Toronto FC's Ayo Akinola likely out for 2021 season with torn ACL

Ayo Akinola – Canada – ACL tear

Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola suffered a torn ACL while on international duty with Canada against the United States on Sunday, the club announced Tuesday. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2021 season.

The injury occurred in Akinola's first-ever start for the Canadian national team.

Akinola, 21, filed a one-time switch to represent Canada at the senior level ahead of the Gold Cup after featuring for the US at various youth national team levels. He was born in Detroit, but moved to Brampton, Ontario, when he was a year old. He is a product of TFC's academy and made his first team debut in 2018 before breaking out in 2020. He has 13 goals and two assists in 38 MLS matches (21 starts).

Akinola will return to TFC in the coming days and be evaluated further by the medical staff.

Toronto have endured a number of injuries this year but were closing in on returning to full-strength prior to Akinola's ailment. The club still have Jozy Altidore, Dom Dwyer and Patrick Mullins to choose from at center forward, with Altidore returning to the team after training on his own for nearly two months after a dispute with former head coach Chris Armas.

Canada advanced to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup by finishing second in Group B, behind the United States. They will find out their opponents on Tuesday night when the group stage wraps up.

Concacaf announced yesterday that teams can make injury replacements ahead of the knockout rounds.