Toronto FC have re-signed left-back Ashtone Morgan. As is usual club policy, the terms of the deal have not been disclosed so we will have to wait for the next MLS Players’ Union release to find out what Morgan is earning.
His pay is probably not dramatically different to the $132,000 in guaranteed compensation he took home on his previous deal, but may have decreased slightly on the back of an injury-hit year. TFC have the luxury of taking a chance on Morgan bouncing back thanks to the reliability of first-choice left-back Justin Morrow.
“We are pleased to finalize this deal ensuring that Ashtone will remain a part of Toronto FC,” Tim Bezbatchenko said. “Ashtone has spent his entire professional career with TFC after progressing through our Academy.
“This is a reflection of our approach towards player development and its role on our roster in creating a consistent contender in MLS. He had a difficult year due to injury but has responded when called upon and will remain a valued member of our club heading into the 2017 season.”
This past year did not treat Morgan too well, with a stress fracture in his foot suffered in August essentially ending his season. He made a combined nine appearances in total between the league and the Canadian Championship.
Morgan has made at least one competitive first-team appearance in seven consecutive seasons, however, since making his debut in October of 2010. The 25-year-old was the first player from the TFC Academy to represent Canada at the senior level and was a virtual ever-present for the Reds in the 2012 campaign, making 42 appearances in total.
At the right price, this was always going to be an easy move for Bezbatchenko to make. Morgan is a relatively known quantity and a trustworthy backup for Morrow but, at the same time, has not necessarily hit his ceiling. As long as he can stay healthy, he should see a significant increase in his minutes in 2017 as Toronto juggle attempt to retain the Voyageurs Cup, go one better in MLS and also return to the Champions League.