Toronto, Ontario, Canada (February 28, 2019) — Jozy Altidore isn’t leaving Toronto.
After months of speculation to whether Altidore would remain with the team, the club has signed him to a new three-year extension. Meanwhile, Altidore was unsure of his future a couple months ago. He even mentioned that going to Liga MX in Mexico wouldn’t be ruled out. Altidore told Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated that he was intrigued by Mexico.
“Obviously, it’s close by,” Altidore said. “I didn’t know how big of a reach the league has until I came back to MLS and was closer to it and playing against those teams and watching the games. I didn’t know they get some of the most viewers out of all the leagues broadcast in the States.”
Toronto FC signs Jozy Altidore to new three-year contract
However, his intrigue toward Mexico is going to be on hold. Because of his new MLS contract with Toronto, Altidore remains a designated player. He said that his motive to signing was that he considers the fans, city and club his family.
“The fans, from the first day, they accepted me, they gave me the right to show what I’m all about, and they took me in,” Altidore said, via a press release. “We’ve built something great together and I’m really eager to see what’s to come.”
However, Toronto FC elected to tie him up. Altidore, who is 29-years-old, has been battling injury since joining the Reds. His most recent injury was an ankle injury. Altidore got surgery on his ankle back in October 2018, after Toronto FC missed the playoffs. So far, he has not been on the pitch for Toronto this season.
Ali Curtis, Toronto FC general manager, called Altidore a big part of the club.
“While it is important to make changes to your roster in different moments, continuity is also a critical component to successful organizations,” Curtis said. “Jozy is an excellent player and he is capable of playing an enormous role in leading our club to success. On a professional level, I am looking forward to working with Jozy, but on personal level, I’m looking forward to getting to know him for the person that he has developed into.”
Meanwhile, Toronto FC president Bill Manning said that both parties expressed a mutual desire for Altidore to remain in Toronto.
“Our fans here love him and I hope he’ll wear a TFC jersey for the rest of his career,” Manning said. “Since coming to Toronto, Jozy has helped TFC win multiple championships, scoring so many clutch goals, including the biggest goal in our club’s history. We look forward to more great moments.”
"Toronto took me in, made me a man. They've got my back."
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) February 28, 2019
Jozy Altidore’s career
American fans know plenty about Altidore.
Internationally, he has made 110 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team, tacking on 41 goals. He believes that he still has a role to play with the national team, despite the influx of younger players entering the fold.
“I’m excited about having a new generation on our national team and I’m excited about a lot of these young guys, so it’s a balance,” Altidore said. “Because as much as I want to play with the national team and be there, I don’t want to stunt the growth of some of our next brightest young stars.”
Altidore spent portions of his career over in Europe. However, his roots are in the United States. In 2006, he began his career with the New York Red Bulls, remaining with the club since 2008. However, he has spent time in Europe with Villareal, AZ Alkmaar and Sunderland in the English Premier League.
The team just recently crashed out of the CONCACAF Champions League in the Round of 16, falling to Club Atlético Independiente de la Chorrera. Now, they open up their MLS regular-season on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union.
Talen Energy Stadium will be the venue. Kick off is slated for 1 p.m. ET.
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) February 23, 2019