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- DOB November 6, 1989
- Age 24
- Place of birth Livingston, New Jersey
- POSITION Forward
- HEIGHT 6'1"
- WEIGHT 180
- U.S. CAPS 71
- CLUB Sunderland
- TWITTER @jozyaltidore (852K followers)
- Current ASN 100 Rank 7
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 9
- Youth Experience U-17, U-20, U-23
- ASN QUESTIONNAIRE Read now
Altidore grew up in the spotlight, succeeding with the New York Red Bulls as a teenager and selling for an MLS-record $10 million before landing a high-profile transfer to Villarreal. Despite high hopes Altidore struggled in Spain and was loaned out to three successive teams: Xerez, Bursaspor, and Hull City. None of these situations were ideal, but Altidore found consistent playing time and solid coaching at AZ Alkmaar. After landing there in 2011, Altidore improved his work rate, first touch, and understanding of the game. He now starts at striker for Sunderland in the English Premier League.
Altidore grew up in the American youth system, playing in the 2005 U-17 World Cup and winning 17 caps as a member of the U-20 squad. The prolific forward netted four goals in five starts during the U-20 2007 World Cup, helping his team reach the quarterfinals. (The Thomas Rongen–coached side also included Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Dax McCarty, and Robbie Rogers.) Altidore also played for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team, seeing action in all three matches and scoring against the Netherlands.
But the young striker has made his biggest impression on the senior team. Although just 23, Altidore is over the half-century mark in caps and has 20 goals (as of September 2013).
The 2011-2012 season, the first one where he found consistent playing time since leaving the Red Bulls in 2008, was his finest to date. He moved to AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie and scored 15 goals over 31 games. "I got a chance to play. I got a chance to play consistently. I didn’t just get one game. I got a few games in a row and I think when you do that, you start to get confident. And any player that's confident, you can do good things," Altidore told MLSsoccer.com. The time on the field helped Altidore, who has always been remarkably skilled physically, develop timing and touch.
And he keeps getting better. Altidore scored 31 goals for AZ in 2012-2013, forcing Jurgen Klinsmann to make him a first-choice starter for the United States and earning him a transfer to Sunderland in the English Premier League. He's struggled at Sunderland, but the forward will play a significant role in the 2014 World Cup and beyond.—NOAH DAVIS
Klinsmann on Altidore:
"Every day he's getting a little bit better.... You can see that in every training session. We help him, help him, and we work on it. He's working hard. He's positive about it." (June 2012)
"I see him matured, I see him being aware that it takes far more than just talent to become consistent. I see him having a more consistent season, and having confidence because he scored X amount of goals, and being eager to show that day in and day out. He will go through far more education over the next years. They work hard with him at Alkmaar and we make it clear to him that there’s a lot of work ahead of him, and he buys into it. It won’t come overnight, but he is on the right path." (June 2012)
Noteworthy ReadsAltidore's Game Growing By Leaps and Bounds (ESPN.com)
Spanish Soccer Team Strikes Deal for Altidore (New York Times)
Altidore Finding Peace in Holland (FoxSoccer.com)