ORLANDO, Fla. – Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco again proved deadly for Orlando City SC on Wednesday night. Yet there is no magic formula for their run of success against the Lions, according to Toronto FC skipper Michael Bradley.
The Reds’ dynamic duo created all three goals in TFC's 3-1 win at Orlando City Stadium, notching an assist each, and have now combined to bag 14 goals in just seven games against the Floridian team to underline their undoubted value as a strike tandem.
“They are just good players, and good players enjoy playing with each other,” Bradley said. “They enjoy playing with Victor [Vazquez] close to them, and I enjoy playing close to Victor. And, little by little, you start to build relationships that pay off in big ways on the field.
“The way that Marky Delgado plays in there and kind of links all of that together is very important, and the mobility our wide guys give to create space for them in the center is also key. So we have a good team that enjoys playing together and I think we can continue to get better.”
The Toronto skipper also pointed to the consistency of Altidore in the team’s success. The big striker has now poured in 30 goals in the past two and a half seasons, and Bradley says it shouldn’t come as a surprise.
“Jozy’s been in really good form for a really long time now, so I don’t look at it as a temporary or recent thing,” he noted. “His quality makes a difference for us in Toronto, and with the [US] national team. He’s a guy we count on in so many ways.”
And is there a better strike combination in the league right now?
“There’s no [other] attacking duo I would want, that’s for sure,” Bradley said. “Ultimately it’s for you guys [in the media] to decide, but on the inside of our team, we wouldn’t want any two other guys.”
Altidore was happy to bask in the glow of an important three points going into the Gold Cup break, and he also reveled in the chance to repay the service of his strike partner for Giovinco’s first goal. He could have taken the shot himself, but he chose to lay on the sure thing for the nine-goal Italian.
“I think it’s more important that everybody’s on a roll, in a good groove, in a rhythm,” Altidore said. “It’s just better for the team. The more options we have, the better. It’s just as important to keep him going as it is to keep me going, so I’m just happy that he gets the goal. Then his confidence is going and he gets a beautiful free kick.”
As for their on-field simpatico, Altidore puts it down to an understanding that is now at near-telepathic level.
“We just hit it out of the park in terms of two players that are different, but also alike in some ways, and we just complement each other really well,” he said. “When you look around the league, it’s hard to find two strikers like that.
“The understanding is there for sure. There is a good understanding about where each other is going to be and tendencies in terms of what each other likes to do, so it is a pleasure to play with him and every day is an enjoyment. He always has a smile on his face and that makes it very easy.”