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Jozy Altidore returns to MLS with Toronto FC

Jozy Altidore returns to MLS with Toronto FC

Posted by Juan Gavasa on January 17, 2015

Toronto FC acquired Jozy Altidore from Sunderland of England's Premier League on Friday and signed the American forward to a contract as a designated player.

Toronto also agreed to transfer forward Jermain Defoe to the Black Cats, just one year after obtaining him from Tottenham.

The 25-year-old Altidore played for the New York Red Bulls from 2006-08 and was sold to Spain's Villarreal for a transfer fee of about $10 million. He failed to establish himself as a regular, spent time on loan to Xerez, Hull and Bursaspor, then was sold to the Netherlands' AZ Alkmaar.

"Jozy understands the challenges of Major League Soccer," Toronto FC manager Greg Vanney said during a news conference at the Air Canada Centre. "He understands what this league is about.

"With that, we get some certainty with Jozy."

Altidore set the record for goals by an American in a European club season with 31 for AZ in 2012-'13, then was sold to Sunderland. He had just one goal in 40 league appearances with the Black Cats.

"Jozy has chosen to return to MLS and adding a player of Jozy Altidore's pedigree is an important addition to our club," said Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko.

Defoe, 32, had 12 goals in 21 games with Toronto. While Defoe could score when healthy, he wasn't successful at adapting to the way of life in MLS and his status with the team became a distraction.

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