Toronto got allocation money in exchange for the 24-year-old Canadian international from Oakville, Ont. — money it will likely use to pay for a target like veteran Polish defender Damien Perquis.
Knowing that other clubs were interested in Bekker, Toronto protected him in last month's expansion draft so as not to lose him for nothing. That interest continued.
"With the depth we have in midfield, this was just a move where we could acquire some allocation so we could try to provide some depth to more positions on the field that we needed," head coach Greg Vanney said in an interview Wednesday.
Allocation money allows MLS teams to pay down salaries to help meet the league's salary cap.
Bekker is the ninth player from Toronto's 2014 roster to leave the club.
Bekker was chosen third overall by Toronto in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft — at the time the highest pick ever used on a Canadian. Toronto, which traded down from the first pick, selected him after a flurry of deals.
“Our priority was Kyle. In fact if we had had to use the (first) pick, we would have used it on Kyle,” then-team president Kevin Payne said at the time.
"We went into the draft thinking that he was the best footballer on the list," Payne added of Bekker, who was named MVP at the pre-draft MLS Combine.
Bekker never really got his chance to shine, however, with just three starts, nine appearances and 335 minutes played in 2013. He saw more action last season, with 13 starts in 20 appearances.
In two seasons with Toronto, the former Boston College star made a combined 35 appearances between league and Amway Canadian Championship play.
Vanney said Bekker showed a lot of skills in training.
"He's a great striker of the ball, left foot, right foot," said Vanney. "He's a quality player. I think quite possibly some of those things didn't always come out on the field with us but we knew they were kind of there.
"Maybe for him, it's a change of venue, a change of scenery, different voices that maybe he can really flourish in. But there's no question that there's talent there. He had some great games for us."
Bekker, who has won 13 caps for Canada, did not request the move.
"Not at this time," said Vanney. "There was previously some discussion where he might have been interested in a move. But currently he was happy where he was. And he was working hard."
Vanney said there had been interest from other clubs in the young Canadian.
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