TORONTO – It’s not just about bringing in new players with Toronto FC to strengthen what is already the deepest roster in Major League Soccer.
It’s also about taking care of the core players who have been with the team for several years, and who have played major roles in the club’s renaissance.
With that it in mind, TFC announced on Wednesday that it has re-signed defender Justin Morrow to a multi-year extension. Terms of the deal were not released.
Love you Toronto I’m here to stay pic.twitter.com/qgFENO1Bz6
— Justin Morrow (@justmorrow) February 28, 2018
Morrow, a 30-year-old native of Cleveland, has been one of the Reds’ most consistent players since joining the team prior to the 2014 MLS season via a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes.
In that time, Morrow has established himself as one of the top left fullbacks/wingbacks in the league, making 147 appearances across all competitions for Toronto FC. He’s averaged 30 starts per season over the course of his four years with the club, and is coming off an incredible 2017 campaign in which he scored a career-high eight goals. His best outing came in a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 30 at BMO Field when he scored his first career hat-trick.
Morrow was also named to the MLS Best XI for the 2017 season, and was a runner-up in voting for the defender of the year award, playing an integral part in TFC’s record-setting season that included winning the MLS Cup, the Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian Championship.
His outstanding form with TFC led to a recall with the U.S. national team. Prior to coming to Toronto, he only earned one cap for his country. Since then, he’s played three more times for the U.S., and was named to the country’s roster at the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The likes of Dutch international Gregory van der Wiel, Spanish playmaker Ager Aketxe, and Brazilian defender Auro have joined TFC in recent weeks, each of them bolstering what is already a strong side. But players such as Morrow, who are not as high-profile, are valuable and important, too.
The key to TFC’s success over the past two seasons has been the depth of its roster, and Morrow, with his consistent and high-level performances, has distinguished himself and become an automatic starter on what is, by far, the best team in MLS.