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Where Jozy Altidore’s transfer will rank among major moves for U.S. internationals

Jul 6, 2013, 11:35 AM EST

Altidore 5

When all is said and done, Jozy Altidore will almost certainly hold the distinct privilege of holding two of the highest transfer fees ever recorded for a U.S. international. If his final sell price in this impending move from Alkmaar to Sunderland lands on the high side of the estimates, he will hold the two highest transfer prices.

Altidore already holds the top spot from that way-premature move into Spain from 2008.

The $10 million price tag that hung for a few years as an albatross on the young striker’s career isn’t looking so wildly out of whack all of the sudden, is it? Outrageously early, yes … but not completely out of line with Altidore’s upside.

It seems safe to say at this point that he still has a lot left – upside, that is. We’ll start to know for sure in about six weeks, assuming the dotting of “Is” and crossing of “Ts” all go without a hitch on this move into Sunderland, Altidore’s second EPL go-round.

No transfer price has been sourced, but estimates during the transfer back-and-forth recently have fallen anywhere between $5 million and $15 million as moves West in Europe to the Black Cats from Alkmaar, a big payday for the small Dutch club wherever it lands.

Here are some other high-profile transfers involving U.S. internationals:

Jozy Altidore, $10 million, Villarreal in 2008: Altidore was just 18 when this good Spanish club, perpetually striving to match Real Madrid and Barcelona, took a big e gamble. In a way, you could say Villarreal’s deciders were right all along about the U.S. striker – but were just way ahead of themselves. And everyone else. Because he never gained a bit of traction, just too young to establish himself at a higher level, and eventually left on a free transfer.

Clint Dempsey, $9.7 million, Tottenham in September of 2012: Dempsey may have eclipsed Altidore’s U.S. record but for the lost leverage; as the transfer window closed, and as the residue of a failed move to Liverpool left things stained, his market value surely suffered somewhat.

Clint Dempsey, $4 million, Fulham in 2007: What a bargain that was in retrospect, considering all the U.S. international did at Craven Cottage prior to his high-profile move across London to Tottenham 10 months ago.

Brek Shea, $4 million, Stoke City in 2013: Clearly, the jury is way out on this one. There’s a new sheriff in town at Stoke City, which is probably good news considering his lack of playing time before. Then again, it’s hard to say; Shea’s lack of action under the previous regime at the Britannia was really about injury recovery and long-term asset protection.

Tim Ream, $3.75 million, Bolton in January of 2012: The former New York Red Bull never made the move work for him in terms of gaining on the rungs of the national team ladder. On the other hand, he is carving out a nice-enough career in England with 28 games last year for Bolton.

Tim Howard, $3.3 million, Manchester United in 2003: He was probably a bit young to stand guard of Old Trafford goal, but anybody who doesn’t recognize how good the move was for Howard in the long run needs to turn in his U.S. Soccer supporters card. Immediately.

  1. jucam1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Poor Sunderland, this guarantees relegation next year, this guy (while a very nice person) is not a premiere league player, a good dutch league player, and probably a super star in the MLS, but just not a good enough player to command a fee for transfer and can only score against sub par world competition and Germany’s 2nd and 3rd team in a friendly….

    • eopinion360 - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      This is the problem with the reporters and the US, they overrate the player, the little bit of fame goes to their heads, the sponsors deals, etc, and on top of that they created the “hall of fame” Altidore could’ve been a better basketball or baseball player, but he still have time to improve if he wants.

      • joeyt360 - Jul 6, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        Who is this ‘they’??? The author didn’t make much of an attempt to ‘rate’ the player, just to state the facts, so far as they are known, about how the real life professionals (ie not you) rate him. Where those facts are not known, he accurately expressed the grey area.

        (Also, not for nothing, what is this ‘premiere league’ [sic] you seem to be so expert about, jucam?)

    • bizzmeister - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Juscam, you are a complete moron. Who would post something like that ? He is leaps and bounds better than the kid who joined Hull City years back. This is a guaranteed 10+ goal striker added to their team sheet and more exposure to the best league in the world. They will only enhance his skills and show him how to use his body to his advantage with the toughness of the PL.

      • helpmecruyff - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        <<more exposure to the best league in the world<<

        He'sgoing back to Spain?

      • wfjackson3 - Jul 7, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        @helpmecruyff don’t make us laugh. Spain has 2 great teams, Atletico which is second tier, and Malaga which has been broken down and sold for parts. Beyond that, there isn’t a good team in that league.

    • giantleap4 - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      you’re right, as you told the previous commenter, you have your opinion. but I think opinion with evidence is more interesting for the readers, no?

      for instance, I guess altidore’s a “good dutch league player” in the same way Overmars, van Bronkhorst, Babel, Bergkamp, Boateng, Bouma, de jong, Kluvert, Huillet, Kuyt, Staam, van Nistelrooy, etc. were all “good dutch league players”? all of these guys started in the erisdivisie before making it big in the EPL. given this history,it’s apparent dutch league success often translates to EPL success.

      also evidently altidore can “only score against sub par world competition”. I’m not sure why scoring against any team in the german national kit is something to be embarrassed about but if you must: he also scored against spain’s first team in the confederation semi finals when he was only 19.

      most curious of all, “this guy is not a premier league player”. i’m not sure what mysterious quality he’s supposedly lacking? he’s smart, big, strong, good speed, powerful leg and is now scoring goals in batches both internationally and domestically. if it’s merely because he’s american, well clint dempsey and brian mcbride did quite well in the EPL and at only 23 altidore is on pace to score more international goals than both of these fine strikers.

      for these reasons, I’d say altidore has as good a shot as any to make an impact as any new striker coming to the EPL this year.

  2. K - Jul 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Jozy has improved leaps and bounds this past year. I haven’t been a fan of his in the past, but give credit where credit is due, Jozy deserves that after his recent run of pay.

  3. bellerophon30 - Jul 6, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    The Dutch league is an offense league to be sure, and it’s a big leap to the EPL……..but what else was he supposed to do? It’s not like he’s going to one of the Manchester clubs or anything, it’s only Sunderland. He won’t play in the Champions League (or Europa for that matter), but I’m sure it’s a nice pay rise and some more exposure.

    But a risk. If he gets benched, what will Klinsi do? He wasn’t getting benched at AZ, especially not after they sold his strike partner. The good news here is that Di Canio will now be a regular part of our Saturdays on NBC Sports, since he’s got an American to deploy. Fun times.

  4. apruett - Jul 6, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    No love for Geoff Cameron? He was sold for about the same as Shea but actually got into some games for the potters.

  5. jucam1 - Jul 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I find no need to get on to some internet battle with you Bizz, you have your opinion and I have mine. I have watched footie for years, coached, and worked with players that were/are real EPL players and this guys isn’t one if them, he just isn’t…. I have no skin in the game to hate the guy, but he is going to get eaten alive in the EPL, and I am not going to take the time to explain the many reasons why… That being said, good for him, he’ll take the money and run…. But he’ll be on the bench in a season and a half which is bad for his US national career

    • joeyt360 - Jul 6, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      If you’re gonna bag on the guy this hard, I hope you have the character to come back and own up if your prediction goes sour. Me, I’m not gonna try to declare either way.

      I’m not gonna lie, I read your posts, and they have the air of a fake expert.

      • joeyt360 - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        I was gonna add “fwiw, Columbus’s goal wasn’t a bad call, but it was a fluke.” Then I looked up who scored it. . . Anor! Bizarre night for him.

      • joeyt360 - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        Wrong thread on that post.

    • midtec2005 - Jul 12, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      This is downright comical…

      Are you a Hull City supporter by chance?

  6. Flapjack Morty - Jul 6, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    What is going to happen in a season and a half at Sunderland? And how do you know? That’s amazing, by the way. Both that you know what will happen in the future, and that you had contact with EPL players at one point in your life.

    I love me some keyboard muscles. Gotta get me some.

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