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Toronto FC Sign Ayo Akinola to a New Deal

January 20, 2022 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Toronto FC News Release

Toronto FC announced today that forward Ayo Akinola has signed a new deal as part of the Major League Soccer U-22 Initiative through 2024 with an option for 2025.

"We are thrilled as a club to have signed Ayo as part of the league's new Under-22 initiative," said Toronto FC President Bill Manning. "Over the last few years, watching Ayo grow as a player and a person has been extremely gratifying to the many staff who have worked with him along our player pathway. We have seen glimpses the last two seasons of just how impactful Ayo can be and it's exciting to think of what's still to come for him as a TFC player."

Akinola, 22, recently completed his fourth season with TFC after joining as a Homegrown Player in December 2017. He has made a combined 46 appearances across all competitions with 14 goals. In 2020, Akinola registered a team-high nine goals in 15 appearances for the Reds, helping the team finish with the second-best record during the MLS regular season. He made his MLS debut against Minnesota United on July 5, 2018, and recorded his first MLS goal on March 17, 2019, against New England Revolution.

"I am very honoured and happy to sign a new contract with Toronto FC," said Akinola. "Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I'll be able to play in front of my family, friends and TFC fans at BMO Field. My goal is to recover from this injury, get back on the field and help our team win games and compete for titles."

A Homegrown player, Akinola spent two seasons with Toronto FC II, where he made 34 appearances with eight goals. In 2016, he made his professional debut with TFC II on June 15 against FC Montreal and earned his first start on June 21 against Louisville City FC. Akinola registered his first professional goal and first multi-goal game on July 10 against the Harrisburg City Islanders.

"Ayo has great starting points for a young attacker," said Toronto FC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley. "He moves well and puts himself in position to score goals. He has the ability to finish in a number of different ways. We are excited to continue working with him and pushing him to become even better."

Internationally, Akinola represented the United States Men's National Team (USMNT) at the youth level from 2015 to 2019 and made one appearance with the USMNT senior team in a friendly match against El Salvador in December 2020. On June 30, 2021, Canada Soccer announced that Akinola joined Canada's Men's National Team (CMNT) after receiving the approval to change associations. He made his debut with the CMNT against Haiti during the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

TRANSACTION: Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola signed a new deal as part of the MLS U-22 Initiative through 2024 with an option for 2025.

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