Sports

Giovinco, Altidore to skip Toronto FC's West Coast trip to heal up

Toronto FC's depth will be tested again this week as the Major League Soccer leader heads to Los Angeles without star strikers Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore for Saturday's game with the Galaxy.

Coach Greg Vanney said neither will travel Thursday to avoid exacerbating issues that caused both to leave Saturday's 4-0 home win over San Jose.

"We're not going to take them across the country at this point," Vanney said. "(We'll) give them a few days to progress and reassess when we get back for Wednesday."

After facing Los Angeles (7-14-6), league-leading Toronto (17-3-8) hosts the Montreal Impact (10-11-6) next Wednesday before heading to New England for a Saturday match with the Revolution (10-12-5).

Giovinco was substituted at halftime against the Earthquakes as a precautionary measure with tightness in his quadriceps area. Altidore exited in the 65th minute, also feeling tightness in the lower body.

Vanney said the injuries weren't serous but pointed to the risk/reward of having the two strikers fly cross-country.

"They'll start to work their way (training) outside over the next few days," Vanney added.

Altidore scored two goals against San Jose and was named the league's player of the week Tuesday. Giovinco also scored.

Giovinco and Altidore have combined for 28 goals this season, more than all of D.C. United (23) and the Colorado Rapids (25). The good news for Vanney is that 13 other TFC players have produced 29 goals, led by playmaker Victor Vazquez (six goals) and attack-minded fullback Justin Morrow (five).

Toronto leads the league in offence, averaging 2.11 goals a game. Los Angeles ranks 21st in defence, yielding 1.78 goals a game.

In other Toronto injury news, defender Nick Hagglund (knee) and Benoit Cheyrou (calf) continue their comeback.

"Nick and Ben are close," Vanney said. "Close in terms of getting back to the soccer side of things. They're obviously doing a lot of fitness work, they've done some ball work ... from a fitness standpoint, they both are looking good."

With 59 points in the bank and six games remaining, Toronto is chasing the 1998 Los Angeles Galaxy's single-season record of 68 points (in a 32-game season). The Reds are also in contention for fewest losses in an MLS season (four losses, set on three different occasions) and most wins in the post-shootout era (20 wins, 2014 Seattle Sounders).

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