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Altidore willing to consider move from Sunderland if playing situation doesn’t improve

Jozy Altidore USMNT training

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports


BOSTON — Currently struggling for playing time at Sunderland, Jozy Altidore could be on the move this winter if things do not improve quickly.

Altidore is currently with the U.S. Men’s National Team and is all but guaranteed to start in Friday’s friendly against Ecuador, but having a sure place in the lineup is not a luxury he has with the Black Cats. The 24-year-old striker has been limited to just a handful of appearances a few months into the Premiership season and none have been as starter. The situation has left him open to moving during the upcoming winter transfer window if things don’t change.

“I thought I’ve done everything I could this season to come in as fit as possible with the injury and try to make an impact when I’ve played,” said Altidore before the USMNT training session on Wednesday. “But like I said, this four years I want to be part of the national team. Jurgen makes his message very clear, nobody is different, so if it doesn’t turn around then in January I’ll be looking to start elsewhere and make sure that I’m in his plans.”

The veteran forward has played in just four league matches this season for a total of 53 minutes for Sunderland. He did start and go the distance in a pair of cup matches, and also found the back of the net in a 2-1 loss to Stoke City on Sept. 23.

Altidore signed with the Black Cats ahead of the 2013-14 season. In his initial campaign, he started 19 of the 31 league matches he played in but was criticized at length for scoring just one goal in that stretch.

Altidore and the U.S. are currently preparing for the first of two October friendlies. They take on Ecuador at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut, on Friday before hosting Honduras in Boca Raton, Florida, next Tuesday.


What do you make of Altidore’s comments? Do you see him breaking through and sticking with Sunderland? Should an MLS club make a move for him if his playing situation doesn’t improve?

Share your thoughts below.


      • saha had zero goals, haha.
        El Hadji Diouf had zero goals yet went on to score 16 over his next 6 seasons elsewhere.
        Sunderland has had a terrible midfield. I’ve watched 90% of their games over the past year and a half.

        all in all the best thing for Jozy is to find a team needing (due to age, player sale, etc) a ST, and that is roughly top 7 in their league. this would hopefully give Jozy a solid passing team with the assumed higher caliber ($$$) supporting players .

      • west ham, tottenham, leverkusen, wolfsburg, lyon nantes. fiorentina, lazio, napoli. not particularly suggesting any specific club, but just a consistent higher-level club.

        perhaps even understanding that he’s not needed to become the next ronaldo, he can perform well as a rotational player for a couple years even. the 2nd/3rd ST. starts a third, subs a third and sits a third of the games, gets 7 goals, 3 assists, 0.5 ppg. for a 24-26 year old that’s not the worst thing in the world. hopefully by 27/28 he is seasoned and in his prime playing for a contending top 4 club etc….

        the jury has no choice but to remain out despite his up and down last 3 years (21-24); which are usually noted with some mistakes in a general career. we wont really know the “verdict on this man’s career” until a few years down the line. people are very quick to write people off, not only Jozy. 18 months ago he was fresh off a 31(??) goal season. more recently, in his last appearance he scored, yet people suggest he’s done nothing all season….. he just scored, yes once, but wickham just scored his first (yet starting most games), and in the game after jozy scored his…. their forwards have 4 goals total in 6 or 7 games…..

        the point is, watch the games, make comments, but severe hyperbole, one way or the other, in terms of judging the “FINAL” verdict, is silly.

  1. I think we can all agree that going to a low level EPL club was a terrible move for Jozy. I hope he does not make the same mistake again. The playing style is just not suited to him. There’s a steep fall off in mid-field play in the EPL after the top rung. And Sunderland fans never liked him from day one. Maybe a return to the MLS is the best option.

  2. Jozy has bad judgement, Sunderland? Preditors? — time for some changes Mr. Altidore!

    MLS would be good for him but id much prefer him to move to another European team.

  3. It may seem like a step back but I really think Jozy should return to Holland. He has a better reputation there then anywhere else and he needs to be somewhere where he’s both comfortable and will be given a chance.

    • A step back its the only choice he has. He’s not getting another chance in the BPL, Germany and Spain are too technical for somebody with his skills ( or lack of) that leaves only lesser leagues as his only options.

      • im just curious, how does a guy with no skill get signed to la liga, score 20 plus goals for the US national team at age 24, and set the record for goals by a Us striker in europe?

  4. my guess is wherever he goes, it’ll be on loan. no one is going to pay what Sunderland will want for him and his salary is probably too high for a lot of clubs. by going on loan, he opens up many options. then it’ll be on him to pick the right option and show he is worth investing in permanently.

    as far as him coming to MLS, i just don’t see it. NYCFC will surely be in the rumors regarding him and may be the only team willing to pay up, but i have a feeling Jozy is not done in Europe. he’s only 24 and there’s no doubt he could at least find a club in the Eredivisie.

  5. OMG, who would want him? He has failed in every team he’s played with except in Holland. No good team is going to shell out money for a guy that doesn’t score.. Look at his attributes. Bad first touch, not much of a dribbler, can’t create his own shot. The only thing he can do is “hold up play” and that doesnt win games. JK is STILL blindly backing him for no apparent reason.

    MLS is the only place Jozy might have some value. He should come back here and try and build his value again. He doesnt want to end up like Freddy or Juan

      • MLS is the only place he will have value after scoring 30 ( ? ) goals a few seasons ago in a league that is not MLS ?

        What are you smoking ? Pretty sure he could go back there. Just a wild guess.

      • US fan? Absolutely. Altidore fan? Nah, not so much. He does well for the Nats and I like him in that lineup but not a BPL level player.

    • I just love it when people belittle the value of hold up play. Watch the Ghana or Belgium games again, and tell me why you don’t think it would’ve been helpul.

      If you don’t value strikers who can hold the ball while and allow the team to get out of their own end, you are in for another tough decade, because we are not Barcelona yet (though many seem to think we are one little tactical tweak away…).. When we play the Germanys and Belgiums of the world, we will be pinned in our own end for significant periods. Again. Regardless of the coach. Or tactics. Our midfielders and CB’s are $3-5 million guys who will be overrun at times.

      • And when you have nothing else to offer… it becomes soooo important. He’s a bust. Just accept it. His other coaches have

      • He’s a bust at Sunderland. No doubt. Sunderland are a boneyard. Somebody will lead that team with 8 scrappy goals and hopefully I won’t be watching anymore.

        Jozy also hold the single season scoring record for an American in Europe, set not 18 months ago. How is that a guy who “offers nothing else” besides hold up play able to score 30+ goals…. or score a hat trick away to Bonsia & Herzagovina? How about scoring in 5 straight USMNT games last summer? Was that hold up play too?

  6. He should go to Germany, where a target forward can both supply and score. The EPL is an individualist’s league. They expect selfish strikers who create most of their own, which he’ll never be.

  7. Good grief. Who would have seen this coming ? Everyone.
    He was playing for a team that has zero chance of winning anything. It is going to be chaotic and a bad experience in the BEST case scenerio.

    I would love to see him in MLS. Every game will be a challenge, every game will bring an opportunity to win games for your team.

    Let me check. Oh that is great, 1 win for Sunderland and they are 11 points back with nothing to play for…it’s Oct. Why would he wait to see if he can get playing time, when the playing time will be meaningless/worthless/frustrating at best ?

    Money is the only reason and he will do well moving on, as he is not paid much there anyway.

    • Nothing to play for? They are plying for what they always play for, BPL survival. Staying in the Premier League is vital for them, they simply cannot afford to drop out.

      • Jozy can’t afford to have them drop out ? Does his contract change one iota. I say no.

        Plus he won’t stay if they do drop. The games are meaningless.

      • I said ‘they’ as in Sunderland, your comment was Sunderland has nothing to play for. As for Jozy you must mean he has nothing to not play for.

    • Whining,

      In England they have relegation. Relegation means lost jobs , millions of pounds of revenue lost, a very big deal for a lot of people in that community.

      Sunderland are not in a great spot. Jozy is their third striker more or less. Wickham and Fletcher are hardly proven and durable. So he is not likely to go anywhere until January.

      And Jozy, right now, is playing for his career. He may get a chance at any time and when it arrives he better take it and run with it if he values his future at a high level.

  8. I Hope Liverpool can do a Player Swap with Sunderland with Fabio Borini going to the Black cats where he’s excelled before while Jozy Altidore joins the Reds @Anfield. Liverpool do need that extra Striker to link up with Sturridge especially with Balotelli struggling to find form & Borini definitely not fitting in @Merseyside.It’s a Win Win Situation for both clubs especially if there’s No transfer fees involved!

      • Limey, you have no idea how many people are delusional about Altadore and his value. I agree with you… it’s just a matter of time before Sunderland dumps him or finds a sucker to actually buy him. He wont play there unless injuries force it

  9. Mid level Spanish or German side. More free flowing play and hopefully improved chances. Sunderland are a garbage team who plays uninspiring football. Yes they beat stoke but as everyone points out, one performance doesn’t a season make.

    • He should try to find a way to get to Germany or France. I suspect he’ll do well there, based on his natural inclination to make the good pass and to expect service in return.

      There’s something about Sunderland as a club that can definitely trend clumsy in terms of play, regardless of their coach or the players. I would say that Altidore would do well to identify and address what bothers him mentally about playing for the club.

  10. A return to MLS would be a positive for the league and, at 24, would still leave the door open for a European move for Jozy. That being said, he still has time to develop and most importantly needs to find a club who can help him do that like AZ did. I would be happy with a move back to the Eredivisie, MLS, or possibly even Germany/Italy. In my opinion any of those leagues benefit both Jozy’s career and the USMNT.

      • My bad. If he was available do you think they would take him? I guess he might fit well with Villa as the small forward.

      • yup, but no way Jozy is subject to the returning US player allocation if he comes back to MLS. you would think he certainly would meet the threshold MLS has.

        and remember during the whole Kljestan debacle hearing about the other allocation which is used for former MLS players returning on DP level contracts…irregardless of nationality? if that is a real thing, who has that spot? because, again assuming it’s a real thing, which allocation order trumps the other? or would the two teams with the top spots then be subject to a blind draw?

        oh MLS…

      • Yep. Altidore would surely be subject to the double-secret allocation process applicable to, well, whomever MLS decides. Any chance he’d come home to RBNY?

  11. List every option that is realistically better than Altidore when you put together form, international experience, and health, right now. They only guy I can think of, literally, is Zardes, and he has never been called into a camp, much less played in an international match. This is not a defense of Altidore, because his club situation is currently a dumpster fire, but there is literally no one else out there at this moment in time.

      • I don’t think he’s sidestepping the point. You’re right, Jozy is different. He provides something unique in his hold up play that other US strikers haven’t proven. Given what the players say he means to the USMNT, I can’t argue with his call-up. Zardes deserved one but calling him in would have left LA with a skeleton crew. No doubt he’ll get his shot soon.

      • Agreed, I think Jozy is different, there really is no one else that can play that role for the US and Jürgen has made the position critical. I think as long as Jozy does that role well and there is no obvious second choice he’ll keep starting whether he’s playing for his club or not.

      • Jozy is different because he is #5 in all time US goals and he’s only 24…other than Donovan, the US has yet to produce a player who has accomplished that. Given that reality, if your JK, you need to do what you can to nuture the takent that is clearly there, even if it is not showing currently at Sunderland.

      • Ok you guys are really tripping now. Zardes still has to pass Johansson, Wooten and Boyd before he touches Jozy

      • i like zardes but swapping the two WOULD help LA. they would perhaps play a different formation but it would help. Keane and Jozy up top, strong combo. Jozy would work well with LD under them. There’s nothing leading me to believe he wouldnt benefit the team….

    • Doubt it. Jozy wants to move so he can actually play. NYCFC won’t start playing until the new MLS season. Jozy wants to play NOW.

  12. ” Jurgen makes his message very clear, nobody is different, so if it doesn’t turn around then in January I’ll be looking to start elsewhere and make sure that I’m in his plans.”
    Actually, you’re different. Getting called in after only playing 53 minutes total this season proves it.

      • Yes he was but the difference is the fighting mentality. Jozy is saying the right things and fighting for a spot. Landon was all woah is me I can’t run fast and give 100% anymore. Jozy is the kind of guy you call in just because you know he’s willing to fight. Landon became content….. So content that when he got challenge it came as a surprise to him.

      • actually limey, at the time of the roster snub he wasnt playing too well, had a couple small injuries and interviews talking about having to rest his body, etc. then he was snubbed and the very next game he either scored or assisted or both. and thus started a good streak of form. soooooo “pretty sure” you’re wrong. haha

      • Actually whoever, you also missed the point. The issue is whether he is starting/playing, it’s a match fitness not a performance issue.

      • Actually, Donovan was starting but not making an impact when he was snubbed, which is one of the reasons for the snub in the first place. Donovan wasn’t in shape or in form prior to the WC.

      • For goodness sakes, Donovan was snubbed because of his weird, whiney attitude. It had nothing to do with his performance. I think JK continuing to pick Altidore underscores that.

    • so your #5 all time goal scorer is struggling at his club after the first 5 games of the season and you drop him from the squad altogether? For who? Who is the better option up top for the US right now?

  13. Red Bull corporate would never dish the money for him, but NJ would welcome him back with open arms and he would address an immediate need the club will have next season.

    • Everyone makes it sound like he can just decide where to go next. I think he will have very limited choices and will have to make the best of it.

      • He’s definitely not choosing his pick of any club, but I would be surprised to see him receive no offers if he were cut loose by Sunderland.

        He’s got physical tools and experience. I could easily see him going back to Holland or making a lower team in France, Turkey, or Germany.

      • The experience part of his experience probably has negative value as far as epl clubs are concerned.

      • He’s proven himself in the Eredivisie and he has size/athleticism. MLS would take back a USMNT star in a heartbeat and I would imagine he could find a spot back in Holland. He doesn’t have his pick of top clubs but finding a spot on a low to mid-tier team in most European leagues shouldn’t be a problem.

      • No really there have been a quite a few people that couldn’t get a whiff of the field in England and made it else where Tosic, Mame Biram Diouf. Even Shevchenko struggled to get on the field in England.

      • Agreed. He won’t be spoiled for choice. That doesn’t really matter. I can’t think of a worse situation. Time to draw a fresh card from the deck.

      • Agreed, It’s just funny the way the headline is written ‘willing to consider’ like he has all these options on the table. I’m not a big fan of his abilities but I’d like to see him back in MLS, he was a competitor, or he can go back to Holland if they want him.

      • +1 He is going to have to think about what he values most. Holland would be nice but I am skeptical he’ll find a home there. The Dutch model is built around selling off players of his age, not buying them.

        Sunderland’s valuation of Jozy may further limit his options, as well. I’m sure they’d be willing to take a loss on the original purchase price, but I’m not sure how steep a discount they’d be willing to take. I’d guess somebody is going to have to put up (at an abasolute minimum) $3-4 million to buy him outright just so Sunderland can save face. A loan may be more likely if he were to stay in Europe.

        MLS does seem like the economically most feasible move. I suppose it would depend heavily if Jozy wants to come back.

      • Holland is mostly like not an option but it does happen.

        Graziano Pellè left the Eredivisie for Italy. Couldn’t cut it then got sent back to Holland. Now the guy is tearing it up for Southhampton.

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