TFC Academy

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Toronto FC Academy
TFC Academy logo.svg
Full name Toronto Football Club Academy
Nickname(s) TFC, Reds
Founded 2008
Ground KIA Toronto FC Training Ground and Academy
Manager Greg Vanney (Director)
Danny Dichio (Senior)
Anthony Capotosto (Junior)
Michael Stefano (U16)
Rick Titus (U14)
Gianni Cimini (U12)
League League1 Ontario
Website Club home page

Toronto FC (TFC) Academy are the youth academy and development system of Canadian Major League Soccer club, Toronto FC. The academy currently consists of multiple teams spanning different age groups, from U18 and U17 to U12. The senior squad plays in the newly launched League1 Ontario, the third tier of the Canadian soccer pyramid. All teams play there home games at KIA Training Ground.[1] For sponsorship purposes, the Academy teams are referred to as the KIA Toronto FC Academy, with the title sponsor being Kia Motors Canada.

History[edit]

On March 29, 2008, Paul Beirne, Toronto FC Director of Business Operations, announced that "The goal of Toronto FC is, of course, to one day hoist the MLS Cup but another goal has always been to have an indelible mark of the soccer landscape in Canada, and specifically Ontario. It is our hope that Toronto FC not only be the aspirational choice for young soccer players in Canada, but an academy that has a real effect on the development of young, talented players. When we needed to find a league that would test the mettle of the best players in the academy we wanted something that would test them technically, physically, and tactically – after all, in most countries in the world, U18s are in professional environments – but at the same time wouldn’t jeopardize their amateur status and the CSL was an ideal fit.”

On August 26, 2010 Doneil Henry signed a pro contract with the Toronto FC senior squad becoming the first-ever TFC academy player to sign since the creation of the club in 2007.[2] Three weeks following the Henry signing Toronto's first team signed forward Nicholas Lindsay becoming the second academy signing in history.[3]

On January 24, 2011, Stuart Neely the academy director announced that Toronto FC ownership approved a $17.6 million investment in a new training facility and planning is underway for the creation of a third academy team.[4] Neeley also hinted that with the new first team coaches Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk that TFC Academy will be following that of the famous Ajax developmental program, with both Winter and de Klerk working directly with the youth teams. In late September former defender Ashtone Morgan became the first graduate of the Toronto FC Academy to be called up to the Canadian men's national team.[5]

In addition to TFC Academy's U-18 squad playing in the Canadian Soccer League, the U-16 squad competes in the CSL Reserve Division as TFC Academy II.

On January 6, 2012 the unofficial ties between Toronto FC and Ajax Amsterdam were further strengthened with the signing of former Ajax player Thomas Rongen as the director of the academy.

After the CSA de-sanctioned the CSL, it was announced on the league's website that TFC Academy would not compete in the CSL anymore.[6]

On June 27, 2013 Canada announced its 23-man squad for the upcoming 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the squad included Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry and Jonathan Osorio which was the first time TFC academy graduates had made a senior international tournament roster.[7]

KIA TFC training ground[edit]

Side view of the KIA training ground
Field at the KIA Training ground

In June 2012, TFC academy moved to their new KIA Training Ground in Downsview Park,[8] located in North York. Built at a cost of $21 million to MLSE, the facility has seven pitches: three full-sized grass pitches and four artificial turfs with two capable of being bubbled for year-round use. The 36,000 square foot facility also contains first team facilities, gym, kitchen, and offices.[9]

Coaching staff[edit]

  • United States Greg Vanney Academy Director
  • Canada Jaime McMillan Player Development Manager
  • England Danny Dichio Senior Team Head Coach
  • Canada Anthony Capotosto Junior Team Head Coach
  • Canada Michael Stefano U16 Head Coach
  • Canada Rick Titus U14 Head Coach
  • Canada Gianni Cimini U12 Head Coach

Year-by-year[edit]

Original TFC Academy Crest
The Year Division League Regular Season Playoffs
2008 3 CSL 6th, National Did not qualify
2009 3 CSL 4th, National Quarterfinals
2010 3 CSL 6th Quarterfinals
2011 3 CSL 10th Did not qualify
2012 3 CSL 7th Quarterfinals
2013 OSL
2014 3 League1 Ontario

League1 Ontario roster[edit]

TFC Academy senior team 2012

As of June 7, 2014[10]

No. Position Player Nation
Robertson, TarikTarik Robertson      Canada
Stowell, MattMatt Stowell      Canada
Rogal, MarkMark Rogal      Canada
Godinho, MarcusMarcus Godinho      Canada
Afolayan, OladapoOladapo Afolayan      Canada
Nazemi, KooshaKoosha Nazemi      Canada
Saini, KarmanKarman Saini      Canada
Piccinin, JordanJordan Piccinin      Canada
Rodriguez, MarcoMarco Rodriguez      Canada
Roubos, EliEli Roubos      Canada
Sequira, DerickDerick Sequira      Canada
DiBennardo, FilippoFilippo DiBennardo      Canada
Sacramento, DylanDylan Sacramento      Canada
Manella, ChristopherChristopher Manella      Canada
Balicki, TomaszTomasz Balicki      Canada
Babouli, MolhamMolham Babouli      Canada
Restrepo, MateoMateo Restrepo      Canada
Kaye, Mark-AnthonyMark-Anthony Kaye      Canada
Uccello, LucaLuca Uccello      Canada
Black, KevonKevon Black      Canada
Jodah, DanielDaniel Jodah      Canada

Notable former Academy[edit]

Players who have signed for Toronto FC's first team or other professional teams:

International Games[edit]

TFC Academy joined with Chile giants Colo-Colo. The Toronto FC Academy squad played their first game against opponents outside the Canadian Soccer League on Tuesday June 29, 2010. The Academy tied Colo-Colo 4-4.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ajax wants a foothold in the U.S.". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  2. ^ First Academy Player To Sign Pro Contract. Torontofc.ca (2010-08-26). Retrieved on 2010-09-16.
  3. ^ Toronto FC Signs Academy Forward Nicholas Lindsay. Goal.com (2010-09-15). Retrieved on 2010-09-16.
  4. ^ Toronto plan big push with academy. MLS Soccer (2011-01-24). Retrieved on 2011-01-24.
  5. ^ "Morgan's call-up and the dreams of Canadian kids". Canadian Soccer News. September 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ http://canadiansoccerleague.com/newsnet/templates/?a=690&z=5
  7. ^ "Canada Finalize roster for Gold Cup, announces friendly". Canada Soccer. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  8. ^ "TFC high on new facility | Soccer | Sports". Toronto Sun. May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ January 31, 2014 1:21 AM EST Facebook Twitter RSS (May 30, 2012). "New TFC facility by the numbers | Toronto Star". Thestar.com. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Kia Toronto FC Academy Senior Squad". Torontofc.ca. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 

External links[edit]