England striker Defoe returns to BMO Field when Toronto FC hosts Sunderland

TORONTO — Jermain Defoe will be back on BMO Field when Toronto FC hosts Sunderland in a friendly July 22.

Defoe, Irish defender John O’Shea, and young English players Connor Wickham and Jack Rodwell lead the Premier League squad.

“It presents Jermain Defoe with the opportunity to play against his former club, which will be great for him and of course we will also face Jozy Altidore, who is doing well since his move to Canada,” Sunderland’s sporting director Lee Congerton said in a release.

TFC sold Defoe to Sunderland in January, with Altidore coming to Toronto in the deal. Scheduling the friendly between the two teams was part of the transaction.

Defoe played one roller-coaster season with Toronto FC, after the MLS team acquired the England striker, trumpeting his arrival in a marketing campaign titled “It’s A Bloody Big Deal.”

Defoe was a force for Toronto when healthy, scoring three goals in his first two games and 11 in the first 16 games, despite missing three matches through injury. But he didn’t score again, missing 12 of the next 18 games through suspension or injury. 

The Canadian Press