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Report: Toronto FC ‘close’ to signing new designated player; will bring back Justin Morrow

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Player news courtesy The Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery.

Toronto FC v New York City FC - MLS Regular Season Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images

TORONTO, Canada—Player news!

According to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery, veteran defender Justin Morrow will be returning to Toronto FC next season.

The 33-year-old left-back entered free agency this offseason, but told Waking the Red in December that he wanted to finish his career in Toronto.

“My expectation—my plan—is to be here with Toronto FC,” said Morrow at the time. “I’ve expressed that to the club and they’ve expressed that as well. I want to finish off my career here playing in front of the fans that have given me so much and we’ve shared this beautiful thing together, and like I said, my mind is on keeping Toronto FC at the top of the league.”

An 11-year MLS veteran, Morrow has spent the last seven seasons in Toronto since being acquired via trade from the San Jose Earthquakes. He ranks second on the club’s all-time appearances list with 227 in all competitions, behind only Jonathan Osorio’s 263. In 2020, he also served as the Executive Director of Black Players for Change, playing a crucial role throughout MLS in an effort to combat racial injustice.

Morrow will likely split time down the left flank with rookie Matt Di Rosa, while right-backs Richie Laryea and Auro Jr. have shown they’re both capable of playing on their off-side if needed.

Toronto FC are also ‘close’ to signing their new designated player, reports Buffery. There is no word on who, just yet. That role has been left vacated by Pablo Piatti, whose contract was not exercised by the Reds this past offseason. Piatti still remains a free agent, but is reportedly close to signing in La Liga.

Finally, according to Buffery, the Reds will name their new assistant coaches next week.

Cheers to Steve for quenching our thirst. Here we go, #TFCLive.