Jozy Altidore’s latest hamstring isn’t the end of the world for Toronto FC or their fans.
Jozy Altidore left Toronto FC’s game early last Saturday and it was announced earlier this week that he had a grade 2 hamstring strain and would be out for 6-8 weeks. News like this is something that has sadly occurred often throughout his professional soccer career. Most recently, he hurt his hamstring during the 2014 World Cup and missed out on the USMNT’s run to the knockout round.
Altidore is a leader on Toronto FC. Yet, he isn’t the best player on the team currently and his absence isn’t that big of a deal. It stinks to see a player deal with regular injuries and Altidore will deal with mental and physical challenges over the 6-8 weeks that the striker is out.
The main reason that Altidore’s injury isn’t that big of a deal is because of this team’s lineup formation. He isn’t the only star on the roster and definitely has not been the best player on the field this season. Altidore’s role with Toronto FC is different from with the USMNT. While Altidore is more of a collect the ball near the box and work towards creating opportunities with the USMNT, his role with Toronto FC is more of a creation role.
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Giovinco is taking MLS by storm in his second season in the league. He’s a big reason TFC is sitting in good shape despite starting the season with a road-heavy schedule. They dropped a home game to the Vancouver Whitecaps in a 4-3 loss, but Giovinco was finding the net.
Likewise, Toronto FC has other playmakers on their team like Michael Bradley. He’s been able to help coordinate a busy midfield and help connect the defensive unit to the offensive unit. While the former struggled against Vancouver, the offensive unit was still clicking. This should still continue and Bradley’s skill in the midfield will be key while Altidore is out.
Altidore does have two assists and one game-winning assist with TFC this season. His efforts with creating chances for Giovinco and others has paid off. However, he has zero goals and only five shots on goal. Additionally, this is now a good time for other TFC players to step up in Altidore’s absence.
The MLS season is still young as there is still a lot of games between now and the end of the regular season this Fall. Altidore has ample time to fully hear from his hamstring injury. Yes, some players never fully recover from their injuries especially hamstring issues, but Altidore will have time to rehab and prepare for the rest of the season.
Take a deep breath, TFC fans. Altidore’s injury isn’t the end of the world and TFC is still in good hands while he’s gone.