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The WTR Top 20, No. 4: The rejuvenation of Jozy Altidore

Is Jozy Altidore one of the clutchest players in Toronto sports history?

MLS: MLS CUP-Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The man, the myth, the legend… who even remembers those Jermain Defoe days? The man Toronto fans call the beast;,Jozy Altidore has become a fan favourite. When you think of clutch players in Toronto sports a few names come to mind: Joe Carter, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Carlos Delgado and maybe even Joey Bats.

You now have to include Jozy Altidore in that category. His performances in the 2017 playoffs for Toronto FC were nothing short of amazing. Yeah, there was the infamous dive on the shove by Sacha Kljestan, but his goals against the Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders will go down as one of the greatest moments in Toronto sporting history. Imagine if he would have scored that beautifully placed header in the 2016 finals, he would be a legend right now.

When you think of who the most influential players are in the Toronto FC lineup you obviously look at Sebastian Giovinco because, well, he’s Sebastian Giovinco, the all-time leading scorer in club history. For a second though, think of a Toronto FC lineup without Altidore up top alongside Giovinco. Does Toronto have the same success? Probably not.

Altidore has become the player he was back in the Netherlands when he was scoring goals in bunches. The greatest athletes in history take control of games when they need to.

What would have happened this post-season without Altidore? Things might have, and most likely would have been different. He’s a multi-dimensional player; he’s got the ability to keep the ball at his feet with his back toward goal, or to make superb runs behind the defence to latch onto perfectly weighted balls from Giovinco or Victor Vazquez.

MLS: MLS CUP-Seattle Sounders vs Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Gone are the days of the aforementioned Defoe (he did have 12 goals in 21 games) and Gilberto. Altidore currently sits second in franchise history in all-time goals with 47 in 89 appearances. He likely will never catch Giovinco in that respect, but he’s making a strong case to be considered one of the greatest TFC players to ever put on that red shirt (now with a little star on it).

He leaves his heart and soul out on the pitch, and sometimes he takes it a little far, as his average of nearly two fouls a games goes to show, but would we have him any other way? Altidore finished tied for first on the team last season with 17 goals in all competitions, while also adding six assists along the way. In 2017 he averaged 1.4 key passes per game, second only to Vazquez, which goes to show his multi-dimensional ability and ability as a playmaker.

Going into the 2018 season, Toronto will be expecting the burly forward to continue on the pace that he’s been on the past two seasons. Success has always been on the mind of the American striker, and now he’ll have another chance to add some more hardware with the CONCACAF Champions League coming up.

Watching Altidore play has been a treat for TFC fans that have been following the team for more than a decade, and they have grown to love him (not to mention his disdain for the Montreal Impact, which just makes him more of a fan favourite). For those who forgot...

Altidore and the rest of Toronto FC will be looking to make it another successful season with a third straight trip to the MLS Cup. If they can do that, then they for sure will have the 6 on a wave.