Across seven seasons, Altidore scored the second-most goals in TFC history (79) behind only Sebastian Giovinco’s 83, while also helping Toronto to three MLS Cup finals in the span of four seasons (2016-19), highlighted by a historic treble in 2017. He helped lead Toronto to the Concacaf Champions League final in 2018 as well.
On Saturday, Altidore returned to his old stomping grounds at BMO Field for the first time since leaving TFC after the 2021 season, checking into New England Revolution’s 2-0 victory as a second-half substitute to the sound of a warm reception from the Toronto faithful.
“It felt good man,” Altidore told MLSSoccer.com after the match. “This is home for me. I saw so many friends, basically family last night, so it was really nice to be home. I will definitely be back here living, or something at some point. It just felt good to see everybody, just be around family – family – here.”
Altidore’s time in Toronto ended unceremoniously, getting bought out by TFC with two years remaining on his Designated Player contract. But the 33-year-old striker insists there’s no bad blood or hard feelings on his end.
“If I had come [to Toronto] and we didn’t win, I didn’t do my job in playing a part in helping the team win," said Altidore, who's played just over 100 minutes off the bench this season. "It would’ve been sour grapes for sure because I would’ve felt job incomplete. But the winning, and the way we won, when you look at this place, we had a part to play in what you see now."
Altidore is rooting for his former club to turn things around under head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley, who took over ahead of TFC's 2022 season. Results have proven inconsistent though, as they're 13th in the Eastern Conference early this campaign (2W-3L-6D) after missing the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs a season ago.
And while Altidore was happy for New England to pick up the three points Saturday night, he's hoping for more from Toronto.
“I hope they get it together because TFC’s a top club. Whether I’m there or not, it needs to be at the top of the table. It’s just plain and simple, that’s not good enough,” Altidore said. “I hope they can figure it out because I’m still a fan of Toronto FC. I watch every game, I love the boys, and that’s not going to change.”
On the other hand, New England are cruising atop the MLS table with 24 points through 11 matches (7W-1L-3D). For Altidore, Saturday’s performance behind goals from DeJuan Jones and Bobby Wood was just another sign the Revs are heading in the right direction.
“I think everybody is just locked in right now, and from every training session I’ll tell you it’s high," said the former US international. "We had a bad year last year, and I think people are playing with a chip on your shoulder. You see that tonight. Whoever steps up, we have a lot of depth. We have a very deep team."
“On nights like tonight, when depth is tested, if you’re able to win in a tough game like this in a tough stadium, it says a lot about what you’re trying to do," added Altidore. "So hopefully we just keep going.”