Toronto FC Sign Defender Matt Hedges For 2-Year Contract

(© imago images) FRISCO, TX – OCTOBER 09: FC Dallas defender Matt Hedges 24 salutes the fans during the MLS, Fussball Herren, USA soccer game between FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City on October 09, 2022 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire SOCCER: OCT 09 MLS – Sporting Kansas City at FC Dallas Icon221009065

The 32-year old Hedges joins Toronto FC after spending his entire professional career between 2012-2022 with FC Dallas. His contract includes options through 2026, uses targeted allocation money (TAM) which is capable of signing a new player, given that his salary is over the maximum salary budget charge at US$612,500 in 2022.

He made a combined 349 appearances for the team and became the youngest captain in FC Dallas history, at the age of 24. As captain, Hedges led his team into the MLS Cup Playoffs in three consecutive years; 2014, 2015 and 2016. He was also a member of the team that won both the MLS Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup in 2016. 

In terms of personal accolades, Hedges was named to the MLS Best XI in 2015 and was a finalist for the Defender of the Year award. Next season, in 2016, he was named back into the Best XI and took it a step further, taking home the title of Defender of the year. He has also been a MLS All-Star squad three times in 2017, 2018, 2019. 

Hedge’s acquisition had been rumored in the making for some time now. Him and his wife were seen recently at a Maple Leafs game, another professional team owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Group, along with Toronto FC.

Hedges will help fill the void left by defender Carlos Salcedo, who left the team in July. TFC has been bleeding goals as of late and are in dire need of some changes on the defensive end. Hedges leadership skills and proven ability, could make a massive difference for TFC in 2023, who gave up 66 goals in 34 games during the 2022 MLS season, which is third most in the league.

Hedges is Toronto FC’s second free-agent addition this offseason after bringing back midfielder Jonathan Osorio. The team is also expected to sign midfielder Victor Vazquez, who will be returning to TFC after winning the MLS Cup in 2017. 

The team is expected to make more key pickups after an unsuccessful 2022 campaign which saw them finish 13th in their conference. More pickups for the backline are imminent, including key additions to goalkeeper and the midfield.

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