Toronto FC announced that Alex Bono has signed a contract extension with the club. The 24-year old goalkeeper backstopped the club to a historic treble in 2017 and a run to the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League final.
“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko told TorontoFC.ca. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”
The Syracuse, New York-native discussed his contract extension with the media after training.
Bono made his debut with the U.S. men’s national team in May’s 3-0 win over Bolivia in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Last month, Voetbal Nieuws reported that Belgian champions Club Brugge were interested in acquiring the young (for a goalkeeper) American. However, it appears that Bono and/or Toronto spurned these advances for at least the time being. Considering he only has roughly 50 MLS appearances, it’s probably the right decision for now — continue to develop while starting for one of the best clubs in North America (to be determined for 2018) before moving in a few years.
Despite remaining stateside, the man Bono would have replaced in Brugge — fellow American and sometime national team inclusion Ethan Horvath — might not be out of the woods yet. The Blauw-Zwart appear intent on completely retooling their goalkeeper stable and recently signed Croatian giant Karlo Letica from Hajduk Split. Horvath managed to regain his starting spot en route to the Belgian First Division A title, but it’s uncertain whether he’ll be the first choice or even remain with the club next season.
Perhaps Bono is making the right choice by sticking to a situation that provides him with playing time and has raised his profile with the national team. The big move abroad isn’t always a forgiving one.