Reds Make Eckersley Move Permanent

Toronto FC announced Thursday that English defender will return to BMO Field for 2012 season.

Toronto FC announced Thursday that the club has signed defender Richard Eckersley. As per team and league policies, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Signing Richard was a very high offseason priority, our team has worked tirelessly to ensure he would be returning,” said Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director, Aron Winter. “This signing represents another successful step in our off season progress as a club. Richard is an important player for our club. We know our fans will be excited to see Richard on the pitch.”

RELATED: TFC Media Day Thursday live stream at 1 p.m. ET

Eckersley, 22, came to Toronto FC on loan from Burnley on April 15, 2011. In his first season with Toronto FC, Eckersley started in 22 of the 23 league matches he feautred in. Eckersley was part of the club’s third straight Voyageurs Cup win during the 2011 Nutrilite Canadian Championship; where he appeared in all four matches for Toronto.

The defender also made six appearances for the club during CONCACAF Champions League.

Eckersley began his youth career at Manchester United and made two appearances with the senior side. He was also part of Manchester United’s League Cup Final victory over Tottenham in March 2009. Eckersley signed a four-year contract with Burnley in July 2009 and went on separate loan deals at Plymouth Argyle, Bradford City, Bury and finally with Toronto FC.