Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow will retire at the end of the 2021 season, the club announced Thursday. A decorated MLS veteran, Morrow has achieved great heights during his career, both on and off the field.
Morrow, who turns 34 in October, has made 271 MLS appearances. He made his debut with the San Jose Earthquakes and has been with Toronto since 2014, where he became a club legend. He has played in 246 matches across all competitions for Toronto, second-most in club history, and was an integral piece to their trophy-laden era under Greg Vanney, including their treble-winning campaign in 2017 when they won MLS Cup, the Supporters' Shield and the Canadian Championship. He was named to that year's MLS Best XI as well.
Off the field, Morrow was named executive director of Black Players for Change (BPC) following the organization’s launch on June 19, 2020. BPC received the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year award.
“Both on and off the field, Justin has been a model professional,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a club statement. “He will retire as one of the best players to ever wear a TFC jersey, a gentleman and a great family man who gave everything he had for the club and the city.”
Morrow starred at the University of Notre Dame before being selected by San Jose in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. He earned four caps with the US men's national team.
The defender has made 14 appearances in 2021. Toronto have struggled this year and while they are not yet mathematically eliminated from the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, they sit 18 points below the postseason line with 10 matches remaining. It is likely that Morrow's final game will come on Decision Day, November 7 against D.C. United.
“Justin has had an exceptional career. He has been the type of player that gives everything he has and more – to his teammates, coaches, the environment, and the fans. I am so happy that I had the chance to work with him, and get to know him,” said general manager Ali Curtis. “And, while his contributions on the field have been important over the years, I believe his greatest contributions will be off the field in the years to come. We have seen a glimpse of that in his role with Black Players for Change, but I really feel he has a bright future.”