MLS Offseason Notebook: TFC overhauls defense, more

image, ColoradoRapids.com

by RYAN BRISTER

The Major League Soccer offseason continues apace, with multiple free agent deals being finalized in just the last couple days. Toronto FC has been the biggest mover, with a pair of signings intended to shore up their defense.

Toronto FC picks up Steven Beitashour: The Vancouver Whitecaps dealt right back Steven Beitashour across Canada to TFC in exchange for a second round pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. Defense has long been an area of need for Toronto. Beitashour has been a regular in six MLS seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver. An Iranian-American, he has six caps for Iran’s national team.

After arriving in Toronto, Moor spoke to the Toronto Sun about his former team, and was gently critical of the Rapids. “It’s important that the Colorado Rapids continue to progress as the league progresses or they might have trouble keeping up,” he said. “As much as I loved the Rapids organization … the league has come a long way since 2010.” The Rapids won MLS Cup in 2010, but have struggled since.

Drew Moor signs with TFC: Toronto was busy in improving their defense this past week. They acquired free agent center back Drew Moor. Moor had spent the last seven seasons with the Colorado Rapids, playing 181 games during that span. Moor was an All-Star last year when the game was held in Colorado.

Corey Ashe signs with Columbus Crew SC: Left back Corey Ashe has signed a free-agent deal with Columbus Crew SC. Ashe was traded last season from Houston to Orlando after parts of 9 seasons with the Dynamo. Ashe will slot in nicely for the spot vacated by Chris Klute, who went from Columbus to Portland last week. Waylon Francis will probably remain the starting left back for the Crew, but Ashe is a very good option to have as depth.

Orlando City fire assistant coach Ian Fuller: Orlando City SC parted ways with Ian Fuller, who was an assistant on head coach Adrian Heath’s staff. On its own, this might not be suggestive of too much, but it comes as part of broader departures in Orlando. The Lions previously pushed out general manager Paul McDonough, who has landed on his feet with Atlanta United. Fans and players have publicly admitted their surprise with the moves.

Re-entry Draft results: As is typical, few moves were made during the MLS Re-entry draft this past week. The biggest selection made was FC Dallas’ pick of Maxi Urruti, previously of the Portland Timbers. Dallas traded allocation money to Chicago in exchange for the first pick of the draft. Houston defender Jermaine Taylor went to Portland. Orlando City picked up former Revolution right back Kevin Alston. Michael Azira went from Seattle to Colorado in the draft.