LOS ANGELES — Toronto FC stars Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have said repeatedly they would be happy to stay at BMO Field beyond this season. But Giovinco still wants to know if the feeling is mutual.
Both players’ current contracts run out at the end of 2019, and at MLS Media Day on Saturday in Los Angeles, each player spoke about his situation.
Giovinco reiterated his desire to stay in Toronto after this season, something he discussed earlier in the week. But he also was eager for word from the club.
“I don’t know if it will happen or not, but I would love to stay in Toronto,” Giovinco told reporters in English. “I don’t know for them it’s the same. I will see in the next month.”
Probed further, Giovinco indicated his desire for some indication from the club before the regular season begins.
“I hope [they] can say something about my future, no?” Giovinco said. “I do what I do for the club, for the team. I deserve to know my future for the club, the truth. If they want me to stay, or they don’t want me anymore. But at least they have to say something. Because I don’t see anything. They [are] scared to say something, no? Why are they waiting to say the truth?”
The Italian star insisted “for me, nothing changes,” regardless of his status, but he believed a resolution would result in all parties being “more relaxed” heading into a campaign where TFC look to contend in MLS again after a disappointing 2018 season.
Altidore also said he would be happy to stay with Toronto as he looks to rebound from an injury-ravaged 2018. But he admitted if his contract runs out, he could find himself in a new situation.
“I’ve loved my time there, and if it continues, fantastic, because I’ve set roots there. My family loves it there,” the striker said. “But at the same time, if it doesn’t work out and I do end up leaving, I’m looking forward to it, also. I’ll be a free agent, so to speak. So I’ll have an opportunity I’ve never had in my career, in terms of playing in different places and being free.”
“It’s normal for players in the last years of their contracts to be looking at things," Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney told media at the start of training camp. "Hopefully, the work is being done by the agents and everything else, and the players are just focusing on their day-to-day work. These guys are professional in that way, and I don’t think it will be distraction in terms of their playing."
TFC kick off their season in Concacaf Champions League play on Feb. 19 against Panama’s Independiente. Altidore is relishing what 2019 will bring.
“I’m fully focused on the season," he said. "I’m a Toronto player as of today and I look forward to getting back on the field, scoring goals at BMO [Field], and jumping into the South End.”