Toronto FC has signed ahead Ayo Akinola to a brand new contract that runs by means of 2024 with an possibility for 2025.

Akinola’s deal is a part of the Main League Soccer U-22 Initiative which permits golf equipment to enroll to 3 younger gamers, age 22 and youthful, to “profitable contracts at a diminished funds cost.”

Gamers can occupy the U22 Initiative slot by means of the season they flip 25. Akinola, who turned 22 on Thursday, is eligible as a homegrown participant on his second contract.

Below league guidelines, the utmost a homegrown participant can earn underneath the U22 program is $200,000 US above the utmost wage funds cost (which was $612,500 final 12 months). Akinola made $157,513 final season.

His wage funds cost will probably be $200,000 this 12 months.

“Over the previous couple of years, watching Ayo develop as a participant and an individual has been extraordinarily gratifying to the numerous workers who’ve labored with him alongside our participant pathway,” Toronto president Invoice Manning mentioned in an announcement. “We now have seen glimpses the final two seasons of simply how impactful Ayo will be and it is thrilling to think about what’s nonetheless to come back for him as a TFC participant.”

Akinola had surgical procedure on his proper knee in early August after injuring the anterior cruciate ligament of his knee in Canada’s 1-0 loss to the U.S. on the CONCACAF Gold Cup. That restricted him to only 11 regular-season appearances with three objectives.

Akinola’s breakthrough 12 months was within the pandemic-truncated 2020 season when he scored a team-high 9 objectives in 15 video games. He turned heads with 5 objectives in two video games on the MLS is Again Match that July..

“Ayo has nice beginning factors for a younger attacker,” mentioned Bob Bradley, Toronto’s head coach and sporting director. “He strikes nicely and places himself in place to attain objectives. He has the power to complete in a lot of other ways. We’re excited to proceed working with him and pushing him to turn into even higher.”

Lately switched allegiance to Canada

Akinola, who joined TFC as a homegrown participant in December 2017, has made a mixed 46 appearances throughout all competitions with 14 objectives.

He spent two seasons with Toronto FC II, with eight objectives in 34 appearances.

“Nothing makes me happier than figuring out that I will be capable to play in entrance of my household, pals and TFC followers at BMO Area. My purpose is to get well from this damage, get again on the sphere and assist our crew win video games and compete for titles,” mentioned Akinola.

Born in Detroit, Akinola moved to Canada when he was one.

He represented the U.S. at youth stage from 2015 to 2019 and made one look with senior crew earlier than switching allegiance to Canada. He scored in his lone look for the U.S., a 6-0 win over El Salvador, however was not cap-tied for the reason that match was a pleasant.

He made his Canadian debut towards Haiti finally 12 months’s Gold Cup.

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