Soccer

Jermain Defoe to join MLS team Toronto FC

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TORONTO (AP)

Striker Jermain Defoe has agreed to leave Tottenham and join Major League Soccer's Toronto FC at the end of February.

The 31-year-old has scored 142 goals during two spells at Tottenham and is the club's top scorer in European competitions.

Tottenham has at least nine matches to play before Defoe leaves for the MLS team, which opens at Seattle on March 15.

Defoe says ''everybody knows how much this club means to me, and I will play my heart out for the team and the fans until my last kick for the club.''

Tottenham also announced an advertising and marketing deal with Toronto's owners, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and an exhibition at Toronto on July 23 between matches at Seattle (July 19) and Chicago (July 26).

''We are thrilled, for our club and for our fans, with the opportunity to bring a global football superstar like Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC,'' Maple Leaf President Tim Leiweke said in a statement. ''We promised our fans in October that building a winning club was our top priority, and we scoured the globe to find the right players to fulfill that promise. Right from the beginning of this process, Jermain Defoe was the top player on our list, and we got our man.''

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