• Friday Jan 26, 2018

    Altidore’s next goal for Toronto FC: the SCCL

    Jozy Altidore (pictured) has 45 goals in 86 regular-season and playoff games for Toronto FC. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

    IRVINE, California -- Jozy Altidore isn't a fan of preseason training, but the Toronto FC forward is excited about the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL), which begins for the defending MLS Cup champion with a Round of 16 showdown against the Colorado Rapids on February 20.

    "I think everybody is excited, raring to get back," said Altidore, who hopes to make his first-ever appearance in the competition. "It's a quick turnaround, a quick break, but I think everybody is looking forward to that first game against Colorado. It's a competition we've been looking forward to and we want to see where we stack up and what we need to work on."

    The United States international said his dislike of preseason is because of the "not so pretty stuff that gets us ready, gets us fit for the year."

    But with a stacked TFC team coming off a treble season, which saw it win the MLS Supporters' Shield, the MLS Cup and the Canadian Championship, expectations have been raised.

    "We're all excited to get going," Altidore remarked. "It's a different vibe, a different mood than it was last year around this time. It's an ego one and an infectious one at the moment."

    Altidore said he's followed the SCCL, saying the tournament "has a lot of prestige, a lot of very good teams." Now he goes from curious observer to player as TFC makes its fifth appearance in the tournament and first since 2012/13.

    "It's something we've had our eye on and we're really excited to get that started," expressed Altidore.

    Make no mistake, Altidore and his teammates aren't resting on a magical 2017 season. Yes, goals were met, but now there are new objectives and that starts with the SCCL.

    "It's great that you have the opportunity to do what we did last year in terms of our objectives, but now we have another objective - CONCACAF Champions League," Altidore said. "It makes it a great time of the year. No one knows what to expect. We haven't played in it, but we're eager to learn about it and play well in it."

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