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Reports: TFC front-runners in Jozy Altidore sweepstakes

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Photo by Kyle Terad/USA Today Sports
 

By RYAN TOLMICH

The Jozy Altidore sweepstakes appear to be underway, with one MLS club deemed the front-runner and another likely falling out of the picture.

According to a report from the Toronto Star, Toronto FC is the leading candidate to sign Altidore from Sunderland if the forward leaves for MLS this month. Reds head coach Greg Vanney acknowledged Thursday that his side is attempting to sign the 25-year-old striker.

“We’ll see what happens,” Vanney said. “We’ll throw our hat in the ring. He knows the league, knows North American soccer. He has experience internationally and he’s a big, strong forward. I think he can score goals in this league.”

The New York Red Bulls, who would have the first chance at signing Altidore based on MLS allocation rankings, are reportedly out of the running. The Red Bulls are apparently not willing to spend the money required to the land the U.S. Men’s National Team forward, whom they also inquired about last year before backing off because of his high price tag.

Altidore’s interest in MLS was originally revealed Wedneday. He has also reportedly drawn interest from the Portland Timbers.

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Where do you see Altidore ending up? Think he and Bradley would catapult Toronto FC into the playoffs? Frustrated that the Red Bulls are balking at the chance to sign him?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Scoring against MLS defenses is not as hard as scoring against EPL (or Serie A, or Bundesliga, or…), so yes I expect Jozy would score at TFC. He would not be facing defenses as difficult as in England, France, Germany, Italy or Spain and would not need to do better, but he could improve nonetheless due to gains in both confidence and playing time. From where I sit, it is hard to predict whether he would do better with the sort of challenge he faces at Sunderland (or in any top league) or better with increased playing time and confidence.

    The lure an extra 3 or 4 million dollars is something that would be difficult to ignore. Given the uncertainty in predicting the future, I expect Jozy will be in the MLS, but hey you never know.

    Reply
  2. I refuse to get excited about anything TFC announces, BUT the idea of Michael Bradley and Jozy on the same team does cause a slight tingling sensation.

    Still, TFC will miss the playoffs in 2015. Death, taxes and TFC failures.

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  3. I think it’s good for the league if they can sign him. I don’t really care what it means for his USMNT stock or whatever because he’s already proven what he can and can’t do. Just like Bradley/Dempsey/Donovan, he will help give the league an identifiable face, which is better for US soccer in the long run.

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  4. a match made in hell- a struggling player meets a struggling team…and what’s up with TFC poaching marketable USMNT players-are they trying to lure that lucrative Buffalo market?

    I do not get it

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  5. Read somewhere else that he is asking in the 5-6 Mil area plus there would be a transfer fee to his team. All i could say was Baaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaa Haaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaa ROFL. Any team that would shell out that kind of money for a guy with 1` goal …. read it again…. 1 goal … at Sunderland is crazy.

    Reply
    • He’s scored 3 goals, not 1. would have a 4th if there was goal line technology (he scored vs Arsenal last season). His 3 goals were against, Chelsea, Stoke City and MK Donz.

      jsyk…..

      Reply
      • 1 or 4 doesn’t matter he’s had like 70 appearances, I seriously think he has been one of the most overrated players ever.

  6. Hahahahaha….I think its a good idea for Altidore to come back to MLS but not Toronto. Either join Kaka and Shea in Orlando or David Villa and Lampard (maybe) in New York but no Toronto or NYRB (they are changing coaches and management….not a good idea, ask Freddy Adu).
    Besides it’ll either make him or break him either way we win. Make him as he turns into a better “Bradley wright phillips” and regains his confidence back. With the game slowing down considerably compared to EPL he could afford to find footing (dribble, shooting, passing) gradually. Now break him in that if he’s sucks or is still struggling or shows no versatility and can’t cut it playing inferior opposition then he’s not what we all thought he was and Klinsmann cuts him….. either way thats good for the USMNT.
    Or maybe another very good option would be to go play for Bradley and Stabæk……..

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  7. In all seriousness, Red Bull better make a push for someone who can really help our team. After this ridiculous ousting of Petke I’m pissed off enough to not renew my season tickets. Not that Jozy would be all that great a fit, but with the loss of Henry, Cahil on the outs, and the overall lack of defensive options, adding an offensive threat like Jozy can’t hurt the team.

    I’m just curious about this: Was the clusterf**k that is NYCFC taking too much attention away from RBNY? Did RBNY feel neglected, like the only child who had a baby brother come home from the hospital? I guess negative attention is better than no attention.

    Hey, Don Garber, Don’t be the Sepp Blatter of American soccer.

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  8. Honestly I just can’t see this happening, Toronto in MLS has to be way worse than Sunderland, unless they are willing to pay this King’s ransom for him. If he’s really asking for $5.5-6.0MM that’s more than twice what he’s making not playing for Sunderland. Surely no one would pay that for a guy who’s forgotten how to score. Crazy!!!

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  9. From a marketing perspective, is having 2 of the USMNT stars playing in Canada on the same team the smartest thing for MLS?

    As a Fire fan if we had a starter on the World Cup squad I would have bought their jersey immediately so I can support my club and country in one, but a starter for Mexico or Honduras would have done nothing for me.

    Obviously they’ll draw support on road games, but isn’t the reason for the allocation order to spread the American stars out (and to USA teams would be the most logical IMHO.)

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    • TFC is as much a part of this league as any other team, and if they can fork over the cash, no reason AT ALL that he shouldn’t be allowed to go there.

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  10. How many of Jozy’s goals over the last 2 years have been assists from Bradley? I feel like they’ve all come from MB, Fabian and a couple from Zusi.

    Reply
    • Jack,

      I can’t answer your question directly but here are the career USMNT assist numbers (more than 2 ) of players still likely to be active for the US:

      Mikey 12
      Deuce 12
      Fabjo 6
      GZ 6
      JJ 6
      Jozy 5
      Ale B 4
      Juan Ag 3
      Sacha 3

      In case you are wondering Mix has only 1 assist

      Reply
    • I just don’t get it when people act like it’s bad for our national team and the sport in this country generally for MLS to sign better players. If we are ever going to be a truly elite soccer country, MLS has to be a big-time league.

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      • Is not about signing better players. It’s about overpaying national team players that should be playing and improving in Europe. Nobody has a problem when MLS signs a quality foreign player but bringing American players home is detrimental to the national team.

      • Its simple Slow.. it is the same JK vs Garber argument. Yes MLS signing better players is best for MLS and the development of soccer in the United States. But the USMNT is just 22 or 23 players. For those 23 guys, who ever they are going to be, its best they be playing at the top levels and becoming better.

        Since Jozy currently is considered one of those 23, its best for him not to come to MLS right now, especially not Toronto FC.

        For none essential USMNT players or good players from other parts of the world, YES PLEASE COME TO MLS.

  11. I think Portland would be a perfect fit and Toronto second, and third San Jose but San Jose has sucky owners.
    But do not go to red bull, they have no future until they sell.

    Reply
    • Wondo and Jozy do seem like they could make a great pairing. SJ is so ridiculously cheap. They really ought to have made dawkins a DP, and paid Beitashour, and paid Morrow… goddamn.

      Reply
  12. LOL slowly but surely we are becoming England Light. We don’t develop any talent and overpay for domestic players. The only difference is that we overpay for their players also while they want nothing to do with ours.
    The next step will be to raise the salary cap so we can start importing players until only about 30 percent of the players are American.
    We can do it!!!

    Reply
    • It’s an interesting parallel. The only difference is the US is much more progressive about identifying weaknesses and investing to change it. Also, the clubs are not yet bigger than the national organization; MLS being single entity helps to some extent. So while investment and development might be slower than we want, it’s slowly and steadily improving.

      Reply
  13. Are you kidding me. The Red Bulls are out of the running because they don’t want to spend the money. What a joke. I they might make one decent off season move (bringing in Jozy), but apparently that’s too much to ask.

    Reply
    • I think it’s more likely that they realize that he would cost a lot and most likely produce little.

      I have to laugh though that so many are acting like he’s some kind of star player. He’s been playing left bench for the majority of his career in the UK. He has a track record of not scoring, outside the Dutch league. Why would a top team even want him?

      Getting by all that, joining Toronto would be a huge mistake. Jozy cannot afford to join a struggling team again. If he were to land on a team and again not find the net, people would blame him and his value would drop to nill

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  14. This would be a bit like going to your safety school on a full scholarship. Money would be great, but probably not your education. Thought Jozy still had some growing to do in a top four league, with Werder Bremen and Lille as options. But I guess we’re going to see all our best players in MLS, Dempsey, Bradley, Jozy. The only sure figher starter for the US right now playing abroad is Guzan.

    Welcome to MLS 3.0.

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    • MLS is all in.
      If the US does well next WCup cycle do you think people quit whining about soccer in the US ?

      I might be changing my name in 3 1/2 years !!

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      • I follow MLS every week, and I defend it against naysayers. However, honestly speaking, I want our USMNT playing at the highest level they can because that is best for developing the sharpest players. MLS is below Liga MX, seriously. MLS would need 100 more players of USMNT quality (about 5 per team) at the VERY LEAST on average to even approach the bottom/mid-tier of Top 6 starting 11 (not depth). If the quality is not there, it’s kinda like beating up on the JV team.

  15. Guaranteed way to lose his USMNT starting spot under Klinsmann.

    And TFC…we’ve seen what happens to Canadian internationals that play for you guys, and Michael Bradley sure didn’t look too sharp after a couple of months.

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    • they have figured it out.. stop trying to spoil their own national team and ruin the American one… not a great move for the USMNT.

      Reply
      • How is it better for him to sit on the bench at Sunderland than come to MLS and play every week? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s better for him to go to Lille or Werder Bremen if he’s going to play (salary considerations notwithstanding), but we don’t know how realistic those rumors are.

      • It is better in Canada than Sunderland but France(Bremen still good ) would be for the best. Maybe the guy is tired of traveling…but thata the life of a pro player.

      • You make it sound like Jozy gets his pick of a team you have no facts that these teams are seriously pursuing him. If they really want him then they’ll compete with the offer. They obviously don’t want him that bad then. But he should take your advice, walk away from the money.

      • I have read about Lille for a while in other sources. However, they want him as a loan with an option to buy, and he would have to take a hit down to about 2 million if they sign him after the loan. Sunderland is pushing for a sale, so that they can buy someone else, and they know MLS is the best place for that.

        I think that it money-driven. Can’t blame the guy, but I don’t think it’s great for his game. Foreign teams know they can approach MLS teams for USMNT because they will always over pay. He is currently roughly a 2million/year player. He made 2.2 at AZ. Gotta figure he will be at about that in France or Germany.

  16. I know people will slam me for this, but if you have the talent to play in a better league (France, Germany etc.), which he does, but come back to play in the MLS for money and WEAKER competition, I am disappointed and you show no backbone. I follow MLS and I follow a few European leagues. It will take a lot more than the USMNT coming back for the league to get better. You would need at least 4/5 guys per teams of 80-100 guys of that quality to get better.

    Please do not tell me that MLS is on par with France (it’s not) or lower end of EPL (it’s not) or Germany (it’s not) or Italy (it’s not) or La Liga (it’s not) or Eredivisie (it’s not). It’s not as bad as some are making but it’s not as good either.

    Congrats Jozy, you let you crushed self-confidence lead you to coming back when you could have rebuilt it like Bedoya did. And no… I don’t see European teams coming back for you if you don’t make the move now.

    Reply
    • I don’t think you deserve to get “slammed” for this… it’s an honest statement of your opinion, and it’s pretty fair.

      But it would help a lot to know who else is actually expressing interest in Jozy before I could pass judgement like this. I’ve heard Lille, but wouldn’t Jozy have already jumped on the plane if that was genuinely an option? Everything Jozy has ever said has certainly suggested he wants to stay in Europe as long as possible. I’d think if there really was a bona fide offer for him, it would be preferable to MLS.

      My guess is that nobody in Europe is willing to pay a big enough fee for Sunderland, and as such the few possible destination clubs are likely being priced out by the potential bidding war amongst American suitors. This is not Jozy’s fault, and he’d be crazy to stay in Sunderland.

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    • I will slam you because expecting someone to give up millions of dollars so you can feel good about US Soccer is childish.

      Reports are he’s going to get as much as $6m a year from Toronto/MLS, while he makes about $3.2m now. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s worth $6m a year but I can’t blame him for taking the money. After all – this is his job!

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      • The money may be right but I dont have to like the rest of it. The MLS should be a development feeder league… it should be spending that 6 million on Gen Addidas and young players. Which they can sell on. Its cheaper and raises the overall level of talent.

        But no the MLS would rather whine and kids like Rubin going to Europe and how much money they lose every year while spending 6 million on one guy.

      • “MLS should be a development feeder league…” Why? They clearly said that they don’t want to be that but for some reason you think they should know their place. Sorry, but us Yanks don’t play like that.

        Plus from a pure business perspective what you said makes no sense whatsoever. Invest heavily in what you would have made clear is an inferior product just to ship out to top leagues at a huge discount? What they heck kind of business model is that? Americans aren’t going to Europe at South American or even African player rates.

        I am with Slow on this. If they ugh is gonna get a raise for doing his job who the heck are we to say otherwise? I am sure many of you on here will turn your back on making money. Yeah, right. It seems like some are ecstatic if the dude rots on some second rate, relegation team in whatever league instead of coming back home. Sorry folks, your Euro friends will still win the arguments in the dive bars. Mine do, but then again I don’t give a rats rear what think of my league.

      • Clearly he should take less money and go back to Holland where he can be the subject of racial abuse again.

      • It happened one time in 2 years there and it was not it was the level of Russia. I hate to break it to you, but as a man of color, it is not rare to hear racially charged language. Don’t make it seem like US is free of ethnic and/or racial issues. When I went to grad school in the South, I saw things that I definitely saw as racially charged. In fact, when I go back to Brazil, I hear things or see things that are offensive.

      • He has to look long term. He just turned 25 (last December/November). As such, he has 10 years left in his career. I think it’s safe to assume that if he comes back to MLS now, he is not going back to Europe except on a free if he is willing to try out for someone in the off season. I doubt any team outside Toronto is going to pay him $6mill per (Henry was getting 4mill, LD wasn’t getting 6 mill and he is better and more marketable) in that is true. I read about 3.5mill per. However, if he went to France and did really well (at about 2/2.5 mill per) for 3/4 years. He could come back for the last 6 years at a MUCH higher salary and be more marketable during and after. His coming lowers his total potential earnings over 10 years.

        I also think that Sunderland is probably trying to sell him and recoup as much money, not just loan with the option to sell because they just don’t believe in him. I think rushing for short term money is a mistake and going to arguably the worst run organization is a bigger mistake. He is in this mess for those very same reasons: (1) highest salary, (2) poorly run organization, (3) bad team/mismatched team style. He is not at the end of his career. He should make a decision that is in the best long term interest. If he was 29, I’d say get that 6 year, $6mill per contract like Clint.

      • Edmundo, you know Brazilian football, you know the beautiful game, you know bogo fogo, and little birds.

        But maybe it is about winning, and not marketing. Toronto might just be looking to pick up a big player with the idea of fielding a winning team.

        Basically what your saying is that each teams needs four to five more top players, and bla bla bla, but whatever. If getting half that number makes the league twice as good, that is not bad.

        I think after this past summer, seeing brasilians cry me a river. It was just a little refreshing to see. Brasilians probably understand just as well as their northern brothers, that a strong domestic league is the key for any national team aspiring to greatness, which brasil has attained in the past, and will again in the future. At present, they look up like the rest of us.

      • “A strong domestic league is the key for any national team aspiring to greatness.” Really? How come England’s performances at the last two world cups were on par, if not worse, than those of the USMNT? There is no direct correlation between the strength of domestic league and the team’s performance at the WC. EPL is a stronger league than Eredivisie, but Holland has performed much better at the world cups. The key is the league’s ability to identify and develop young talent (even if the league routinely sells its top players to stronger leagues).

      • What, do you think every strong domestic league is going to produce a World Cup finals national team? Don’t be stupid eurosnob. Germany had two teams in the champions league final last season, they won the World Cup. Argentina club team won copa libertadores. Argentina was in the finals.

        That’s why it should be no surprise that holland won their lone major title, the same year psv won Europe.

        Or that brasil won copa libertadores 6 times between 92 and 02.

        Go ahead and guess how many copa libertadores Argentina won between 1970 and 1990, a time when they won three world cups?

      • Mr. Kranovich,

        You cite PSV winning the European Cup in the same year that the Netherlands won their one and only trophy as proof that having a strong domestic league is somehow necessary for international success.

        This particular example makes very little sense.

        Below is a list of the winners of the European Championship going back to 1960.

        Listed after their name is the name of the club that won the European Cup/Champions League that year.
        1960 Soviet Union RealMadrid
        1964 Spain Inter
        1968 Italy Man U.
        1972 West Germany Ajax
        1976 Czechoslovakia Bayern Munich
        1980 West Germany Notts Forest
        1984 France Liverpool
        1988 Netherlands PSV
        1992 Denmark Barcelona
        1996 Germany Juventus
        2000 France Real Madrid
        2004 Greece Porto
        2008 Spain Man U.
        2012 Spain Chelsea

        1988 is the only time in 14 tournaments that the country that won the European Championship also had the club that won the European Cup/Champions League.

        Does sound like proof of anything to you?

        Of course, having a strong domestic league is always a good idea but it guarantees you absolutely nothing vis a vis your national team. Someone else cited England’s tissue soft team as one very good example.

        England has the Premiership but English players aren’t good enough to be dominant in it. And as the MLS grows, one can see the same thing happening here.

        Ironically, one of the things that has hurt the England team is that until recently their young players rarely if ever left the UK to get experience elsewhere, unlike many of our young American players.

        One of the great strengths of the USMNT is the courage of these young players who are willing to take a risk and bet on themselves. These players are courageous unlike many SBI fans who want their players to inbreed and stay home, stay safe and get guaranteed playing time. They take the easy way out as it were.

        Players who do that may get good but will never be great.

        From the late 1960’s until today, the Netherlands has always had a player pool with enough top class players to be a serious contender for any competition they entered.

        What is remarkable is not that PSV and the Netherlands both won European championships in the same year.

        Instead what is remarkable is that the Netherlands, with a talent pool arguably as long term consistently good as any other country’s talent pool in the history of the game has only won one championship.

  17. If Jozy signs with MLS, it better be for just 5 or 6 months; then a return trip to Europe for the beginning of next season. Jozy ending up in Toronto, in MLS, playing for a bad Toronto team, would be depressing.

    I rather he sign for any division 1 team in France, Germany, and Spain; or a top 4 team in the Portuguese, Turkish or Dutch top flight. For that matter, maybe he can find a way to play for one of the top Russian and Ukrainian teams (Csk Moscow, Shaktar, etc), although the racial abuse might lower his confidence even more.

    Reply
    • Do any of the teams you’d prefer he sign for want him? And what did Jozy ever do to you that you want to send him to Russia or Ukraine? Poor guy.

      If he comes back to MLS, he isn’t leaving for a while, if ever.

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      • Slow, he has consistently failed to entertain me while watching him play soccer! That is what he has done to me. After-all, sports are just entertainment, with some weird yet tangible sense of regional pride/patriotism/nationalism mixed in.

        And to answer your other question, No I doubt any of them want him at the price his agent is probably asking for. But that is only happening because MLS is completely messing up their market value by over-valuing USMNT players.

      • exactly! Every European team will look towards the MLS to buy failed/struggling US players. That is exactly what Sunderland is doing. It really started with Bradley because Dempsey was $6million which was not that outrageous.

    • If TFC gets him I wonder how his fans are going to react if and when he doesn’t score…”he is in a crappy team!”…never mind.

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    • The new CBA agreement might drop some DP’s to regular signings. I’ve also been preaching for years about MLS opening an additional DP slot for American Players

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      • Can’t do an ‘american’ DP. Violation of federal law (can’t pay someone differently based on nationality) preach all you want, but there’s a reason it hasn’t happened.

      • Dude it’s a salary cap mechanism. They aren’t getting paid more because they are an American. Just less of their salary would count towards the cap.

      • Actually, I think he might have a point. Imagine if, the teams were co-ed and one DP was exclusively for a man or woman.

      • We already have ‘international’ roster restrictions. Extending them to a DP position is the same thing. I’m also pretty sure that nationality isn’t a protected class in the US in this sense. The protections come from the Immigration Reform act and are directed at illegal immigrants. Sports also have the ability to bend the rules in some cases (like monopolies) and obviously you can’t play for a national team unless you are a citizen nor can a male play for a women’t team even though gender is protected.

    • Ives,
      Based on current MLS Allocation Ranking Toronto are 7th:
      New York City FC (These guys need another DP)
      Montreal
      San Jose
      Colorado
      Chicago
      Houston
      Toronto
      Does that mean the 6 teams above them are all passing on Jozy?

      Reply
      • First of the 3 (Tor, NYRB, Por) that were rumored to be interested. But allocation wouldn’t come into play anyway, so it’s beside the point (he’s a “DP of a certain threshold” not subject to allocation, ala Dempsey and Bradley).

      • Quote from the article above: “The New York Red Bulls, who would have the first chance at signing Altidore based on MLS allocation rankings, are reportedly out of the running. “

      • WTF…WTH…What the what!? Seriously…

        I guess they don’t need a local boy who was a phenom at their club
        I guess they don’t need any great advertisement of top quality American players
        I guess they don’t need a goal scorer cause BWP is gonna dupe his goal scoring tally from this past season
        I guess they have enough quality in the striking core and he wouldn’t get many chances

        As if

      • The EJ debacle has probably licensed some gamesmanship where a team can weed out suitors and bid themselves up by their asking price, since the league is going to ensure someone will pay the price. Where before I think MLS would have set a deal and then you’d go to the first in order willing to pay it, I think there is now a mutual feeling out process that might license a player to bid himself beyond the price teams he doesn’t want to play for will pay. Jones felt a little like this.

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