TORONTO – Just a day after the biggest front-office shakeup in franchise history, Toronto FC's interim director of soccer Earl Cochrane put his stamp on the club Wednesday, signing academy forward Nicholas Lindsay to a pro contract.
A native of nearby Brampton, Ont., Lindsay is the club’s second homegrown player to make the senior roster following the inking of another academy player, defender Doneil Henry, late last month.
“We are very happy to have Nicholas on board, and it’s a clear indication that our academy staff is doing the right things with these athletes,” said Cochrane, who took over from long-time director Mo Johnston after he was dismissed on Tuesday.
"In many ways, Nicholas is the ideal MLS player – incredibly athletic, quick, strong, and confident and has a great head on his shoulders," Cochrane said. "I’m convinced he will be a big part of Toronto FC’s short- and long-term future.”
Lindsay, 18, fills Toronto FC’s final roster spot for homegrown players. The 18-year-old has made two appearances already for Toronto's senior team, first debuting against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Nutrilite Canadian Championship action on June 2 and then substituting into a friendly against England Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on July 21.
“Nicholas is a player that has joined in with the first team on numerous occasions already,” interim head coach Nick Dasovic said. “He’s shown a lot of promise in games against Vancouver and Bolton when he’s been called up. He’s a player that has a lot of pace and can strike the ball with both feet. We look forward to having him aboard full time.”
He joined the club on its three-game, nine-day road trip that begins on Wednesday night with a critical CONCACAF Champions League match against Real Salt Lake.
Toronto are currently in a four-way tie in Group A with RSL, Mexico’s Cruz Azul and Panama's Árabe Unido, all of whom have a win and loss apiece with four games remaining.