Yellow Submarine Suffers Direct Hit


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United States World Cup striker JOZY ALTIDORE of visiting Spanish side CF Villarreal seeks to avoid the challenge of GNK Dinamo Zagreb’s Portugal international defender TONEL (28) during the UEFA Europa League Group D match last September at the Stadion Maksimir in Croatia.
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Major League Soccer pocketed a milestone $ 10.0 million dollar (7.4 million Euro) transfer fee with the sale of promising New York Red Bulls striker JOZY ALTIDORE to Spanish La Liga side CF Villarreal in June of 2008. This was more than double the previous record amount M.L.S. had ever received after London-based English Premier League club Fulham Athletic forked over $ 4.0 million dollars for two-time United States World Cup midfielder Clint Dempsey of the New England Revolution in January of 2007. However, unlike M.L.S. executives across the Atlantic Ocean in North America, the leadership of the Yellow Submarine in Spain had significantly less to smile about in the end.

Altidore was still just 18 years of age when arriving on the east coast of the Mediterranean to test his mettle in the highly-regarded Spanish first division. Competition for a place at CF Villarreal was fierce with the likes of another native American born in New Jersey, productive Italy international striker GIUSEPPE ROSSI, as well as veteran Turkey international goal-scorer NIHAT KHAVECI and two-time Mexico World Cup forward GUILLERMO FRANCO also on the books. But the ambitious and historic Altidore did manage to become the first United States international to score a goal in La Liga with a strike against Athletic Bilbao in November of 2008.

The success was short-lived, however, as Altidore made just six appearances, the majority as a substitute, in La Liga for the Yellow Submarine over the first half of the 2008-09 season before being sent out on loan for the remainder of the campaign to second division CD Xerez in Jerez de la Frontera. There, in part due to an injury, the American never saw the field and returned to CF Villarreal in the summer of 2009. With an eye on the upcoming FIFA World Cup to be held in South Africa the following summer and the thought of regular first team football firmly in mind, Altidore agreed to go out on loan once again for the 2009-10 campaign.

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JOZY ALTIDORE was still a few months shy of his 17th birthday when the native of Livingston, New Jersey, made his professional debut with the New York Red Bulls in late August of 2006 and scored his first goal in Major League Soccer just a few weeks later; altogether, Altidore scored 15 goals in 37 M.L.S. matches over parts of three seasons before his record-breaking transfer to Spanish La Liga side CF Villarreal in the summer of 2008.
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Altidore joined Hull City with the Premier League side retaining an option to purchase at the end of the season for a transfer fee of 6.5 million English pounds ($ 11.0 million dollars). Still shy of his 20th birthday, the United States international striker bagged his first goal in the League Cup a few days after making his debut in Great Britain. But Altidore struggled with his finishing all season long, though, and had to wait until February to register his first tally for Hull City in the Premiership.

Altidore scored just one goal in 28 English Premier League games while Hull City were relegated and, thus, the option was never exercised. After appearing in every match for the United States at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the still-developing attacker returned yet again to the Yellow Submarine to start last term. Although Altidore did appear in seven UEFA Europa League matches, the American made just three substitute appearances in La Liga over the first half of last season and counted no goals in any competition for El Submarino Amarillo.

And so, Altidore finished last term playing in Turkey with KD Bursaspor where the by-now well-traveled striker scored one goal in a dozen Super Lig games.

CF Villarreal decided to go in a different direction this summer and sold the underachieving Altdiore to Dutch Eredivisie side AZ 67 Alkmaar for the modest transfer fee of 1.4 million Euros — this represented the significant loss of 6.0 million Euros for a Spanish football club not traditionally known for its financial strength.

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21-year-old United States World Cup striker JOZY ALTIDORE, who has already earned 41 caps and scored 12 goals for his country, has enjoyed a fine start to his career with AZ 67 Alkmaar having promptly shot three goals in his first five Dutch league games and added another pair of strikes in as many UEFA Europa League matches since a summer transfer from Spanish La Liga side CF Villarreal.

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