Jozy Altidore changing his style to play with 'special talent' Sebastian Giovinco
Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore says he has been happy to alter his style of play to accommodate Sebastian Giovinco, calling the Italian playmaker "one of the most special talents" in MLS history.
Altidore has yet to score in five appearances for Toronto FC this season, but he had an opportunity to open his account after drawing a penalty against the Montreal Impact on Saturday.
Instead of taking the ball to the penalty spot himself, the U.S. international pointed for Giovinco to take it, and the reigning MVP made no mistake in scoring.
In an interview with ESPN ahead of Sunday's game at the Portland Timbers, Altidore said the unselfish move was "the job of any teammate," especially when playing with someone like Giovinco.
"I think I'm in a unique position," Altiore said. "I think if you look around the league in the past, yeah, I'm a striker, but I'm playing with one of the most special talents this league's ever seen, and you've got to change your game a little bit if you want to play alongside a talent like that and still find a way help the team. And I'm doing that.
"I'm going to score goals too, but that side of it is a part of me that I have to give to the team to make sure the team's successful."
Giovinco is enjoying his time in MLS, Altidore said, adding that they have gotten along well since the day the "Atomic Ant" arrived in Toronto.
"He's a great guy, bubbly, smiling all the time, and that's what makes it so fun to play with him," Altidore said. "He's just a great person off the field. And on the field his talent is second to none."
After making the playoffs for the first time in club history last year, Toronto FC has gotten off to a hot start in 2016 after conceding just five goals in seven games, including two straight clean sheets away from home.
Altidore credited an improvement in defending for guiding the team forward this season.
"The guys before the season got together and said 'What are we going to be about?' and 'What are things we want to be recognized as?' And one of the things was improving on the defensive side," Altidore said.
"I think through seven games if you look at us defensively, we're a big improvement compared to last year. I think it's a challenge for us to every game be as good as last game."