Veteran defender Drew Moor says free-agent signing with Toronto FC "too good to pass up"

TORONTO – Toronto FC’s defensive makeover began with the Wednesday's announcement that they signed free agent Drew Moor.

The 31-year-old defender joins TFC – who allowed a league-worst 58 goals in 2014 – after seven seasons with the Colorado Rapids, where he was named team Defender of the Year three times.

Moor, who joins his third team (Also: FC Dallas, 2005-09), hailed the “incredible opportunity” on a conference call, declaring TFC a club ready to pull out all the stops toward contention.

“They want to be a club of choice and the best organization in MLS,” Moor said. “I'm going to do everything I can to help with that mission and to win championships here. I appreciate this opportunity and can't wait to get started.”

Though primarily a center back, Moor can feature across the backline, and is open to shifting position as needed.

“Center back is where I feel most comfortable,” he said. “[But I'm] a team-first guy. If they want to stick me up front, or stick me in goal, I'll do that as well.”

TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko noted that strengthening the team's backline was a top priority. The erstwhile Rapids’ team captain (2013-15) has more than 304 career appearances under his belt. A member of Colorado's 2010 MLS Cup-winning squad, Moor and the Rapids won the title (against FC Dallas) on Toronto’s BMO Field.

And the opportunity to sign Moor is expected to not only immediate impact on-field play, but also Toronto's locker room and the larger community.

“He was a highly sought after free agent for good reason,” said Bezbatchenko. “He's a winner and has very strong leadership qualities. We want players who want to be in Toronto. He visited Toronto, saw our facilities, met with ownership and saw how committed we are to being winners.

“He chose Toronto as his destination, that's what is exciting about this free-agency process.”

There was interest from other clubs, although Moor declined to mention names.

“All the offers were pretty similar,” Moore said. “[Visiting] Toronto last week with my wife, being a part of the city and seeing what the community is like … [it] was a decision that was pretty easy to make.”

As just the second ever free-agent signing in MLS history, after Justin Mapp signed with Sporting KC on Monday, Moor called the experience “crazy” and reminiscent of the college recruiting process.

“It's great for the league because teams that want free agents have to make their clubs attractive,” he said. “My wife and I have been thinking a lot about it the last couple weeks. At times, we were torn, because we love Colorado so much; it's always difficult to leave. It was a roller coaster emotionally.”

“Any time you spend so much time at a club, with people you respect and love so much, it makes it difficult."

Moor said Colorado did attempt to retain his services, making what he termed “a very good offer.”

“[Rapids general manager] Paul Bravo was clear at the end of the season that he wanted me to be a Colorado Rapids player for life, not just as a player, but after that as well,” Moor said. “It wasn't an easy decision, but we felt the Toronto FC opportunity was too good to pass up.”