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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Toronto FC signs U.S. youth international Ayo Akinola, 17

MLS champion Toronto FC signed United States Under-17 forward Ayo Akinola to its first team as a homegrown player on Monday.

Akinola, 17, represented his country at the Under-17 World Cup in India this year, where he scored a goal and provided an assist in five appearances.

He scored two goals in 10 appearances for Toronto's USL team last season.

Ayo Akinola will join Toronto FC's first team starting next season.

"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," general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said.

"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."

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