Toronto FC: MLS Cup winning wing-back moving back to the West Coast

TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 09: Steven Beitashour
TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 09: Steven Beitashour /

Toronto FC loses their second defender of the off-season with the impending departure of free agent Steven Beitashour.

A familiar Toronto FC right back is heading back to the West Coast. Toronto FC will be in the market for a new full-back now that Steven Beitashour has left to join the expansion LAFC.

Beitashour spent the past two seasons with Toronto after coming over from the Whitecaps in 2015. He took his position on the flank two years ago and never looked back. A scary scene against Montreal back in the summer left Beitashour with a life-threatening injury and a lacerated pancreas.  Beitashour would make it back to the pitch down the stretch, helping Toronto lift their first ever MLS Cup.

Beitashour established himself as a strong presence in the TFC starting XI. While his strong play on the wings didn’t translate into the same offense as his wingback counterpart Justin Morrow, he was a steady and consistent figure.

TORONTO, ONTARIO – DECEMBER 09: Steven Beitashour
TORONTO, ONTARIO – DECEMBER 09: Steven Beitashour /

Beitashour is leaving Toronto and heading back home to the West Coast where he was born and raised.  He played 143 games for the Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquake to start his MLS career. While at Toronto he put up 5 assists thru 22 games last season. Losing his crossing ability will be hard to replicate this season, however, Toronto will be looking for Nicolas Hasler to step into that role and fill the void.

Whats next for Toronto FC during the rest of the Off-season

This is the second wing option loss of the off-season after Raheem Edwards exited during the Expansion draft this winter. Toronto will have to scour the market in search of a replacement for at least one of the two missing pieces.

It remains to be seen if Toronto will look at keeping the 3-5-2 formation or change it up to better throw off the opposition. If Toronto FC decides to go with a 4-4-2, they’ll have to look at getting a right back who is more equipped at playing that role.

With Toronto holding $4-million in TAM money they could use that to find an out-and-out right back and pay him more then Beitashour. Rumors have been swirling that German Conti is being courted by Toronto and that might spell the end of the road for another out-of-contract defender, Eriq Zavaleta.

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Even with these loses Toronto will still be the odds on favorite to repeat as title champions and make their third straight MLS Cup Finals appearance. For now, Toronto will have to turn their focus to the CONCACAF Champions League and a home and home series with the Colorado Rapids.