Toronto FC lose Jozy Altidore again at worst possible time

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29: Jozy Altidore
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 29: Jozy Altidore /

Facing one of their most crucial games of the season, Toronto FC must now play the Montreal Impact without Jozy Altidore, who has been suspended for another game.

After only managing a tie against the lowly San José Earthquakes, Toronto FC‘s margin for error has become more slim than ever. Even the fact 30 points are still in play is somewhat misleading, when you consider they have only managed 24 points so far through 24 games.

Regardless, the Reds now find themselves in an even tougher position, heading into one of their most crucial league games of the season. That’s because they will now have to face the Montreal Impact without Jozy Altidore.

Altidore was missing from the lineup for the game in San José, due to being sent off during the Aug. 12 game against New York City FC. Unfortunately for TFC, he suspension has now been extended by a further game.

As reported by Sportsnet’s John Molinaro, the MLS disciplinary committee added another game to the suspension on Wednesday. There will also be an additional undisclosed fine, for what has been described as “violent conduct” in the match versus NYCFC.

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Toronto FC confirmed to Molinaro, that the team is not allowed to appeal the additional suspension. The timing couldn’t be worse, especially with the Impact currently sitting nine points ahead, in the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference (albeit, having played two more games than TFC).

In many ways, this sums up what has been an extremely frustrating season for Altidore. And that’s despite recently scoring the hat-trick that secured the Canadian Championship for the Reds.

Injuries have limited the two-time MLS All-Star to seven league games and three goals so far this season. This becomes more infuriating, when considering how effective he has been when he has played, with nine goals in 18 appearances in all competitions.

In this respect, Altidore has been a valuable member of the team, ever since arriving in Toronto. In all, he has scored 56 goals in 106 total appearances, including 41 goals in 82 MLS games.

With Altidore out, coach Greg Vanney is expected to play the recently signed Lucas Janson up front. At least Janson is off to a good start in his TFC career, having scored a goal in his only appearance, during the game against the Earthquakes.

TFC and their fans can only hope they find a way to beat the Impact, without their number one striker. In reality, even a tie is arguably not an option, if they are to return to the playoffs and aim for a third consecutive appearance in the MLS Cup final.

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Looking at the suspension objectively, do you agree with the decision to suspend Altidore for an additional game? Regardless, how confident are you that Toronto FC will still qualify for the MLS playoffs? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.