In an interview with SI.com's Grant Wahl, USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann says he would prefer that Jozy Altidore move to a European club, rather than return to MLS. The out-of-form Sunderland striker is rumored to be on the verge of completing a swap deal with MLS for Toronto FC striker Jermain Defoe. According to Klinsmann, Altidore should be playing in the UEFA Champions League.
“With Jozy, I just say it would be nice if I would see him one day in the European Champions League. Because I think he’s a Champions League player. He has that potential, the talent to do so.” The German continued: “Now if there is no solution in Europe for him, if the next solution for him is MLS, that’s totally cool with me. I have no problem with that. But from a competitive standpoint, it’s normal that a coach wishes that his players go to the highest level possible. Which would be in his case the Bundesliga or Serie A or La Liga or even the French league, if it’s not the Premier League right now.”
Klinsmann went on to add that he evaluates the situation differently for different national team players. For example, he said he supports recent moves by Brek Shea to Orlando City and Mix Diskerud to New York City FC, respectively, as well as Jermaine Jones’ decision to move to the New England Revolution last summer.
On the subject of MLS vs. Europe, he said, “It will always go in both directions, but for me as a coach the most important thing is that I see them continue to develop make the most out of themselves. And when I get the feeling they’re not making the most out of themselves, then obviously they will have issues with me.”