TORONTO, Canada—For fans who have followed Toronto FC over the years, we all know about the close bond that Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore share. The two have risen through the ranks together with the U.S. national team, while also helping shape what has been the most successful era of Toronto FC football.
With recent news that Altidore has been told to train on his own after clashing with new Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas as the club tries to find a ‘permanent resolution’—Altidore is still training on his own for what it’s worth—I had the opportunity to ask Bradley about the ongoing dilemma.
Here’s what he had to say:
Question: Jozy Altidore, obviously with the situation going on, you guys are good friends, we know that from covering this team, and he’s been quick in the past to jump to your defence, specifically at the beginning of 2020, when he felt the club kind of mishandled the treatment of your ankle injury. So I just wanted to get your perspective with everything that’s going on there with Jozy:
Michael Bradley: “Jozy and I have a long relationship. He and I have shared a lot of incredible moments together, both with Toronto FC and with the national team. There’s been some big successes, there’s been some huge disappointment, but when you go through as many experiences together like we have, that will always mean something, that will always be there, no one can ever take those away from us.
“And so at this point, I want the best possible situation and outcome for Jozy and for his family and for the club, because obviously it’s no secret how much I love and care about the club, and how much I’ve given to try to help turn this club into something different and special.
“And so, it’s not an easy situation, it’s not a simple situation, and so all I can say is, again, I hope there’s a solution where Jozy gets the respect and the appreciation that he deserves from the fans and from the city for the incredible role that he has played in putting this club where we are right now. When the book gets written, and when all is said and done, we’re talking about one of the best—if not the best player—to ever play for the club. And the role that he played in on so many of the big nights, it can’t be overstated. I hope that there’s a solution and an outcome that is fitting of all of that where Jozy and his family can be happy and have what they deserve, and I hope that that same outcome and solution is what leaves the club in a great place to continue to have success and to continue to write more pages in our history.
“And so, it’s sports. It’s football. These things do happen. We’ll leave the rest for Jozy and his agent and for the club, and they’ll navigate that, but those are my thoughts.”