Austin FC are nearing a deal to sign center-back Matt Hedges from Toronto FC, sources with direct knowledge of the deal say athletic.
Final details are still being worked out, but Toronto is expected to receive $500,000 in General Allocation (GAM) from Austin on the deal.
The 33-year-old Hedges signed for Toronto as a free agent this winter after spending his entire career with Austin rivals FC Dallas. Hedges made his MLS debut in 2012 after playing 310 games for Dallas and 14 for Toronto. Hedges is Dallas’ all-time most played game leader and will return to Texas where he and his family are comfortable.
Austin has lacked depth in its central defense this season, but has already added U.S. youth international Brandan Craig on loan from the Philadelphia Union and is close to adding Hedges to the group. Julio Cascante and Leo Vaisanen are the two top natural options in the club’s central defense heading into the summer transfer window.
The move continues Toronto’s roster rebuilding after firing head coach and sports director Bob Bradley in June.
Franco Ybarra (on loan from Atlanta United) and Latif Blessing (trade to New England Revolution) have signed, Marc-Anthony Kaye (New England) has left, and Hedges will soon follow. Canadian right-back Richie Lalier’s loan has also expired.
Austin has 32 points from 23 games and is fifth in the West. Toronto finished 24 games and finished 14th in the East with 19 points.
(Photo by Matt Hedges: Robert Edwards/USA Today)