Coastal’s Bennett signs pro contract with Toronto FC

Toronto FC announced on Friday that the club has signed former Coastal Carolina University standout Ashton Bennett to a professional contract.

Bennett, a native of Clarendon, Jamaica, was selected by the Reds with the first pick of the second round of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft. Bennett became the eighth former Chanticleer to be drafted by a Major League Soccer club. In addition, the speedy forward is the second Chant in as many years to sign with a MLS club, joining defender Cyprian Hedrick, who signed with Sporting KC in 2012.

Bennett finished his Coastal Carolina career ranked sixth all-time with 39 goals, tied for seventh all-time with 94 points (39g, 16a) and ninth all-time with 184 shot attempts despite only playing 47 games in a Chanticleer uniform. He led Coastal Carolina to a 38-7-2 overall record, two NCAA Tournament appearances, three NCAA Tournament wins and a pair of Big South regular season championship with a perfect 19-0 record (9-0 in 2011 and 10-0 in 2012).

Bennett became only the second Chanticleer to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, garnering the honor in both 2011 and 2012. Bennett also became one of three players to ever win the Big South’s Player of the Year award in back-to-back seasons (2011 and 2012).

Bennett and the Reds open the 2013 MLS slate on the road as visitors at in-country rival Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, March 2. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m. EST and will be shown live on Canada’s TSN.

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