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Toronto FC Top 30 Countdown: #17 Bradley Orr

Bradley Orr was everything Toronto FC needed, a versatile defender who could fill the multiple roles that the needed as a result of injury. In the end, however, things didn't really work out the way they were planned.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

For a short time Bradley Orr was exactly what Toronto FC needed. When he was brought in he was billed as an experienced defender who could bring both quality and leadership into the dressing room in a number of positions. He came in and played a big role in a number of the early victories while playing at fullback, in the middle of defense and even a short spell as a holding midfielder.

Eventually, however, he became one of the biggest culprits in Toronto's second half defensive meltdown. He never really worked all that well with either of the young centrebacks, and was far too slow to play on the wing. His best position and spell may have been his time in a holding role but for most of the year Toronto had too many defensive injuries, and too much depth in the middle of midfield, to allow this to continue.

One of the most important elements that Orr brought to the table was his leadership, he truly was big in that regard for this team. Both Doneil Henry and Nick Hagglund sung his praises in terms of what he had been able to teach the young defenders about their game, even if, as aforementioned, he could rarely make it work with them on the pitch.

Perhaps the best example of the mentorship he took over Henry was evident in the season ending press conference, when Orr was sent out to help his young teammate deal with scrutiny about a loan deal to Cyprus with sketchy details. He was also one of the team's best media ambassadors and always had something thoughtful to say.

Orr ultimately played 19 games for Toronto FC in 2014, starting in 14. During that time he scored a goal and had an assist. Like essentially everyone else in Toronto's backline he did struggle with injury, although not to the extent of Mark Bloom or Steven Caldwell. He likely would have played in a least a couple more games if this wasn't the case, especially early in the year.

It is hard to say too much more about Bradley Orr, because he wasn't exactly a polarizing figure on or off the pitch. As a veteran he seemed to adopt a "get on with it" mentality that meant when he was noticeable it was usually for the wrong reasons. At his best he was a contributing member of the backline who kept his name out of the headlines.

His short chapter with Toronto FC is over, however, as he will be returning to the club that loaned him to Toronto before the season: Blackburn Rovers. His future with the English side is unknown even to him, but he doesn't expect to return to Toronto and made that clear in his post season comments. It is far more likely that he will try to find a place with Blackburn, or find another home within English football.

The departure of Orr leaves a definite hole in Toronto's defense, although more due to absence of man power than anything. The club will miss his veteran leadership but he was never a great fit for this league and therefore will be giving his roster spot to a yet to be named player.

It is unfortunate that Orr didn't work out better, because what he had the potential to be is exactly what Toronto will be searching for this summer.