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Toronto FC coach Nelsen adds former QPR teammate Tal Ben Haim

Queens Park Rangers' Tal Ben Haim, right watches the ball as he attempts to block Arsenal's Santi Cazorla during their English Premier league soccer match at Rangers' Loftus road stadium in London, Saturday, May 4, 2013.

Associated Press

Ryan Nelsen has added former Queens Park Rangers teammate Tal Ben Haim to Toronto FC's roster.

The 31-year-old Israeli defender joins Toronto on loan from the English Premier League club, where he made six appearance since he signed in January.

Ben Haim played on the QPR's back line with Nelsen before Toronto's rookie head coach retired in January.

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"Tal Ben Haim has been one of the top defenders in the EPL for nearly a decade. He captains his national team and Ryan thinks the world of him," Toronto FC president and GM Kevin Payne said in a statement. "He's exactly the sort of veteran defender we need."

Ben Haim has made over 300 appearances during nine seasons in England, eight of which have been in the EPL.

Ben Haim played for Israeli Premier League club Maccabi Tel Aviv, making his pro debut in April of 2001 and earning the captain's armband in 2003-04. He went on to play three seasons with Bolton Wanderers, a season with Chelsea where he was a part of the club's second place finish in the Premier League in 2007-08. He also spent time with Manchester City, Sunderland, Portsmouth and West Ham United.

Ben Haim has earned 71 caps for the Israeli national team, his most recent coming in a World Cup qualifier versus Northern Ireland in March.

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