The former Sunderland striker netted his fourth goal in five games as Greg Vanney's side beat the Philadelphia Union 3-1 at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night.
Jozy Altidore continued his impressive scoring run for Toronto FC on Saturday night, netting his fourth goal in five games to help the Canadian club secure an impressive 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Union.
TFC initially took an 18th-minute lead when Altidore linked up with Marky Delgado to help create reigning MVP Sebastian Giovinco’s 16th goal of the season, but Philadelphia equalised just four minutes later through a set-piece header from centre-back Ken Tribbett.
Drew Moor put the visitors back in front in the 30th-minute with a similar finish, however, before Altidore complete the scoring just before half time after muscling through a crowd of Union defenders and firing into the bottom corner in confident fashion.
The 26-year-old former Sunderland striker was making only his second start in two months after recently returning from the hamstring strain that kept him out of the USA’s Copa America Centenario squad earlier this summer, but he looked back to his best in his latest 74-minute run-out.
“I think cardio-wise, I’m OK,” Altidore told MLSSoccer.com after the match. “It’s just getting the legs in the humidity and keeping them turning. It’s a tough time to come back on the summer. It’s not easy on the legs. But I’m feeling good.”
Toronto head coach Greg Vanney added: “Jozy’s a big part of our team and you know, he provides us with an outlet. He’s massive and he’s probably underrated in terms of the amount of defensive work he gives. As a striker, he does a lot of work. He’s always looking for ways he can help the team.
“He’s still getting his legs back under him a little bit. … It’s just about getting those 90 minutes under his legs – and we’re getting there.”
Saturday’s victory moves Toronto up to second in the Eastern Conference on 40 points – only one behind first-placed New York City FC with a game in hand – and also extends their unbeaten run to six matches.
They have managed to pick up five wins over that period and now not only look on course for a playoff spot but could even challenge for their first-ever Supporters’ Shield title with nine regular season games left.
If they are to bridge the five-point gap to current front-runners FC Dallas, though, then keeping Altidore healthy will certainly be of paramount importance.
“It’s obviously important to want to help the team as we come to that push for the playoffs,” Altidore added to MLSSoccer.com. “Just to be out here and contributing, it felt good. I’m happy to be out here tonight.
“Most importantly, the three points gave ourselves a little bit of distance between us and Philly. We’re trying to get to first place right now.”