Football: Gator crashes Toronto FC training session in Florida

A huge alligator that invaded the pitch at the ChampionsGate Resort.
A huge alligator that invaded the pitch at the ChampionsGate Resort.PHOTO: TORONTOFC/TWITTER
A huge alligator that invaded the pitch at the ChampionsGate Resort.
A huge alligator that invaded the pitch at the ChampionsGate Resort.PHOTO: TORONTOFC/TWITTER

(REUTERS) - Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Toronto FC held a training session near Orlando, Florida, this week that was closed to the public - but nobody informed a huge alligator that invaded the pitch at the ChampionsGate Resort.

In a video the club posted on Twitter, several Toronto players are seen running towards the alligator to get a better view before a resort staffer in a golf cart chases the animal away.

"All I can tell you is this, there was a massive alligator," Toronto coach Chris Armas told The Canadian Press on Monday. "My players are running towards the gator as I went the other way.

"Listen, we talk about (being) fearless and aggressive around here, but I thought we wouldn't think about that at that moment."

Toronto, who have relocated to Florida for the MLS regular season because of travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic, later joked about the incident.

"Toronto FC have agreed to terms with Ale Gator on a short-term loan," the club tweeted. "The deal was completed using our newly-acquired GAM (Gator Acquisition Money).

Last week, American golfer Wyndham Clark earned bragging rights after risking a possible alligator encounter to secure a shot at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

Playing alongside South Africa's Erik van Rooyen in the two-man team event, the 27-year-old removed his shoes and pulled up his trousers on the par-four 16th hole to salvage his ball from the bank of a lake where TV pundits confirmed two alligators had been spotted during the third round.