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Defoe's Return? Toronto FC to play Sunderland in July 22 Friendly

Toronto FC's second friendly of the season is being reported by Kurt Larsun of the Toronto Sun, and it comes against an interesting opponent.

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Less than a year removed from wearing Toronto FC red, Jermain Defoe may well be back at BMO Field in July. This time, he will be wearing a different shade of red, Sunderland's, as Toronto FC take on the EPL club in a friendly match on July 22.

It is their second friendly of the season, and falls in line with information Waking The Red received in April that suggested Toronto would play two friendlies this summer, one against big EPL opposition and the second against a smaller club.

There is no indication yet as to whether this friendly is part of a January deal that saw Jermain Defoe sent to Sunderland in exchange for Jozy Altidore.

While this match is quickly being billed as Altidore vs. Defoe, it is unlikely that this will take place. CONCACAF Gold Cup semi-finals will be played on the same day, a game Altidore and the United States are very much expected to play in.

As such, the timing of this match makes little sense. Not only will it be in the middle of the Gold Cup, which will likely mean Toronto are without Altidore, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio and Ashtone Morgan, it's during the Pan Am Games as well.

That means the young players for whom these matches are oh so valuable (or Oso valuable see what I did there), won't be in attendance as players like Jordan Hamilton and Chris Mannella are very likely to be on that Pan Am squad.

As per usual, the game falls between a pair of MLS games: one against the Philadelphia Union and another against the Columbus Crew. This will be a crucial time of year for Toronto, and another game doesn't exactly help their cause.

The source that initially told Waking the Red about these friendlies indicated that Toronto FC is expecting to sell around 20,000 tickets for this match. However, if Defoe is playing that attendance should rise for the spectacle that would surround the controversial figure returning to Toronto.

For that storyline alone it may well turn out to be the more intriguing of the two friendlies.