AZ Alkmaar and Sunderland announced the completion of Altidore's transfer from the Eredivisie to English top flight Tuesday, ending a prolific two-year stay in the Netherlands. According to Sunderland, Altidore has signed a four-year deal with the club. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the U.S. national team star forward passed his physical and signed off on the move after the two clubs agreed upon the transfer on Friday.
Altidore tallied 50 goals in all competitions in his two seasons with AZ, including 31 this past season, which set a single-season record for an American abroad. Sunderland will become the 23-year-old Altidore's eighth team, and it presents him with a chance to return to the Premier League, where he played on loan at Hull City during the 2009-2010 campaign.
He will join a side managed by the eccentric Paolo Di Canio, and one that scored the third-fewest goals (41) in the Premier League last season. Only Stoke City (34) and Queens Park Rangers (30) scored fewer goals, and Steven Fletcher led the team with 11 goals despite having his season come to an end in March.
Altidore's prolific play at AZ had not translated to the U.S. national team until the last couple of months, when he went on a torrid scoring streak. Altidore scored in four consecutive matches -- a friendly against Germany and World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras -- to snap a 16-month international scoring drought and help the USA to the top of the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
According to Sunderland, Altidore is slated to take part in training with his new teammates in Italy on Tuesday to begin his tenure with the club.