Ayo Akinola

Ayo Akinola (born January 20, 2000) is an American soccer player who currently plays as a forward for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.

Ayo Akinola
Akinola playing for the United States U20 against France U20 on March 22, 2019
Personal information
Full name Ayo Akinola[1]
Date of birth (2000-01-20) January 20, 2000
Place of birth Detroit, Michigan, United States
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Toronto FC
Number 20
Youth career
2008–2014 Brampton East
2015–2017 Toronto FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016– Toronto FC II 34 (8)
2018– Toronto FC 12 (1)
National team
2015 United States U15 7 (5)
2015–2017 United States U17 25 (24)
2018–2019 United States U20 10 (7)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 12, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of March 25, 2019

Club career

Toronto FC II

A product of the TFC Academy, Akinola was called up to the Toronto FC II set-up for the 2016 USL season.[2] On June 15, 2016, he made his debut as an 80th-minute substitute for Shaan Hundal in a 1–1 draw with FC Montreal. Akinola made his first start a week later in a 4–1 defeat to Louisville City.[3] On July 11, he scored a brace in a 4–2 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders and was named to the USL Team of the Week.[4] He finished the season with two goals from 10 appearances.

Akinola trialled with Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven in November 2017.[5]

Toronto FC

On December 18, 2017, Akinola signed as a homegrown player with Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.[6] He became the 15th player to graduate from the TFC Academy and sign for the first team, and the 34th academy graduate to sign a professional contract for one of the Toronto FC teams.[7]

International career


In April 2015, Akinola made his international debut for the United States U15 national soccer team, appearing in a 4–1 victory against Costa Rica. The following day he scored his first international goal, netting four in a 6–2 win against Croatia. He also scored in his final appearances for the U15s in a 3–3 draw in England.[8]

In December 2015, Akinola was called up to the United States U17 squad and played 40 minutes in a 3–2 defeat to England U16s. He scored his first goal against Brazil in March 2016, before scoring a brace against Russia a few days later. In October 2017, Akinola scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Ghana at the FIFA U17 World Cup in India.[9]


Akinola is eligible to play internationally for the United States, Canada or Nigeria.[10][11] Both the Canadian Soccer Association and the Nigeria Football Federation have reached out to Akinola regarding his future at the senior international level. In 2018, Akinola commented “No time to rush. But at some point, I’m going to have to make a decision which one is the best fit for me.”[12]

Personal life

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Akinola moved to Brampton, Ontario as a child where he was raised. Akinola's younger brother Tom is a member of the TFC Academy and has attended a Canadian under-14 camp.

Career statistics

As of match played 30 March 2019
Club League Season League Cup[lower-alpha 1] Continental Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Toronto FC II United Soccer League 2016 10 2 0 0 0 0 10 2
2018 16 5 0 0 0 0 16 5
Total 26 7 0 0 0 0 26 7
Toronto FC Major League Soccer 2018 4 0 2 1 0 0 6 1
2019 2 1 0 0 2 0 4 1
Total 6 1 2 1 2 0 10 2
Career total 32 8 2 1 2 0 36 9
  1. Includes Canadian Championship matches.


  1. "FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019: List of players" (PDF). FIFA. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  2. "Ayo Akinola". Toronto FC. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  3. "USA – A. Akinola – Profile with news, career statistics and history – Soccerway". us.soccerway.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  4. "Ayo Akinola Named To USL Team Of The Week". Toronto FC. July 12, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  5. Grossi, James (November 15, 2017). "Toronto FC academy player, US U-17 Ayo Akinola takes trial with PSV". MLS Soccer. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  6. "Teenage forward Ayo Akinola signs as Toronto FC homegrown player". Toronto Sun. December 18, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  7. "Toronto FC Sign Ayo Akinola". torontofc.ca. MLS. December 18, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  8. "Ayo Akinola". www.ussoccer.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  9. "TFC's Akinola scores as US U-17s edge Ghana in key U-17 World Cup clash". October 9, 2017.
  10. "Toronto FC II's Akinola Ascending with U.S. U17s". USL Soccer. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  11. Kingsley, Igho (September 19, 2017). "Toronto FC wonderkid Akinola set to follow in the footsteps of Man Utd's Olosunde". All Nigeria Soccer. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  12. "TFC's Ayo Akinola has tough choice on international future". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
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