Jozy Altidore Profile
|Born||Nov 06, 1989|
|Birthplace||Livingston, New Jersey, USA|
Jozy Altidore was a US youth prodigy who struggled to find his feet in the European leagues before finally fulfilling his promise at Toronto FC in the MLS.
Jozy Altidore was born in New Jersey, the youngest of four children. His parents are both Haitian immigrants and they moved to Boca Raton, Florida, when Altidore was young. He played for youth teams Boca Raton Juniors, Schulz Academy and Sunrise SC.
In 2006, the New York Red Bulls drafted Altidore with the 17th pick in the MLS SuperDraft. He made his professional debut in August during the US Open Cup and scored his first goal in September, at the age of 16.
Later in that season, he became the youngest player in MLS history to score in the play-offs when he headed home against DC United in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Altidore played for the Red Bulls for three seasons. In 2007, he scored nine goals in 24 games and added three more in eight games in the 2008 season. Overall, he scored 16 goals in 41 games for the New York side.
Move to Europe
During the 2008 MLS season, Altidore was sold to Villarreal in Spain, netting the largest fee ($10million) ever paid for an MLS player at the time. He debuted in La Liga in September and became the first American to score in the league on November 1.
In August 2009, Altidore was loaned to Hull City of the English Premier League. He played in 30 games for Hull that season and scored two goals as the Tigers were relegated. His only Premier League goal came against Manchester City in a 2-1 win.
The following season he was loaned to Turkish champions Bursaspor and scored one goal in 12 games.
Altidore left Villarreal in the summer of 2011 and signed with AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands. He scored on his Eredivisie debut as a substitute and scored twice in his first start at the end of August. He then scored twice on his Europa League debut and finished the 2011/12 season with 22 total goals for AZ.
The 2012/13 season was a spectacular one for Altidore as he scored 23 league goals and 31 goals in total for AZ. Altidore also scored the game-winner as AZ won their first Dutch Cup in 31 years. He netted three hat-tricks and was the first-ever American to be named in the Eredivisie Team of the Season.
Altidore spent a disappointing 2013/14 season back in England with Sunderland. He had signed a four-year deal after a £9.3million transfer from AZ, but he scored only two goals in 37 games.
Halfway through his second season with the Black Cats, Altidore left to return to the MLS and Toronto FC.
Goals in Toronto
Toronto FC acquired Altidore with a Designated Player contract in January 2015 and teamed him up with United States captain Michael Bradley. He debuted with TFC in March and scored two goals against Vancouver. Altidore finished his first season in Toronto with 14 goals in 27 games.
Altidore had a slow start to the 2016 campaign, but finally got on the scoresheet in July against Columbus. He later scored five times in six games to help Toronto to the 2016 Canadian Championship, his first trophy in professional soccer.
He got going again in the MLS play-offs with goals in both legs of the Eastern Conference finals. Altidore converted his penalty in the MLS Cup final against Seattle, but Toronto fell to the Sounders.
Altidore scored a career-high 15 MLS goals in a special 2017 season for Toronto. They again won the Canadian Championship and set an MLS record with 69 points en route to the Supporter's Shield.
Altidore was sent off for violent conduct in the Eastern Conference semi-finals and missed the first leg of the Conference finals. He returned for the second leg and scored the game-winner against Columbus.
Altidore was also named MLS Cup MVP as he scored the opening goal to lead Toronto to a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders and their first MLS Cup.
Altidore made his 100th appearance for Toronto during the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League final where they lost on penalties to Chivas Guadalajara. He then missed nearly three months with foot surgery but returned to score a hat-trick to help Toronto win the 2018 Canadian Championship.
In 2019, he appeared in 22 MLS games and scored 11 goals. Toronto again had a successful season, but Altidore was limited down the stretch. Unavailable to start, he came off the bench and scored late as Toronto lost to Seattle in the MLS Cup final.
Altidore missed all but one game in the MLS Is Back Tournament in July 2020. He returned to score two goals in 13 games as Toronto made the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the East. Overall he has scored 74 goals in 153 games for TFC.
Altidore and the USMNT
After playing for the Under-17 and Under-20 teams, Altidore made his national team debut on November 17, 2007. He scored his first goal on February 7, 2008, in a friendly against Mexico and netted his first goal in a competitive game in a World Cup qualifier against Cuba in October 2008.
He scored in the semi-finals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup against Spain as the USA won 2-0. However, he didn't get a goal in the 2010 World Cup, tallying just one assist in four games.
Injuries kept him out of the 2011 Gold Cup, and he didn't score again until 2013 with a strike against Germany. He then tied a US record by scoring in four straight games and broke the record with a hat-trick against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Altidore started the 2014 World Cup opener against Ghana but was carted off the field with a hamstring injury and missed the rest of the tournament in Brazil.
In 2017, he became the 17th American to play 100 games for the USMNT, but he missed out on the 2018 World Cup. Altidore scored his 42nd goal for his country on June 26, 2019, against Panama in the Gold Cup.
As the US moves towards 2022 World Cup qualifying, only Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have more career goals with 57 each. Altidore also ranks ninth on the all-time caps list with 115, second among active players to Bradley's 151.
Altidore had been dating tennis star Sloane Stephens since 2016. They met in fifth grade and reconnected years later. The couple became engaged in 2019 and announced the news on Instagram.
The couple have worked with the Hope for Haiti non-profit organisation and Altidore has been involved with relief work in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. His family members still live there. Altidore was also a visible figure in the MLS' Black Players Coalition in 2020 as they organised to create change.
Altidore's net worth is estimated to be in the $10-$15million range. His guaranteed 2019 compensation from Toronto FC was $6.3million, second on Toronto's roster to Michael Bradley. Altidore has a contract through the 2022 season.