Bill Manning, Ali Curtis, Greg Vanney - Toronto FC - at Curtis press conference
Courtesy of Toronto FC

Toronto FC prez: We'll shop for strike partner for Altidore in winter window

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Reports

Toronto FC’s lack of punch up top beyond Jozy Altidore was a major factor in their 3-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders in Sunday’s MLS Cup final, and addressing that looks to be one of their top priorities this offseason.

Reds president Bill Manning confirmed as much in a pre-playoffs conversation with season ticket-holders reported on by CBC, citing a goal-dangerous strike partner for Altidore as a key item on their winter shopping list.

“We still do miss that second goalscorer. And that's something we're going to address in this winter [transfer] window,” said Manning. “That's why I say we're not complete yet. I do think we still need one more window to further strengthen the team.”

TFC were remarkably resourceful in Altidore’s injury-imposed absence through most of the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, using playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo as a false No. 9 and conjuring up goals through a variety of sources. But the scoring dried up in the cup final and Manning sounds eager to settle on a new partnership up top like Altidore’s fruitful pairing with Sebastian Giovinco from 2015-18.

“One of the things we're finding is when the big guy [Altidore] doesn't score, we're in trouble, right?” he said. “We had that combination with Sebastian and Jozy in the past, so that is something we're going to look at this offseason.”

Based on reporting about Michael Bradley’s contract details, Toronto appear to have a Designated Player slot opening up for next season, now that the clause activating an automatic 2020 renewal of his DP deal with an MLS Cup win has not been activated.

TFC do appear to be keeping faith in recent attacking acquisition Erickson Gallardo, with GM Ali Curtis telling the Toronto Sun that the Venezuelan winger remains in the club’s plans despite him not appearing in the postseason.

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