It’s official. Jozy Altidore will be returning to Major League Soccer, the league where his professional career got started. Despite the New York Red Bulls’ attempts to acquire their former striker, Toronto FC was ultimately the one to land him. Sunderland received Toronto FC striker, Jermain Defoe in a straight swap.
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Altidore was unveiled today in Toronto to all of their fans as Toronto FC looks to improve on a disappointing season. Jozy Altidore will join his USMNT teammate, Michael Bradley, in Toronto as the two look to help lead the side to its first ever playoff appearance.
Toronto FC General Manager, Ted Bezbatchenko, had this to say about Jozy, “Jozy is a special player, and checks off all of the boxes that we look for in a player”. The front office at Toronto is hoping Jozy Altidore can bring his nose for goal and lead them to a playoff spot after a disappointing 2014 season.
“I want to instantly show the fans that I’m here for a reason,” Jozy Altidore said when he was unveiled at a press conference in Toronto on Friday. After an unsuccessful stint at Sunderland, Altidore will be hoping to get back into his goal scoring form and hopefully that translates into USMNT goals as well.
As you can see, after leaving Major League Soccer at such a young age, Altidore really only found success at one club which was AZ Alkmaar. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that Jozy Altidore will join Toronto on a 5 year deal worth around 30 million dollars.
When it was rumored that Jozy Altidore may be coming back to Major League Soccer to join many of his USMNT teammates (remember Mix Diskerud joined NYCFC this week as well), there was immediate speculation that Jurgen Klinsmann would not approve.
Jurgen Klinsmann has been criticized a lot over his view on Major League Soccer and his desire for players to play in Europe, but it is not a black and white issue. Each player is an individual case, and in Altidore’s case, Klinsmann does approve of his move to MLS.
The fact is, Altidore was not getting playing time at Sunderland, and to be in form for the national team, he needs to be getting quality minutes at the club level. At Toronto FC, Jozy Altidore will be getting those minutes to stay fit and in form. Combine that with him building chemistry with now teammate, Michael Bradley, that bodes well for the USMNT going forward.
Also remember, Jozy Altidore is only 25 years old. It seems like he has been around for a while, but he still has so many great years ahead of him. He could even find himself back in Europe some day if his time in Toronto goes well. That is all pure speculation obviously, but it is certainly possible.
With Jozy Altidore returning to Major league Soccer, Toronto FC are clearly going all in in an effort to make the playoffs for a second straight year. Whether or not it pans out for them remains to be seen, but there is reason to be excited as a Toronto FC fan for 2015.
What do you think of this move for Toronto? Is it a good move for Jozy Altidore? Let us know below!