TORONTO, Ont.—There was no shortage of accolades (and perhaps tears) this week as news dropped that Ashtone Morgan would not be returning to the club for the 2020 campaign.
Morgan’s story was ripped from the pages of a storybook: he started his Reds career with the Toronto FC Academy, which led to him signing his first professional contract with the club. He would go on to make his debut with the first team back in 2010 for a Champions League contest against Arabe Unido at BMO Field. From that point forward, he became a fixture with the Reds as they transitioned from perennial underachievers into Treble Champions.
3,259 days after that 1-0 victory over Arabe Unido, he subbed on for an injured Auro Jr. vs. LAFC on Sept. 21, 2019 and logged—what we know now—his last nine minutes for the club whom with he grew up.
Morgan will leave the TFC tied for fourth with 168 appearance for the club.
Where SIX others had stalled with 90+ matches, it was fitting that Morgan became the first Red to appear in 100 competitive matches—on May 1, 2015 at Philadelphia.
He also will leave the club in sixth place with 127 career starts in a TFC jersey.
Another record that will be safe for at least a couple more years: Morgan is the first and only player to pull on the Toronto FC badge for ten seasons.
As with many stalwarts of the backline, Morgan didn’t get his name of the game sheet often. But when he did, he made sure it was memorable.
Reds faithful were irrationally (yet understandably) exuberant when Morgan found the back of the net in the Treble Summer of 2017, opening his Reds Account in his 128th appearance for the club!!
As I mentioned, Morgan got his start in the CONCACAF Champions League, and he continued to lead the team along the way in that competition. Morgan played against 11 different opponents in the CCL (a club record).
No one can forget the sound at BMO Field the night Morgan scored against mighty Club America in the CCL Semi Finals in 2018, to give Toronto an early 3-1 in the tie.
Toronto FC fans and players alike wished Morgan well as he starts his next chapter in Salt Lake (minus their trip to BMO Field on June 27).