At 11 AM on Friday morning at the Air Canada Centre Toronto FC will finally announce their latest big addition. It was certainly not the best kept secret that Jermain Defoe was going to Sunderland in exchange for Jozy Altidore and now the cat is entirely out of the bag as both clubs have confirmed the transfer.
Toronto FC confirmed that Altidore was subject to the allocation ranking meaning that the five clubs ahead of them in the order all passed on the American forward for one reason or another allowing TFC to claim him with the sixth spot. Signing Altidore means that TFC will now head to the bottom of the allocation order. The other terms of the deal were not confirmed by either club other than Sunderland's release noting that Defoe agreed to a three-and-a-half year deal.
Here is what the club had to say in the official release about the move:
"Our top priority is building a winning club with players that are committed to the TFC vision. Jozy is a special player, and checks off all of the boxes that we look for in a player. We are excited to finalize this deal and bring him to Toronto FC," said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "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."
"Our vision over the past 18 months has been to establish Toronto FC's international presence, and while just with us for one year, Jermain Defoe played an important role in helping us achieve that goal," said Tim Leiweke, President and CEO of MLSE. "We appreciate the fact that he worked very closely with us through this process, and while he had a number of options, he ultimately agreed to a deal that would be in the best interests of both the player and TFC. He wanted to ensure that TFC and its fans will benefit from this transfer, and we have. Jozy has chosen to return to MLS, and adding a player of Jozy Altidore's pedigree is an important addition for our club."
Altidore will not be getting the treatment that Defoe was given last season when he signed as his press conference will be held at the ACC and it will be in front of the media rather than a day long party with a month of build up. It is probably for the best that the club treats this is just another signing even if it is a big money one.