San Jose Earthquakes trade defender Justin Morrow to Toronto

The 26-year-old Cleveland native joins the Toronto club in exchange for allocation funds.
Another piece to Tim Bezbatchenko's puzzle fell into place on Tuesday, as Toronto FC announced that it had acquired defender Justin Morrow in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes.

“In Morrow, we are adding a young, All-Star-caliber player to our back line,” TFC general manager Bezbatchenko said in a statement. “Justin’s steady presence, versatility and MLS experience make him a great addition.” 

The Earthquakes receive allocation funds from TFC in the deal, which sends Morrow to a rebuilding Toronto side that has wasted little time in securing the pieces that it feels will finally make the Reds competitive within MLS.

Morrow, 26, is a four-year MLS veteran who has spent his entire career with San Jose. The versatile defender, who can play as a left back or centrally, made 71 appearances with the 'Quakes since being drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

In recognition of his play with the Earthquakes, Morrow was also named to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game and earned one cap for the U.S. national team in 2013. He was an unused substitute for the Americans in two World Cup qualifiers earlier this year.

Since the roster freeze was lifted for MLS teams last week, Toronto has added Brazilians Jackson and Gilberto, and traded goalkeeper Stefan Frei to the Seattle Sounders. TFC also dealt midfielder Bobby Convey to New York and re-signed incumbent 'keeper Joe Bendik in a flurry of activity that is expected to continue throughout the offseason.