Toronto FC manager Ryan Nelsen has once again delved into his rolodex to strengthen his side as the club today announced the acquisition of defender Tal Ben Haim on loan from Queens Park Rangers. QPR being Nelsen’s former team.
The 31-year-old Israeli international has made over 300 appearances during nine seasons in England, eight of which have been in the EPL. He has been a bench player for QPR this season, making only six appearances in all competitions.
“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 TFC president and general manager Kevin Payne in a statement. “He’s exactly the sort of veteran defender we need.”
TFC have been really naive defensively this season. They must lead Major League Soccer in goals conceded in the last 10 minutes of games. Nelsen is obviously hoping that the introduction of Ben Haim, will bring some leadership and experience to the TFC back line and help the team do a better job holding onto leads late in games.
This is the second major defensive signing by TFC this week. On Monday they confirmed the short-term loan deal for Birmingham City’s central defender Steven Caldwell.
Caldwell is out of contract on June 30 with Birmingham, which is why this is classified as a short-term loan. If Caldwell plays well, look for TFC to make this a more permanent signing.