Report: Altidore transferring to EPL side Sunderland

Jozy Altidore

By IVES GALARCEP

The Jozy Altidore transfer saga had the makings of a long and drawn-out affair, with clubs from all over Europe lining up and expressing interest, but rather than be treated to months of speculation, Altidore has sealed a transfer move in just a matter of days.

The U.S. Men’s National Team striker is joining English Premier League side Sunderland, Altidore announced on his personal website on Friday. Neither AZ or Sunderland has officially announced the move yet, but Altidore’s website states the American star will undergo a physical to complete the move on Monday.

(UPDATE- The page announcing Altidore’s signing is no longer his personal website, but sources tell SBI the disappearance of the story is related to the website crashing, and was not pulled intentionally. Also, ESPN is reporting that Altidore’s transfer to Sunderland is complete.)

The Black Cats, managed by Paolo DiCanio, was the first team to make a serious bid for Altidore, and after having an initial bid rejected, came back with an acceptable offer that AZ has accepted.

Altidore joins a Sunderland attack that features forward Steven Fletcher, who finished with a team-leading 11 goals last season. The Black Cats, owned by billionaire American Ellis Short, are planning to be busy in this transfer season, with a top priority being the bolstering of an attack that finished with the third-fewest goals scored in the Premier League last season.

Altidore returns to the Premier League three years after spending a season there on loan to Hull City. The 2009-2010 Hull season was a forgettable one, with the Tigers being relegated, but Altidore’s struggles that year had as much to do with an anemic offense than his own shortcomings. That said, he is a much better and more well-rounded player now than he was three years ago.

The transfer comes after two outstanding seasons with AZ, including a 31-goal campaign that saw him finish as his team’s leading scorer for a second straight year, setting a record for goals by an American in a foreign league in the process.

Altidore will join a Sunderland side that narrowly avoided relegation last year, finishing 17th, just four points clear of safety.

My initial thoughts on the move? Playing alongside Steven Fletcher will only serve to benefit Altidore, especially if Sunderland succeeds in bolstering the midfield in the transfer market. It isn’t the high-profile move some USMNT fans were hoping for, but it does put Altidore in a position to play regularly in a top league and showcase himself to bigger clubs ahead of the World Cup.

What do you think of this move? Love the idea of Altidore returning to the Premier League? Think he can enjoy success in the EPL? Worried about this move coming before the 2014 World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

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208 Responses to Report: Altidore transferring to EPL side Sunderland

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I find myself unexcited…

    • Alex says:

      please explain

      • Tony in Quakeland says:

        because outside the top teams. the EPL can be a pretty uninspiring league. Because they barely escaped regulation and making it to the top half seems a reach. Because playing in Italy (for one) would have forced his tactical development in new directions. Because he’s better than Sunderland.

        I find the only positives that DiCanio is apparently excited about him and he was a very dynamic player who may help him succeed.

        • Falsify says:

          I’m going to counter this and say I’m very excited for Altidore. Not only for him as a player but also the fact that Sunderland games are played on TV more often. In general it seems like the team wanted Altidore and he will face better competition in the EPL.

        • Alex says:

          so u have proof that Italy wanted him? AZ confirmed that only Sunderland made an official bid

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            Do I have proof? No. Be Greg Seltzer at No Short Corners, who is as solid on this as it is possible to be, said there was interest. And there is a lot that goes on before an offer is on the table.

            How about you? Do you think this was the only offer he was going to get?

        • Eurosnob says:

          I hear you. I don’t hate the move, but I don’t love it either. My biggest question is whether Jozy will get much service from Sunderland’s woeful midfield. The team really struggled last season.

          • Kevin says:

            +1 Jozy does best with good midfield service and struggles without. If he struggles too long…

        • futbolisimo says:

          + 1. Boring… Whadda dull move. Sunderland won’t do anything for a guy like his’ development. Should have tried to make his way to Italy or Spain or… Brazil! Tsk tsk to Altidore’s agents. Big snooze on this one.

          • DJ777 says:

            An american striker gets bought by an epl side and some of you guys complain.
            will you ever be happy? NO

            • slowleftarm says:

              A lot of people, myself included, think he could do better. The days when we are all so thankful an EPL side picks up an American are over. Jozy is too good for this team.

          • Alex says:

            yep because all of the Seria A and LaLiga teams were all banging on his door. Some of these comments on this board are hilarious!

        • solles says:

          come on Tony, its the Premier League, Altidore will be playing against some of the best players in the world every week, just what every player wants.

          • Increase says:

            Sentences have Capitol letters. You should try using them Solles. You look ignorant when you don’t.

            • Brett says:

              lol, “Capitol letters”

              • Increase says:

                This fellow Solles has a habit of insulting and “correcting” other peoples opinions. I was just returning the favor. I’m sorry I miss typed words that are basically Homophones.

                Your deep insight of “lol” was mind blowing and constructive.

          • Tony in Quakeland says:

            I don’t share everyone’s unconditional love of the EPL. He could go to Germany or Italy and be playing against some of the best players in the world, too. But the point is I think he could have been further up the EPL food chain if he was more patient. I sure could imagine Roberto Martinez wanting him, for one, especially if he has money after selling Fellaini

      • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

        I don’t think this is remotely a good move for him. We have all seen how Jozy plays when he doesn’t receive good service from midfield (See Hull & US MNT). Sunderland has arguably one of the worst midfields in the league. Another rash decision rushing off to collect a paycheck and not thinking about his development and long term implications (World Cup). #regressing

        • Fast Cheese says:

          Unless Sunderland improves its midfield. American owner . . . maybe Holden uses Guatemala as a launching pad, puts in an amazing Gold Cup, and Sunderland picks him up from Bolton . . .
          We can daydream, anyway . . .

    • Don says:

      I’m blindly hopeful that Di Canio can turn things around.

    • Colin says:

      Sunderland is a great look in my opinion. Anyone who thought Altidore would be going to a top 6 side in one of the big four leagues was always demonstrating bias and delusional. While Jozy’s 31 goals last season was an accomplishment, top 6 teams rarely go for players from the Netherlands unless they are a rare talent or they have played in the Champions league with the likes of Ajax and PSV and have had the opportunity to demonstrate their quality against top quality opposition.

      At Sunderland, Altidore should get playing time for a team in one of the most competitive leagues in the world… If he does well for Sunderland, he could move on to a larger team come a year or two from now (and I have faith that he will). This is a much better option than going to, say Tottenham or Everton, and never finding playing and losing his confidence.

      • Barack Obama says:

        Yup, Bony is going to Swansea and he was THE top scorer in the Dutch league last year!

      • MLSsnob says:

        If he has 15-20 goals in all competitions you can guarantee a move from one of the big dogs.

        • Jay Bonds says:

          Benteke has more goals and is staying put at Villa. Jozy is not better than Benteke and Lukaku; both WAY better.

          • WhiteHart says:

            In fairness, there has been a lot of speculation over Benteke, and Lukaku is owned by Chelsea who apparently isn’t loaning him out again, so he is “moving on” to a bigger side.

            Also, in a historical context, Aston Villa is one of the bigger clubs in England

          • Francois says:

            Both wayyyyyy better, huh? Haha I love you people who love to wear the pessimist hat under the false facade of being a realist. Jozy is a talented player, Bentke and Lukaku are very good players, but they aren’t miles ahead of Jozy.

            • The Squad says:

              Spot on….

              Context is key but most folks seem to take the ‘critical media’ thing a bit to far.

              In truth, the comparing guys a differing stage of their career with different playing styles in different leagues is always a stretch

              Jozy’s play earned the attention of a few squads (named or unnamed) with his play over the last few club seasons.

              Obviously, time will tell as to weather Sunderland represents a solid choice for Altidore.

    • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

      I don’t think this is remotely a good move for him. We have all seen how Jozy plays when he doesn’t receive good service from midfield (See Hull & US MNT). Sunderland has arguably one of the worst midfields in the league. Another rash decision rushing off to collect a paycheck and not thinking about his development and long term implications (World Cup). #regressing

  2. Ryan says:

    He’ll be starting for a team with a beautiful stadium, passionate fan base, in a top 2 or 3 league against some of the best players in the world. Ummmm, I’M EXCITED!

  3. Andrew says:

    i like the move. if he moved to a bigger club right away, was concerned he wouldn’t get minutes. seems like he has a manager that fits his style well, should get good enough service, and as long as he does his job, should get serious minutes.

    • OPMG says:

      Serious minutes are good, no doubt. But shouldn’t winning be equally as important? Jozy should look to join a team that has a habit of winning, not just one where he can play a lot. Pressure to win gets the best performance out of the best players. Look to Dempsey for an example. I don’t mind a move to the EPL, but this team barely stayed up last year. They won 9 games the whole year…9!

      • Steevens says:

        OPMG: I think Jozy is looking to Dempsey for an example with this move. Starting at a smaller club like Dempsey did at Fulham with the opportunity to prove himself and earn a spot on a CL contending team.

        • OPMG says:

          Hmmm, hadn’t thought of that. Well said.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          I suspect this type of thing is really overrated. I think this has more to do with DiCanio doing a sales job and convincing Jozy he has the right plans for him.

          I think that if Jozy thought about the Dempsey move at all, he would think he is a more accomplished player than Dempsey was when he went to Fulham. And I think he’d be right.

        • bryan says:

          yeah, but Dempsey came straight from MLS. he didn’t score 31 goals in Holland in one season. you would think that would get him to a upper-half table team.

          • rorymiller77 says:

            Excited for him… but worried. I don’t like seeing our star striker who JUST RECENTLY reached a great form going and changing everything with only a season until the World Cup. Maybe that’s part of the reason Jozy was willing to go to Sunderland rather than push his luck with a bigger team. Definately should be playing for Sunderland, and you can’t keep your form if you are not playing.

          • Steevens says:

            From what I see in the transfer markets most “upper-half table” teams are very wary of signing players for their starting XI without strong performance in the EPL, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, or Ligue 1 (France).

            I may have preferred a move to the Bundesliga for Jozy as I feel those clubs have better structure for developing young talent. But we’ll see.

            • Colin says:

              I would not sure Jozy is considered young talent any longer… I am certain he can go on to refine his game in the coming years, but he is not 19 anymore. However, I agree with your first comment. Top 8 teams rarely go for players who have not had success in the top leagues.

        • Limey says:

          Dempsey’s still at a small club.

      • Geoffrey says:

        Tell that to Demba Ba

      • GW says:

        You make it sound like Jozy said to Man U, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal, “thanks but I’d rather play for Sunderland.”

        You go where they want you. Those teams with a “habit of winning” did not call Jozy. So what do you suggest he do then?

        Sunderland have a new manager and will bring in new players.
        The team that won 9 games last year?, it doesn’t exist anymore.
        My guess would be that Jozy and his people know a lot more about what Sunderland’s plans are than we do. Di Canio loves attacking football and was a pretty fine forward himself.

        As far as I can tell they have just as good a shot as anyone in the BPL at moving up the table.

        If Jozy shows well for them and then does well in Brazil, then the world will be his oyster. I prefer fried clams myself.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          I guy like Jozy secures a move to a big club by being patient during the transfer window. Clubs go after bigger targets, lose out and move further down their target list. A top half of the table club signs guys like Jozy when their reach targets sign elsewhere. If he waited, he would have been at a bigger club.

          The worst that would have happened would have been going back to Holland and scoring 40+

          • WhiteHart says:

            I definitely get what you’re saying, and agree that bigger clubs eventually settle for players further down their list, but all I think of in that situation is Demba Ba to Chelsea.

            Not saying it’d be the exact same for Altidore, but often those “desperation” moves turn out poorly for players who don’t get the full preseason to transition. Wouldn’t be such a problem if this was next summer as I think Jozy finally has the work ethic (Thanks Verbeek), but as a USMNT fan, the last thing I want this year is for Jozy to move and get stuck on the bench.

            But who knows, the post has now been taken off his website.

            • Increase says:

              DiCanio at the very least will keep him working hard. That much is clear by DiCanio’s reputation.

            • DJ777 says:

              Demba didnt work at chelsea because benitez didnt want it to

              • WhiteHart says:

                Not disagreeing, but that kind of proves my point.

                1-year out from the World Cup, I’d rather our presumed starting striker go to a club where the manager wants him and will play him

          • jlm says:

            no, the worst would be that he goes back to holland and does not get the service (no maher) and the team struggles. jozy starts pressing because he gets off to a slow start and feels the heat as he is the go to player on a team that is facing relegation.

            sunderland is a good place for him. it is another step up, and it sounds like he is the first choice striker. he will have players around him that might not be able to dominate a game, but he will hopefully not be starved. it might actually resemble to us team in terms of the approach to competing (hope to get a result from every game, but realistically understanding that the big boys are probably a little out of reach).

            if he does well, he will be looking at a move to a huge club after a really big year or two really nice years.

            the status of the team in the past is irrelevant. the philosophy the di canio has sold him on is very important as it is vital to hear that the coach has plans specifically for playing jozy and incorporating him heavily into whatever vision for the offense he has.

            • Nate says:

              Great points. I was not thrilled by the move. I would have preferred another year of sustained production for club and country going into the world cup, without the uncertainty or distractions. I am afraid that moving to a new team, that is fighting to avoid relegation on top of that, in a big league, may be a lot of pressure for a 23 year old american, especially heading into a world cup.

              However, you bring up some good points, in that at least this is a move forward, as opposed to the potential setback of having a poor season at az.

          • Colin says:

            Jozy would never get picked up by a Chelsea or a Tottenham… He has not demonstrated his ability to score anywhere but in the Eridivise. Personally I think he has made great strides and will turn out to be our best ever forward, but considering he only scored one goal in each of his previous stints in England and Spain, whether that fact was his fault alone or not, it would be a substantial risk for a club to pay 8 million for him.

        • bryan says:

          agreed. my issue with this move is the fact that there apparently wasn’t another offer that could match Sunderland. which i think is ridiculous. no one to blame other than maybe the stigma of an American soccer player. i honestly thought Villarreal would seriously consider him. then again, maybe Jozy didn’t want to go there.

          • GW says:

            TIQ, Bryan,

            I don’t think Jozy wanted to wait as long as you guys did. And of course, it’s his rear end on the line.

            link to nytimes.com

            • bryan says:

              For sure. I don’t blame him at all. Again, complaining that more teams didn’t work harder to get him. Just being bitter basically.

              I have that article ready to read. But in the car heading to the game now!

      • beachbum says:

        the pressure to win is key, can’t be simulated, and how one performs in those situations is where a lot can be learned about a player and are great opportunities for players to truly grow. but there’s also no replacement for playing and being on the field consistently and hopefully being looked to by teammates and delivering

        we’ll see if this move is best for Jozy. I don’t know but I hope so

        • Colin says:

          Remember, the great thing about Premier league soccer as compared to American Sports is that their is just as much pressure to win at the bottom of the table than at the top… If you get relegated, the club loses almost 40 million dollars. The pressure to win will be there, I promise you.

          • Nate says:

            i dont think beach was questioning the pressure, anyone commenting on a jozy altidore transfer story understands this, but rather whether jozy can respond to it. If he doesnt this could be a bad move for both jozy and the us. i wonder what jk thinks…

      • solles says:

        too bad he didnt ”choose” to go to a better side? stop talking please.

        • Increase says:

          I went around to look at your other comments. You really can’t be nice can you? Go practice being human. No one needs a negative person like you around.

        • Jesse D says:

          lol. why the hate?

      • MLSsnob says:

        AZ didn’t necessarily have a habit of winning last year and that didn’t seem to stop Jozy from scoring lots of goals.

  4. Kyle B says:

    Ives,

    We’ve seen in the past year how important service from the midfield is to Jozy’s success, both at AZ and the national team. I don’t know much about the Sunderland players but do you think Jozy will receive the constant service necessary for him to thrive?

    • kmac014 says:

      Sessegnon is a decent player, but they don’t have too much

      • PetedeLA says:

        Agree. Johnson can also make space for him. If Johnson gets used on the left, he might learn to cross.

        I wish him the best. We’ll see what he can do!

        • Colin says:

          Sessegon and Johnson are both pretty creative and I believe that sunderland is really looking to strengthen their midfield this summer so he should get service.

          • caerbannog fc says:

            Sessegnon is a quality player but he has been told he can go. McClean looked like a world beater two years back but less so post-bruce. Johnson had a purple patch mid-season and has some quality. About the only position the squad does have any depth is up front… (Dong-Won, Fletcher, Graham, Wickham, Karlsson… +Altidore).

            The defense is not phenomenal. They finished 3 points above the drop (Wigan) and conceded 54 (-13 goal differential).

            Graham signed for £5 million in January and Fletcher signed for £12 million last summer… Jozy’s spot is by no means locked down. However, surely some of them have got to go under Di Canio and his restructuring. Jozy is clearly preferred being so recently signed but they have no shortage of options should he not impress.

  5. Jason says:

    Congrats, Jozy. Bring those goals in your carry on with you and you’ll be just fine.

    • solles says:

      he’s not going to score 31 in the premier league. If he gets 10-12 that will be a great season for him.

  6. kmac014 says:

    Hate this move, mainly because it’s a year before the WC. Wait one more year get 25-30 goals and be fully confident. He could’ve made a similar move next year and maybe an even better one with a good WC

    • Colin says:

      Or he could have a bad year in Holland and miss his chance… When you are a professional player you need to take your chances when you can take them and Jozy’s only consideration is not next years world cup. Personally I think we are better off if Jozy is playing against the much higher level of competition in the Premier league than we are if he is playing in holland even if he only scores 10 goals versus 30.

      • Nate says:

        i think this pretty much sums up jozys thinking on this. excellent point colin. however, outside the top six teams, is the premier league THAT much better than Holland? The league’s quality doesnt seem to carry over to the England National Team….

    • solles says:

      naah assuming he plays for Sunderland he’ll be a much better player come Brazil than he would have had he stayed in Holland.

  7. agnigrin says:

    Jozy wants to go back to the EPL and show them that he belongs there! Vaya con dios Jozy!

  8. cj says:

    If he can just score 3/4 ofthe goals for Sunderland as he did in Holland, he will have Champions league caliber teams come calling after the World Cup next year

    • DWE4 says:

      Yes….IF

      3/4 of last season’s haul (31 overall and 23 in League) would put him at 23 overall and 17 in the Premier League. 17 would have tied for 6th in the EPL in 2012/2013. Let’s not place the bar for Jozy’s success at 3/4 of his terrific 2012/13 season at AZ.

      Congrats Jozy!

    • Colin says:

      If scores half the goals he scored last season I will be really happy. I expect him to start slow as he gets integrated into the team and finish with around 10 or 12 goals in the league and 15 in all comps. I do think he has the potential to get 15-17 in the league however if he really finds his stride.

  9. Chris says:

    Last time Jozy played and on a crappy premier league team, he did terrible. Guy needs a bit of talent around him.

    This move could be a disaster.

    • jonk says:

      Last time he was on an even worse team and, more importantly, he was a less complete player. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    • Greg says:

      Hull City was ATROCIOUS. Sunderland played much better when Di Canio took over, and they do have decent talent around him in Sessegnon, Adam Johnson, Fletcher, and McLean. Any move could be a disaster. But you never know until you actually try it out. This will turn out well. Have faith.

    • Yusef says:

      I don’t like the move either. Better to fight for place at a mid level team than to be in a relegation battle during a World Cup year. I’m a huge Altidore fan, but no one scores a lot of goals at Sunderland, because Sunderland doesn’t score many goals. World Cup will need to be his showcase after Sunderland gets relegated and he needs a new club to play top flight football. 2 years in the prem with 2 relegation battles isn’t the place for a young player as talented as him.

      • Colin says:

        What is wrong with being in a relegation battle; nothing will induce more pressure. And jozy is talented and has potential, but he is no world beater yet. Also Fletcher scored 11 goals for Sunderland last season, which was a very decent return for a striker and one I would be very happy to see Altidore reach. Also, it was only a few years ago that Darren Bent was banging in 20+ goals a year for Sunderland… Get the facts straight.

        • Yusef says:

          Funny facts. Fletcher was the only player to score any goals through almost the first quarter of the season and that Darren Bent side was as different of a team than this one as Worksop Town. Hilarious post!

    • Colin says:

      He is better than he was and Sunderland are much, much better than Hull were. They have a lot of decent players. I bet they finish around 10th this year.

  10. mb says:

    I also recently read that George Soros was dead. Link is gone.

  11. Myett says:

    Good league, but the wrong team…I’m worried that he won’t get the service he needs to thrive and Sunderland’s midfield will be overwhelmed by superior opponents. This then could mean Jozy is left alone up top and barely sees the ball versus the Man U’s, Tottenham’s, Arsenal’s, etc. With that said, Di Canio is in the process of overhauling the team so we’ll see how they look in a month. Would have MUCH rather seen him at a mid-table Bundesliga club surrounded by more creative midfielders.

    • Todd Marsch says:

      My thoughts exactly. Altidore might get plenty of minutes with Sunderland, but if Sunderland looks like they did last year, he’ll see little of the ball against teams in the top half of the table. After seeing what Serie A has done for Bradley’s game, I’d much rather our better players go to mid-table Italian or German teams instead of EPL teams in the relegation fight.

      On the plus side, it’ll be easier for me (and most of us, I assume) to see more of his games in the EPL.

    • Rabbit says:

      This is exactly my worry. The quality of Sunderland RELATIVE to the rest of the league could bring Jozy down. At AZ, they were always able to compete well and create chances within the Eredivisie. They weren’t talent deficient. But Sunderland will be at an inherent disadvantage relative to top and maybe also mid-table teams in the EPL.

      I’m looking to have faith here — I WANT to believe that this will work out. I’m a huge Jozy believer. But I’m having trouble. So, can any of you experts out there ease my fears by providing an answer to any of the following?

      - What’s the highest goal output scored by a Sunderland player in the last 10 years?
      - Who are the most valuable transfers groomed at Sunderland that then moved on to bigger clubs? (Was Bent one of them?)
      - Who else have Sunderland acquired this offseason?
      - What’s do you peg Jozy’s transfer fee at? (to be paid by Sunderland to AZ)

      Thanks!

      • Peter says:

        Kevin Phillips scored 30 goals in the 1999/2000 season for Sunderland to not only win the EPL scoring title but also the European Golden Shoe that year so there is precedent. Kevin is one of the most underrated strikers ever to wear an England shirt – he scored a hat trick for Crystal Palace last year at age 39.

      • Colin says:

        Fletcher got 11 last season, which would be a great return for Altidore in his first season in the prem and would bring bigger clubs calling. Only 2 or 3 years ago Darren Bent was banging in 20+ for sunderland.

      • GW says:

        Rabbit,

        The transfer season is not over.

        Sunderland’s record of developing players is lousy.

        They’ve spent a lot of time trying to buy their way out of relegation trouble.

    • jlm says:

      sunderland is not a small club. they have money to bring in decent players. keep the faith.

    • solles says:

      do you actually know anything about Sunderland except where they finished in the table last year?

    • Gary Page says:

      You saved me the trouble of posting the same thing. Still think Bundesliga was a better fit and he could and should have gone to a better club than one fighting relegation. Mid table is about right.

  12. ex_sweeper says:

    Link to page on Jozy’s website is broken – apparently the article was taken down.

    • Steevens says:

      My thoughts exactly. Is this transfer really happening? Was Jozy’s site hacked?

      • jonk says:

        The only man in the business I trust (Seltzer) has confirmed that Jozy is set for a medical at Sunderland…so I believe it.

      • WG says:

        My guess is whoever runs Jozy’s site jumped the gun. AZ and Sunderland are both quiet about this, and the Sunderland Echo(link to sunderlandecho.com) doesn’t have anything about the move, either. Monday is a long ways away, so perhaps some other club(s) will now make offers.

        That said, it sure does seem as if di Canio has a number of players excited to come to the Black Cats. My preference would have been Swansea City, but wherever Jozy’s goes, I’ll now be a supporter.

        • GW says:

          Swansea put in a bid for Wilfried Bony. If that happens there won’t be a spot for Jozy.

          • WG says:

            I know, but reports are Vitesse keep upping the price, and both Swans and Bony’s agent aren’t happy about it. Not saying Jozy is 2nd or even 3rd choice for Swans, but I am allowed to dream, yes?

  13. Darwin says:

    Shouldn’t Jozy have gone to a CL caliber team at this point?

    • Steevens says:

      No. He does not crack the starting XI at a CL club.

      • PetedeLA says:

        He would at Bayer Leverkusen, and I’m sure a few other teams outside of England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France.

        But that’s spilled milk at this point.

        I really don’t think he’s that far away from being world class. At that age, Drogba wasn’t really any better. With the right constellation of players around him, confidence, and a system that works to his strengths, the sky is the limit. But he’s definitely got to work on his endurance.

    • Colin says:

      How delusional is the United States fan base? He has, in no way, proven he is ready for a Champions League team starting 11. He scores 15 goals this season and that may change, but people need to get a grip. Jozy is good, especially for an American, and still has a lot of upside, but lets hold or horses.

  14. zztoppppp says:

    I like this move.

    If he had gone to a bigger club (Everton, Tottenham, Schalke) he would have been fighting for minutes. In Sunderland he should be an every week starter from the beginning.

    Also, if he can help the Black Cats jump into the top half of the table and pick up at least 15-20 goals along the way it will increase his stock even more.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I think he would have started at Everton and Spurs (eventually) and gotten significant minutes at Schalke. Besides. I thought we wanted our guys to stretch themselves?

      • TomG says:

        He is 23 and still developing. He needs a club committed to his continued development and steady minutes. He doesn’t need to be part of a CL side where you get buried the moment you need an adjustment period or get injured or suffer a run of bad form.

    • Colin says:

      Your right, he would not have been a consistent starter for Everton and definitely not for Tottenham. Maybe in a year or two. Everton, for example, have Jelavic, Anichebe, and now Kone, who would all start over Altidore at the start. Anichebe and Altidore have similar builds and playing styles as well, which would present another potential problem.

      Though I disagree that he will be definite starter at Sunderland. First off, Fletcher and Graham are proven premier league strikers that have shown that they can score over 10 goals a season. They also have Wichman, who is a 20 year old who is supposed to be one of England’s future strikers… The other concern is with regards to the formation played by Sunderland. If they play with 2 strikers, then Altidore has a great chance of starting pretty quickly, if they only play with one then fletcher is certainly going to get the nod–at least at the off.

  15. Pat says:

    He did better at Hull than people remember. When he played Hull got more points than when he sat. They canned the manager and he never played again under the interim manager who was an idiot. Plus he is worlds better now. We would all love for a big team to scoop him up but that was not going to happen.

    • beachbum says:

      and he had Fagan to play with there who never pa$$ed him the ball incredibly, only Hunt really tried to play with him. watching those Hull games just to see Jozy play was an awful soccer viewing experience

    • Jay Bonds says:

      He scored ONE goal in the premier league when he was with Hull City. How is that playing better? A striker is supposed to score goals.

      • PetedeLA says:

        Hull had no offense. None of his teammates trusted him. They had one decent winger who never was able to manage a cross, and a playmaker who’s only play was to call his own number when anywhere near the box.

        Jimmy Bullard was injured most of the season, but when he came into the midfield Jozy instantly looked better. It’s not like Jozy missed a lot of 100% chances. At the time he wasn’t that good at holding the ball and drawing fouls. At Hull that was all a forward (not named Messi) was going to be able to do because the team was that bad.

      • TomG says:

        Hull was the worst EPL team in recent memory. They asked Jozy to hold up the ball yet the gap between the midfield was so massive there was no one for him to pass the ball to when he did. He did greatly improve his hold up play while he was there, though.

      • Colin says:

        He actually also had 5 assists and drew a few penalties as well. Not horrible for a 20 year old on such a god awful team.

      • jlm says:

        he was good at hull. if you watched the games you realize that he was helping his team get forward. the team around him was awful, but he did his job. as a 19 year old, he had a good season in the premier league for a team that was vastly undermanned. he was hardly ever involved in the game because the team played so defensively, but he did well considering he was always on an island.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I agree. He was also asked to play the wrong role at Hull (see Jürgen Klinsmann most of the last year and half, but I digress.) It wasn’t the disaster people make out. Wasn’t a success, but he did a lot of what they asked of him

    • beachbum says:

      and he had Fa.g.an to play with there who never shared the ball with him, only Hunt really tried to play with him. watching those Hull games just to see Jozy play was an awful soccer viewing experience

      • Jay Bonds says:

        Excuses Beachbum. They didn’t share the ball with him? What is this high school where you bring the ball to the pitch? Smh.

        • WhiteHart says:

          I honestly don’t think they purposely didn’t pass him the ball, but rather most of the players on that team weren’t good enough to play him the ball.

          I’ll also say, at that point in his career, Jozy wasn’t making the runs off ball that he is now, and his overall game has improved a ton as well (touch, hold-up play, passes, hustle)

        • beachbum says:

          Fa.g.an didn’t…not ‘they’. I was specific, and it happened.

          all you had to do was watch the games Jay Bonds. I make no excuses

        • beachbum says:

          much like when Jozy wasn’t scoring for the Nats. I did not make excuses, simply commented how the formation and tactics were ill suited to fit Jozy’s game, which they were and have since been changed to accommodate his talents since the Germany game, and voila

          not saying Jozy was a world beater at Hull either but that team sucked

  16. bryan says:

    honestly im not thrilled.

  17. Jay Bonds says:

    “The Black Cats … are planning to be busy in this transfer season, with a top priority being the bolstering of an attack that finished with the third-fewest goals scored in the Premier League last season.”

    And signing Altidore is going to do that? I honestly don’t see it.

    • GW says:

      Is the transfer window closed? If not then why don’t you wait a minute.

    • Falsify says:

      Wow, listen to some of you guys. You sit here and claim he belongs in a top 4 team and then make statements like signing Altidore won’t help a team’s attack. If he’s good enough for a top 4 team you better damn right believe he will help a mid-table team do better. I have complete faith in Jozy. He is not the 19 yo he was a Hull City

      • beachbum says:

        hopefully DiCanio will rule the locker room better than the mess over at Hull when Jozy was there…I’d bet he does btw

        • Increase says:

          Also, If Sunderland does fall apart it will totally be blamed on DiCanio. (Hurray for controversy) If he had a normal, non still possibly fascist manager, he might get blamed.

      • Colin says:

        Jozy was never going to sign for a top 4 team.

    • solles says:

      Why not Jay? Should they have signed someone who scored 30+ goals in Holland last year inste… er thats right they did.

      • Jay Bonds says:

        He is not scoring 30 goals in EPL for Sunderland. Stop the delusion. He is not getting all that space he got in Holland either. Good luck getting 10 goals next season.

        • arnold benton says:

          hater

          • Jay Bonds says:

            If saying the truth and stating the obvious makes me a hater, guilty as charged!

            • Joamiq says:

              No, going out of your way to bash someone by responding to strawman arguments makes you a hater. There is literally no one on this page who has suggested that Altidore will score 30 goals next season, or even 20.

              • Jay Bonds says:

                When you can skim through the comments, he is average Americans need to it and then maybe the football will grow with Mexicans who can make El Tri’s team

  18. Thunder Dan says:

    I think this is a good move for Jozy. The idea that he needs to be in a more”tactical league” to develop is ridiculous. Hundreds of players have developed in the premier league into outstanding footballers. Additionally, Jozy’s last stint in the premier league is not even comparable, he was 19 yo kid and not ready. For most 19 yo males, waking up to make their 8 AM college lecture is a challenge. His improvement over the past 2 years is a credit to him and a change in his behavior more than anything. How well Jozy develops will be up to him first and foremost followed by a commit from the club to his development (which its seems is obvious with their investment) and playing time. Props to him for his hard work paying off.

  19. Brian says:

    I am definitely a fan. I enjoy reading posts that are weary of Sunderland’s non-winning ways. AZ struggled mightily this year, and in fact was battling relegation for over half the season. I would much rather have Jozy play for a struggling EPL team than a struggling Dutch team. Just my opinion.

    • Falsify says:

      Good point, people fail to recognize how poorly AZ were doing in Dutch League play and also there is the fact that AZ just gave up one of their star players who regularly provided service to Jozy.

  20. H-Town says:

    The grass is not always greener on the other side of the hill-even a 2nd time…

  21. Markwriter says:

    Wish I trusted the manager more. I think the manager could easily lose the locker room with a couple inappropriate comments and emotional decisions for places.

    Having said that, as an Altidore fan what can one do but wish him the best? It’s a good move if he thinks he’s ready. At some point he’s going to either produce or not regardless of his situation. The team needs goals, Di Canio wants him, lets see what happens.

  22. Seth says:

    A perfect place for Altidore. Except for the fact he’ll be playing for a Nazi. Di Canio should be drawn and quartered.

    • Jay Bonds says:

      Here we go again. When Di Canio coached in the lower leagues, anybody complained then? Blacks have experienced lynching in this country and white folks still get away with so much like Black players getting abused with monkey chants; where is the outrage then? I guess we only pick what affects us.

  23. gtv says:

    *sigh* I don’t dislike Sunderland, in fact I have always kind of liked them, but I dislike DiCanio. I would prefer Jozy not play for an avowed fascist.

    That said, IF he can make some noise as a striker in the EPL, then that is way better than making noise as a striker in the Eredivisie.

    • solles says:

      an “avowed” fascist? really? prove it.

      • Increase says:

        Pretty sure its well documented that He was a fascist.
        Age does mature people but DiCanio is an avowed fascist by definition. He said he a long time ago. Which means… He is an avowed fascist. Prehaps he isn’t now. But GTV isn’t wrong.

        Learn what words mean Solles, it would be good for you.

  24. Bryon says:

    I’m excited for Jozy on this one. He’s coming into a club that had a very poor season last year that was improving under Di Canio. I think this time around the club itself is hungrier (as shown in its ongoing process to bolster the attack). But not only that, maybe Jozy is ready to put the disaster of Hull City behind him and prove he belongs in the PL. it also doesn’t hurt for him to be going up against the world class defenders in the top 4 to toughen him up a bit.

  25. Randy says:

    Overall a big challenge and payday for Jozy. I think it will make him better next year in Brazil.

    I think a successful year for Jozy would be 14 goals in all competitions. Too high or too low?

    • Colin says:

      Just about right. As long as he scores more than 10 in all competitions he will off to a good start to life in the prem. In a few years time, i expect him to be bagging 20 in all competitions consistently.

      • Jay Bonds says:

        Scoring 20 goals in all competitions consistently? Great dream that’s all it is.

  26. Steve says:

    Anyone else see this as a lateral move? I would rather see him play in Holland, Germany or France on a team in the champions league or Europa league. Of course the EPL is a better league but why move from a team in the Europa league to a team that could end up fighting off relegation? I’m disappointed in the move.

    • Colin says:

      what is wrong with fighting relegation (he did it last year with AZ)? And no, this is in now way a lateral move. The talent level in the prem is way higher than the Eridivise and considerably greater than the Europa league (particularly in the earlier rounds). The level of talent on his team will also be a considerable improvement. Sessegon would walk onto any team in netherlands.

    • GW says:

      Lateral move?

      AZ have already moved on. They have their next American striker in place.

      AZ spent a lot of this year fighting relegation. And maybe Sunderland will too but getting relegated from the BPL is a lot more stressful, with much greater pressure than getting relegated from the Erediviese. Jozy will get a lot tougher.

      Overall the competition for playing time on an EPL team will be is far, far greater.

      Jozy will be getting PAID. And when you are always one bad Mullan tackle away from retirement, that is not a bad thing.

      Assuming he gets decent playing time and stays healthy, he will be as sharp as possible for Brazil.

  27. Ted Tran says:

    I am curious to see how Jozy does without Maher by his side.

    • Citronomics says:

      Can make the same point or inquiry if Jozy did/does not transfer as AZ sold Maher to PSV.

  28. Tom Traubert says:

    worries worries worries…how far we’ve come. Used to be that a USMNT player got sniffs from Scandinavia or Scotland fans were elated. Despite the Dutch goals he still has much to prove. Di Canio isn’t my cup of tea but playing for a manager that really wants you and is instilling an attacking style- hell yeah. Di Canio is now invested in his success, so he won’t throw him under the bus at the first opportunity (stated hopefully). This will work- the physical style of the BPL is a good fit for him now that he has developed a more well-rounded game technically.

    You want worries? Duece has now has tons of competition for PT in a WC year. I see FA Cup games in his future and limited late duty otherwise. Hope I’m wrong (and he’s proved lots of people wrong).

    • WhiteHart says:

      I dont think Dempsey will always start, and I definitely agree that Spurs are improving their MF options, but I also think AVB rates Dempsey higher than a lot of the commentators and Spurs fans do.

      By no means is he a lock to start, but the same could be said for plenty of really quality players at Champions League caliber teams. Also, it’s not like training with Bale, Lennon, Sandro, Paulinho, Holtby, etc is bad for him.

  29. THomas says:

    I think it’ll be good for him to have a good season in a top league ahead of a World Cup. If he shows well this season and at the World Cup, he could be headed to a team competing for champions league titles.

    • Jay Bonds says:

      Like who? A team competing for Champions League title will not be looking at Jozy stop the delusion. Who? Bayen? Madrid? Man Utd? Chelsea? Man City? Barca? PSG? None of those teams will touch him he is not good enough to sit on those benches either.

      • GW says:

        Jay,

        You aren’t paying attention.

        Thomas said if Jozy does well this season and then at the World Cup. Teams looking at him after the World Cup will be thinking of the 2014-15 season. That’s more than a year and a half from now.

        He said “competing for champion’s league titles”. Schalke was competing for that title this season and may be then as well. Are you so absolutely sure Jozy won’t be good enough to sit on their bench in another year, after a good World Cup?

        You must really think Jozy will fail at Sunderland and has no chance whatsoever of improving at all.

        • Jay Bonds says:

          Schalke was in contention when Manuel Neuer was their goal keeper and that was YEARS ago. I think Jozy is an okay player regardless of who he plays for. Schalke are better off without Jozy. Every American starts watching a club when an American goes there so most have no idea what they’re talking about; no history about the club.

  30. BrianK says:

    Mistake!

  31. ec says:

    I want to see more out of the Sunderland midfield before I feel good about this, worried there will be a serious lack of support. I do like Steven Fletcher, who managed 11 goals last year including the sick backheel vs Reading. That could be an intriguing young partnership, Fletcher is just 26, don’t let his bald-spot fool you.

    • Brooklyn FB says:

      +1
      I was hoping that West Brom might be interested, as their midfield was solid last year and they have a gap at striker with Lukaku’s likely departure. But coming in with a new, attention-hungry regime, at a longstanding Prem club, and with only mild competition for PT makes Sunderland better for him than most other EPL sides.

  32. Increase says:

    Shockingly, Sunderland has a fairly large fan base and stadium. They seem to average about 40,000 a game. The Spurs stadium can’t even seat that many people. With competent management they could likely do rather well.

    • jlm says:

      sunderland is not a small club. not saying they are top 7, but they are not small.

      • Bumby Hemmingway says:

        Newcastle and Sunderland have some of the largest fan bases in England. Many have felt both clubs could be sleeping giants if they would get out of the habit of shooting themselves in the foot over and over.

    • solles says:

      shocking? if you dont know anything about Sunderland and assume table standing defines the size of the club, sure, but that would make you ignorant.

  33. manicmessiah says:

    As a Newcastle fan I almost threw up in my mouth a bit when I read this.

  34. MikeG says:

    I hope Jozy knows Sunderland will have a different midfield than AZ and as a result Jozy will put up different numbers than in Holland. Jozy will have to do a fair share of creating opportunities for himself. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve does not apply now. Just have to wish him luck on his new trail.

    • Bumby Hemmingway says:

      Sunderland has some quality wingers to provide service in James McLean, Sebastian Larsson, and Adam Johnson.

      Stephen Fletcher did quite well up front from Sunderland. But, he was far too much of a one man show for a full EPL season.

  35. Mike R says:

    Boooooooooooooooooo
    Obviously took the money he’s not going to get servicing and we now how he disappears when he’s not force fed the ball.

    • jlm says:

      even most of the bad teams in the epl are able to provide some service for their forwards. have you noticed the pace of the league? he will get touches and this will be a humongous platform for him. give it a chance because there is a good one that this is a great move for jozy

  36. RK says:

    Finally, the Jozy haters have something to latch on to.

  37. Paul says:

    I am in favor of this move. He had nothing left to prove at AZ. The EPL is a good move, and Sunderland went after him aggressively. He should get ample playing time there, playing in a very competitive league. This is favorable to moving to a higher level club with loads of depth, and riding the pine. Hopefully Sundrland will make another move or two in the midfield over the summer.

    Not too long ago, Parkhurst made the jump to Germany and couldn’t break into the lineup. Same with Onyewu in Italy. In both cases, the lack of playing time hurt their standing with the Nats. I’d hate to see that happen to Altidore.

  38. Dennis says:

    Jozy signed for a team in a top league and he will face tough defenders. If his Sunderland teammates can give him decent service, the rest is up to him. It is a great opportunity to show his talent and challenge himself to improve. Good luck to him. It is a great opportunity.

  39. MLSsnob says:

    Cream always rises to the top, if he’s good enough he’ll score goals. It’s definitely sink or swim as he’ll have plenty of opportunities to show what he’s made out of in arguably the toughest league in the world.

  40. Jay Bonds says:

    How many American fans had knowledge of Sunderland? Sunderland is a good squad. Are they Arsenal good of course not, don’t be silly. Good midfield with Craig Gardner, Lee Cattermole, Adam Johnson, Seb Larsson along with playmaker Stephane Sessegnon who can play behind the strikers in a 4-4-2 or play as support striker. Altidore’s success will depend on his chemistry with Sessegnon.

    • BrianK says:

      That’s why they scraped through in the final weeks of the season to avoid relegation,…and their new facist coach has spent the summer completely overhauling the team,…;-) because they are a good squad. ???

      • Jay Bonds says:

        What do you know about Sunderland? Paulo is not a new manager, plus where was all this outrage when he managed Swindon? I’ll take this serious when I see fans clamoring for FIFA & UEFA to ban racist fans and heavier fines on their clubs.

  41. JS says:

    Hull 2.0

  42. TGDOG_ says:

    Im pumped! Logical move… Think a mid-table team is right where Jozy belongs. Really hoping he gets solid PT and shows what he can do. I like that he ended up in the EPL.

  43. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I don’t think this is remotely a good move for him. We have all seen how Jozy plays when he doesn’t receive good service from midfield (See Hull & US MNT). Sunderland has arguably one of the worst midfields in the league. Another rash decision rushing off to collect a paycheck and not thinking about his development and long term implications (World Cup). #regressing

  44. Joe A. says:

    Is it the greatest move ever no.. but he’ll still be playing in the EPL. I’m just hoping the rest of the team can help him to continue scoring goals because that’s what’s most important.

  45. Joamiq says:

    Unless Sunderland thins out their striker ranks, Jozy’s going to have to fight for a spot in the first XI. Would have rather seen him go to a team that has a more clear cut place for him.

    • Bumby Hemmingway says:

      Fletcher was the only consistent striker for Sunderland last season. Thus the reason that are looking to Altidore.

  46. rafavic says:

    I’m glad Jozy is moving on but Sunderland was not what I expected. I was hoping that he did not go back to the BPL but I understand why as he wants to show how much he’s grown. Scoring 10 goals would be a success in my eyes. If he can do what Dempsey did for Fulham then he will be fine but in order to do that he needs the playing time. From the comments it looks like it highly possible but not guaranteed.

  47. Brett says:

    The EPL is not a league that develops players. In my opinion, this is a lateral move if not a step in reverse as far as his development as a forward goes.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Clint Dempsey and Stuart Holden improved tremendously in the Prem.

      • Brett says:

        They improved through regular play, but not through anything they learned specific to the EPL that would apply to their games in general.

        I guess it’s wrong of me to say that the EPL as a whole doesn’t develop players, but rather, teams in that league don’t put a high priority on tactical flexibility or technique because the league is built on speed and movement using very predictable attacking patterns and asking players to fit into basic roles due to the speed of the game.

  48. ACS says:

    Sunderland has added 8 new players since the transfer window opened. They picked up a 21yo Argentine International Right Back who played in the WC Qualifying game against Ecuador. There is still almost two months left in the window, this will be a completely different team than last year by the time the season starts.

  49. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I think it will be a big adjustment for him. I’m not crazy about the move. The Dutch league provided wide open games with more space and velvet pillow service from his teammates. It allowed him to develop his finishing and routinely be in the starting 11. At Sunderland, he’ll need to deal with tight D in closed games with less service and opportunities. I’m hoping for the best, that he plays well enough to stay in the starting 11 and continue his development.

  50. DR7_Liverpool_ says:

    Sunderland was on the upswing towards the end of the season and Jozy will certainly do some damage in the perm. People are making quick judgements about this deal but remember the transfer window is still open and if that midfield can be beefed up with players who can produce service he will get his chance to prove himself. Also, it seems like he will have very good chance of earning playing time. Excited for the next season to start!

  51. Shawn says:

    Color me in the ‘not enthused’ group by this move as well. Going to Sunderland sounds like recapping his Hull experience. He’s going to be given no service on a team scrapping to defend. Defend, and Defend some more in order to stay up. Jozy with no service is not a happy, or confident player.

    I sincerely hope I’m wrong, because I like Jozy and want to see him succeed. And I do think the EPL is a good league for him in the long run. But I’m not convinced this was anything close to an ideal landing place. He’s going to hear all the “Lazy Jozy” lines all over again when he can’t see the ball more than twice a match.