Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Young Toronto FC Striker Jordan Hamilton Grabs Opportunity to Show He Belongs

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Young Toronto FC Striker Jordan Hamilton Grabs Opportunity to Show He Belongs

Article excerpt

Young Toronto FC striker shows he belongs


TORONTO - Jordan Hamilton was taken aback and "really humbled" when he was recognized recently walking down Yonge Street.

With two goals in Toronto FC's last two league games, the young striker has turned heads on and off the pitch in his hometown. Still very much a work in progress, Hamilton is realistic about his place in the scheme of things, however.

"I feel I have a lot more to learn and give," he said after training in blistering heat Thursday. "I'm only 20 years old and I've only scored two MLS goals. I haven't really accomplished a great deal of things. So I'm still pushing myself and I still want to be a great player for Toronto in the future."

The loss of U.S. international striker Jozy Altidore to a hamstring injury in mid-May created an opening up front with Italian ace Sebastian Giovinco. Mo Babouli, another local talent, was first to audition for the temporary part but Hamilton has been the understudy to impress.

At six foot and 185 pounds, Hamilton is an athletic forward who plays an important role off the ball by enthusiastically pressing the opposition. He has also shown a deft touch in the penalty box, as shown by a nifty backheel to Giovinco last week, and the ability to create space for himself in the penalty box.

Hamilton's cameo -- his MLS career account stands at 292 minutes -- may be ending soon with Altidore seeing more time in training. The burly American is unlikely to start Saturday against the visiting Chicago Fire given that TFC -- one bitten, twice shy when it comes to his tender hamstring -- is not about to rush a prized asset back into action.

Especially when Hamilton is scoring.

"You get your minutes when you're a forward and you're putting things in the back of the net," Toronto head coach Greg Vanney said.

The Toronto coach said Hamilton has improved on a number of fronts including his positioning. In the past, his enthusiasm and athleticism took him to the wrong places, meaning he was not where he should be when the team when on the attack. …

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