Justin Morrow announces retirement at end of 2021 season

Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow announced today that he will be retiring at the end of the 2021 season, completing a highly decorated 12-year career in Major League Soccer. 

Morrow, 34, has spent the past eight season with Toronto FC. His 246 appearances across all competitions ranks second all-time in club history. During his time with the club, Morrow has registered 18 goals and 20 assists, numbers which make him the most prolific attacking defender in club history.

Morrow was named to the MLS Best XI during for his work during TFC’s 2017 Treble winning season (MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship). Morrow scored a career-high eight goals in league play that season, including the first hat-trick of his career on September 30, in a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls at BMO Field. Morrow was also a part of the 2016 and 2018 Canadian Championship winning teams, the 2016, 2017 and 2019 MLS Eastern Conference Championship teams and the 2018 Concacaf Champions League runners up. He is one of the four players to have achieved over 200 appearances for the club (Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley, and Mark Delgado).

In 2020, Morrow was named executive director of Black Players for Change (BPC) following the organization’s launch on June 19. BPC were awarded the 2020 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year. 

“Both on and off the field, Justin has been a model professional,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. “He will retire as one of the best players to ever wear a TFC jersey, a gentleman and a great family man who gave everything he had for the club and the city.”

Morrow was originally acquired in a trade with the San Jose Earthquakes on December 16, 2013. Drafted out of the University of Notre Dame in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Morrow spent the first four season of his professional career with the Quakes, appearing in 73 matches, recording two goals and seven assists. For his career, Morrow has made 289 combined appearances (MLS regular season and MLS Cup playoffs) for TFC and San Jose.

“Justin has had an exceptional career. He has been the type of player that gives everything he has and more - to his teammates, coaches, the environment, and the fans. I am so happy that I had the chance to work with him, and get to know him,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “And, while his contributions on the field have been important over the years, I believe his greatest contributions will be off the field in the years to come. We have seen a glimpse of that in his role with Black Players for Change, but I really feel he has a bright future.”

Internationally, Morrow earned four caps for the United States Men’s national team. His first appearance came during a friendly against Canada in January 30, 2013. He represented USMNT at the 2017 Concacaf Gold Cup, where he played against Martinique on July 13 and El Salvador on July 20. His final appearance for the national team was in a friendly match on January 29, 2018, against Bosnia-Herzegovina.