Report: Toronto FC trade Defoe for Altidore

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

Jozy Altidore will return to Major League Soccer and Jermain Defoe will return to the Premier League as part of a swap between Toronto and Sunderland according to a TSN report.

Altidore, a regular with the US national team, has struggled mightily in his season and a half with Sunderland, scoring just three goals in 50 appearances for the club. Prior to that, however, he scored 31 goals in his second season with AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie.

As a teenager, Altidore scored 15 goals in 37 MLS appearances with the New York Red Bulls. At 25, MLS offers Altidore a large paycheck and an opportunity to get his club form back on track while playing closer to home.

The Red Bulls were one of three MLS teams reportedly interested in Altidore, along with Toronto and Portland. But Altidore’s asking price proved to be too much for the Red Bulls, a fact that probably won’t improve the relationship between ownership and supporters.

MLS has reportedly decided that the allocation order is the best way to determine Altidore’s fate, giving Toronto the edge over Portland. This is in contrast to the “blind draw” used to send Jermaine Jones to New England, or the “DP of a certain threshold” rule that allowed Seattle to sign Clint Dempsey.

Because Montreal holds the top spot in the allocation order, TFC will need to engineer a trade with the Impact to complete the deal.

Timbers fans, who also lost on Dempsey, are naturally quite upset with the league’s decision to only now apply the allocation order. MLS, for its part, says it plans to use the allocation order more consistently from now on.

Heading in the opposite direction is Jermain Defoe, who scored 11 goals during a tumultuous year in Toronto. He was successful while healthy, but Defoe was critical of MLS and made an effort to return to England during the summer transfer window. His extended absence contributed to a disastrous second-half decline for TFC as they missed the playoffs for the eighth-consecutive year.


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  • Billy

    The league will try to use the allocation order more consistently from now on. The important word there being “try”. Either use it or don’t use it.


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