With his total Toronto FC games capped at 73, Joe Bendik was released by Toronto FC. After two years with the Reds, Bendik saw a dip in performance paired with increased competition from the addition of Chris Konopka. Fans were caught off guard to hear of the removal of both starting goalkeepers, however after a lackluster defensive season Toronto FC looked for full changes between the posts.
Average Rating: 15.3
Highest Rating: 12
Lowest Rating: 17
Bendik was the 11th highest paid goalkeeper in the league and Toronto FC would have been hard pressed to pay him his $157k salary with his recent performance. The $157k salary was $48k higher than the average goalkeeper in MLS and while the high wages for Toronto FC were a deterrent to keep the backup goalkeeper, it was ultimately Bendik's performance and a porous defence that led to his exit. Bendik saw a steady increase in his goals against average over the last three years moving from 1.39 in his first season with the club to finishing with 2.08 in 2015.
Seeing his games started cut from 27 to 13 over the last two seasons it was clear that Bendik was no longer the first choice keeper. He would start the season with a six game streak, a part of two wins and four losses in that span, but it would be another seven games before his next start. The 26-year-old would start another six consecutive games in the middle of the season boasting another 2-4 record and a 2 goals against average.
Bendik would start his final Toronto FC game in a 2-0 loss to the Crew but by then management likely had made its mind up. With Bendik earning $157k the club knew a cheaper option could be found to fill the backup goalkeeper role. The move also allows free spending Toronto FC to cut back as the club is currently over budget ahead of the March 1st salary cap-compliant deadline.
With the move Orlando will be Bendik's third club in five years after starting his MLS career in Portland in 2012. While Bendik has been a proven shot stopper in MLS he will be joining a team in greater need of his services as Orlando have given up their starting goalkeeper in Tally Hall. Toronto FC's remaining goalkeepers are homegrown talent Quillan Roberts and Alex Bono. Either keeper could be pushed into a starting role depending on the final goalkeeper signing TFC make this off season.