TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Roster Update
Toronto FC announced their end-of-season roster moves on Thursday, with the biggest news perhaps being the confirmation the club is in discussions on a possible return in 2020 for captain Michael Bradley, as well as on-loan midfielder Nicolas Benezet and the club's longest-tenured player Ashtone Morgan.
Bradley's Designated Player deal is ending this year, but TFC had previously stated bringing back the US international was their top priority this offseason. Benezet, on loan from French club Guingamp, was a midseason addition who scored the vital equalizer in Toronto's rally to win the 2019 Eastern Conference Final. Morgan featured as a reserve fullback option this year, but has been with the club since 2011, one of the longest-tenured players at any club around MLS.
In addition, Toronto FC announced they have exercised the contract options on defenders Auro Jr., Julian Dunn, Richie Laryea, Chris Mavinga and Justin Morrow; midfielders Marky Delgado, Liam Fraser, Tsubasa Endoh and forward Patrick Mullins. They have not exercised options on Morgan, goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell, midfielders Aidan Daniels and Ryan Telfer and forward Jon Bakero.
Furthermore, Drew Moor is out of contract at the end of the year.
TFC struggled at times during the 2019 MLS regular season, but finished with a 10-game unbeaten streak, and were the hottest team going into the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs, reaching 2019 MLS Cup as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, before falling to perennial MLS Cup opponent Seattle Sounders.
“We’re excited to have consistency and bring back most of the team that helped us win the Eastern Conference Championship,” said Toronto FC general manager Ali Curtis in a team statement on the roster moves. “While we have had positive discussions with Michael and his representation, we also remain in contact with Nico and Ashtone regarding a potential return to the team for 2020. We have a strong group, and we hope to improve upon our 2019 campaign.”