Jermain Defoe’s long-term future with Toronto FC might look bleak, but the striker is committed to the club for at least four more games.
With the regular-season reaching its crucial final run-in, Toronto remain in contention for their first post-season appearance since entering MLS in 2007, in what’s been a roller-coaster campaign for the Canadian club.
Travelling to the west coast this Saturday to take on an in-form LA Galaxy side, who boast MVP front-runner Robbie Keane among their ranks, Defoe is set to return to action for the first time in over a month for the decisive clash, after missing the last six games with a groin strain, and is excited at the prospect of facing his former Tottenham Hotspur strike-partner.
‘I haven’t spoken to Robbie yet but, yeah, he’s flying at the moment,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘I saw his goal the other day, but nothing really surprises me with him.
‘Obviously I played with Robbie for a number of years at Tottenham, but even before I played with him I always knew about his skills, as someone who burst onto the scene at such a young age.
‘He’s just a natural goalscorer – he’ll score them wherever he goes. He’s got good movement, and is a really clever and experienced player, who’s still an international.
‘He’s somebody who needs just one chance to score so it’s important that we try to keep him out of the game as much as we can.’
With 17 goals and 14 assists in 27 games this season, Keane’s starring performances have helped push LA to joint-top of the Supporters’ Shield standings alongside the Seattle Sounders, with the club unbeaten in their last nine games.
Defoe, meanwhile, has made just 16 appearances since arriving from Spurs at start of 2014 due to injuries and suspension, but is still the club’s top-scorer with 11 goals.
Teammates at White Hart Lane from 2009 to 2011, before Keane made the jump to the States, Defoe looks likely to start the match on the bench but, with Greg Vanney’s side desperate for a positive result, he will no doubt feature at some stage.