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?

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle United vs. Sunderland

Sunday’s afternoon kickoff sees the return of the Tyne-Wear derby as St. James’ Park will see Newcastle plays host to an out of form Sunderland side.

Alan Pardew’s Magpies will be the favourites heading into this one, as they lay eighth in the table, seven places higher and seven points better off than the fifteenth-placed Black Cats.

This is a fixture which usually brings high drama, and this one looks set to be another classic installment despite the fact that this is hardly the best teams these two clubs have fielded in the Premier League era.

The Magpies come into the tie with a resurgence of form having won their last four at home, including the victory which ended Chelsea’s hopes of an unbeaten season two weeks ago.

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They have however, had less success against their rivals recently, having not beaten Sunderland since August 2011.

However, Gus Poyet’s men are without a win in their last six Premier League games, though they have drawn five of them.

Sunderland interestingly, has a total of ten draws this term, having only played sixteen times so far. So their form isn’t terrible but they need to start turning draws into wins and Sunday would be a perfect time to do so.

They have won the last three Tyne-Wear derby games, and so Gus Poyet has reason for optimism heading into this one.

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You’d be a brave man to predict this one, but whatever the result, we’re sure this will be an entertaining Christmas treat for all who watch.

Score Prediction: Newcastle United 1 – 1 Sunderland

Key Player: Ayoze Perez – whether Pardew decides to play him up top or plays him wide left of a front three, Perez will work tirelessly for the team. And he’s been known to score vital goals so far this year.

MLSGB Premier League Predictions – Gameweek 17

Starting this week, the MLSGB team will take it in turns to predict the Premier League results from each round of fixtures.

This week Ben Ashton gives his predictions for the final gameweek before Christmas:

Saturday 20 December 2014 (All kick-offs are 15:00 GMT unless otherwise stated)

Manchester City vs. Crystal Palace (12:45)

Man City have done well to make up some ground on Chelsea in recent weeks with a five-game winning streak, and they sit just three points off the pace now. It has been a satisfactory season so far for Palace and you’d expect them to defend from deep and attempt to hit their opponents on the break, but with just one win in ten, City should have enough to win this comfortably.

Prediction: 3-0


Aston Villa vs. Manchester United

Aston Villa will be disappointed with their derby defeat to West Brom last weekend having previously gone on a five-game unbeaten run. Meanwhile, United can’t seem to stop winning under Louis Van Gaal at the moment and it’s unlikely that we’ll see that run coming to an end at Villa Park.

Prediction: 0-2


Hull City vs. Swansea City

Hull City are now already in a situation where every game becomes a cup final and they will be scrapping for every point they can get. Swansea can blow hot and cold and you’re never quite sure which team will turn up for them. It should be a tight game and they’ll share the spoils.

Prediction: 1-1


Queens Park Rangers vs. West Bromwich Albion

The remainder of this season is not going to be comfortable for either of these sides as they look to avoid relegation and home form is going to be crucial. QPR should just edge this with the advantage of the home support.

Prediction: 2-1


Southampton vs. Everton

Southampton are in real danger of going into freefall – that’s if they aren’t already of course. So they will be desperate to avoid yet another defeat. As for Everton, they have failed for consistency and that’s why this one will probably end all square.

Prediction: 1-1

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[The Saints need to bounce back this weekend]


Tottenham Hotspur vs. Burnley

Spurs will be buoyed from their midweek League Cup win over Newcastle and that confidence should be enough to see them over the line against a Burnley side who’ll be reliant on their home form to stand any chance of survival this season.

Prediction: 2-0


West Ham United vs. Leicester City

West Ham have been one of the surprise packages this season and they face a Leicester side who have really struggled since their reasonable start to the campaign and now find themselves rooted to the foot of the table. The Hammers should have no problems in seeing off the Midlands side.

Prediction: 3-1


Sunday 21 December 2014

Newcastle United vs. Sunderland (13:30)

Despite two heavy defeats in North London in the last week, Newcastle should still be confident of overturning an average Sunderland outfit. They’ve only lost one game at home which came on the opening day against Man City and it’s unlikely that we’ll see that change this weekend.

Prediction: 2-0


Liverpool vs. Arsenal (16:00)

Liverpool have won only two of their last eight Premier League games and they’re really struggling for form. Arsenal have been the epitome of inconsistency this season so you never know how they’re going to perform. However, the Gunners are probably slight favourites for the win and should edge it.

Prediction: 1-2


Monday 22 December 2014

Stoke City vs. Chelsea (20:00)

Stoke are always a tough team to beat, but they won’t be able to deal with Chelsea’s attacking quality. Chelsea returned to winning ways against Hull last weekend as well as cruising into the last four of the League Cup against Derby midweek, so they will be full of confidence and the minor blip at Newcastle will be a distant memory.

Prediction: 0-2


What do you think will happen in the Premier League this weekend?

 

Jozy Altidore a transfer target for Bundesliga side Werder Bremen – report

Jozy Altidore‘s struggles with Premier League side Sunderland worsened this weekend with a bad open goal miss, but German outfit Werder Bremen are reportedly interested in signing the USMNT striker.

Altidore has not scored a Premier League goal for more than a year and he spurned a glorious chance to help his side take the lead on the stroke of halftime in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with West Ham.

WATCH: Jozy Altidore spurns great chance to give Sunderland the lead (via SunderlandRed on YouTube)

His nightmare in England could be over soon though as Werder Bremen are the latest club to be interested in a January move for the 25-year-old frontman, according to the Sunderland Echo.

Bremen are believed to be looking for a loan deal in January with a view to making it a permanent transfer in the summer.

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French club Lille are also linked with the powerful forward, while a return to Major League Soccer should not be counted out.

It hasn’t worked in England for Altidore. That’s no secret, and his miss this weekend left him “devastated” according to his manager Gus Poyet.

“It was the only thing I have watched back,” Poyet said.

“I watched it because I didn’t know what happened – and I still don’t know what happened.

“He was devastated. I have never seen Jozy like that before. If Jozy scored you would say to me what a great decision to play him, but unfortunately he didn’t.”

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Sunderland fans have run out of patience with the US striker and want to see him moved on in January. His form at international level is good and it’s surely just a case of Sunderland, and the Premier League being a bad match.

A move elsewhere in Europe could see Altidore reinvigorated, while a return home to MLS would undoubtedly see him valued once again.

Would Werder Bremen be a good move for Jozy Altidore?

USA can take positives despite Colombia defeat

Jurgen Klinsmann watched his USA side lose 2-1 late on against a talented Colombian side at Craven Cottage last night, but there were positives to be taken despite the defeat.

The first of the USMNT‘s final two games of 2014 ended with a loss. A late Teofilo Gutierrez header sent a Colombia-filled Craven Cottage into raptures as they finally broke the spirited USA resistance.

Jozy Altidore had given Klinsmann’s side an early lead from the penalty spot after Pablo Armero handled in the box, and they took their 1-0 lead into halftime.

However, the yellow surge of Colombian talent kept driving in the second-half and Carlos Bacca’s goal in the 60th minute turned the game on its head.

Colombia were lifted by the goal and their relentless pressure eventually paid off as Gutierrez guided his header past Brad Guzan in the 87th minute to seal the victory.

Klinsmann will be unhappy with the result, but the performance his players gave will leave him with plenty of positives to take:

Panoramic view of Craven Cottage ahead of kickoff between USA and Colombia on Friday.

Panoramic view of Craven Cottage ahead of kickoff between USA and Colombia on Friday.

1. Jermaine Jones was immense in the centre of defence

Jones was once again started at centre-back despite failing to convince in the previous friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras. But the New England Revolution powerhouse put in a dominant display against the no.3 ranked team in the World and was at the centre of everything the USA did defensively. Klinsmann’s experiment looks to have paid off and Jones could be given more and more time at the back as a result.

2. Jozy Altidore led by example with another goal

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Altidore took the captains armband for the game on Friday night and impressed as he led the line well and got on the scoresheet yet again. His goal came from the penalty spot but take nothing away from his performance as he worked tirelessly up top and proved once again that he should be getting opportunities at club level with Sunderland.

3. Kyle Beckerman bossed the midfield again

Playing against a player of the calibre of James Rodriguez would test even the best holding midfielder in the world, but Beckerman wasn’t phased and looked calm in the middle of the pitch. The Real Salt Lake veteran broke the play up on several occasions and his ability to remain calm at all times helped the team to escape pressure throughout. Another excellent display by the 32-year-old.

4. Rubio Rubin makes good start to life with USMNT

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The 18-year-old forward was handed a starting role against Colombia and didn’t look out of his depth on his international debut. He worked hard and looked more than capable of holding his own against experienced defenders. He had a great chance to make it 2-0 after the break but his header just flew past the right-hand post. His positioning to get the chance was encouraging though and Rubin looks set for a bright future.

5. Lee Nguyen can cut it at the top

Nguyen was brought on late in the second-half for his first USMNT appearance for seven years and he didn’t look out of his depth one bit. The New England Revolution playmaker found space in the final third when he came on and nearly set up a wonder goal with a lovely back-heel flick in a promising move late on. The MLS MVP candidate looks set for an increased number of minutes for Klinsmann’s side in upcoming games.

What did you make of the USA’s performance against Colombia on Friday?

MLSGB Announcement

MLSGB is delighted to announce that it will now offer insight and analysis on the English Premier League as well as Major League Soccer.

MLS is continuing to grow in popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, while the EPL is also popular in the US and it is important that both league’s continue to appeal to as many people as possible.

Fans of both the EPL and MLS never go without football as the different league dates mean that soccer fans always have access to the beautiful game, and MLSGB is keen to continue to embrace the growth of both league’s on both sides of the pond, acting as the footballing gateway between Great Britain, the United States, and beyond.

Be sure to check the site regularly for all the latest from Major League Soccer and now the English Premier League as well, and thanks for your support.

 

 

 

 

Could English struggles see Jozy Altidore return home?

Jozy Altidore’s time in the Premier League with Sunderland is not getting any easier, and the USA forward is struggling to see anywhere near enough game time.

The 24-year-old has scored just one league goal in 33 appearances for the Black Cats since returning to England in the summer of 2013, following a loan spell at Hull earlier in his career.

His incredible form in the Dutch Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar saw Sunderland move for him in July 2013, but he is now looking at moving elsewhere to ensure that he remains an integral part of Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT squad.

“I thought I’ve done everything I could this season to come in as fit as possible with the injury [suffered at the World Cup] and try to make an impact when I’ve played.

“But, like I said, this four years I want to be part of the national team.

“Jurgen makes his message very clear, nobody is different, so if it doesn’t turn around, then in January I’ll be looking to start elsewhere and make sure that I’m in his plans.”

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Altidore could return to Major League Soccer, as several USMNT stars have done in the past year, with Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones all moving back to the United States to play in the rapidly-growing MLS.

There would be no shortage of interested parties if Altidore were to make the switch to MLS, and a return to former side New York Red Bulls could well be on the cards, as Thierry Henry is looking likely to call time on his playing career at the end of the current season.

The powerful forward needs to ensure that he remains the first-choice striker for the USMNT, and what better way than to return to Major League Soccer before the new season starts in March.

Where would Jozy Altidore play if he returns to MLS?