One of the bright spots during Toronto FC's mostly disappointing 2011 season was the play of right back Richard Eckersley, a 22-year-old who had come to MLS on a loan from English Championship side Burnley FC. On Thursday, TFC made the move permanent, ensuring that Eckersley will be with the team for the foreseeable future.
"Signing Richard was a very high offseason priority, our team has worked tirelessly to ensure he would be returning," Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter said in a team release. "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."
Eckersley made 22 starts in MLS play and appeared in all four of TFC's Voyageurs' Cup matches, as well as six of their CONCACAF Champions League matches.
For more on the signing, be sure to check out Toronto FC blog Waking the Red.