USMNT: Good Day for US as Guzan Signs New Deal, Altidore Prepares for Sunderland

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJuly 6, 2013

SANDY, UT - JUNE 18: Jozy Altidore #17 of the United States celebrates  his goal against Honduras during the second half of an World Cup Qualifying March June 18, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The USA beat Honduras 1-0. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
George Frey/Getty Images

The United States were already celebrating a new goalscoring record after Landon Donovan scored twice in the 6-0 rout of Guatemala, as news filtered through of two more potential good signs for the USMNT from the Premier League.

Los Angeles Galaxy star Donovan became the highest scorer in the history of the USMNT with his two goals in the friendly triumph, while Chris Wondolowski and Alejandro Bedoya scored their first international goals.

Herculez Gomez and Clarence Goodson were also on target for Jurgen Klinsmann's team as they prepared for their CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Belize on Wednesday.

But the USMNT were further boosted with the news that striker Jozy Altidore is preparing to return to the English top flight with Sunderland from AZ Alkmaar, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan has signed a new four-year deal with Aston Villa.

Altidore has been tipped as a star man for the USMNT for the future by Bleacher Report featured columnist Peter Brownell, who believes the striker will be the leading light for the team in a World Cup year in 2014.

Now the former Villarreal striker, who spent the 2009-10 season on loan at Hull City in the Premier League, is on the verge of joining Sunderland after the Black Cats agreed a deal for the 23-year-old with AZ Alkmaar, as reported by Telegraph Sport.

According to a report by ESPN, Altidore could complete his medical on Monday to become the latest player to sign for Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio.

Altidore scored 31 times for AZ last season in all competitions and helped the club win the Dutch Cup with his winner in the 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the final.

Guzan, meanwhile, was one of the few players to emerge from a troubled campaign with Aston Villa last season, and his new contract was confirmed by the club's official website on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was named the Aston Villa Player of the Season for his performances during the 2012-13 campaign after succeeding Shay Given in September and keeping the Republic of Ireland international out of the team for the remainder of the term.

Preseason preparations in Europe mean neither Altidore nor Guzan will feature in the Gold Cup, which starts on Sunday when Canada play Martinica.

But the news from both players displays an increasingly upward trajectory for Klinsmann and his team as they continue their quest for a place at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.