In the large designated player shadow that Sebastian Giovinco cast in 2015, it is easy to forget that Jozy Altidore had a strong season beside him. It could have been even better if he wasn't hampered by injuries and international breaks.
Average Rating: 5.4
Highest Rating: 4
Lowest Rating: 6
He would spend a large chunk of the season dealing with a hamstring injury, and any rhythm he built up with Toronto was interrupted by representing the United States. He remained one of the best strikers in the league with a 0.65 goals per 60 rating.
While it is somewhat unfair to compare him to Jermain Defoe, that is the player he was brought in to replace. Ultimately he had the exact same goals per 90 rating and would score 2 more goals, albeit in 6 more games played.
This would amount to 13 goals in 25 games, which would put him in 10th in league scoring. For his first year back in Major League Soccer it was a very strong start. He would also have a strong campaign internationally, with 6 goals in 14 matches.
The problem with Altidore in 2015 was two-fold. The first problem was the fact that he had a tendency to check out of games. When this was the case Toronto really struggled to create things offensively as teams could key in on Giovinco a little too much. The second was when the team forced him to play out wide which really did not suit his style of play or abilities.
Toronto are expected to play three at the front this year, while will greatly benefit Altidore. Playing in the middle, he will have more space this year as the two wingers draw people out wide.
As such Toronto will be expecting an even bigger performance from Altidore this year. The signs have already been good as he scored in both of the United States first two games of 2016. He has also lost weight and is looking quicker and better off the ball than he did in 2015. This will hopefully help him to be more engaged.
This is a big year for Altidore just as it is a big year for Toronto FC, as he has a lot of doubters to prove wrong going forward. Nothing would do that better than continuing his strong start in Major League Soccer and putting up even better numbers while leading the team on a deep playoff run.
With new and improve players around him this side is more tailored to his needs than it was last season. But ultimately how successful his season will be depends on how consistent his performances and goalscoring ability can be and whether or not he can remain healthy.