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Jozy Altidore says he will leave Sunderland if playing time doesn't increase

The American says if he doesn't play, he's going to look for a new club.

Nigel Roddis

Jozy Altidore has had a rough time at Sunderland. Ever since signing with the club in the summer of 2013, he has faced questions about his ability to play at the Premier League level and has done little to convince the doubters. It hasn't helped that the Black Cats haven't been very good, so they have hardly given him tons of chances, but it has resulted in a lot of bench time for the American and he doesn't plan to stick around if things don't change.

It is very rare for Altidore to be so blunt. He normally talks around questions, hedges or says that he isn't so sure. To outright say he has to play or he's leaving is very much out of the norm,

Altidore's importance to the U.S. was on full display at the World Cup, where they had no other options at striker after he went out with an injury. While the hope is that Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Bobby Wood or someone else will emerge as an option for the Americans, it's possible that Altidore is the only reliable striker the U.S. will have. That means Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. are desperate for Altidore to be good, and that can only happen if he is playing regularly. If Sunderland won't give him that chance (and that's not to demonize Sunderland or say they have to play him) then Altidore has to leave.