Jozy Altidore is finally back to training with Toronto FC after an argument with former head coach Chris Armas led the player to isolated sessions.
The player hasn’t featured for the Canadian Major League Soccer side since 22 May in the match against Orlando City, where he was substituted out in the 70th minute. It was reported that as Altidore walked off the pitch, he and Armas exchanged heated words that forced the player into a secluded situation. Since then, he has trained in his rented property in Toronto but not anymore. Altidore confirmed his first team return during Monday’s post training media availability, explaining the situation and the sentiment moving forward.
He said: “Sometimes things go how they go. My commitment, wanting to win, that hasn’t changed. It was tough being away from the team. This team comes first, always.”
Following the club’s 7-1 loss against D.C. United on 4 July, Toronto FC announced they were parting ways with former head coach Chris Armas. The managerial change ultimately inspired healthier communication between the team and the player as Altidore admitted he received a phone call from club president Bill Manning after weeks of radio silence.
“Things happen all the time,” Altidore said when asked if he felt he was treated fairly during his time away. “I don’t hold any grudges against everybody. I just want to focus on the positives.”
Despite the situation, Altidore maintained his commitment to leading the club to success. Toronto FC currently sits in last place of the Eastern Conference with eight points in 12 games and a goal difference of negative 13. Altidore made four appearances with the team so far this season, recording one goal.
“If there is anyone out there who is counting us out, they’re making a big mistake,” Altidore said. “We have a locker room of winners and champions. It’ll probably take me a few weeks to get going, but it is what it is. I’m just excited to be back,” Altidore said. “I’m excited to play again. Watching so much soccer but not being able to play is not easy.”
Following the departure of Armas, the club hired Javier Perez as the interim head coach to lead. Toronto earned their first win under Perez, defeating the New England Revolution 3-2 to diminish their point difference.