Ali Curtis: Jozy Altidore's Toronto FC future to be decided during international break

Jozy Altidore - Toronto FC - 2020 - close up

Jozy Altidore's future at Toronto FC appears to be very much in doubt.

The veteran striker was away from the team in their loss to Columbus Crew on Saturday after reports emerged — first from ESPN's Jeff Carlisle then confirmed by Paul Tenorio, Sam Stejskal and Josh Kloke of The Athletic — that Altidore had been told to train on his own following an argument with head coach Chris Armas.

"We still are going to use the international break to discuss the situation, in-house,” Curtis told The Canadian Press over the weekend. “That conversation will be handled internally. It will be a club decision. And it will incorporate what I would say is the totality of the time that Jozy has been with the club, such that we arrive at a resolution that is in the best interests of the club — and moves us closer to being in a position to win a championship.”

According to Carlisle's reporting, the base of the rift was Altidore being substituted out for Ayo Akinola in the 70th minute against Orlando City on May 22 with the team down 1-0 and chasing a goal.

Armas was asked about Altidore following Saturday's game, but he declined to comment.

"I know there's been some questions," Armas said. "For the sake of respecting all parties involved, we wanted to get through this game and use the next days to take a step back before something is said out there. ... I'm not going to address anything with Jozy at the moment."

Altidore, 31, has been with Toronto since 2015, playing an instrumental role in their 2017 side that won MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian Championship. He has 75 goals and 26 assists in 160 matches across all competitions with the Reds. But the 31-year-old has also dealt with persistent muscle injuries in recent years, limiting his availability.

There were reports over the winter that Altidore was drawing interest from teams abroad, though those reports never progressed.

“Jozy’s been with the club a long time, so we want to take the time that’s needed to arrive at the right resolution,” said Curtis.

Altidore is one of three Designated Players in Toronto, with winger Yeferson Soteldo and midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo also holding that roster status. Ahead of the 2019 season, he signed a contract extension through the 2022 campaign.