Report: Altidore Set For TFC Return
Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore’s exile from the first team is reportedly set to come to a close, says ESPN.
The 31-year-old striker had been frozen out from the first team and has been training by himself following a verbal dispute with former head coach Chris Armas, with the designated player last having appeared for the side in a slim 1-0 defeat to Orlando City back in May.
The club has given young Canadian international Ayo Akinola a starting role in Jozy’s absence, but a miss-match between the club and the head coach’s playstyle saw TFC go on to record its worst ever start in club history (1-8-2).
After suffering a 7-1 loss to DC United on July 3, Armas was relieved of his duties. Assistant head coach Javier Perez then stepped up to the helm, leading a reinvigatored TFC side to a 3-2 victory over top-of-the-east side New England Revolution. It marked the first time Pozuelo and Soltedo started together, with the club now reportedly on the precipice of seeing all three of its designated players in action at the same time.
Toronto FC President Bill Manning informed ESPN that the club was looking to resolve the situation with Altidore, while Jozy’s own agent Soroosh Abdi already told the sports conglomerate that “Jozy’s back”.
It goes without saying that the two-word statement strongly suggests that Toronto’s return to BMO Field will likely feature the six-foot-one forward.
The Toronto FC striker has had public spats with club ownership in the past, declaring that Manning had an ego-related issue back when the club sold Sebastian Giovinco and sacked third-party trainer Giuseppe Gueli. This January also saw transfer rumours swirl amid a reported dispute with GM Ali Curtis regarding the designated player’s contract.
The veteran US striker had contributed one goal in six appearances this season before falling out with Chris Armas, though there’s no denying that Jozy has been a big piece of TFC history: he’s contributed 75 goals in 160 appearances for TFC, scoring the go-ahead goal during the club’s first-ever MLS Championship win over the Seattle Sounders in 2017.
With Perez now at the helm and Toronto FC looking to stabilize itself following a long-awaiting return to Canada, the next month will be an interesting one to watch for TFC fans. If Jozy is truly back, having all three designed players on the pitch could inspire a return to form – though the club would need quite a rise into grace if it’s to put together a playoff run this season.
Photo Credits: Canada Soccer