Jozy Altidore made his long-awaited return to the pitch on Sunday night, coming off the bench for Toronto FC in their match vs. New England at BMO Field, his first game appearance since Oct. 6 of last year. And after a warm welcome from the home faithful, the Reds' influential striker did not disappoint.
Sidelined for several months by an ankle injury, the US men's national team veteran needed just 12 minutes to make his presence known, as he scored his first goal of 2019 with a first-time finish at the far post after Justin Morrow laid an inviting low left-wing cross into his path. The strike broke a 2-2 deadlock to put TFC back in front on a chilly March evening in The 6ix, and eventually held up as the game-winner.
A powerful presence up top whose injury-ravaged campaign was a major factor in Toronto's woeful 2018, Altidore now has 61 career regular-season goals in 126 appearances and counting. Last month he signed a contract extension with the Reds to keep him in Ontario through the 2022 season.
While being interviewed after the game, Altidore reinforced why he extended his stay in Toronto: "It felt fantastic. I made it clear [this past offseason] this is where I wanted to be. I try to show it every night. This place gave me a lot and I just want to give it back."