Orlando City are closer to answering the question of who will be their starting goalkeeper for 2016 after acquiring the rights to 26-year-old Joe Bendik from Toronto FC in a trade, the teams announced Monday. In return, Toronto will receive a conditional fourth-round draft pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft.
Bendik played three years in Toronto, the first two as the unquestioned starter, before splitting time with Chris Konopka in 2015. His option was declined after the 2015 season, and he has agreed to a new contract with Orlando.
“Joe is a proven goalkeeper who has significant amount of experience within the league,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath said in a club statement. “We’re looking forward to working with him, as he’s a strong competitor who comes highly recommended.”
Bendik posted a 1.39 goals-against-average despite a frustrating 6-16-11 record with Toronto FC in his first year as the starter, 2013, but saw his GAA rise to 1.67 in 2014 and 2.08 in 13 starts last year, when he missed time due to a plantar fascia strain.
After attending high school outside of Atlanta, Bendik played collegiately at Clemson University from 2006-09. He played two seasons with Norwegian club Sogndal in 2010-11 before moving to MLS with Portland in 2012.
Orlando City's other goalkeepers are second-year UCLA product Earl Edwards, who did not make a regular-season appearance last year, and 18-year-old Homegrown Player Mason Stajduhar, just signed last month.