like

  • Tim

    I’m hopeful. Pretty confident Jozy starts, or will start soon. Also looks like Sunderland are getting the small guy from Juve, and that should help with the offense.

    Heck gives me another team to watch on Saturdays, and I’m happy for that.

    Like

  • Dont Care

    I really dont see how people think this is a bad move. It was time for him to move on. Hes moved from a relegation threatened dutch team that just sold its best player and the reason Jozy was able to get so many chances, besides having to create his own, in Maher. To a revamped Sunderland side that Di Canio has built into a pretty promising team. Hes almost guaranteed playing time with how much money they’ve put into him for a coach that used to be a decent forward himself. A midfield of Adam Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher, Larsson, and Cabral is not as bad as people make it out to be. Add that to Sunderlands interest in a great young talent in Mendy and Italy’s Giaccherini. Not as bad of a situation as people make it out to be

    Like

    • Ryan

      Absolutely agree. People are having a knee-jerk bad reaction because Sunderland finished 17th last season (well below expectations) and DiCanio has a spotty reputation. But they’ve got a pretty solid roster — plenty of midfield creators — and truly appear to be behind DiCanio. I’m growing increasingly optimistic that this will be a good move for Jozy provided he steps up his own game.

      Like

    • beachbum

      I want to +1 this post man…I’ll go with I hope you’re right and we’ll see!

      Like

    • Joamiq

      Yeah, I’m basically coming around to this. I think it could be a good move.

      Like

    • ACS

      Mendy was signed by Marseilles, who swooped in and picked him up behind Sunderland’s back.

      Like

  • Brett

    I really wanted him to stay in Holland or go to a more tactically diverse league. Most of the play in England is fast but predictable. I hope he gets regular minutes. There will be plenty of games to go around early in the year, but when Sunderland are out of the league and FA cups he might fall out of fitness due to lack of competitive matches.

    Wishing him the best. He’s got the talent to thrive there, but it’s going to be tough for him to establish himself as a regular in the starting 11 in a league that is all about running up and down the pitch. His fitness has always been his biggest weakness. His huge frame requires more oxygen and that drains his stamina. He absolutely needs regular 90 minute shifts to build up stamina over time. It took him a long time to rebound from his lack of playing time during the Villarreal/Hull/Wherever years.

    Like

    • WG

      Jozy was a 90+ minute man for AZ last season, so I’m wondering why you question his fitness.

      Like

      • Brett

        Different league, different system. Jozy might play 90 minutes, but that doesn’t mean he’s got a high work rate for those 90 minutes. Just watch his body language and you’ll know if he’s building up stamina. Quite often he is standing with his hands on his hips 25-30 minutes into a half.

        Like

    • GW

      “His huge frame requires more oxygen”

      Interesting.
      It makes you wonder how guys like Zlatan , Gonzo and Brian McBride were ever able to go 90.
      Jozy lists at 6’1, 174. That’s a lot smaller than many point guards in the NBA and about the same size as a lot of players in the EPL.

      I’m pretty sure Verbeek his manager at AZ would not have played Jozy in 93 games over two seasons if he wasn’t fit.

      Like

      • SanFran415

        His wording was odd, but the physiology is accurate.

        Jozy is far more muscular–what he should have said–than any of those players you listed. That type of muscle growth requires significantly more O2 than the average player.

        It is why long-distance runners and cardio-oriented sports athletes are incredibly lean. You cannot have excess muscle as it hinders flexibility and screws with your oxygen rate and thusly your heart rate.

        Jozy reaches an anaerobic state much quicker than someone like McBride who is close in general size but not in musculature because his oxygen requirements are significantly higher.

        It’s also a good physiological reason to avoid world cl@ss water polo players–fre@ks of nature.

        Like

      • GW

        Mr. Fran,

        I’m sure you are right.
        But that does not mean Jozy is not fit. Or that guys built like him necessarily have fitness issues.
        In the last three qualifiers he went 90 minutes against Honduras, 90 against Panama ( Holden subbed him out at 90 +1), 83 against Jamaica, 81 against Germany and 45 against Belgium.
        In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Jozy went 86 against England, 90 against Slovenia, 90 against Algeria, and 91 against Ghana.
        Jozy is big and strong and dwarfs guys like Edgar Castillo or DMB but there are plenty of guys just as muscular and large framed as him who go 90, Just check out our nemesis, Ghana.

        Like

      • KenC

        Yeah, but how can you conclude anything about a comparison with McBride, without knowing their vO2 Max?

        Like

      • Brett

        It doesn’t really make you wonder. Those guys play regularly and often, and none of them quite compare to Jozy’s fast-to-slow twitch muscle ratio. Jozy is a beefy dude and it takes a lot of oxygen to power that dense muscle.

        Like

      • GW

        Jozy has played regularly and often for AZ the past two years. 93 games over two seasons.

        Like

  • Andrew In Tally

    I’m amazed at the way U.S soccer fans foist their insecurities on to our players. Folks this is Jozy’s move. Would we rather him move to AC Milan and sit for the whole year? Jozy and his team aren’t dumb. They know what is good for him. Remember some of you were down on him moving to Holland – lowly rated league, step backwards etc. The question for Jozy – is he going to get a chance to excel? I believe he will get the chance. Only time will tell how well he will do. If Jozy is as talented as we believe he is and he stays healthy, then he will score at least 10 goals across all competitions this year. Again, this isn’t about us, it’s about Jozy.

    Like

  • Michael F SBI Mafia Original

    Actually, Reyna didn’t play for the Black Cats. He was just mostly injured for the Black Cats.

    Like

    • chupacabra

      That will be the epitaph on his tombstone:

      Claudio Reyna
      1973 – mostly injured

      Like

  • bryan

    one thing is for sure, if they can get the team clicking, Jozy could end up being a steal for them if Wahl’s quote of $13M is correct. didn’t Villarreal have some clause about receiving a certain amount of money if he was sold within two years? or am i remembering that clause incorrectly? if so, i wonder how much they get of the $13M.

    Like

    • WG

      Since Jozy joined AZ on a free transfer, I imagine Villareal will receive nothing.

      Like

      • bryan

        but he was still under contract with Villarreal when he left for AZ. so @ssuming im remembering this supposed clause correctly, i could see them stipulating he is free but if AZ sell him within the next 2 years Villarreal get a cut.

        Like

      • dabes2

        I didn’t remember the Villarreal – AZ transfer was free. I thought AZ paid 1mm for him (maybe Euro, maybe $).

        Like

      • bryan

        you might be right. i honestly don’t know about the fee. WG believes it was free. i can’t find anything saying either way.

        Like

      • WG

        My apologies. While I thought Villareal had released him, I can’t find anything except for an article from Ives on Fox that basically said it wasn’t known if Jozy’s move to AZ was a transfer or a loan. I’m sure they love any money they can get get.

        Like

      • bryan

        well, it was absolutely a full transfer. i know which article you are referring to. that was before it was finalized and there was a loan possibility. ended up it was a transfer, and i didn’t find anything about the fee, but i’m pretty sure Villarreal didn’t release him straight up and he wasn’t a free agent.

        Like

      • WG

        Today seems to be my day to apologize to you, bryan. I should had written that it wasn’t known at that time if it was a transfer or a loan.

        Like

  • dabes2

    I’m keeping an open mind regarding this move.

    Not denying that Sunderland had a poor season, have a wingnut for a manager and some roster uncertainty right now. So this could be a crazy season.

    But IMO, Sunderland in the abstract has the most upside from the lower half of the EPL. Who else has a stadium anywhere near the Stadium of Light, loyal fans, and as deep pocketed an owner?

    Like

  • bryan

    unrelated, but joel going to everton should give howard some stiff competition.

    Like

  • The Mc

    He’s a completely different player than he was when he was with Hull, both in terms of play but also in terms of maturity. I’m expecting big things for him this time around.

    Like

  • byob el paso tx

    Looks like Mexico and USA players are cashing in, in Europe every year and at a good price. Mexico and USA broke a record by selling a player for the biggest price in their history.
    USA with altidore
    Mexico with hector from pachuca to porto in portugal. Around same price i believe.
    I just wonder who will win a worldcup first, Mexico or USA.

    Like

  • That Guy

    One good midfielder signed and it will be a good season for Altidore. If Sunderland doesn’t get an attacking minded midfielder, its iffy.

    Like

      • Nick4235

        Heard he might be on his was out. Hope stays and they make a few more offensive minded signings.

        Like

  • Tony in Quakeland

    My early line on next season for Jozy: 15 goals in the league, 3 in cup comps.

    A decent first year.

    Like

    • Joamiq

      I love Jozy, but I’ll take the under on that. 15 goals is more than decent – that would have tied for 7th in the league last year, with Berbatov and Lampard (and Rickie Lambert).

      Like

    • Travis is Miami

      I’m not taking the over or the under. What I will take though is Tony in Quakeland’s line. He’s the Nate Silver of Jozy Altidore predictions. I’m riding him until he’s proven wrong. His track record speaks for itself.

      Like

      • Tony in Quakeland

        thank you Travis. Although I always do establish a stretch goal for Jozy. I thing a couple of hot streaks will happen for him. I think 50% of his goals will come over 25% of his games, with the rest a more normal pace.

        Like

  • ehhh

    some people have mentioned how he has no serviceable midfielders behind him and others have pointed out how the midfield situation isn’t a bare pantry. Larsson and ajohnson are wide men who know how to serve in dangerous balls to goal poachers. they are both great dead ball men as well and with sessegnons dynamic skill set jozy wont be alone. not sure about colback and whoever sits in front of the back line but sunderlands a team with some promise as long as fletcher and jozy stay healthy and produce between them

    Like

    • Ali Dia

      Adam Johnson knows nothing about serving dangerous balls from wide positions. Worst accuracy rate in the Prem last year on crosses. Guy is the poster child for regressing. Let’s hope his disease doesn’t rub off on Jozy.

      Like

  • Eric K

    I’ve been a Sunderland fan since Reyna played there (the jersey I have is from their time in the Championship). Love this signing. They need strikers badly – Fletcher was good till he got hurt; Wickham is mostly potential at this point; Sess may move on elsewhere; Graham tries hard but can’t score. I think PDC’s midfield is a work in progress but as people have said, if you can get Johnson and Larsson going they’re pretty good. Craig Gardner is a fiery player, Cattermole too but in a bad way (he’s out suspended half the time, the other half he’s hurt). I think Jozy has developed his game a lot from when he was at Hull, so this is an interesting step up.

    Like

  • kmac014

    Although I’m not in favor of this move I must say, he looks good in that jersey! … no homo

    Like

  • Swanny

    Bad move. Not because of Altidore, but because of Sunderland. Fletcher, Graham, Wickham, and a semi-poor midfield. I really see this being a step back for Jozy and a struggle to find consistent playing time. I really, really hope I’m wrong.

    Like

  • Jayrodicus

    Sunderland is signing Giachiarini from Juve…As a Juventino I have seen him play a lot…great signing and it will only mean aces for Jozy!!! Changes the picture immensely for Sunderland as they now gave a potent attack force…

    Like

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