"Jason has played a big role in establishing our Academy and has proved he is ready to take the step up," said Toronto FC Head Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter. "Developing our young players is a key part of our philosophy at this club, and having Jason working with the first team squad will help us with that. It is also the next step in his development as a coach and we believe he has a bright future ahead of him."
Under Bent’s leadership, Toronto FC Academy’s Senior Team qualified for the Canadian Soccer League Playoffs in 2009 and 2010, and last summer two players from his squad graduated to sign professional contracts for the first time.
"I want to thank the club for giving me a chance to develop as a coach in the Academy," said Bent. "Now my aim is to continue to grow whilst bringing my knowledge and expertise to help the club move forward."
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the Academy alongside Stuart Neely. I believe every young coach needs a mentor coach to work with and Stuart certainly helped to prepare me for this opportunity. I am excited by the prospect of working alongside Aron Winter, Bob de Klerk and Paul Mariner with the First Team. The club is moving in the right direction and if we can all pull together then we can accomplish
some fantastic things for this football club and city," added Bent.
The Brampton native moved into coaching after a serious knee injury brought a premature end to his playing career. He earned 32 caps with Canada’s national team and played for clubs in the United States, Germany and England. His last professional club was Plymouth Argyle in England where he spent three seasons, helping Plymouth win the Division Three Championship in 2002, and the Division Two Championship in 2004.
Before moving to England, he played for two years in Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids.
Bent is currently with Toronto FC’s squad in Florida where the team is continuing preparations for the 2011 MLS season. Toronto will participate in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic later this week, with the first match of the tournament against Houston Dynamo on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on the club’s official website, TorontoFC.ca.