NEW YORK – Alkmaar Zaanstreek agreed to sell the rights to striker Jozy Altidore to Sunderland Association Football Club of the English Premier League.
AZ Alkmaar made its official announcement early Saturday via its official website and Twitter account. Financial terms of the transfer fee agreed upon between AZ and Sunderland were not disclosed.
Altidore’s transfer is contingent upon him passing a physical, which is scheduled for Monday morning, with the Sunderland medical staff. Altidore arrived in Sunderland late Sunday evening.
Altidore, the 23-year-old star of the United States Men’s National Team, will embark on his second trip to the EPL – regarded by many as the top soccer league in the world. Altidore spent the entire 2009-10 season in the EPL with Hull City Football Club. Altidore scored a goal in 28 appearances with Hull City before moving to Bursaspor of the Turkish Premier League the following season.
Altidore leaves AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie – the Netherlands’ top-flight division – after completing two years of a four-year contract with the club, where he recorded 51 goals in 93 appearances, making him one of the franchise’s all-time leading scorers.
An AZ fan favorite, Altidore scored 31 goals in 40 matches across all competitions this past season, setting a new record for goals in a single season by an American playing in a European league.
The highlight of Altidore’s record-setting 2012-13 campaign came in what wound up being his final match with the Cheese Farmers. Altidore scored the game-winning goal in the KNVB Dutch Cup final against European power PSV Eindhoven, lifting AZ Alkmaar to a stunning 2-1 upset win and the team’s first crown in 32 years.
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Altidore scored a goal in all six Dutch Cup matches, finishing with eight goals overall in the competition.
Altidore now heads to Sunderland, owned by American billionaire businessman Ellis Short, and hopes to lead the Black Cats to the upper half of the EPL table. Sunderland finished a disappointing 17th out of 20 teams last season.
Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio – the former Italian star player – begins his first full season at the helm. It was Di Canio’s guidance and leadership that helped the Black Cats avoid relegation late last season.
Altidore and Sunderland open the 2013-14 campaign August 17 with a home match against Fulham at the Stadium of Light.