U.S. int’l Altidore joins Toronto FC

Mexico international Jozy Altidore (#17) joined MLS side Toronto FC on January 16, 2015. (Photo: Mexsport)

TORONTO -- Toronto FC announced Friday that it has reached a transfer agreement with English Premier League club Sunderland to obtain United States international forward Jozy Altidore.

In exchange for the 25-year-old, the Major League Soccer side will transfer former England international forward Jermain Defoe to Sunderland. 

“Our top priority is building a winning club with players that are committed to the TFC vision,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko.  “Jozy is a special player, and checks off all of the boxes that we look for in a player.  We are excited to finalize this deal and bring him to Toronto FC.” 

Altidore was in his second season with Sunderland, where he appeared in a combined 52 matches, scoring three goals for the club.

After being selected seventeenth overall in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, Altidore began his professional career with the then MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls).  In two seasons, Altidore made a combined 41 appearances, scoring 16 goals in MLS regular season and playoff matches.  He was transferred to La Liga side Villarreal CF on June 4, 2008. Altidore became the first American player to score in La Liga, when he netted against Athletic Bilbao on November 1, 2008.

In January 2009, he was loaned to Spanish Segunda División club Xerex CD.  Due to surgery on his toe, Altidore did not make an appearance for the club.  Following the conclusion of his loan, Altidore joined English Premier League side Hull City on loan for the 2009-10 season.  There, he made a combined 31 appearances and scored two goals.

In January 2011, Altidore joined Turkish Süper Lig club, Buraspor on a six-month loan.  He made 12 appearances for the club and scored one goal.

Altidore signed with Dutch Eredivise side, AZ Alkmaar on July 15, 2011 and remained with the club for two seasons, making a combined 93 appearances and scored 51 goals for the club.  He was part of the club’s 2012-13 KNVB Cup winning side, and finished as the tournament’s leading score.  That same season Altidore set the record for goals scored by an American playing in a European league with 31. Altidore was later sold to Sunderland on July 5, 2013.

To date, Altidore has earned 76 caps with the United States and has scored 25 goals.  He earned his first cap against South Africa in November 2007, coming on as a substitute. Altidore became the youngest player in U.S. history to score a hat-trick at the age of 19, on April 1, 2009 in a 3-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago.  Altidore was part of the U.S. side in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squad; and scored the game winning goal against Spain in the semi-finals.  He was also part of the U.S. squads in both the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup squads.  Altidore scored two goals in four games at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.