The U.S. Men’s National Team had a great end to summer CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying by winning all three games to take control of the Hexagonal. A major part of that success was Jozy Altidore’s striking ability.
Altidore played for AZ Alkmaar last season and led the team to a Dutch Cup victory; their first since 1982. His outstanding success with the Eredivisie club, in addition to his national team success, led to his recent signing with Sunderland.
Altidore is a talented athlete that has the potential to be one of the greatest U.S. strikers of all time, but I don’t think Sunderland was the place for him to go.
Sunderland doesn’t play the style of soccer that is beneficial to Altidore’s strengths. He showed that he was the type of player that could get onto crosses and into space, but Sunderland seems to prefer long balls that need a center forward to control.
Alkmaar also made a bad decision to let Altidore go. Alkmaar was one or two players away from a legitimate chance at an Eredivisie title and an automatic place in the Champions League. It would have been smarter for Alkmaar to let Altidore stay a year and see if they could do something spectacular. If not, they could have sold him for a larger price.
As a huge fan of Altidore myself, I wish the best to him in his EPL career. I just can’t help but feel there were better opportunities available elsewhere in leagues, like the Bundesliga, or even with other EPL teams, like Everton.
Hopefully, Altidore fits in with his new squad, gets Sunderland into Europa League contention and proves me wrong.