Top Stories

Report: TFC set to swap Jermain Defoe for Jozy Altidore


Photo by Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports


Toronto FC appear set to replace their superstar striker with a big-name, American replacement.

TSN is reporting that TFC will send Jermain Defoe to Sunderland in exchange for U.S. Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore and cash considerations, which are reported to be “significant.” Defoe, who heads back to England after just one season in MLS, has reportedly signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with Sunderland worth about $129,000 a week.

Defoe’s MLS adventure ends after just 19 games and 11 goals, and the English striker will now join a side in need of a scoring touch. Sunderland has scored just 18 goals in 21 league games this season.

Altidore, who has reportedly signed a four-year deal as a Designated Player, will now join up with U.S. Men’s National Team teammate Michael Bradley as members of TFC. The move would also represent the MLS return for the forward who scored 15 goals in 37 appearances for the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls and Portland Timbers also pursued the American striker.

What do you think of the potential deal? How would Altidore fare with TFC? What do you expect from Defoe with Sunderland?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Good move by Jozy. Think about it…. he gets to start every week so conditioning won’t be a problem and if he remains “no score Altidore” he has a built in excuse…. Toronto sux and provides him with no service. I can hear his fan boys now if he bombs at yet another team

    Then there’s the money too.

  2. While I get the arguments that MLS is a weaker league, there are a few points that are worth making (and re-making).

    1. None of us know Jozy’s family situation, whether he likes living in the Newcastle area or not (probably not), and what it’s like to sit on the bench most of the time. We can all talk about what he should do, but the man has got to live his life–he doesn’t exist for us.
    2. I remember all the doom and gloom about Clint Dempsey returning to MLS ruining our national team. And then, 30 seconds into the WC, he scores a beautiful goal. MLS is certainly good enough now to maintain the level of our best players–the jury is, however, out on whether they can improve significantly in MLS.
    3. On the issue of improvement, there are two areas where coming back to MLS might have an argument–1)leadership and responsibility, aka the Bradley argument, and 2)freedom to take chances and express yourself on the field, aka the Dempsey argument. Dempsey is a far more creative player for the Sounders than he was for Fulham (the occasional Europa League Wonder Goal excepted). In Seattle he’s not going to get yanked if he tries a backheel or a stepover or whatever and it doesn’t come off. Very few Americans playing in Europe have the nerve to express themselves because they know that they are playing on a short leash. In MLS you can “try shit” if you’re a star and stay on the field. I think we can all agree that the US squad lacks that little dose of creativity that sometimes makes the difference between a competitive team and one that wins big tournaments.
    4. Finally (and this has been mentioned by others), having Jozy and Rubin and a few others doing ok in Europe is not going to help our program much in the long term. Having a league that continues to grow and attracts young Americans, quality (creative) foreign talent, and better coaches…and by extension more young kids wanting to be soccer stars…will. If the goal is to be competitive for a World Cup every four years, then this has to be a long game. MLS is key to that long game. Grow the league, make it an appealing option for foreign players and young Americans, and THEN you’ll see a US team that can consistently compete.

  3. Now the only reason he is the lock down, never change, force him into the team striker for the Nats is gone. I look forward to seeing what other talent we have at the position.

    • How on earth was Altidore being forced into the team? Over who? Connor Casey and Brian Ching? (who were the options when he first broke into the team during the 2010 cycle).

      Didn’t you just admit that you have no idea what other talent we have at the position? Why not go with the US’s number 5 all time goal scorer?

      • Exactly, we don’t know what the other guys can do since jozy is ALWAYS picked top team despite playing poorly for 18 months now. You need to try out other players to see what you have. Plenty of others have come for cameos and looked better than Jozy and never get a chance to start to see if they are better or not. Im not saying they are definitely better, but they never get the chance to show it.

      • Name these players and the games in which they scored, since scoring (as opposed to “looking better”) is the standard with which you are measuring Altidore.

      • Who are the “plenty of others” you’re thinking of? Not calling you out, just interested in your take for the sake of discussion. Who do you think has shown they deserve an extended look at Jozy’s expense?

        If he was healthy, T Boyd would be the first guy who comes to my mind. But, he’s not healthy and won’t be for some time. Then you’ve got AJ and Rubin, both of whom deserve looks, but both of whom I feel like are more complements to Jozy as opposed to replacements for him. After that? I don’t have much.

        I’d give Zardes a look, while keeping in mind that he’s a.) not that much younger than Jozy (23 and 25, respectively), and b.) only got one pro season under his belt, where he was the third option behind two of the best players in MLS history. I’d like to see him show that he can handle the attention of a defense and produce before saying he should take Jozy’s spot.

        Wondo? We’ve seen that movie before. Agudelo can’t get a team, let alone a game. Then where do you go? Davies? Wooten? Bobby Wood? Mullins? Bruin? EJ?

      • it’s very rare that i agree with del, especially re: jozy, but i do agree with him about seeing other strikers (if not in the way that he puts it).

        i feel like (even for legit reasons) klinsmann has been shoe-horning jozy into the squad when we could be giving more time to boyd, aron, and others.

        one reason could be that he wanted to take a look at the midfield–he’d want the front and back to remain static so that he could properly assess the mid. another reason is that jozy has been scoring regularly for the nats, and we were coming up on the world cup.

        however, it was very obvious that they didn’t know what the f— to do when jozy went down in the first game. aron looked lost, dempsey tried his best (and then the midfield looked lost). yes, they advanced, but they advanced in spite of missing jozy, not because they had a sufficient plan b.

        there’s nothing wrong with saying that jozy is (clearly) our top striker for now, while also saying that klinsmann *needs* to be giving other options extended playing time with our first 11, if only to see if anything sticks.

      • This is my point. We rate Jozy a little differently, but whoever it is, other options have to be given time on the nat team. I was against Jones constant inclusion when JK was doing that. Everytime he has explored other options good things have come up. Garza, Yedlin, Brooks

      • Del, that wasn’t your point. ND was saying your point and opposite points aren’t mutually exclusive. aka [Jozy’s our 1 so let’s find out the pecking order after him].
        Nate continues to explain where you’re wrong Del, below……

      • Del Griffin,

        “I was against Jones constant inclusion when JK was doing that.”

        And you were wrong. Along with Howard, Jones was the US’ best player at the World Cup.

        Garza, Yedlin and Brooks got their shots to replace players who were not playing well or were on their way out. Jozy has started for the US because he earns it.

        Your “declare player x a successor and give him the job for a long run without him earning a f++king thing ” approach is foolish. Jozy has done well for the US. Anyone who wants to beat him out will have to get in there and impact the team immediately like Rubin did.

        Or have a great club season. For example, Zardes could do it if he gets purchased by Real Madrid to replace Benzema , a shock transfer to Orlando City, and goes on to outscore league play and the Champion’s league.

        Today, if anything happens to Jozy, Rubin, while a bit different in style, is probably first choice replacement followed by Boyd, depending on how he comes back from injury.

        Your contention that no one has been given a shot at Jozy’s position is a lie and ignores the facts. You are declaring what amounts to a made up emergency.

        Everyone seems to have forgotten that leading up to the World Cup, EJ, who was playing very well, was probably Jozy’s true backup and most likely would have been at the World Cup if not for his unfortunate nuclear implosion after moving to DC.

        While Jozy will be at the Gold Cup if he does go to TFC, the US should be able to win even a beefed up Gold Cup without Jozy (they can always bring in Alan Gordon for the Mexico game) which means the next big time competition will be in 2016 with Copa America.

        The US has time to see how Jozy has settled or to find his replacement.

      • Totally for expanding the pool. One of, if not the most important, improvement in the National Team under JK versus Bob Bradley.

        It seemed as if Del was suggesting that Altidore should NOT be selected into squads based on his poor play, regardless of the opponent or playing formation (or match location, European based v. MLS based) almost as some sort of punishment. “You play poorly, then we give your spot on the NT to some other player, even if that player is unproven/not playing well/etc.)

        First, I’m not sure its accurate to suggest that Altidore is ALWAYS selected at the expense of evaluating additional talent. Certainly in recent friendlies, we’ve seen Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin. Once Johannsson started scoring (and playing regularly) at AZ, JK immediately brought him into the lineup, and deployed him sometimes alongside or instead of Altidore. He even played in qualifiers. Boyd has seen significant minutes. Wondo has seen significant minutes. Altidore was not even selected for the most recent Gold Cup. Remember Eddie Johnson? Donovan was used in that position as well.

        But most importantly, JK is taking Dollars’ approach right now, by not including Altidore in the most recent call-ups. Akindele, Morales, Wondo, Dempsey and Wood are the forwards. But now is the perfect time to experiment. Not in the lead up to 2014.

        So, I totally agree with Dollars that JK should be looking at other options, and exploring different combinations. But if the suggestion is that Jozy should be “displaced” by an not-yet proven prospect because of his Sunderland experience, I would tend to disagree…

    • Perhaps Boyd if he can get healthy has a shot but that won’t be for awhile. We’ll see if Zardes can continue to grow but that’s still a question. Rubin looks good but I think he’ll end up being more in the Dempsey/ Donovan midfielder/forward rather then an out and out striker. So unless Jozy struggles in MLS I’m not sure if anyone is still pushing him out, just yet.

  4. Where is the guy that said I needed to wait for the whiners to whine before I whined about them ? Good grief.

    I do have a question…does the water that comes out of the Orange Gatorade containers rltaste sweeter in Europe too ? Can the US be on par with that at least…ok maybe not equal, dont be dimb this is MLS, but getting closer to Europe. The water will be as good in 20 years….

  5. 15 goals in 37 games it’s what Jozy scored before going to Villareal.
    He’ll be lucky to score 10 this season.
    This is not the same MLS as when he left.

    • fair enough but on the other hand he’s also not a 17 year old kid either. He’s matured as a player, so even if he hasn’t succeeded outside of Holland (which he DID help them win their first league title in several years and set an american-in-europe scoring record for a season…. lest we’ve all forgotten……) he still could show his growth by becoming an all star stand out in the MLS for the next 2 years; Perhaps earning a January, mid-season transfer back to France/Germany/etc could be in the cards (he’d only be 27 by then, the heart of his prime)

      • “An Americans in Europe scoring record”. Seriously people, let’s stop acting as if he was scoring in England, Spain or Germany. He was in the Netherlands and where do people get the idea that Germany or France would want him? He’s NOT going to a top league in Europe. He’s an MLS caliber player. He has proven that much in the last few years.

      • “Seriously people, he was in the Netherlands”

        Scoring 23 times in an Eredivisie season is not easy. Otherwise, more Americans would have done it. Not even RVP and Robben accomplished that number in their 3 year stints at Feyenoord and PSV respectively.

      • i surely hope “Reality” reads the above. You’d think “Reality” was kin to “Facts”….

      • ‘where do people get the idea that Germany or France would want him?’

        seriously, it’s not hard to look this stuff up. pretty sure it was also reported on this very site.

  6. The standard mantra from all coaches is for a player to develop at the maximum rate, he needs to play for the best team he can. (That mantra assumes that she will actually play there or at least be able to play there in a short time.)

    Since Jozy was not playing for Sunderland and no one else was willing to spend the money in the belief that he would play for them, TFC is defacto the “best” place he can be.

  7. So I thought jozy was going to nycfc in the summer, and nycfc is waiting till the summer for their 3rd DP.
    In addition, jozy and the mexican star chicharito are in the same situation, no minutes, no playing time and want big money and are overrated.
    So jozy is out, who might be heading to nycfc in the summer. Who else can nycfc get, balotteli, sneijder, drogba, eto,

    • balotelli…… ha….. not a chance. it’d be a great marketing move for both parties and I’d thoroughly enjoy watching that debacle (read: night club debacles) but it won’t happen– this summer certainly not.

      drogba, possibly. snider hopefully. he is great to watch

    • the difference is tha Jozy was in the worst EPL team with no real options in Europe while Chicharito is in the best team in the planet, has offers from other top clubs and already proved he can score at the highest level.

  8. You know who had the most impact in the world cup players from MLS. People on this site have so much self hate its pathetic. What I find funny is that we want MLS to improve but when they try to do so we lash out at them for doing it. Who in the hell do you want them to bring in? They bring in Lampard or Gerrard the are to old, they bring in south american no names then they are to unknown. They bring in USMNT players you freak out even if the players are getting zero playing time. Its like you rather feel good about yourself with players in Europe not playing then having them get games in MLS. Just dam pathetic.

    • Amen brother!

      So many people complain that MLS needs to improve as a league but no signing is ever good enough. New flash – we’re only 20 years old. We don’t have the financial clout to go out & sign the Messi’s and Ronaldo’s of the world.

      All these signings do is increase the quality of the league forcing everyone else to up their games or fall behind which, in the long run, will only benefit US Soccer. Seriously, does anyone here thing the US was winning a World Cup in 2018 or 2022? Doubt it. But moves like this (and Lampard, and Gerrard, and Mix, etc) will eventually lead to a trickle down effect that will help push our NT further. Those guys push players in training to elevate their game and push fringe MLS’ers to lower divisions which in turn pushes those lower division players to up their games, etc, etc. All of a sudden, those academy products are training at a higher level and playing against better competition which leads to more polish in the MLS game.

      Playing in Europe is always nice, but the key word there is PLAYING. Why ride the pine in Europe when you can play day in and day out here in MLS while also securing your future (remember people, these guys are human beings just like us and even as pro athletes are concerned about their financial well being).

      I don’t know, maybe I’m just an optimist when looking at the big picture…

      Tl;dr – good for Jozy, good for MLS, eventually good for USMNT.

    • i find them equally as intriguing. Gio is a good player. 27, fast, playmaker with a great shot. curious what formation TFC would use. 3 fwds? jozy in the middle with Gio and Gilberto on the wings? Two STs- jozy and Gilberto- with Gio as CAM?

      • You have to think that Gilberto is done in Toronto if Giovinco comes in. Too many holes to fill and too many similar players.

      • why would i assume Gilberto is done? he’s a FWD, Jozy’s a FWD and Gio’s an attacker aka ST,WNGR, or CAM. there’s an obvious way to have them all on the field

  9. Red bull who? Seriously, red bull was not able to pay for him and start a new era. Garber, you need to sell this team in 5 years or less.
    You also gotta wonder, if MLS had free agency and a higher salary cap, where would he had gone.

    • That is not the reason. They just didn’t want to overpay. TFC is overpaying all their DPs. MB shoud not be getting anywhere close to CAD6 million. He should be at the 3-4 million range. Defoe should have bee about 4 not 7 or 8 million. I respect NYRB for saying 5/6 million is too much.

  10. Everybody wins.
    Sunderland gets a forward that can score in the EPL and Altidore gets paid.
    It was never going to work for Jozy in the EPL. He’s just not good enough. Germany or France would’ve been ideal but I highly doubt anybody there wanted him.
    He went to Europe to find his ceiling only to realize that his ceiling is in MLS.

    • Well, He did set the record for goals in a season for an American playing in Europe, so that is a ceiling of sorts.Rubin and Johannsson have yet to reach it, so…

    • ‘Germany or France would’ve been ideal but I highly doubt anybody there wanted him.’

      funny you mention those countires, since it was widely-reported that teams from germany and france wanted him, just not at the asking price.

      but i agree about sunderland getting their forward. defoe is very strictly a poacher, and although sunderland could really use someone good in the air, he might at least be more able to make something from nothing.

      • Mr. Dollars,

        “sunderland could really use someone good in the air”

        Fletcher is as good a striker in the air as the EPL.

      • correct, but he’s been injured, and i think he’s probably done.

        and i meant that ideally they would have gotten a poacher who was also good in the air. kind of thought they would move for peter crouch, who’s almost out-of-contract. jelavic also might have worked.

      • Crouch is very tall but he is not that good in the air.

        His “length ” makes him very hard to deal with but when it comes to actually heading the ball there are shorter guys, like Wayne Rooney for example, or Jelavic like you said, who are better in the air.

  11. And the USMNT continues its decline.

    This is getting depressing. Clint, I can understand. But Mikey and now Jozy? On a bad CANADIAN team as the extra kick in the teeth?? Damn.

  12. Having Bradley and Jozy continue to build a chemistry sounds a lot better then him sitting the bench for the next 6 months, heading into the Gold Cup.

  13. First off a player can be a moment away from a season or career ending injury. For example Falcao being tackled in the French Cup game and sustaining a tear to his ACL to which it appears he has yet to recover from and may possible never will. For those who say Klinsmann must be upset with Jozy for not sticking it out and fighting for his spot at Sunderland (that ship has sailed and Jozy no longer is in Gus Poyet’s plans). Or moving to another league in Europe such as France or Germany but no here knows what their offers are. So if MLS is offering double or more than what he can get in Europe, can get consistent playing time, and being a focal point of the team is all good for Jozy. And strikers need confidence no matter how much Jozy likes to tell reporters that he still has his confidence. Strikers gain confidence when they score goals and Jozy hasn’t scored any lately. Last and most important Klinsmann doesn’t pay Jozy’s salary so it is incumbent on Jozy or any professional player to go where he can get paid the most. Anyone who wrote something to the effect that I no longer believe in Jozy because he came home for the money really should think first before commenting. Klinsmann is not going to take care of Jozy financially after his playing days are over if he stayed in Europe to fight for a spot in a more competitive league in France or Germany but got paid less than what MLS is offering and none of you are going to kick in funds to financially support him either. This is why once the TV ratings start kicking in hopefully with this new TV contract with ESPN and Fox Sports that we will see a truly big increase in the next TV contract and consequently a much, much higher salary cap and we will start to see some of the top players in the world playing here in their prime.

    • Klinsmann isn’t even going to take care of Jozy ever. Jozy will make his money somewhere else and that somewhere else now happens to be TFC.

      It is a good (maybe great) move by MLS to get recognizable names who people will actually tune into watch on TV. I’ve tuned into enough crap Sunderland games myself to know the truth of that. (Thank God for DVR and fast forward when Jozy didn’t play or when Clint did not play at Tottenham, etc.)

  14. Crazy deal! Excited about him playing every week and with Bradley; hopefully developing a good connection. With all of our USMNT players returning its good to see them finally teaming up on the same side.

    Obvious Con’s are that he won’t be going against EPL defenders, not that he did much of that before, or won’t be training with a coach or teamates who can push him to the next level. But Gilberto, Findley it could be worse; if he went thru the allocation order he could end up in Colorado or Montreal

    Overall I think Jozy has kinda hit his ceiling so im okay with him coming back. I bet he will rip it up here.

    Happy trails Defoe; wish he stayed longer.

  15. Would have preferred to see him go to Germany or France, but the reality is that he’s done the whole wandering-through-Europe thing before and probably knows by now that going to a team in a better league is meaningless if you’re not in a position where you can succeed (and the only European teams that would want him now would be the ones with serious flaws). So coming back to MLS (with a pay raise, to boot) probably is his best carreer move, even if the league is of a lower quality.

    My primary worry is that Toronto FC appears to be a complete mess (I was really holding out hope for Portland), but I actually think he can still be effective, so long as the coaching staff doesn’t try to turn him into a traditional target forward as Sunderland did. And from a development standpoint, I do think he can continue to improve aspects of his game — mostly his face-up game, as well as his overall confidence, against MLS opposition. The move isn’t ideal, but it’s hardly the disaster people are making it out to be.

      • I should really probably apologize. Sorry – I have been a bit salty on here lately.

        My points about player development not being significantly tied to level of competition stands though. I believe that we should not impose our own [uninformed] opinions when we talk about where a player should be playing. Not saying you shouldn’t hope that he plays for your favorite team or something like that, but the notion that we know what is better for him than he does…

      • Putting aside the obvious response to this (if you don’t care, why did you reply?), your response is a little odd, given that I’m basically agreeing with you. I’m up front about my personal preferences (I think Germany and France’s top leagues play higher-quality soccer and that if he was going to MLS, I would have enjoyed watching him play in Portland), but the point of the post is that I don’t think going back to MLS will hurt his development, so people complaining about how it’s horrible for his career and for the USMNT need to calm down. So I guess what I’m saying is “?????”

      • I would add that, also, I’m actually pretty optimistic about MLS in general over the next few years. With so many quality national team players coming back and some likely changes to the salary structure in the new CBA, I really believe that the league is poised to make significant improvements in quality above and beyond the improvement that’s already taken place. I think that whether it’s Altidore or some young USMNT prospect just coming up, American players with National Team aspirations are going to be plenty challenged playing in this league in the coming years. All the more reason not to panic.

    • disregard what the lamb says. he failed to realized this is a COMMENT SECTION on a BLOG….. it’s purpose is for people to speak their opinions.

      i agree with your levelheadedness, Petro

    • Yeah, just like all of the other forwards banging in goals.

      Just kidding, my sincere recommendation is to leave that island of delusion you currently reside on.

    • embarrassing for whom?

      i wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if defoe scores more goals than altidore. sunderland needs someone who can finish half-chances, and, while defoe isn’t world-class by any means, he is a poacher who can make the most of very little.

  16. Man, that is the weight of being in a terrible situation ending. Its funny how, life goes. But there is a reason English players rarely leave the island, they don’t have too, imagine creating that same environment here.

  17. Really happy about this report for one reason alone:

    If Jermain Defoe goes to Sunderland and they suck, SBI will ring with the cries of “I told you so!” because, well, Sunderland sucks. If he goes over there and Sunderland forwards start bagging a bunch of goals, I’ll eat a slice of humble pie with my crow entree.

    • i concur to a point. it really depends HOW well Defoe does at Sunderland. if he scores 12 goals or something then ok but if he plays the second half of this season and only gets 3-4 goals, then that shows to an extent that Sunderland has issues. there are a lot of moving parts, so to speak, that go into it

      • If Defoe scores 3-4 goals in half a season then that is more than what Jozy did in a season and a half. If he scores 3-4 then he is better than Jozy, to be the same as Jozy he has to score 2 or less.

      • im comfortable saying that Defoe is a better goal scorer than Altidore regardless of what Defoe does at Sunderland.

      • yep. people are acting like it’s something awful if jermaine defoe is better than jozy.

        1) they’re different types of forwards.

        2) jermaine defoe is very good.

      • Louis Z, you’re oblivious to the point. If Defoe scored 3-4, yes it’s better than Jozy but that’s a given…. the point there would be that a talented forward like Defoe should be scoring more than that and it would show Sunderland’s weakness, etc. we all can understand that 2 does not equal 3-4…….. congrats mr obvious. please turn to page 12 with the rest of us…

    • europe is overrated. play at a place where you are comfortable and where you can get to your next level. that could be in any number of leagues on any number of continents, and each player should find his own route.

      Jozy (and Bradley for that matter) can definitely become a more complete player, and that can definitely happen in MLS. The level of competition is only one of many, many factors in the development of a player, and even at that, this league seems to be elevating itself on an almost monthly basis. Why not be a part of and contribute to that rise while continuing to push yourself professionally?

      • Your comment was gold. I started off saying something different and then went crazy. What I meant to write in reply to you is that the idea that MLS pulled off a trade with an EPL team involving players of this magnitude is absolutely epic.

  18. I have been a longtime fan of Jozy, but I am not sure that is the case anymore. He has proven that all he cares about is money. I would have respected two potential decisions that Jozy could have made:
    1. Stay in Europe (be it Sunderland, or better yet another club in another league) and fight for playing times and goals.
    2. Return to the Red Bulls and help the team that helped him develop in your formative year.

    Instead, he joins TFC and runs from a challenge and turns his back on a club that truly loves and needs him.

    I hope JK can groom some young strikers that will replace him quickly.

    Jozy is simply Donovan 2.0.

    • We can only hope jozy is donovon 2.0. Remember that incredible goal against algeria in 2010? It’s easy to forget, but donovan actually scored that goal.

    • It’s not like he was a free agent, you know. Sunderland had him under contract wand was going to get the best deal for him they could, he doesn’t really have that much leverage. Sunderland got a EPL level starter in exchange someone with 20 goals former is country and well over 100 in the EPL. Defoe would probably get a 7-8m transfer fee, especially going to a desperate club like Sunderland. No English club would be likely to pay more than 1-2 for Jozy these days, and Sunderland wouldn’t be able to upgrade him for that. What did red bulls have to offer? Cahill?

      Jozy simply doesn’t have the leverage right now to dictate terms.

      • I’m surprised no one else has thought of this. its not like jozy called his agent “IM WANT TO PLAY FOR TORONTO, MAKE IT HAPPEN!”

        both the player and club have to agree essentially

      • I’ve said it before and I will say it again. MLS is skewing the market for USMNT players to the point that any team will approach and MLS team to get an unrealistic offer. The offer makes it near impossible for another move on a realistic offer. Sunderland will get 6 million transfer and Jozy will get 5 million a year and Defoe. Why should they allow him to go to Lille where they want a loan to check him out and likely not pay more than 2-4 million for transfer. Sunderland will actually make out like bandits because MLS, negotiates and overpays, stupidly.

        Jozy owes Sunderland nothing, but it seems like they are playing hardball here. Jozy as recently as 2 months ago stated that he wanted to stay in Europe. What changed?

      • “What changed?”

        you answered your own question……

        Sunderland wanted the most money they could get so they didn’t agree to the loan offers from Lille, etc. “Sunderland will get 6 million”

        MLS wants jozy for marketing and Jozy can play regularly in front of fans while making almost the same wages “Jozy will get 5 million a year”. Sure Jozy prefers to stay in Europe but if the only option his club gave him was TFC or Sunderland bench– what do you expect him to agree to?

    • Lucky for Jozy and everyone else, it doesn’t matter one bit what you would’ve “respected”. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously after that last sentence?

  19. I think this post has already exceeded its Troll Limit for the day. Look at the facts. Jozy wasnt working out with Sunderland. where would he go? back to AZ? MLS is improving and its time for the eurosnobs to admit it. follow the money. if he tears it up, then there may still be a future yet in the EPL for him. I am glad to see it happen and it will boost the sport here.

    • It’s kinda fun reading the doomsday crowd who can’t believe jozy didn’t take the mythical transfer to the french/german club that would have made him the focal point of their free-flowing attack.

    • Jozy is done in the EPL. He is never going to get a chance there. He got 1 goal in 1.5 years. 2 in 2.5 years. No EPL team will ever take a chance. Truth be told, unless he goes to another European league and proves his worth, why would any substantive team take a chance on him in a Top 5/6 league.

      He did really well in Eredivisie, but that is recognized as a wide open league with technical players,but with defenders who give you space. He really need to go to another wide open league with better players and defenders (France, Germany, Spain). However, he is not technical enough for Spain. Funny thing is he scored more goals (3) in Spain in fewer games 17). England is notorious for its speed and giving players the least amount of time and space on the ball than any other league in Europe. He just did not fit.

      • I think Jozy would not have had such an anemic EPL scoring record had he played for a team that consistently generated chances for their forwards by serving the ball to them in the box. Hull did not do that, and Sunderland certainly doesn’t. The fans are now starting to bemoan the lack of service to Wickham and Fletcher, who have 5 goals combined. It isn’t because Altidore is sitting the bench.

        I find the “Jozy is not EPL quality” argument interesting. The entire English National Team plays in the EPL, yet their international success has been mediocre at best. The US has now outperformed England in 2 consecutive world cups. I get that EPL forwards don’t get the time and space they would in say, Holland, but you would think that would help England generate incredibly technical and efficient strikers. England, however have not produced one since Rooney in 2004. They’ve not had a Spanish export since Michael Owen, and his stint was largely unremarkable.

        Holland, however, have produced numerous strikers that have been exported to Spain, Italy, England and Germany, despite the lax D. If Altidore had produced maybe 3 years of sustained goal scoring in Holland, he would be in a much better situation.

    • Exactly. Playing time is paramount. There’s no one here who would turn down a bigger role and (much) more money. The decision was probably an easy one for Jozy.

      • Yeah tying the record for the best year, beating Mexico in Mexico for the first time, beating a few European nations on European soil for the first time, winning the Gold Cup relatively easily w/o a full squad, and then getting the U.S. out of a World Cup group including Ghana, Portugal, and Germany is TERRIBLE.

    • I don’t know about destroying the USMNT. But the players they do bring in, especially Bradley and Altidore stop learning new things, and their game won’t progress at all in the MLS. I hope that’s not true, but I think it is.

      • factors other than level of competition play much more heavily in player development. absolutely no logical reason that Bradley and Jozy cannot become better players playing in MLS.

      • Mr.lamb,

        At this point, as players, Jozy and Mikey are who they are.

        Assuming this happens, playing for TFC is unlikely to make them better. Why would it?

        Hopefully, they will both get a lot of playing time to keep them sharp and hopefully TFC will not be the festering cluster f++k it was last year, which was not good for any of their players.

        In Jozy’s case it sure beats not playing for Sunderland, which is not saying much.

        Where it could benefit the USMNT is that Mikey and Jozy could develop a better understanding.

        These two are currently such important USMNT players that they are still probably :”first choice” but going forward it probably does not help their chances of making the 2018 team.

        At the end of the day ,this doesn’ t really change much. Given their performance on the field , JK was always going to have to search for replacements for these two before 2018 anyway.

      • Jozy and MB arguably have the most chemistry already on the NT; but yes, playing together could technically help “develop a better understanding”.

      • “At this point, as players, Jozy and Mikey are who they are.”

        That could not be farther from the truth. My guess is that you have a very limited knowledge of player development. Different experiences will continue to mold them into new players. If they excel on the level of carrying an MLS team on their backs (not saying that is going to happen), their progressions could quite easily surpass that of being a bit part in Europe.

      • My take is if both MB and JA are the best we have, then they will still be in the team when 2018 rolls around. I doubt they will be better so it boils down who in the outside is better than these two.

      • Carlo,

        What makes you think Mikey and Jozy are indispensable?

        Assuming this happens, and it may not. JK has about 2.5 to 3 years to find out whether or not he needs to replace Jozy, Mikey, Mix and any other returnees.

        At this point you don’t know if they will get worse, better or stay the same.

        Two – three years is a long time. The timing for all these transfers could not be better.

    • Agreed, he should stay at sunderland and not play another minute for the next six months. BPL is a better league.

      Sometimes I think about what would have been if bradley had not been playing at all for roma instead of coming to mls. We would have been so much better, serie a is a better league.

      • I’m assuming this post is dripping in sarcasm, but how could you possibly think that Bradley’s play benefited from being on Toronto?

      • But he was playing for Roma and he would have this season too. Strootman was injured. Other people get injured.

      • actually Strootman was beginning to start over MB by late 2013, MB left for TFC Jan 2014 and Strootman contented to start until he was injured March 2014. Saying he would have started this season is pure hindsight and perhaps not true– The Roma coach had said that he saw MB as a consistent substitute in the midfield with Strootman signed (July 2013) being groomed to start. So the cards were clear that MB’s playing time was going to decrease, justly or not.

      • Oh, its all hindsight. Bradley’s foot injury would fall there too. That could happen anywhere. Although, less likely in Italy. People seem to stay healthy forever there except for Rossi.

      • but yea i watched most of MB’s Roma games and he had slowly earned his starting role, helped them hold near the top of the league but i feel the coach had sensed a ceiling had been hit and seemed to want a slightly younger, better, more active player(Strootman) at that position.

      • Any top player looks to play in the best league, for the best club, they can.. It does appear Jozy Altidore has hit his ceiling. His consolation is that he was offered more money than he’s worth and it is normal that he cashes in now.

      • Roma is irrelevant. Bradley had offers from solid European teams. He was leaving Roma ended up taking the BIG money instead of the quality. Hard to blame him given he is looking out for his family. But that will never change the fact that, from a competitive, and therefore developmental, level, he is missing out.

      • Press reports indicated that he had other options besides Sunderland in Europe. It was unlikely it was all one or the other. He should stay in a European league if he wants to better himself. This is good for MLS, but bad for Jozy and the national team.

      • True, but if he lands at another sunderland (or hull, or xerez, or bursaspor) he gains nothing and loses six more months or a year or two years from the prime of his playing career.

        It’d be a roll of the dice and so far for jozy, the dice have been loaded.

      • “Press reports indicated that he had other options besides Sunderland in Europe.”

        the Euro interests were either lower bids (£2-3) or loans with option to buy in the summer. Sunderland wanted the cash now, allowing them to secure a better replacement (defoe…..). Perhaps the reason Jozy ended up in Toronto was due to Sunderland only willing to deal with someone looking to spend the asking price.

      • Yeah, I have to wonder how much Sunderland played in making this the deal Jozy had to take. Jozy isn’t even going to the team he wanted to since MLS is allocating him.

      • My understanding is that Jozy didn’t have to take any deal if he didn’t want to. So for him to accept he had to like the numbers and the fact he will be playing regularly.

      • That’s what I mean though. He liked the MLS money but seems like he thought he was going to NYRB and not subject to allocation. That said, I’m speculating. I wasn’t there in the negotiations.

      • seems this is like his exit from az, where the club made it clear that they were cashing in (for entirely different reasons), and he could either take the offer or risk wasting away on the bench for the rest of his contract.

      • Absolutely. But this time he had loan offers as well as a full transfer to MLS. I wonder if Sunderland pushed for the full transfer.

    • I prefer to think of 2006 Italia when most of their national team was from the home Serie A
      or even the 2002 USMNT team with mostly MLS guys and their quarterfinal success

      The glass is half-full

      • You mean the 2002 team that had the same amount of guys in Europe as we had in 2014? With more players playing in England? With guys like Donovan, Beasley, McBride moving soon after the World Cup?

      • The core of that 2002 team was based in MLS. Our most impressive attackers, Donovan, Mathis, McBride and Beasley were all MLS. The defense, Pope, Sanneh, Agoos, all MLS (Sanneh had just left for Germany on the strength of his DC United run).

        The only truly Euro based guys were Claudio, Berhalter and JOB.

    • Destroy? No way.

      Help make our best players better? Also no way.

      It’s stupid for our best players to be here. Maybe they can reach 95% of their top limit but that last 5% won’t happen.

      • I’ll take any and all of our players at 95%. So far MLS hasn’t made any of our starters better, the same? I would say Jones has.Dempsey, MB are below par at the moment.

      • Stop with that tired, argument. Even you must agree that as good as London was, he would have been better in a environment where he played against better competition and had better coaching.

        It is just plain ignorant. Better coaching, better players, playing against better players with better technique makes you better

      • Both of you make legit points. Clearly, Donovan would have elevated his game if he had stayed at Bayern. How much? And what would that have translated into in terms of his performance with the USMNT? Hard to tell. I think any international would want his world cup record, which he achieved based on playing in San Jose and LA…

      • I think we forget fro time to time that soccer players are human. As such, certain environments will work better for some than for others. A player suffering from depression, away from home, away from his twin sister, etc isn’t going to pan out anywhere.

        I don’t believe that if Landon had stayed in Europe he would’ve been a better player. I do believe he might’ve retired earlier though.

    • The level of play in MLS is lesser than the EPL. However, your comment is very short sighted, in my opinion. The only way the United States will compete with the best is to have a robust, successful league at home that helps develop and inspire young talent. MLS is making strides in that direction, the academies are growing more and more like the academies of Europe. The quality of the league continues to grow, year in and year out. All this takes time and patience.

      MLS doesn’t have to be the best league in the world to have a monumental impact on the USMNT. It just needs to keep getting better, till it is one of the best, if not the best, in the Americas (North and South). Highly visible american “stars” playing in the US, like Landon, Bradley and now presumably Jozy helps improve the leagues image, generates interest and buzz which all leads to greater success, financial and non-financial, which help the league grow.

      So while you worry about Jozy not trying another option out in Europe (I get it, I do. You want him to gut it out on the bigger stage and hopefully succeed). I’m happy to have him playing regularly with Bradley in a league I am tremendously thankful to have. A league I get to watch regularly and that I am incredibly interested in continue to watch grow.

    • How many of these guys do you think will actually be contributing to the team 4 years hence even if they “stayed in Europe”?

      Not a 35 year old Dempsey. Not a 36 year old Jermaine Jones. Beasley? Please.

      Bradley will be on his last go around at 30. Jozy probably the same since he is a striker (he’ll be 29 …).

      The 2018 USMNT will be vastly different than 2014 just like 2010 completely turned over the defense (except Beasley who was a midfielder on the 2010 team), only had 2 holdovers in midfield (Bradley and Dempsey) and one at forward (Altidore). Tim Howard was there both times but I’d be shocked to see him in the net in 2018.

      Don’t let your starry eyes get in the way of the reality of father time moving on. The 2018 USMNT will not look anything like 2014 and most of these guys who have come to MLS won’t figure not because they came back to MLS but because they will have retired from national team play.

    • Come on dude, Jozy coming back is a bummer given the apparent options in France and Germany, but we don’t know how good or bad those offers were. Maybe he felt he would be right back in another bad situation. Sure, TFC is a bad situation but he, reportedly, was pushing for NYRB but MLS decided to nix the “threshold” clause in the DP/allocation rule. So TFC it is unless there are some epic trades in the very near future. At the very least, he is going to play.

      As for Mix, a move to MLS makes sense. Norway is a lower level and outside of Celtic, he didn’t really have options apparently. Xolos would have been a good spot, but since they decided to go another route, MLS was the logical location.

      For Bradley, should have stayed in Europe. Nothing more to say there.

      Dempsey and Jones moving here is fine by me given their age.

      • The way I read it NYRB didn’t want to pay the asking price. TFC had a valued chip in Defoe to bargain with. Jozy wasn’t going to come back at a reduce rate, not in a million years. That is why NYRB didn’t have a chance.

      • Louis, yeah I remember seeing that as well but then two days ago it was reported NYRB was still considering it.

        The Defoe thing was a chip for MLS since it’s single entity. MLS paid his fee anyway (right?). But you have to wonder how that would come into play if NYRB stepped up and decided they would pay.

  20. This is a bad move for Jozy and the USMNT team. TFC is dreadful, truth. I cant help but recall the press conference JK had a few months back that featured Jozy. The point of the conference was to highlight the fact that Jozy should be commemorated for fighting it out in Europe regardless of the results. This move is a slap in the face to JK, who has stated his desire for Jozy to stay in Europe. Either Jozy is simply not good enough to succeed in Europe or he doesn’t care what JK advises to him.

    • To be an every game automatic starter, Jozy had no choice but to come back to MLS. With respect to Klinsmann, I’m kinda sick of his unsolicited fatherly career advice and I’m sure Jozy is too.

      • Sabella,

        “I’m kinda sick of his unsolicited fatherly career advice and I’m sure Jozy is too.”

        “Unsolicited?…fatherly advice?”

        If Jozy wants to play for the USMNT then JK is his boss

        Has your boss ever told you what he expects from you? Do you listen?

        If you do not and you make a public show of your disagreement, how do you think that will go over?

      • I didn’t say he should make a public display of his disagreement. If anyone is guilty of that, it’s Klinsmann. He has a bad habit of going public with what should be private conversations. It’s like human resources 101.

      • Let’s keep it straight and agree sports is different. HR101 does not teach on sports media where that kind of info, in some way, is usually public. Stating a desire for the #1 striker in the USA pool stick it out in Europe is significantly different than my boss telling the company at the next all hands metting that I am not performing at the highest level. Much like our salaries are not public info while player salaries are. I’m pretty sure HR101 also mentioned not publicly announcing each employee’s salary when introducing them at the all hands meeting.

      • For the bupkes that Jozy gets paid on the national team compared to club side, JK isn’t his boss.

        It’s like this – you have two jobs. The boss at your part time job yells at you and tells you work at a different full time job.

      • That is a piss-poor analogy. Jozy had 2 bosses (JK and his club boss). If he wants to continue to play for either in their domain, then their opinions are paramount and that manager is the boss. The only thing that helps US is that the USMNT has no depth. NONE at an elite international level. I truly mean elite level. We have decent internationals and at Jozy’s position, we have him.

        I think it’s clear that neither Lille or Werder Bremen were either not interested or not willing to meet what Sunderland want or TFC offered. I am disappointed. I still think (like I have for the past 2 years) that he could perform well in France/Germany and be better long term – never a fan of EPL style). However, I’m not going to begrudge him for chasing money to come back to MLS. However, WHY TFC? They are a mess and a perpetual loser. When I played, being on loser made the playing experience experience horrible. You see it with other pros in other sports. In their history, they have NEVER qualified for the playoffs.

      • JK manages the national team which doesn’t pay Jozy’s salary. Doesn’t provide for his family or future. We all love following the team, but really Jozy needs to do what he thinks is best. I have been a JK backer, but in this case, I don’t think it really matters what he thinks. There are so many coming back, and no one really stepping up, that JK doesn’t really have any leverage at all.
        What is he going to do, play Mike Grella over Jozy because he is somewhere on another continent playing “football”?

      • Byrdman,

        Re: JK being Jozy’s “boss”

        Does everyone agree that if Jozy does not do well for the USMNT JK won’t play him?

        Just to remind you all, JK very publicly criticized Jozy and dropped him when he was not playing well for the USMNT even though he was tearing Dutch defenses apart at the time.

        And will you all agree that TFC would not pay all that money for Jozy if he was not a USMNT regular?
        If Jozy was a Haitian international and his agent went to TFC why would they even take his call if they knew what Jozy’s Sunderland record was?
        For an American player being on the USMNT is a significant revenue generating opportunity . Just look at how Besler’s income jumped when he became a USMNT regular.

        So yeah, JK does not pay his salary but JK can have a very large effect on it. Jozy would be very foolish if he did not pay attention to JK.

    • JK aint exactly bringing us to the promised land. jozy is better served playing all the time with tfc and bonding with bradley it will only help the usmnt as they will get to know eachothers game much more. jk can take his arrogant ass back to germany

      • No bias there! When are we going to admit that we don’t have the talent to challenge right now.

        JK is the manager not a coach. He does not spend 5 days a week with these guys. All he can do is direct what kind of players to get on the USMNT, and suggest what they can do to improve, suggest what kind of characteristics he wants etc. The academies and the teams develop players. JK clearly does not think that they are up to snuff to produce elite players. Good/decent player-> yes, elite -> no. Don’t give me the crap about our elite athletes not playing soccer. US has enough elite athletes playing soccer, but the development and youth selection leaves a lot to be desired.

  21. I for one have blamed Sunderland’s terrible team, specifically midfield, for most of Jozy’s problems. OBviously there is more to it than just that, but with this, we shall see if DeFoe, who had a pretty good year around all the injuries, can make Chicken salad out of that mess. And we shall see if Jozy can be as productive. I know they are two different players, with different styles, but if nothing else there will be lots of posts and passionate responses.

    First time ever, I am saying, I can’t wait til MLS starts up. I will enjoy watching all the USMNT players. Probably not the best of the team, but it draws my attention to the league.

    • ” I know they are two different players, with different styles, but if nothing else there will be lots of posts and passionate responses.”

      If you know that then why even bother to make the comparison?

      Defoe is ,even now, a far better, more consistent and more reliable striker. Always has been. Defoe had about 116 goals for his clubs when he was 25 which is a lot more than Jozy has. Just look up their production.

      As a goal scorer Jozy is not yet in Defoe’s class and he may never be.

      • I was really just talking about the comparisons that will be made. Not necessarily making one myself.

        BTW if you didn’t think the comment was worth making, than why did you bother responding to it? Just wondering… have a good one.

      • Not for England. Defoe has not even been a consistent starter for the Three Lions. Jozy for all of his faults, has a decent scoring rate for the USMNT.

      • He runs hot and cold and one hopes TFC is the start of a hot streak. I’m not his biggest fan but it’s a production position and if he produces I ain’t complaining.

      • It’s pretty darned good when you’re usually coming off the bench. His goals per 90 is probably fantastic.

      • Well, yes, but that’s obviously because the England squad has more quality. Their Premiership careers are no comparison.

    • Thanks for the reminder! YES!!! I just unfollowed Sunderland AFC on Twitter! Easily ne of the most annoying accounts on my feed. Does anyone honestly care who scored a goal on this day in 1987? I know goals for them are few and far between for them so each one must be celebrated and revered, but c’mon…


Leave a Comment