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Villarreal's Yellow Submarine is loaded
by Paul Kennedy, June 5th, 2008 6:45AM



Jozy Altidore joins one of Europe's hottest clubs in Spanish La Liga runner-up Villarreal, which beat out Barcelona for second place behind Real Madrid.

With the guarantee of money from playing in the 2008-09 UEFA Champions League and the sale of 21-year-old Uruguayan defender Martin Caceres to Barcelona for a transfer fee estimated to be as high as $26 million, the Yellow Submarine is loaded with money to buy up young talent.

Like Caceres, who impressed on his year loan to Recreativo Huelva, Altidore could play at Recre in his first La Liga season.

Villarreal has a talented attack that finished fifth in scoring in the 2007-08 La Liga, but the frontline might be broken up during the offseason.

Argentine-Mexican Guillermo Franco and Dane Jon Dahl Tomasson are both 31, though Turk Nihat Kahveci, who led Villarreal with 18 goals, could move to Istanbul club Fenerbahce in the offseason.

In fellow New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi, Altidore would have a perfect partner in the Villarreal frontline. The 21-year-old Rossi, who scored 11 goals in his first season in Spain, is only 5-foot-8 and dangerous on the ground with his quick feet, while the 6-foot-1 Altidore is dangerous in the air.

Altidore, dubbed "El Toro" ("the Bull") in the Spanish press, is only one of several player moves Villarreal has in the works.

It has already signed Spanish forward Joseba Llorente, who scored 42 goals in the last three seasons at Valladolid.

It is expected to sign 22-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Robert Flores from Montevideo's River Plate, and it is looking at several other South Americans.


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