Noble Okello

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Noble Okello
Personal information
Full name Noble Okello Ayo
Date of birth (2000-07-20) 20 July 2000 (age 18)
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)
2017–2018 Toronto FC II 23 (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 22 January 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of November 10, 2018

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

Career[edit]

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.[1] He played 16 games for TFC Academy during the 2016 season and 13 games during the 2017 season, scoring once against ProStars FC.[2] On 15 September 2017, Okello signed his first professional contract.[3] On 6 October 2017 he made his professional debut against Bethlehem Steel FC in the USL replacing Brian James in the 71st minute.[4][5]

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[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13] He finished the game with an 87.3% pass success rate.[14]

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.[15]

Okello was promoted to the Toronto FC first team on 22 January 2019.[16]

Style of play[edit]

Because of his height, technical ability and range of passing Okello has been likened to Paul Pogba.[17] 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".[18]

International[edit]

Youth[edit]

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]

Career statistics[edit]

As of October 13, 2018[24]
Club Season League Domestic Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Toronto FC III 2016 League1 Ontario 16 0 1 0 17 0
2017 13 1 0 0 13 1
2018 2 0 1 0 3 0
Total 31 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 33 1
Toronto FC II 2017 USL 1 0 1 0
2018 22 0 22 0
Total 23 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
Career total 54 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 56 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "U-17s beat Juventus to capture International Youth Soccer Cup!". Toronto FC. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ "TFC III at ProStars FC - 2017 Regular Season". league1ontario.com. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Dunn, Okello, and Romeo sign first pro deals". Toronto FC. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Toronto II vs. Bethlehem Steel - 7 October 2017". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Noble Okello". YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  6. ^ "U19 dreht Spiel kurz vor Schluss". VfL Wolfsburg. 10 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Testspielerfolge" (in German). VfL Wolfsburg. 2018-01-14.
  8. ^ "Toronto FC Announce 2018 Preseason Roster". Toronto FC. 23 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Toronto FC: 61' TFC SUBS". Twitter. 31 January 2018.
  10. ^ "LAFC tie first-ever preseason friendly 2-2 against Toronto FC". angelsonparade.com. 2 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Toronto FC's two-pronged preseason approach logical". wakingthered.com. 6 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Canadian youth international Okello attracting attention from Bundesliga". Soc Takes. 6 April 2018.
  13. ^ https://us.soccerway.com/matches/2018/04/19/united-states/mls-reserve-league/toronto-fc-ii/carolina-railhawks/2719560/?ICID=PL_MS_07. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ https://www.uslsoccer.com/noble-okello-ayo. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ https://cincinnatisoccertalk.com/2018/09/16/fc-cincinnati-escapes-with-win-over-toronto
  16. ^ "Toronto FC sign Noble Okello". TorontoFC. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Noble Okello". YouTube. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  18. ^ https://mailchi.mp/1bc2ceea4460/prospect-report-noble-okello?e=24e9a0705c
  19. ^ "Canada announces squad for CONCACAF Men's Under-17 Championship". Canada Soccer. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  20. ^ https://www.wakingthered.com/2018/5/17/17366008/canadas-roster-toulon-tournament-2018-france-liam-millar
  21. ^ https://festival-foot-espoirs.com/festival/detail_rencontre.php?id=771
  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. ^ "Canada - N. Okello - Profile with news, career statistics and history". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 October 2017.

External links[edit]