Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow will retire following the 2021 season, the club announced on Thursday.
The 34-year old veteran has made 271 Major League Soccer appearances since his debut with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2010. He played with the California-based team for four seasons, recording two goals and six assists before transferring to Toronto in 2014.
Morrow has featured in 246 matches across all competitions for Toronto, the second-most in club history. He played a vital role in Greg Vanney’s treble-winning era in 2017, lifting the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and the Canadian Championship.
Beyond the pitch, the defender was named executive director of Black Players for Change (BPC) following the organization’s launch on June 19 and awarded the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year.
Since announcing his retirement, the tributes have begun flooding in.
“Both on and off the field, Justin has been a model professional,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a club statement. “He will retire as one of the best players to ever wear a TFC jersey, a gentleman and a great family man who gave everything he had for the club and the city.”
“Justin has had an exceptional career. He has been the type of player that gives everything he has and more – to his teammates, coaches, the environment, and the fans. I am so happy that I had the chance to work with him, and get to know him,” said GM Ali Curtis.
“And, while his contributions on the field have been important over the years, I believe his greatest contributions will be off the field in the years to come. We have seen a glimpse of that in his role with Black Players for Change, but I really feel he has a bright future.”
Toronto sits last on the Eastern Conference table with 15 points in 24 matches and will likely miss out of the 2021 playoffs.