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TFC signs U.S. U-17 forward Ayo Akinola as Homegrown player

Another member of the talented U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team signed a first-team deal on Monday.

Forward Ayo Akinola, who recorded a goal and an assist at the U-17 World Cup, signed with Toronto FC as a homegrown player.

“Ayo is a versatile player that can play as a number nine or out wide,” Toronto FC vice president of soccer operations and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. “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.”

Akinola made 10 appearances for Toronto FC II in 2016 and has been one of the key figures in the U-17 attack for the last year alongside Josh Sargent, Timothy Weah and Andrew Carleton.


  1. I thought his speed as a right sided forward was a weapon the US U-17s used well. When he was injured, the loss of his dangerous presence allowed the opponents to spend less attention on the danger he presented for capitalizing on fast counters. That changed the dynamic of games to permit the opponents to commit more players forward. If he has the resilience needed to take the pounding that comes in professional soccer, he should be a great addition to TFC’s attack.

  2. He was born in Detroit and moved to Canada when he was younger I think 3 or 4 but I couldn’t find the exact year. He spent time in his youth at the Academy in Bradenton. He is eligible to play for Canada as well. I believe his younger brother was born in Canada and has participated in their youth teams.


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