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Sports Toronto FC coach says Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore continue to make progress

17:00  27 october  2019
17:00  27 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (17) celebrates a goal. Centre back Omar Gonzalez (hamstring) took part in training — "involved with everything," said coach Gonzalez and Altidore did not see action in Toronto ’s playoff wins over D.C United and New York City FC although Gonzalez made the

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Jozy Altidore holding a basketball© Provided by Canadian Press Enterprises Inc

TORONTO — The injury report was positive Saturday for Toronto FC ahead of Wednesday's MLS Eastern Conference final in Atlanta.

Centre back Omar Gonzalez (hamstring) took part in training — "involved with everything," said coach Greg Vanney.

"He feels great," Vanney added. "He did a lot of high-intensity change-of-direction movement. All the things that we need him to do to show he's ready to play. And he felt good. So he'll be in full training (Sunday) and we'll go from there

Star striker Jozy Altidore (quad) is also making progress but seems to have a little farther to go. He did not train Saturday in the wake of a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection Friday. The injection is designed to aid in the healing of muscle, ligament and tendon tears.

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Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney looks on during a match against the Seattle Sounders in Toronto on Dec. And Jozy will either be a part of it or not.” Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo was pushed forward in Altidore ’s absence for the three previous playoff games against D.C. United

The waiting game continues for Toronto FC and striker Jozy Altidore . Centre back Omar Gonzalez , who missed the D.C. United game with a hamstring injury but made the bench for Vanney said there were no other injury concerns. A win on the artificial turf at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and

Vanney said Altidore is slated to return to practice Sunday and still has to see how the leg responds to shooting and some other exertions.

"But we've got a few days to cross all that off the list so we're hopeful that he can be available. I don't know to what extent. We'll have to see what the next days look for but we're hoping he can be available to either start or come in."

Gonzalez and Altidore did not see action in Toronto's playoff wins over D.C United and New York City FC although Gonzalez made the bench for Wednesday's 2-1 win in New York.

Alejandro Pozuelo, who scored both goals in New York, has been pushed up front in Altidore's absence although the Spanish playmaker still has license to roam around the field. Veteran Belgian international Laurent Ciman has done a fine job filling in for Gonzalez.

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Toronto 's Patrick Mullins scored in the 87th minute off an assist from Jozy Altidore , but it was just He made a quick cut on defender Omar Gonzalez and his shot grazed off Westberg's fingers and into the net. Moderna CEO credits US support for Phase 3 vaccine push, says 'we have to make a profit'.

Star striker Jozy Altidore (quad) is also making progress but seems to have a little farther to go. He did not train Saturday in the wake of a PRP (platelet-rich Gonzalez and Altidore did not see action in Toronto ’s playoff wins against D.C United and New York City FC although Gonzalez made the bench

Vanney said the rest of his roster made it out of New York without injury.

"We're confident in where we're at and what we have available to go and play," he said.

Toronto and defending champion Atlanta split their regular-season meetings but neither team had all their weapons available for the matches.

"Not too much to take away from those two games," said Vanney.

That's good news given Atlanta had 37 shot attempts in the two games with Toronto with 10 on target (compared to 23 and five for TFC).

Toronto lost 2-0 at Atlanta on May 8, part of a crowded sequence in the schedule that saw TFC play five times in 15 days. Vanney rotated his roster with only captain Michael Bradley and Pozuelo among the regulars starting the game.

TFC failed to put a shot on target, outshot 19-8 (5-0 in shots on target).

Toronto won 3-2 in a June 26 thriller at BMO Field. Pozuelo scored the decisive goal from the penalty spot in stoppage time after fullback Richie Laryea, driving towards goal, was fouled in the box. The same sequence repeated itself midweek in New York, with Pozuelo converting a stoppage-time spot kick after Laryea was cut down.

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Atlanta got a stoppage-time penalty of its own only to see Pity Martinez fire it high.

The June game was played during the Gold Cup. Only five Toronto regulars — goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, Justin Morrow, Marky Delgado, Tsubasa Endoh and Pozuelo — started.

Fourth-seeded Toronto is undefeated in its last 12 league games (6-0-6) and has not lost since Aug. 2 when it was beaten 2-0 at the New York Red Bulls.

Second-seeded Atlanta is unbeaten in its last four league outings (3-0-1), including playoff wins over No. 7 New England and No. 3 Philadelphia. It has lost just once in its last seven league matches (5-1-1) and finished eight points ahead of Toronto in the regular season.

Los Angeles FC hosts the Seattle Sounders in the Western final Tuesday.

The playoff final four features the last three MLS Cup winners (Seattle in 2016, Toronto in '17 and Atlanta in '18) plus this season Supporters' Shield winner LAFC.

Expect a large, loud crowd Wednesday. Atlanta led the league this season in attendance at 52,510. Toronto was fifth at 25,048.

TFC is 0-1-2 all-time on the artificial turf at Mercedes-Benz Stadium where Atlanta is 34-7-10 during the regular season in its three MLS campaigns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2019.

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Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

The Seattle-Toronto rubber match -- a capsule look at Sunday's MLS Cup final .
SEATTLE — A look at Sunday's MLS Cup final between Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders: WHERE: CenturyLink Field. WHEN: 3 p.m. ET. ATTENDANCE: Game is a sellout, with more than 69,000 expected. REFEREE: Allen Chapman. He was also in charge of the 2017 final in Toronto. ALL-TIME MEETINGS: The Sounders have a 9-3-2 edge in the regular-season series (including 5-2-1 in Seattle). The teams have split their playoff encounters, both in championship games, with Seattle winning in 2016 via penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie and Toronto winning the 2017 final 2-0. Both finals were in Toronto.THIS SEASON: Seattle (16-10-8) finished second in the West.

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