Sports Jozy Altidore says it will take a miracle to pay Sunday in MLS Cup final
TFC’s Jozy Altidore, Omar Gonzalez to be game-time decisions vs. NYCFC
Injured Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore and centre back Omar Gonzalez will be game-time decisions for Wednesday’s MLS Eastern Conference semifinal against New York City FC. The post Liam Fraser bides his time with TFC but believes he is ready for more appeared first on Sportsnet.ca. Altidore (quad) and Gonzalez (hamstring) both sat out Toronto’s 5-1 extra-time playoff win over D.C. United on Saturday.
Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore offered a blunt update Monday on the quad strain that has kept him out of the MLS playoffs.
"It's been a while. At this point, it'll take a little bit of a miracle to be out there on Sunday," he said, referencing the MLS Cup final in Seattle against the Sounders. "But that's where I am. And I've just got to try to keep trying to get myself there."
Pozuelo's late penalty lifts Toronto FC past New York City FC in MLS playoffs
NEW YORK — Alejandro Pozuelo converted a 90th-minute penalty to give Toronto FC a 2-1 win over New York City FC in the MLS Eastern Conference semifinal Wednesday. Fullback Ronald Matarrita took Richie Laryea down in the 88th minute as the substitute slashed his way into the penalty box and Pozuelo slotted the spot kick down the middle with nonchalant ease in the 90th minute. It was Pozuelo's second goal of the game and his fourth goal against NYCFC this season. He went 2-of-3 from the penalty spot against the New Yorkers. Quentin Westberg made a diving save in stoppage time to preserve the win.
Pressed on what's needed to get back on the field in time for Sunday's sold-out championship game at CenturyLink Field, Altidore repeated "a miracle" and laughed.
"As simple as that," he added. "That's where we're at at this point. Like I said, I just keep trying to chip away, trying to get myself there."
Toronto FC's Altidore, Gonzalez making progress, could play vs. Atlanta
Toronto FC's Altidore, Gonzalez making progress, could play vs. AtlantaCoach Greg Vanney provided positive updates on injuries to dependable veterans Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez, saying both are expected back in training this weekend ahead of Wednesday's Eastern Conference final in Atlanta.
Of course, the TFC striker could be offering up misinformation ahead of the third championship meeting between Toronto and Seattle in the last four seasons. Seattle had the last laugh in 2016 via penalty shootout while Toronto won 2-0 in 2017.
While Altidore said he was feeling "better and better," he declined to go into details of how the injury was holding him back.
"You'd have to ask the medical team that stuff," he said. "I don't know all that stuff. Like I said before it's where I'm at right now."
The U.S. international has not played since walking gingerly off the field in the 70th minute of Toronto's 1-0 win over Columbus on Oct. 6 in the regular-season finale, after being clattered in a tackle in the opposition penalty box.
He did not dress for Toronto's playoff wins over visiting D.C United (5-1 after extra time) and at New York City FC (2-1) and Atlanta United FC (2-1).
Toronto FC coach says Omar Gonzalez and Jozy Altidore continue to make progress
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 trainingCentre back Omar Gonzalez (hamstring) took part in training — "involved with everything," said coach Greg Vanney.
Coach Greg Vanney has pushed Spanish playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo farther forward in Altidore's absence, flanked by Nicolas Benezet and Tsubasa Endoh.
Altidore is a physical presence at the tip of the Toronto spear, battling opposition centre backs and often holding up the ball to bring others into play. Pozuelo tends to float in different directions, pulling defenders into places they don't want to be while the Spaniard looks to open the door to others.
Altidore had 11 goals and seven assists in 22 regular-season games this season. Pozuelo led the team with 12 goals and 12 assists in 30 games.
Altidore said while he was a "little" frustrated at his injury progress, he said the team is ready.
"The group is prepared," he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2019.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Two showcase franchises meet as Toronto and Seattle clash again in MLS Cup final .
Two showcase franchises meet as Toronto and Seattle clash again in MLS Cup finalTFC will have to do it on hostile ground, however, with a sellout crowd of more than 69,000 solidly behind the home-town Sounders at CenturyLink Field as Toronto and Seattle meet in the MLS Cup final for the third time in four years.
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