Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto FC announced on Friday the club has
completed a deal to signed England international Jermain Defoe from Premier
League side Tottenham-Hotspur.
Defoe will occupy a Designated Player roster spot for Toronto and remain with
Tottenham until February 28 before joining Toronto FC ahead of the start of
the 2014 Major League Soccer season.
"We are thrilled, for our club and for our fans, with the opportunity to bring
a global football superstar like Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC," said Maple Leaf
Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke. "We promised our fans
in October that building a winning club was our top priority and we scoured
the globe to find the right players to fulfill that promise.
"Right from the beginning of this process, Jermain Defoe was the top player on
our list and we got our man. We would like to thank Tottenham as well as MLSE
ownership for this very clear demonstration of our commitment to winning. Most
importantly, we want to thank Toronto FC fans for their patience and support
getting to this day."
Defoe, 31, is currently in his 16th season as a professional football player,
and 11th with Tottenham. He has made a combined 362 appearances for Tottenham,
scoring 142 goals across the English Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA
Champions League, and UEFA Europa League matches.
Defoe began his junior career at Charlton Athletic before moving to West Ham
and turning pro at 16 years of age. He won the Premier Academy League title in
the 1999-00 season with West Ham; and went on to make his first team debut in
"Jermain brings the complete package to Toronto FC," said Toronto FC general
manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "He is an accomplished scorer and I know that his
skill and infectious personality will make him a popular star both in Toronto
and around the league."
He has earned 55 caps for the England national team and scored 19 goals. He
made his first appearance for the Three Lions in March 2004 as a substitute
against Sweden and scored his first international goal in a World Cup
qualifier against Poland on September 8, 2004.
The Sports Network