Kevin O'Toole signs contract extension after improved 2023

-Kevin O'Toole has signed a contract extension with NYCFC

-The news comes after the forward-turned-defender improved in 2023

Kevin O'Toole of NYCFC
Kevin O'Toole of NYCFC / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

If there is one New York City FC player who has improved leaps and bounds in 2023, then Kevin O'Toole is that player. The forward-turned-left-back continued his transition into a defender, putting in solid performances throughout the year. There were points where he was the preferred starter as the left-back.

As such, NYCFC and O'Toole have agreed to a contract extension. This comes after his contract option was exercised for 2024. The new deal will keep the former Princeton player and 2022 draft pick through 2025. There is an option for 2026.

Kevin O'Toole's growth led to contract extension

It is not surprising that O'Toole will stay with NYCFC for at least a few more years. His steady improvement has illuminated he can compete with others. Plus, there is a thought he might end up as the starting left-back next season. Truthfully, he still has to grow, and NYCFC needs to find another player to compete with him. The team should not declare him as the starter just yet.

Moreover, they should still search for a talented left-back elsewhere. The Bronx side allowed the loan deal of Braian Cufré to expire. Like the center-back position, the team needs to sign another left-back. Competition is necessary for any squad, and there are still questions about whether O'Toole can be consistent.

Nonetheless, the New Jersey native has proven he deserves to stay. His steady growth means the potential is there. Clearly, the club saw the same thing. Sporting Director David Lee said the following:

"He is a consummate professional who trains at maximum intensity every day and has developed his game enormously under the guidance of our coaching staff. It is a credit to him and how hard he has worked that he arrived to us having mostly played as an attacking player in college to then develop into a left wing-back role at the end of 2022 through our run to the Eastern Conference Final and then as a left-back in 2023.
Growing up in the Tri-State area, Kevin understands what it means to represent this City and play in front of our fans. Since his arrival, he has been an active presence within the New York City community giving back to the next generation. We look forward to continuing to further Kevin’s development and seeing him play a key role in our squad in the years ahead."

David Lee

They are signing O'Toole because they believe in him and that he will continue to develop. It is an intelligent move. He could turn into a solid player that will make him worth his value.

After the extensions of the 25-year-old and Freese, it makes one wonder whether New York City FC will sign other players to contract extensions before the new season.