TORONTO — Former Toronto FC fullback Ashtone Morgan has come full circle, returning to the MLS club where he started his pro career but this time to play a role in the front office.
The 32-year-old has been named TFC's manager of player engagement and alumni relations.
Morgan came through the Toronto academy and went on to make 168 appearances in all competitions during nine seasons with his hometown club. After Toronto declined to exercise his option following the 2019 campaign, Morgan spent two seasons with Real Salt Lake before signing with the CPL's Forge FC in February 2022.
Toronto says Morgan has been tasked with helping the club’s young players and prospects develop and grow on and off the field. He will also assist the pathway development between the academy, Toronto FC II and first team.
"It's been a full circle for me to be back home at my boyhood club, Toronto FC," Morgan, who retired as a player in late July, said in a statement. "Toronto FC gave me my first professional opportunity, and it is an honour to be back to help mentor and lead the young talent within our club. I'm very excited and grateful to begin a new chapter in my career where it all started."
Morgan originally signed a homegrown contract with Toronto's first team in March 2011, making his MLS debut nine days later. He was the first player in TFC history to reach 100 appearances for the club and its first homegrown player to play for the Canadian national team.
Morgan, who represented Canada at the youth level and was named Canadian Under-20 Player of the Year in 2011, won 18 caps for the Canadian senior side.
"We are thrilled to welcome Ashtone back to Toronto FC," Toronto GM Jason Hernandez said in a statement. "As the first Academy graduate to feature for our first team, Ashtone pioneered a pathway from amateur status to professional football in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that led to unforgettable achievements at both the club and international levels.
"We are confident that Ashtone's experience will be a great addition to our office as we continue to build out a staff that will support our club for years to come."
Hernandez is rebuilding a depleted TFC front office in the wake of the firing of head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley in late June.
Morgan's new duties were once part of Hernandez's brief.
Prior to becoming assistant GM in 2021 and then GM this June, Hernandez served as Toronto's manager of player engagement from 2019 to 2021.
Former fullback Justin Morrow, who has since moved on, also helped young players with their pathway through the ranks in his role as Toronto's technical director.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 5, 2023
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press