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Report: Akindele to join USMNT for November friendlies after turning down Canadian call-up


Photo by Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports



FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele seems to have his mind set when it comes to his international future.

Goal USA reported Thursday that Akindele has turned down a call up from Canada and accepted a chance to join the U.S. Men’s National Team. The FC Dallas forward will join the U.S in London. for a pair of November friendlies against Colombia and Ireland.

Akindele’s choice came as a surprise to Canada, who were reportedly expecting the 22-year-old forward to join them for a November friendly against Panama. However, Akindele recently backed out of his commitment to Canada and informed the team of his decision to join the USMNT in London for the upcoming international break.

The FC Dallas forward initially discussed his international future back in August, when he revealed that he was still undecided on what nation he would choose to play for.

“The Canadian team has contacted FC Dallas and let them know they are interested in me, which is really good,” Akindele said. “Unfortunately we have some club stuff coming up so I can’t go to the camp they have coming up, but I’m really honored to be contacted by the national team. It feels great.

“I am about to get my US citizenship, hopefully within a month or so,” Akindele continued. “I’ve been going through that process. I just kind of want to focus on my development and make sure I am good enough to play for any of those teams.”

The 22-year-old, who was born in Calgary before relocating to Thornton, Col., was impressive in his rookie season with FC Dallas, for whom he scored seven goals in 26 appearances.

FC Dallas are back in action Monday when the team takes on the Seattle Sounders in the second leg of the Western Conference semifinals.

What do you think of Akindele’s choice to join the USMNT? How will the forward fare on the international level?

Share your thoughts below.


    • Never saw him play until MLS. He is a hard working player that finishes off his chances. Doesn’t do anything great, but due to his hard work ethic, he is going to get better game after game. Consider his trajectory this season being a rookie, and you can see the potential is there.

      Like a Nigerian version of Harry Kane.

  1. I always find it interesting that some people claim to know what’s best for a player whom they don’t even know personally. Amazing how many mind readers there are out there. And fortune tellers, too, since some seem to know how good he will be in the future. He is in process of becoming an American citizen, he grew up in Colorado. Sounds like playing for the US makes sense to him.
    Even if he’s a long shot to make the US team, how many times has Canada gone to the WC? I’ve known people who have chosen to become a big fish in a small pond rather than tackle the big pond in a number of different career fields. I think if you have faith in yourself, take on the best.

    • I find it funny how people are acting like our striker pool is so deep that he has no shot. He’ll need to improve from his rookie season but lets face it, we’re not exactly Argentina.

  2. I know I am biased and as I have watched Tesho grow from a high schooler at Northglenn H.S. to Co School of Mines and to FCD. He has exceeded every expectation ever placed on him. In fact, he’s crushed it. He loves to proves the doubters wrong, He does it with hard work and class and is not one to wag his finger at you and say, “I told you so”. Tesho just learns, studies, and eventually gets the job done. I’ll be the first to say he’s still a raw talent but what he’s displayed considering where he came from — D-II player — is remarkable. He continues to improve week to week. So good ahead everyone, say he’s crazy for turning down Canada. Go ahead – do it. Continue to say he’s not US quality because at the end of the day he will prove you wrong. He has done it his whole life.

    • Agreed!

      I think he will do well on the national team level.

      When we was drafted, everyone was like who…DII?

      Now look…..I’ll still hope that he’s filling to wear the red and white of Canada.

  3. Two things that are relevant:
    (1) He doesn’t want to be cap-tied yet..
    (2) Bunbury?

    He can still play for Canada. Opting out of their next friendly keeps his USA option open– that’s it.

    And Bunbury. Would he really have helped CMNT program? He has stagnated to be kind. Maybe he will resurrect his career and it then could be considered a loss for Canada. But right now; I don’t think Canada is in worse shape without him.

    • Trust me…Bunbury can be used/mixed into to the group of the ageing crop of CMNT players, and young unattached/no playing time players.

  4. He’s as Nigerian as Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Timmy Chandler, etc. are American. Nigeria should be mentioned as a possible cap tie if this player is keeping his options open, even if he has made no overtures about it yet.

      • They played well in a loss against Colombia for 70 mins.. Prior to that they failed to score a goal in over a year. There is only enough funding to hold camps maybe twice a year (at any age level).

        Someone in the CSA also told me they think Floro has alzheimer’s because he can’t even remember the names of his own staff but that’s a different story..

        I would love to see Canada Soccer turn it around but the reality is there’s all sorts of problems we need to sort out, and those problems go all the way to the grass roots level.

      • Prior to Columbian loss (in which they played well) Canada had a 3-1 win vs Jamaica and back to back 1-1 draws. 5 goals in three games. There are positive changes happening.

  5. I agree that this was not a smart move, although I’m not sure if it’s due to his wanting to play for the US or the fact that it’s a call-up at the end of a very long season for him…if it’s the latter, we can’t really fault him for wanting to get a bit of rest and not risk his health/fitness.

    If FCD hadn’t made the playoffs, I would like to think that he’d have accepted the call-up. His reps have to be telling him that the US is too deep in the forward department for him to justify choosing us. Canada isn’t going to win anything any time soon but his inclusion may help them break their streak of failing to make it out of the group stages in the last two Gold Cups and/or qualify for a World Cup for the first time since ’86.

    When it comes to international football, I think he’d prefer to be the big fish in a little pond as a Canadian, rather than fighting just to be noticed as a USMNT player. At least I’d hope…

    • Have you ever been an athlete at any competitive level? You don’t make it to the level that these guys do without the drive to absolutely play for the best team you can possibly make. All these young guys want to be the big fish in the biggest pond they can find. That attitude is why they are as good as they are.

  6. So stupid…. why not play for Canada like Teal Bunbury should have.

    Do these guys really think they are going to unseat Jozy???

    • Just because he’s turned Canada down once doesn’t mean he won’t evenutally play for them. He’s keeping his options open, and I don’t understand why anyone would tear into a guy for that. Teal could have played for Canada – Tesho still can. The similarities between the two are minimal – different styles, different club situations, different strengths, different weaknesses. Do I think Tesho will become the next big thing in American soccer? Not really, but I think he’s a good player, and he might be able to earn a place in camp w/ the US if that’s what he really wants and he continues to improve at the rate he has this season.

    • He’ll play for Canada sooner or later. He stands ZERO chance with the USMNT. Jozy isn’t even his only competition. He still had to worry about passing Zardes and he isn’t even capped yet

      • We have exactly one true established striker (I don’t consider Dempsey a true striker) on the international level and that’s Altidore and he can’t get a game for Sunderland. It’s all up for grabs. We are extremely thin on the forward line. Yes, we have a bunch of guys with potential that are begging for caps and I would like to think Akindele is one of those guys. It will be an uphill battle but guess what, Tesho is well equipped to fight that battle. He’s battled his whole life to get exposure and he’s done nothing but exceed expectations. It would not surprise me in the least to see him raise his game to the international level with the US. Don’t count him out. That’s all I’m saying.

      • +1 It’s true. One has to wonder how far Charlie Davies actually is from a recall at this point. Pretty sure I’m not even kidding.

      • Had a brace in the first leg of the conference semis. Playing well with Nguyen, Bumberry, Jones, etc. Maybe Jan. camp.

      • Strikers tend to peak younger than other positions – the research I’ve seen says that strikers hit their primes at 24, and play at roughly the same level until they’re 29, when they tend to start declining.

        He’s very much near his prime.

      • He just got out of college, he has not been playing pro since he was 16-18. He has plenty of peak ahead.

    • One, you can play with more then one forward, Two, who knows how much longer Dempsey will go for. Three, Injuries happen. Four who knows what his ceiling is. Five, I like Jozy a lot but he’s not exactly a top 10 striker in the World, the more competition the better.

    • Pause a moment. Consider the last World Cup. Jozy hammy. AJ leg. Giving Wondo playing time in key games.

      Jozy also goes through stretches where his effort is low and his finishing is not “broad side of a barn.” Boyd has not grabbed a spot really. Some others have performed but not been used as much. Dempsey performs on and off but is getting old.

      You stockpile talent and see what happens. You do not assume the pecking order holds or everyone will be healthy.

      It may be a risk on his part, but it’s be capped by the US and JK and see what happens versus become part of Canada, perhaps have more security, but have less progression prospects. We know how the Canadian movie ends…..he watches us advance instead. They maybe don’t even make the Hex.

  7. Two names to tell this young lad:


    I can only hope he doesn’t get seduced and used like what happens to a lot of USMNT players who have international options.

    • Like every other player who didn’t make it as a regular on the US, Teal just didn’t improve like he was meant to. It’s down to him and I for one am glad Klinsi doesn’t feel the need to string him along because he switched allegiances to us.

    • How was he used? If he is good enough, he is good enough. If not, he doesn’t play. It is obvious his form and trajectory has not been what everybody expected. Hopefully for him and the USMNT that changes.

    • 1: Teal Bunbury
      2: Sydney Leroux

      Let’s be honest, any reason to add Sydney to a list is worth doing so. Now your “two names” are complete.

  8. He moved to the US at a relatively young age so he probably doesn’t feel much loyalty to Canada anyway. Not sure how likely he is to get a US callup though.


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