While most expected Toronto FC to replace the departed Jermain Defoe with a number 10, it could be a like for like replacement in the club's supposedly open designated player spot. Taylor Twellman of ESPN, the same journalist who broke news that Toronto FC would be acquiring Michael Bradley, has this to say on twitter. His sources tell him that the club are in on Bradley's international teammate and former New York Red Bull striker Jozy Altidore.
Altidore is currently playing with Sunderland in the English Premier League where he has 1 goal, which came in a League Cup fixture, in 10 matches. He hasn't had much success in England overall with only 5 goals in 80 matches split between Sunderland and Hull City. Altidore was far more successful in MLS, spending time with the New York Red Bulls between 2006 and 2008. In that time he had 15 goals in 37 league matches.
Internationally is perhaps where Altidore has enjoyed the most success as a player. With the US national team he has 25 goals in 76 matches. He is striker who is incredibly effective in MLS because of how quickly he can move, his finishing abilities and his physicality
There will be no shortage of doubters who wonder whether or not he would be a good acquisition for the club, especially considering his struggles with Sunderland. Remember, however, that while the English Premier League is a fairly good comparable to MLS they two are still not even close to on the same level. Altidore would be faster and generally more dominant in America than he ever was in England.
There have been rumours of Altidore coming to MLS for some time, as the New York Red Bulls were believed to be in talks with him over the summer months. With Thierry Henry now retired the team certainly has a need, and an opening, for a player of Altidore's ilk. Toronto, for its part, was also involved in the American's rumour mill as some suggested Michael Bradley had been in talks with his US teammate and was trying to convince him to come to Toronto.
As for how Altidore would fit in Toronto FC, he would certainly improve a striker group that seems to be currently relying on a lot of "ifs" heading into the 2015 season. He would definitely fit a lot better alongside Gilberto than Defoe ever did as Altidore would create a lot of space and time for the Brazilian. Those are both things that he didn't get much of in 2015.
That is, if Gilberto stays with the team. As aforementioned, whether they can acquire Altidore or not the team does still need a true number 10 to orchestrate the attack. There were rumours earlier in the offseason that Gilberto might not be with the team next season. There would certainly be no shortage of interest among other MLS team. For the moment, however, this really does look like a replacement for Defoe.