Tal Ben Haim To Toronto
Toronto FC announced Thursday that it has acquired Israeli international defender Tal Ben Haim on loan from English Premier League (EPL) club, Queens Park Rangers F.C. (QPR).
“Tal Ben Haim has been one of the top defenders in the EPL for nearly a decade. He captains his national team and Ryan thinks the world of him,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. “He’s exactly the sort of veteran defender we need.”
Ben Haim, 31, joins Toronto FC after signing with QPR in January; he made six appearances for the club in all competitions. He has made over 300 appearances during nine seasons in England, eight of which have been in the EPL.
Ben Haim began his youth career at Israeli Premier League club, Maccabi Tel Aviv and went on to sign for the first team. He made his professional debut in April 2001 and was part of the club’s Israeli Premier League title winning side in 2002-03. Ben Haim was named club captain in his final season at Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2003-04. He signed with EPL side Bolton Wanderers F.C. ahead of the 2004-05 season and remained with the club for three seasons, making 110 appearances across all competitions. He signed with Chelsea F.C. (Chelsea) for the 2007-08 season and was part of the club’s second place finish in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Ben Haim left Chelsea and signed with Manchester City F.C. (City) the following season. After 15 appearances for City, he was loaned to Sunderland F.C. for the remainder of the 2008-09 campaign. He signed with Portsmouth F.C. (Portsmouth) in August 2009 and made 24 appearances as the club was relegated at the conclusion of the season. Ben Haim was then loaned to West Ham United F.C. for the start of the 2010-11 season and later returned to Portsmouth in January 2011. He remained with the club until the conclusion of the 2011-12 season.
Ben Haim has earned 71 caps to date for the Israeli National team. He made his international debut against Germany in a friendly match in February 2002. His most recent cap came on March 26, 2013 in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Northern Ireland.
Tal Ben Haim
Weight: 163 lbs.
Birthdate: March 31, 1982
Birth Place: Rishon LeZion, Israel
Hometown: Rishon LeZion, Israel
Last Club: Queens Park Rangers F.C.
How Acquired: Loaned to Toronto FC on Thursday, May 9, 2013 from Queens Park Rangers F.C.
Pronunciation: “T-al Ben Hy-eem”