After Toronto FC’s 4-3 victory over Minnesota United on Friday, most of the club were in fairly high spirits (if a little disappointed with conceding three goals). However, Jozy Altidore came out to address reporters with a less positive topic in mind.
You’ve likely already heard that Altidore took issue with the fact that a trainer he used to work with is no longer with the club. I have no opinion on this at the moment, so I’ve decided to provide his comments in full, and allow them to speak for themselves.
I’ve added in the questions for clarification in a couple spots, but this is pretty much it; the first question asked was in relation to him coming off late in the game with an injury. He did, at the end, add that the new hybrid pitch was fantastic, but that was the only other topic.
Michael Bradley’s comments are added at the end as well.
It’s bittersweet because this could’ve been avoided. You’ll have to ask [club president] Bill Manning why it’s not avoided, it’s just disappointing. . . . We had a trainer here the last three years who’s been helping me with muscle injuries, but because he was attached to Seba, he’s not allowed in the club, which I think is ridiculous. And so now this is what I’m faced with, games of egos, and that thing. Hopefully he can put his ego aside and I can get the guy who’s kept me healthy, kept Michael healthy, kept a bunch of the guys healthy, and we can make things move forward. To run a club you’ve got to be able to put your ego aside and put the players first, so hopefully that’ll change.
I was trying to get through it, I was having trouble all week, but again, like I said, the person I was working with the past three and a half, four years, is not allowed in the building, and it’s just— you give everything for your city, you give everything on the field, you give everything for your teammates, and because of a little whatever, misunderstanding with a guy, the players gotta pay the price. I just think that’s ridiculous.
[Has Bill explained the reasoning?]
You can ask him. He’s not here, he’s not around, so you can’t find him. You go to his office, he’s not there, he’s traveling, he’s this and that. I wish I knew, but I don’t know.
[Was this trainer employed by the club?]
He was employed by the club, and as soon as Seba left he was terminated. But I take full responsibility, I’m a professional obviously, but what works works, and I just want to know why we have to let certain things get in the way of our success as a group.
Michael Bradley also addressed Jozy’s comments:
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of trying to make sure that we can have the right medical staff in place, and obviously Greg [Vanney], Jim Liston, Ali [Curtis], Bill [Manning], they’re all working hard to try to make sure that as players we have everything we need. Jozy is a guy who feels like at this point in his career he knows exactly what he needs to do day in and day out to keep himself healthy and fit and ready to play at the highest level. I’m hopeful there’s a solution here because I think a lot of us certainly feel strongly, again making sure that the staff behind the scenes is in place and is right.
I think that in time it will absolutely get taken care of. Obviously after a game there’s emotion, good and bad. Big three points, but frustration to lose one of our best, most important players. I certainly understand his frustration, I’m with him, but I’m hopeful that we can find behind the scenes the best solution for everyone.