The Red Bulls and MLS tried hard, but Toronto FC wouldn’t budge.
TSN soccer analyst Gareth Wheeler has confirmation from multiple sources that Jozy Altidore is headed for BMO Field despite Major League Soccer pushing to get the striker to New York.
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Jermain Defoe heads the other way, but even that part of the discussion wouldn’t have sealed Altidore’s destination as Toronto. Wheeler reports that none of the five teams ahead of TFC in the allocation order wanted Altidore, and that — much like the Jermaine Jones to
Chicago New England case — there will be pressure on MLS to lay out their transfer rules more clearly.
Toronto FC played hardball in their demands and negotiations, getting the player despite the advances of the Red Bulls and desire of MLS headquarters. This is a turning point move for the franchise and a significant win. Toronto FC has been denied players they’ve wanted by MLS before. Toronto FC’s unified front, headed by CEO of Maple Sports and Entertainment, Tim Leiweke, inevitably got what they wanted. It will be priority for MLS to make the re-entry process more transparent, so MLS clubs are aware of the rules that all franchises are to abide by.
— Gareth Wheeler (@WheelerTSN) January 14, 2015
Yeah, that will serve to up the angst of the Red Patch Boys.
Altidore will score in Toronto. There’s no question about that. The chemistry with USMNT and TFC teammate Michael Bradley, who will love the move, is certainly there and Altidore’s record in international matches betrays those who call his struggles at Sunderland a symptom of the sick.
Meanwhile, Wheeler also said reports of Juventus’ Sebastian Giovinco coming to Toronto FC are not horsefeathers. The 27-year-old Italian national teamer has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea when his contract runs out in the summer, but TFC may be willing to offer $7 million per season. A small attacker, Giovinco has seen his appearances drop in the past two seasons but has 16- and 11-goal seasons under his belt.
TFC will face plenty of competition for Giovinco, and also the knowledge that they’d be bailing on Gilberto after just one season.