STATS: How do Defoe and Altidore compare after swap moves?

Sunderland and Toronto swapped strikers in January in a deal that saw Jermain Defoe return to the Premier League, with Jozy Altidore returning to Major League Soccer after a seven-year European adventure.

The pair have both scored goals since crossing either side of the Atlantic and although the two leagues are different in terms of quality, the players can be compared as they both play as central strikers.

Toronto have endured a mixed start to the season with just four wins from their opening ten games but Altidore is the team’s joint top scorer with five.

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He is now out with a hamstring injury but has certainly looked better than the player who only netted one Premier League goal in 42 games for the Black Cats.

Defoe helped Sunderland to escape relegation this season with his four goals after joining in January but how do the pair compare over the last year or so?

Stats (MLS & EPL since 2014)

Appearances Goals (Per 90 Mins) Assists Chances Created (Per 90 Mins) Total Shots (Per 90 Mins)

Shot Accuracy

Jermain Defoe 

36

15 (0.45) 2 35 (1.1) 92 (2.8)

58%

Jozy Altidore 

19

5 (0.47) 0 12 (1.1) 23 (2.1)

72%

Comparing Defoe’s stats from his time with Toronto and Sunderland since March 2014 with Altidore’s from August 2014 at the start of the latest Premier League season, we can see the pair are closely matched.

Defoe has played significantly more games than Altidore, scoring ten more goals but the USMNT forward is averaging more goals per 90 minutes than the Englishman.

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Altidore also boasts better shooting accuracy than Defoe, though the former Spurs man has two assists compared to the 25-year-old American and has also recorded more shots per 90 minutes.

Both have created just over one chance per 90 minutes and their statistics are very similar.

Toronto probably got the better deal out of the trade as they acquired allocation money as well as the player, and Altidore is seven years younger.

But Defoe has clearly been more valuable to Sunderland, scoring three more league goals than Altidore managed in 25 more appearances already.

Who is the better striker – Jozy Altidore or Jermain Defoe?

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How much will Toronto miss Jozy Altidore?

Toronto FC are going to be without powerhouse Jozy Altidore for an expected 4-5 weeks. The big-man has given a good account of himself since returning to MLS, scoring five goals in eight games.

Altidore was substituted during the game against New England Revolution after straining his hamstring and Toronto now face the possibility of five games without their target man.

Games Altidore could miss: 

– Toronto vs Portland, May 23

– Toronto vs San Jose Earthquakes, May 30

– DC United vs Toronto, June 6 

– Toronto vs New York City, June 20

The US Men’s National Team will also be concerned about Altidore’s injury with the Gold Cup just a couple of months away.

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Toronto have scored 13 times so far this season, which means Altidore has contributed for more than one third of their goals.

Stats via Squawka Apps Goals Assists Pass Accuracy Chances Created Shot Accuracy Shots Conversion rate
Altidore 8 5 0 77% 9 78% 16 31%

Statistically Jozy Altidore has the fourth best conversion rate for players who have scored five or more goals so far this season.

Don’t miss – STATS: Who is the most prolific striker in MLS? 

Based on the stats Altidore is going to be a big miss and Toronto will be hoping he won’t be out any longer than anticipated.

How much will Toronto miss the prolific frontman?

Toronto’s Jozy Altidore apologises for USMNT dismissal

Toronto FC‘s Jozy Altidore has apologised for his reckless sending off in the US Men’s National Team‘s 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Tuesday.

“I want to apologize to our fans and my teammates,” Altidore said after the game.

“Emotion got the best of me and I put our team in a tough position. That’s not the type of role model I want to be. All credit to the boys for grinding it out and earning a positive result.”

Altidore received a second yellow card for dissent towards referee Luca Banti, leaving his side to play out the final 20 minutes a man down.

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Just 12 minutes after his sending off, the USMNT conceded the equaliser, adding to Altidore’s frustration. But a 1-1 draw with one of Europe’s better sides isn’t to be looked down upon and he can make amends with his Toronto side this weekend as they face Chicago Fire.

Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters after the game that he warned his players about the referee.

“I told the players, even at halftime, ‘Guys, you can do probably fouls, you can do certain things, but you can’t joke with an Italian referee. It’s unfortunate but it happened and when you get sent off for a verbal comment with an Italian referee, then you get your punishment,” Klinsmann said with a smile.

Did Jozy Altidore’s red card cost the USMNT the game?

Podcast: Altidore, Revs and Manchester United

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about Jozy Altidore after his fine start to life with Toronto FC, New England Revolution and where their 3-0 loss to Seattle leaves them and we also look at Manchester United and their chances on making the top four in the Premier League this season.

As always, be sure to leave your comments below or get in touch on Twitter: @MLSGB_.

MLS Player of the Week: Week 1 – Jozy Altidore

As the 2015 Major League Soccer is finally underway we will publish an article each week looking at the standout performer from the previous round of matches.

All 20 MLS teams were in action this weekend as the new season stormed into life with some fantastic displays.

It was difficult to choose who we think deserved to be named as player of the week but the award for week 1 goes to Jozy Altidore as the USMNT forward needed a solid display on his return to MLS, and he duly delivered that in Toronto FC’s 3-1 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Vancouver made it a hostile environment for Toronto but Altidore was able to inspire his side to victory, despite the Reds conceding the first goal as he bagged a brace in the win.

His first goal came after a great through ball by fellow new Designated Player, Sebastian Giovinco and he tucked away his second from the penalty spot late on after being fouled in the box by Pa Modou Kah.

The 25-year-old striker is already the joint top-scorer in MLS alongside Clint Dempsey and Altidore has a fine 100% conversion rate at this early stage after scoring from both of his two shots.

He also made more key passes than any of his Toronto teammates with three and it’s probably safe to say that the Reds would not have won the game in Vancouver if it wasn’t for Altidore.

Jozy Altidore stats against Vancouver Whitecaps

Jozy Altidore’s stats against Vancouver Whitecaps (via Whoscored.com)

Altidore made the most of his return to MLS after a torrid spell in England with Sunderland this weekend. He netted just one Premier League goal in 42 appearances for the Black Cats but looked back to full confidence in a Toronto shirt on Saturday night.

The US international striker will hope to pick up where he left off when Toronto take on the Columbus Crew next weekend.

What did you make of Jozy Altidore’s performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend? Was he the most impressive player in MLS in week 1?

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Toronto FC

As the 2015 season is now just a couple of days away, the excitement is building. We’ve had a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday in the build up and today we take a look at what Toronto FC will be looking to achieve this season…

Last year was another disappointing season for Toronto FC. They went into the 2014 campaign full of hope as their squad had quality players in the shape of Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe, Gilberto and Julio Cesar. However, things didn’t quite work out as planned as the Reds missed out on the playoffs for the eighth successive year. They’ve still never reached the post-season but have invested heavily in the squad again this offseason with Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco both joining as Designated Players. 2015 should be a better year for Toronto and the main aim will be to make the playoffs for the first time in the clubs’ history.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 7th – P34 – W11 – D8 – L15

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What needs to change this year?

Toronto lost 15 games in 2014, which is an immediate concern looking at how strong the team was on paper. If anything, they’ve improved this offseason and making sure they concede fewer goals will be one of the primary areas for head coach Greg Vanney to address. Only four sides conceded fewer goals than Toronto’s 54 last season and that must change. The Reds ended the season with just two wins in 13 games and so it’s vital that they start the new season in better form. A lot has changed so things can be expected to be different on the field but it’s important that the Canadian club don’t rely on Giovinco and Altidore to simply fire them to success. They need to remain solid through the core of the team. They kept just six clean-sheets in 2014. That has to increase if they are to make the playoffs.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Marco Delgado – Midfielder, Robbie Findley – Forward, Jozy Altidore – Forward (Designated Player), Sebastian Giovinco – Midfielder/Forward (Designated Player), Damien Perquis – Defender, Benoit Cheyrou – Midfielder.

Outs: Dwayne De Rosario – Forward, Doneil Henry – Defender, Bradley Orr – Defender, Jermain Defoe – Forward, Gilberto – Forward, Kyle Bekker – Midfielder, Dominic Oduro – Midfielder.

Key Player: Michael Bradley – Midfielder

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Michael Bradley didn’t do badly in his first season with Toronto but he is capable of better and having been made captain, he will hope to inspire his teammates to success in 2015. Injuries plagued his 2014 campaign but a fully fit Bradley is heading into the new season and he will need to be at his best in the heart of midfield if Toronto are to tick as they are meant to. The 27 year old has two quality forwards to feed the ball to in Altidore and Giovinco and as the face of the franchise, it’s time for the USMNT star to lead his side into the playoffs.

One to watch: Sebastian Giovinco – Midfielder/Forward

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Few will need to be told to watch Sebastian Giovinco this year as all eyes will be on the Italian playmaker from the word go. But his performances will be key to how Toronto fare this season and after heavy investment, the ‘Atomic Ant’ needs to deliver. At 27, Giovinco is in the prime of his career and he is one of the most exciting additions to MLS this year. If he can hit the ground running with his new team, he could be crowned MLS MVP at the end of the season. Fatigue could be an issue as he has come straight in from Juventus in the middle of their season but a lot of attention will be given to Giovinco throughout the campaign.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 3rd

This will be the year Toronto FC finally make the MLS Playoffs. The signings of Giovinco and Altidore demonstrate their intentions to succeed and those two will be key along with club captain Michael Bradley. The key for Toronto will be how the other squad players perform and the likes of Damien Perquis and Benoit Cheyrou should also strengthen the side dramatically in a defensive sense. They have done relatively well in preseason, winning four of their seven games, and need to start the new campaign well, especially as their first three are away from home against tough opposition. A good start would set the tone for a good year and Toronto should do well in 2015.

What are you expecting from Toronto FC in 2015?

Greg Vanney praises “very good” Toronto FC midfielder Benoit Cheyrou

Toronto FC are set to begin their 2015 MLS season with a trip to Vancouver Whitecaps this Saturday and head coach Greg Vanney has been full of praise for his squad, and in particular, Benoit Cheyrou.

The French midfielder joined on a free transfer in January after a seven-year spell at Marseille where he was a first-team regular and consistently played in Europe’s elite competition because of Marseille’s participation in the Champions League.

“We knew he was a very good player and the idea was to create some balance with Michael (Bradley) in midfield,” said Toronto head coach Greg Vanney, who is happy with the way the two compliment each other.

“We have a left footed player, right-footed player, experience from both of them and they’re very savvy players who can read and understand the game.”

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Cheyrou is predominantly known as a defensive midfield player, but Vanney is confident that playing alongside Michael Bradley will also allow him to have a positive impact on the team going forward this year.

“They cover a fair amount of ground and both of them in their own right can make plays and make things happen. The idea is to open up space for Sebastian (Giovinco) to do his thing.”

With a team including the likes of Benoit Cheyrou, Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC could well be one team to keep an eye on this year.

Greg Vanney is happy with the development of the squad over the course of the preseason and feels they’re in good shape with the first game just around the corner.

“I think we’re in a good place, we have a good foundation.”

Will Toronto FC be one of the strongest teams in MLS this season?

Toronto FC set to introduce new signing Jozy Altidore

Toronto FC have confirmed that US Men’s National Team striker Jozy Altidore has joined from Sunderland and is set to be unveiled at a press conference shortly.

It comes following Jermain Defoe’s switch in the other direction and has been labelled a ‘swap deal’ despite the way the transfer system works in Major League Soccer meaning that isn’t exactly the case.

But of course, it appears that it is essentially a ‘swap deal’ because the two players have swapped clubs and that is all that matters now.

Altidore pc

When speaking to the club’s website, Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said, “It became clear that a return for Jermain to the English Premier League was going to be in the best interests of both sides. We’d like to thank Jermain for his contributions to Toronto FC and wish him well.”

“Jozy has chosen to return to MLS, and adding a player of Jozy Altidore’s pedigree is an important addition for our club,” he added.

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Altidore endured a torrid time in Sunderland as he only managed one goal in 40 Premier League appearances for the club.

However, he has consistently performed for the national side and will be hoping to reproduce the kind of form that saw him score 38 goals in 67 appearances during his two-season spell with AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Toronto FC will be confident that he can perform for the club in a deal that seems to be a positive outcome for all parties involved.

Is MLS the right move for Jozy Altidore?

Jermain Defoe seals switch to Sunderland from MLS side Toronto FC

Jermain Defoe has signed for Premier League side Sunderland from Toronto FC on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The 32-year-old is a renowned prolific goalscorer and has previously been successful for every club he’s played for with 124 Premier League goals already to his name.

Sunderland will become the sixth team that Defoe has played for in his professional career, having previously been at West Ham United, Bournemouth (on loan), Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Toronto FC.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming up here and playing against Sunderland because of the stadium and the supporters. It is a great place to play and I’m really looking forward to it,” Defoe told the Sunderland website.

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Manager Gus Poyet said, “I know all about his attributes and his qualities first-hand and his exceptional goalscoring record speaks for itself. He has something different, something special.”

In his overall career, Defoe has scored an astonishing 245 goals for club and country in 586 appearances.

Jozy Altidore is expected to be heading in the other direction as part of the deal and it seems like only a matter of time until the move is completed.

Altidore’s move to Toronto FC is more complicated than Defoe’s switch to Sunderland due to the implications in place because of the MLS allocation ranking rules.

Is Jermain Defoe the right man for Sunderland?

Is a return to MLS a realistic option for Jozy Altidore this month?

Jozy Altidore is being heavily linked with a return to Major League Soccer with three clubs believed to be interested in signing the 25-year-old USMNT striker.

Altidore left the New York Red Bulls as an 18-year-old back in 2008 to play in Europe where he has remained since, and his former club as well as the Portland Timbers and Toronto FC are all keeping tabs on the out of favour Sunderland man, according to Taylor Twellman.

The powerful forward is the best striker Jurgen Klinsmann has at his disposal for the US Men’s National Team and he has netted 25 goals in 76 appearances at international level so a return to MLS would be a major coup for the league.

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However, his form at Sunderland tells a contrasting story. He has struggled for minutes, and scored just once in 42 Premier League games for the Black Cats.

That means Gus Poyet will be willing to let him leave this month, but only if the offer suits Sunderland as they paid around £8.5 million for him in July 2013.

The fact that Altidore still has over two years remaining on his current deal means that he will cost whichever MLS side decides to pursue him a hefty fee.

And Altidore reportedly wants a salary worth between $5-6 million if he is to return stateside, a deal that would make him one of the highest paid players in MLS and so he will be an expensive acquisition for whoever goes after him.

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There is no doubt that Altidore would score goals in MLS with a return, but for such a large amount of money at this stage, it might be better for clubs to wait it out.

Teams in Germany and France are also tracking Altidore and staying in Europe for the time being would have to be a seen as more likely move for the US striker, and certainly something Klinsmann would want too.

Expect to see Altidore back in MLS someday, but whether or not that day will come soon is a big question. If any club is willing to spend the money it would take to get Altidore back to America, they will expect a real run at the MLS Cup title.

Do you think Jozy Altidore will return to Major League Soccer this month?