The long list of U.S. U17 MNT World Cup veterans on professional conttracts added another player this week.
Forward Ayo Akinola signed a Homegrown deal with MLS Champions Toronto FC.
“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,” Toronto FC Sr. Vice President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a press release. “Ayo is a versatile player that can play as a number nine 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.”
Akinola climbed the ladder from Toronto FC II to the MLS franchise. He appeared in 10 matches in the USL in 2016, and spent the bulk of 2017 on duty with the U.S. U17s. The 17-year-old made five appearances at the U17 World Cup this year, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
Pros from the U17 roster include Chris Durkin, Andrew Carleton, Christopher Goslin, Timothy Weah, Jaylin Lindsey, Bryan Reynolds and James Sands.