By, Kyle Gibson
We had all been expecting U.S. international Jozy Altidore to find his way back into the MLS and now that deal has been agreed with Toronto F.C. sending Jermain Defoe back to England for Altidore and a few million bucks.
For Altidore, he should be very excited at the chance to redeem himself after one of the worst striker spells in modern EPL history.
Sure, Sunderland doesn’t light up the scoreboard, but Altidore’s performance was so bad at times that he couldn’t even make it in the 18 man roster that even have a chance to play.
After scoring 39 league goals in Holland with AZ, Altidore managed just one at Sunderland after 42 EPL matches.
Hold on. Let me just repeat that. He had ONE goal in 42 matches. That’s laughable, unless you’re a fan of his club or the U.S. Men’s National Team. Then you just want to have a nice cry.
With that strike rate, I doubt he ever gets a shot outside of MLS again, but here is why all is not lost for Jozy.
It’s a strong belief of mine that a striker needs to have confidence to perform at his very best. Altidore did not get that at Sunderland, where manager Gus Poyet soured on him very quickly. Jozy never truly felt at home there, I don’t think. At Toronto, he will pretty much always have the fans on his side and the team will feed off of his big moments.
Previous MLS Success
Before moving to Villareal, Altidore was one of the best young players in the MLS with the New York Red Bulls. He scored a strong 15 goals in 37 MLS games. There is a strong chance he will repeat that with Toronto FC.
Plenty of Matches
I also believe that strikers need to have a lot of matches in order to play their best. When they are in a slump, they need time to play out of it. Only match experience can help some strikers out of a goal drought. Jozy has experienced a few dry spells in his career, including a huge one this past year that I wrote about. Toronto FC will not only give him plenty of action; they will NEED him in action.
Jurgen Klinsmann will no doubt be keeping a sharp eye on Altidore’s performances in the MLS. At age 25, he has already accomplished so much as a striker. However, there is still that feeling that much more could still be accomplished if this leg of his career goes according to plan.