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Toronto’s Jozy Altidore back to team after freeze out

Toronto's Jozy Altidore and Ayo Akinola

 

Jozy Altidore was officially welcomed back by club side Toronto FC on Monday after being forced to train on his own for over seven weeks.

In a Zoom call with reporters, the forward said he held no grudges against anyone within the organization, and warned that anyone who writes TFC off is “making a big mistake,” even as the team currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Monday’s training session was Altidore’s first with the full group since a May 22 verbal altercation with then-manager Chris Armas.

Sources told ESPN that Altidore and Armas clashed after the forward was substituted with 20 minutes to go in a 1-0 loss to Orlando City, with Altidore feeling that he and substitute Ayo Akinola should have been on the field together. While Altidore wasn’t formally suspended, he was ordered to train on his own apart from the first team.

Altidore avoided going into detail about the rift and what led up to it, but he said that he didn’t hear anything from the club for weeks.

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Eventually team president Bill Manning reached out him with an offer to bring him back. ESPN reported last Friday that Altidore and TFC were in the final stages of reconciliation.

“I was really appreciative of that because I hadn’t heard from anybody for a long time,” said Altidore. “And you know I’ve been with Bill here a long time, so you know I really appreciated him calling me and trying to work things out.”

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