FOX Soccer Exclusive
Altidore set for move to AZ Alkmaar
Jozy Altidore’s professional soccer career has taken him to several destinations so far. Now, the young US national team striker will be adding yet another league to his resume, having agreed to join Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, sources with knowledge of the move told FOX Soccer on Thursday evening.
Altidore is expected to announce the move on Friday.
According to sources familiar with the move, Altidore has agreed to join AZ for the upcoming season, though it was not revealed whether the move was a permanent transfer away from Villarreal or another loan.
Altidore most recently played in Turkey with Turkish powerhouse Bursaspor. He saw some playing time with the former Turkish champions, time that helped him head into the Gold Cup on good form. In that tournament, Altidore scored two goals for the US before suffering a hamstring injury in a quarterfinal win against Jamaica - an injury that ended his tournament.
Altidore’s move to the Netherlands marks the fourth different European league for the 21-year-old striker. He moved from Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls in the summer of 2008 on a $10 million transfer to Villarreal. Loan spells with Spanish second-division club Xerez and English Premier League side Hull City followed. After Villareal gave playing time in the Copa Del Rey and Europa League last fall, Altidore joined Bursaspor this past winter, where he once again showed flashes of the top prospect considered by some to be the future of the US national team's forward position.
The Dutch Eredivisie could ultimately prove to be a smart move for Altidore. His combination of size and speed could thrive in a Dutch League known for its wide-open style of play. US teammate Michael Bradley was the last US player to play in the Dutch League and finished with a career-high 16 goals in 2007-08, his last season in the Netherlands.
Ives Galarcep is a senior writer for FOXSoccer.com covering Major League Soccer and the US National Team.