TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
The best team in MLS signed up one of the best youth prospects in the league on Monday, as freshly-crowned MLS Cup champions Toronto FC inked US U-17 national team striker Ayo Akinola to a Homegrown contract.
Akinola has already logged time at the professional level, having been promoted from TFC’s top academy team to TFC II, the club’s USL side, in 2016, scoring two goals in 10 appearances. He becomes the 15th player in club history to sign for the first team from Toronto’s academy, and the 34th academy product to sign a pro deal with TFC, TFC II or TFC III.
“Ayo is the third product of the full player pathway designed at Toronto FC, playing within our academy to playing for TFC II and now the first team,” said TFC’s senior VP of soccer operations & general manager Tim Bezbatchenko in a club release.
“Ayo is a versatile player that can play as a No. 9 or out wide. For a player at such a young age, he has a lot of physical attributes that include pace and strength as well as technical ability. Special thanks goes to Greg Vanney and Jason Bent along with our other academy coaches for their role in Ayo’s development.”
An alumnus of US Soccer’s Bradenton Residency Program, Akinola appeared in five matches for the US at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India earlier this year, registering one goal and one assist. He also contributed to the U-17s during qualifying, scoring four goals at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April.