Noble Okello

Noble Okello Ayo (born 20 July 2000) is a Canadian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer.

Noble Okello
Personal information
Full name Noble Okello Ayo[1]
Date of birth (2000-07-20) 20 July 2000
Place of birth Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Toronto FC
Number 59
Youth career
2012–2016 Toronto FC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2018 Toronto FC III 31 (1)
2017– Toronto FC II 42 (0)
2019– Toronto FC 0 (0)
National team
2016 Canada U17 3 (0)
2018– Canada U20 5 (3)
2018– Canada U23 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 5, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 10, 2018

Club career

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Okello was part of the Toronto FC youth system since the age of 12. On 20 August 2017 he was part of the U17 side that beat Juventus U17 to capture the inaugural International Youth Soccer Cup in dramatic fashion.[2] He played 16 games for TFC Academy during the 2016 season and 13 games during the 2017 season, scoring once against ProStars FC.[3] On 15 September 2017, Okello signed his first professional contract.[4] On 6 October 2017 he made his professional debut against Bethlehem Steel FC in the USL replacing Brian James in the 71st minute.[5][6]

Following the conclusion of USL season Okello was invited to train with VfL Wolfsburg. On 10 January 2018 he played a full 90 minutes for their U19 side in a 2-1 victory over Hallescher FC where he scored the equalising goal in the 88th minute[7] On 13 January 2018 he played in the 4-1 win over BFC Dynamo at the Porschestadion and Thomas Reis described his performance as enthusiastic and satisfying.[8] He was recalled by his club to take part in first team pre season with 2017 MLS champions Toronto FC in Los Angeles starting on 22 January 2018.[9]

He made his first team debut on 31 January 2018 in a pre season friendly against Tijuana coming on in the 61st minute to replace Michael Bradley in central midfield as the team was winning 3-2. The game finished in a 3-2 victory for Toronto.[10] On 2 February 2018 he started against Los Angeles FC in their first ever pre season game at Drake Stadium (UCLA) which finished 2-2.[11] On 6 February 2018 he travelled with the first team to Mexico for the second leg of their 2018 pre season with games scheduled against Liga MX clubs Pachuca, América and Cruz Azul.[12]

On 6 April 2018 it was reported that VfL Wolfsburg had made three separate transfer bids to sign the player which would see his club receive a six figure transfer fee in addition to appearance fees and sell on percentage fee. Toronto FC confirmed that an offer was received yet did not clarify why the bid was rejected.[13]

On 18 April 2018 he made his first start of the 2018 USL season playing the full 90 minutes and helping his team pick up its first points of the season and clean sheet in a 0-0 draw at BMO Field.[14] He finished the game with an 87.3% pass success rate.[15]

On 16 September 2018 he started and played the full 90 minutes in front of 27,275 fans at Nippert Stadium against FC Cincinnati in a thrilling game that finished 4-3.[16]

Okello was promoted to the Toronto FC first team on 22 January 2019.[17] He made his first-team debut for Toronto on August 14 against the Ottawa Fury in the second leg of their 2019 Canadian Championship semi-final series.[18]

International career


Okello has represented Canada U17 and was part of their 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship campaign coached by former Werder Bremen and Tottenham Hotspur full back Paul Stalteri.[19]

In May 2018 he was called up to the Canadian U23 side for the 2018 Toulon Tournament.[20] On 28 May 2018 he started in the Group C game against Portugal U20 which finished 0-0.[21] In October 2018 Okello was named to the Canadian U20 squad for the 2018 CONCACAF U-20 Championship.[22] He scored a brace in the tournament opener against Dominica, a 4-0 victory.[23]


Okello was named to the Canadian senior team's provisional 40-man roster for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup[24] He was named to the final squad on May 30.[25]

Style of play

Because of his height, technical ability and range of passing Okello has been likened to Paul Pogba.[26] The TFC Prospect report and Greg Vanney describes him as having the "ability to control the ball and play short, long and fast whilst under pressure. He is calm and little seems to faze him. When Okello roams, he is capable of covering a lot of ground — with or without the ball — quickly. His technique with both feet enables him to glide past opponents without breaking stride".[27]

Personal life

Okello's uncle, Anthony Atine,[28] is a Brampton, Ontario resident who is originally from Uganda and has been the president of the Canada-Africa Soccer Friendship Association.[29] His cousin, Tony Awor,[28] is a UK-based football agent and consultant.[30] Through Awor, he is a distant cousin of Ugandan former international player David Obua.[30]

Career statistics

As of October 5, 2019[31]
Club Season League Domestic Cup League Cup Continental Total
Toronto FC III 2016 League1 Ontario 16010170
2017 13100131
2018 201030
Total 311002000331
Toronto FC II 2017 USL 1010
2018 220220
2019 USL League One 190000000190
Total 420000000420
Toronto FC 2019 MLS 0010000010
Career total 731102000761


  1. "40-Player National Team Roster: 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup: Canada" (PDF). CONCACAF. p. 2. Retrieved 20 May 2019 via Bernews.
  2. "U-17s beat Juventus to capture International Youth Soccer Cup!". Toronto FC. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. "TFC III at ProStars FC - 2017 Regular Season". Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  4. "Dunn, Okello, and Romeo sign first pro deals". Toronto FC. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  5. "Toronto II vs. Bethlehem Steel - 7 October 2017". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  6. "Noble Okello". YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  7. "U19 dreht Spiel kurz vor Schluss". VfL Wolfsburg. 10 January 2018.
  8. "Testspielerfolge" (in German). VfL Wolfsburg. 2018-01-14.
  9. "Toronto FC Announce 2018 Preseason Roster". Toronto FC. 23 January 2018.
  10. "Toronto FC: 61' TFC SUBS". Twitter. 31 January 2018.
  11. "LAFC tie first-ever preseason friendly 2-2 against Toronto FC". 2 February 2018.
  12. "Toronto FC's two-pronged preseason approach logical". 6 February 2018.
  13. "Canadian youth international Okello attracting attention from Bundesliga". Soc Takes. 6 April 2018.
  14. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. "Toronto FC sign Noble Okello". TorontoFC. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  18. {{cite web|url= 14, 2019|title=Toronto FC 3, Ottawa Fury 0 - 2019 Canadian Championship Match Recap
  19. "Canada announces squad for CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship". Canada Soccer. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  22. "Canada announces squad for the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship". October 24, 2018.
  23. Sandor, Steven (November 2, 2018). "Canada triumphs over Dominica in U20 Championship opener".
  24. Bogert, Tom (May 20, 2019). "Canada men's national team 40-man provisional roster for 2019 Gold Cup".
  25. "Together We Rise: Canada Soccer announces squad for the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup". May 30, 2019.
  26. "Noble Okello". YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  28. "Noble Okello". Canada Soccer. May 20, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  29. Maher, Eamonn (April 5, 2006). "Local students aiding Ugandan peers" (PDF). Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  30. Martinuzzi, Edoardo (January 7, 2015). "“For me Kaizer Chiefs is one of the biggest clubs in all of Africa, so when the opportunity presented itself, we had to look at it.” – Tony Awor". Soccer Laduma. Retrieved June 2, 2019. I have some family in Uganda and coincidentally former Kaizer Chiefs player David Obua is a cousin of mine.
  31. "Canada - N. Okello - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
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