Jozy Altidore Leaves Villarreal for Good to Join AZ Alkmaar

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 14:  Jozy Altidore #17 of the USA celebrates after scoring a goal during the first half of the GoldCup game against Guadeloupe on June 14, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

While all the focus of American soccer is currently zoomed in on Frankfurt, Germany, where the women's national team is looking to win there first World Cup since 1999, a big development came today for the men's national team as forward Jozy Altidore signed with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar.

The signing ends three years of disappointment at Villarreal in Spain where the 21-year-old was loaned out three times since January, most recently to Bursaspor in the Turkish Super Lig.

The signing of Altidore by the Eredivisie club gives American fans some hope for one of their top forwards to get playing time before World Cup qualifying starts.

American fans should invest their hope in the move to the Eredivisie because it is the same league in which Michael Bradley honed his skills with Heerenveen for three years before moving to Borussia Monchengladbach after his 18-goal season in Holland in the 2007-08 season.

Altidore has a good chance of starting the season up front for Gertjan Verbeek's side, as there are only three other forwards currently on the roster and the only forward that has a chance of contending with Altidore's goal-scoring power is Ruud Boymans, who was brought in from VVV-Venlo, where he scored 15 goals last season in the Eredivisie.

Not only will Altidore have a chance to play in the Eredivisie with constant playing time but he will also be playing in the Europa League, as AZ qualified for the competition by placing fourth last season in the league.

So, while all the American fans have their eyes set on Germany on Sunday, they should also keep their eyes on Holland for the next year to see how Jozy Altidore progresses with a shot at consistent first-team football.