ICYMI | MLS: Altidore's injury leaves Toronto in bind

The news on Jozy Altidore's hamstring injury was not good. He'll be out 4-5 weeks, putting already short-handed Toronto FC in a bind. Almost as soon as he's back, he should head off to the Gold Cup.

1. Altidore's injury could not come at worse time.

Jozy Altidore's injury picked up in Toronto FC's 1-1 tie with New England was diagnosed as a hamstring strain. It will keep him out of action 4-5 weeks, which means he'll miss the USA's friendlies June 5 at the Netherlands and June 10 at Germany. The injury was to Altidore's right hamstring. It was his left hamstring that was injured in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup.

Altidore has six goals and one assists in nine games in all competitions for TFC since he returned to MLS in January from Sunderland in England. His injury is the risk MLS teams take with Designated Players who also play for their national teams.

He will likely miss TFC's next four league games -- three at home against Portland, San Jose and NYCFC -- before returning at the end of June. But if he is recalled for the Gold Cup, Altidore might then miss all four TFC games in July.

Replacement options up front are slim for Coach Greg Vanney, who said Altidore did not feel the injury was as severe as some other hamstring issues he had that had kept him out of action 5-6 weeks. Robbie Findley has been injured. At the end of April, Bright Dike was loaned to the NASL's San Antonio Scorpions. He isn't eligible to return until the secondary transfer window in mid-July. That leaves Luke Moore and Jordan Hamilton as the only options unless Vanney uses Sebastian Giovinco as an out-and-out striker.

2. No tax relief from Minnesota legislature for stadium.

Yet another state legislature ended without approving financial support for a soccer stadium project. After Indy Eleven, which was seeking funding for two different stadium projects, and Orlando City, which was seeking extra funds for its downtown stadium, Minnesota United FC came up empty when the state legislative session ended without an agreement on a bill that would have provided tax relief for its otherwise privately funded $120 million stadium to be situated in Minneapolis' West Loop neighborhood near near Target Field, home of the baseball Twins.

What made the decision hard to swallow, said Minnesota United president Nick Rogers, was that the expansion club's request for tax relief and economic development tools was for the same tools that have been used for other pro sports facilities in Minnesota and other major building projects throughout the state.

The decision is not expected to kill the West Loop project. Minnesota United had been negotiating with local officials for a freeze on increases in property taxes, not an exemption on property taxes. MLS has set a deadline of July for Minnesota United to get the stadium plan in place.

Minnesota United, which plays in the NASL, was supposed to join MLS in 2018, but LAFC's decision to delay its entry until 2018 might mean MLS will push Minnesota to begin play in 2017.

3. Garber on the expansion trail: LA, then St. Louis and next, Miami.

Following the unveiling of LAFC's stadium plans on Monday, Garber headed to St. Louis to review local efforts to secure at MLS franchise. The impetus is a plan for a $985 million football stadium. The project backed by Governor Jay Nixon, has been expanded to include a soccer component like in the Atlanta football stadium. “This is a city that just loves the sport," Garber told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "and has so many people committed to it."

Of more immediate concern is the situation in Miami, which is along with Atlanta, LAFC and Minnesota slated to join the league by 2020. David Beckham's plans to put an MLS team in South Florida are on hold because of its inability to find a suitable downtown location. Garber told ESPN FC on Monday he'll head to Miami next week.  "There are a number of different sites we're looking at," he said, "but none have popped up out of the pile to give us the sense that there is a deal that can be done immediately. "

4. Sporting KC hosts Revs in only regular-season meeting.

Sporting Kansas City, which got the weekend off after its match against Colorado was postponed because of bad weather, could use the rest as it hosts New England Wednesday in a battle of the 2013 and 2014 Eastern Conference champions (TV: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, 8 p.m. ET).

The Revs swept the three-game series in 2014, but Wednesday's game will the only meeting in 2015. Sporting KC has moved to the Western Conference. New England enters the game with a nine-game unbeaten streak, the second longest in its history.

5. Barrett will likely fill in for Martins again.

Obafemi Martins, who has teamed up with Clint Dempsey for 13 of the Seattle Sounders' first 15 goals, will likely sit out his second straight game with a tibial contusion. He sat out practice on Tuesday, instead working out on his own in the gym.

Seattle coach Sigi Schmid isn't going to rush the Nigerian back into action. Chad Barrett started at Vancouver and scored both goals in the Sounders' 2-0 win and will likely start Saturday against Sporting Kansas City.
1 comment about "ICYMI | MLS: Altidore's injury leaves Toronto in bind".
  1. beautiful game, May 20, 2015 at 10:55 a.m.

    The Formica Atomica can do a better job than Jozy, but the coach hasn't figured it out since the season started.

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