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Former Newcastle Midfielder Matty Longstaff Takes New Stride in MLS With Toronto FC

Former Newcastle Midfielder Matty Longstaff Takes New Stride in MLS With Toronto FC
In a major career change, former Newcastle midfielder Matty Longstaff has ended his English football journey to embark on a new venture with Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Toronto FC. The 23-year-old midfielder, who once garnered Manchester United's interest after scoring a Premier League debut goal against them in 2019, joined the Canadian club on a free transfer.

Longstaff's fast-paced rise at St James' Park was alongside his older brother Sean Longstaff. However, despite their initial stardom, Matty was moved out on multiple loans following just 20 appearances with his boyhood club. His journey includes stints at Aberdeen, Mansfield Town, and Colchester United.

After Longstaff's contract with Newcastle was not renewed last summer, he found his permanent home with Toronto FC, looking forward to a fresh start. Toronto FC Head Coach John Herdman voiced his thrill in welcoming Matty aboard, appreciating Longstaff's dynamic playing style and Premier League experience.

The ex-England youth star has signed a two-year contract with the Canadian club set to retain him through 2025 with an option for an additional year. This new inclusion is expected to boost Toronto FC following their stalemate in the 2024 MLS opener against Cincinnati.

Toronto FC has faced challenging times, with the 2023 season culminating with them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Since their maiden 2017 MLS Cup victory, they haven't managed a playoff appearance in the last three campaigns.

However, Longstaff's persistent hamstring injuries, which caused him to be sidelined for 213 days, as well as a severe knee injury requiring a lengthy 187-game break, remain a concern for his new club.

Defying his injury-marred past, Longstaff is keen to revive his career in the MLS. Speaking to Sport Bible, he declared, “I'm really motivated to get back again. I want to be a top player.” He also praised Newcastle for their understanding and continuous support during his tough times, recounting their dedicated physiotherapy and mentoring attention.
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