Toronto FC Academy

Coordinates: 43°44′37″N 79°28′18″W / 43.74361°N 79.47167°W / 43.74361; -79.47167
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Toronto FC Academy
Full nameToronto Football Club Academy
Nickname(s)The Reds
FoundedMarch 1, 2008; 15 years ago (2008-03-01) as TFC Academy
StadiumBMO Training Ground
85 Carl Hall Road
Toronto, Ontario
Coordinates43°44′37″N 79°28′18″W / 43.74361°N 79.47167°W / 43.74361; -79.47167
Academy directorAnthony Capotosto
Head coach
  • U19: Dino Lopez
  • U17: Terry Dunfield
LeagueMLS Next
WebsiteClub website

Toronto FC Academy, also known as TFC Academy, is the youth academy and development system of Canadian Major League Soccer club Toronto FC.

The academy has divisions from U14 to U19 and includes over 110 young players.[1] The senior academy team is known as Toronto FC III.[2]


The TFC Academy's U-18 squad began playing in the Canadian Soccer League in 2008, with the U-16 squad competing in the CSL Reserve Division as TFC Academy II.

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.[3] Three weeks following the Henry signing Toronto's first team signed forward Nicholas Lindsay becoming the second academy signing in history.[4] In late September 2011, 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 2011 there were close to 50 players enrolled in the TFC Academy.

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 was underway for the creation of a third academy team.[6]

After the CSA de-sanctioned the CSL, TFC Academy withdrew from CSL prior to the 2013 season.[7] The senior academy team joined the Ontario Soccer League for the 2013 season, however in 2014 the under-20 squad (known as Toronto FC III) began competing in League1 Ontario (L1O), which is the third level of the Canadian soccer pyramid. The academy also fielded a team in the Premier Development League in the 2015–16 seasons before withdrawing.[8]

On June 27, 2013 Canada announced its 23-man squad for the upcoming 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the squad included Ashtone Morgan and Doneil Henry which was the first time TFC academy graduates had made a senior international tournament roster.[9]

In November 2014, Toronto FC announced the establishment of their own team to play in the minor professional USL Pro, which serves as a reserve team for TFC and a bridge between the Academy.[10] Toronto FC became the sixth MLS club to own a USL Pro team. The team, which was named Toronto FC II, began play in 2015 at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan, just north of Toronto.[11][12] The new facilities include a permanent seating area with room for expansion and a new artificial playing surface.[13]

In September 2018, the U20 team left L1O and transformed into a U19 team that competes in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA), along with U17 and U15 teams.[14][15][16] The U16 and U14 teams will play in the Ontario Player Development League.[17]

The USSA announced on April 15, 2020 that they were ceasing operations permanently due to financial struggles brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, MLS announced that it was creating MLS Next as a replacement elite youth player development development platform, which Toronto FC would participate in.[18]

BMO Training Ground[edit]

Side view of the BMO training ground
Field at the BMO training ground
Bird's-eye view

In April 2011, Toronto FC unveiled plans to develop a state-of-art facility and soccer program that looked to develop the next generation of Canadian players through coaching, training, technology, equipment and support. Construction began in May 2011 and in June 2012, TFC academy moved to their new BMO Training Ground on 14 acres of land in Downsview Park,[19][20] located in North York. Built at a cost of $21 million to MLSE, the facility has 4 pitches in total: four full-sized grass pitches (two heated) and 1 artificial turf pitches (1 capable of being bubbled for year-round use). The 36,000 square foot facility also contains first team facilities (dressing room, hot tub, ice bath, rehabilitation pool, physiotherapy room, private dining) seven dressing rooms for the Academy teams, gym, physio and rehab facilities (separate from first team), kitchen, cafeteria, media room, classroom and offices for coaching staff.[20]

Current technical staff[edit]

Academy director Canada Anthony Capotosto
Assistant Academy director Canada Dino Lopez
Medical Canada Esteban Clavijo, Athletic Therapist
Manager Academy scouting Canada Chris Pozniak
Operations Canada Diana Sciacchitano
Equipment Canada McKenzie Jaglowitz
Performance Coach Canada Francesco Vescio
Coaching staff
Year Head coach Assistant coach Goalkeeper coach
Toronto FC II Canada Gianni Cimini Canada Marco Casalinuovo Canada David Monsalve
Toronto FC U19 Canada Dino Lopez Canada Dejan Jakovic Canada Paolo Ceccarelli
Toronto FC U17 Canada Terry Dunfield Canada Taylor Lord Republic of Ireland David Ennis
Toronto FC U16 Canada Marcus Laquie Canada Taylor Lord Republic of Ireland David Ennis
Toronto FC U15 Canada Arman Mohammadi Canada Taylor Lord Canada Lauren Kadet
Toronto FC U14 Canada Nemanja Jovanovic Canada Taylor Lord Canada Lauren Kadet

Head coaches (U19)[edit]

Year-by-year (U19/U20)[edit]

The Senior Academy side, commonly known as Toronto FC III, has played at the semi-professional (Division III) level. The team currently is a U19 team, after having previously been a U20 team

Team in 2012
U20 team 2017
Year Division League Regular season Playoffs League cup Ref
2008 3 Canadian Soccer League 6th, National Did not qualify [22]
2009 3 Canadian Soccer League 4th, National Quarterfinals
2010 3 Canadian Soccer League 6th Quarterfinals
2011 3 Canadian Soccer League 10th Did not qualify
2012 3 Canadian Soccer League 7th Quarterfinals
2013 Ontario Soccer League 2nd
2014 3 League1 Ontario Champions Champions
(Inter-Provincial Cup)
2015 3 League1 Ontario 5th Group stage
2015 4 (U.S.) Premier Development League 4th, Great Lakes Did not qualify [23]
2016 3 League1 Ontario 3rd, Western Conference Did not qualify Round of 16 [22]
2016 4 (U.S.) Premier Development League 6th, Great Lakes Did not qualify [23]
2017 3 League1 Ontario 3rd, Western Conference Did not qualify Quarterfinals [24]
2018 3 League1 Ontario 4th Declined participation Finalists
2019 Played in the amateur U.S. Soccer Development Academy
2021 3[note 1] League1 Ontario Summer Championship 1st
2022 MLS Next 7th, Northeastern division Did not qualify
2023 MLS Next 2nd Northeastern division Qualified
  1. ^ League1 Ontario held two divisions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic - the main division and a short season Summer Championship for teams unable to commit to a full season and some invited non-league members. Toronto FC Academy entered both their U19 and U17 teams in this division, as non-league members

Academy graduates[edit]

The following players have joined the Toronto FC first team on homegrown player contracts after having previously been a Toronto FC Academy player (players in bold are currently part of the team) (as of September 13, 2022):

  1. ^ Amadou Sanyang joined Toronto FC via transfer in March 2009, however, due to his age he was initially ineligible to join the senior squad until his 18th birthday, so he temporarily played for the Academy until he turned 18 in August 2009. As such, he was signed under a regular contract, as he was not eligible for a Homegrown contract.

The following players have signed for the Toronto FC first team on short-term loan contracts for MLS or Canadian Championship matches (players in bold are currently Toronto FC II players), after having been a Toronto FC Academy player, but did not sign a full-time contract (as of May 7, 2022):

The following players signed homegrown player contracts with other teams in Major League Soccer, having had their rights traded by Toronto FC after previously being a Toronto FC Academy player (as of May 7, 2022):

International matches[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. The U16 team competed Liga MX International tournament on August, 2017.[25] Toronto FC III participated in the Dallas Cup 2018.[26]

TFC Juniors[edit]

The Toronto FC Juniors, also known as the TFC Juniors, is part of the youth academy and development system of Toronto FC. It is a curriculum based program, for players aged six to thirteen, specializing in grassroots development with a professional coaching staff.[27] The program holds camps regionally and has held camps in Toronto, Pickering, Vaughan, Stoney Creek in Hamilton, Oakville, and Markham. The Toronto FC Juniors program is one of Toronto FC Academy's main sources for prospects alongside their network of scouts.

Regional partners[edit]

TFC Academy affiliate clubs

In 2015, Toronto FC formed a partnership with the Ontario Soccer Association, with the OSA recognizing TFC as the top of the pyramid in Ontario with respect to the player pathway for elite men's soccer. Following this, TFC began to form regional partnerships with various youth clubs.[28]

TFC Academy has made regional partnerships with local youth clubs in other Ontario cities re-branding under the TFC name - Windsor TFC, London TFC, and Ottawa TFC.[29] Windsor TFC was the re-branded name from Windsor Stars SC, whose senior team plays in League1 Ontario.;[30] London TFC was re-branded from FC London, whose senior team retained their name in L1O;[31] Ottawa TFC was formed from a merger of Cumberland United SC and Capital United SC.[32]

In 2021, the club announced three new regional partners: Kitchener TFC, Hamilton TFC, and DeRo TFC.[33] Kitchener TFC rebranded from Kitchener SC, Hamilton TFC rebranded from Mount Hamilton Youth SC (Mount Hamilton is also part of the Hamilton United group that competes in League1 Ontario and DeRo TFC rebranded from DeRo United Futbol Academy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Academy Quick Facts". Toronto FC. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "About Toronto FC III". Toronto FC. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "First Academy Player To Sign Pro Contract". Toronto FC. August 26, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Toronto FC Signs Academy Forward Nicholas Lindsay". Goal. September 15, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  5. ^ "Morgan's call-up and the dreams of Canadian kids". League1 Ontario. Canadian Soccer News. September 29, 2011. Archived from the original on April 18, 2012.
  6. ^ Rollins, Duane (January 24, 2011). "Toronto plan big push with academy". Major League Soccer. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
  7. ^ "CSL Readies for New Season - April kickoff will be earliest on record". Canadian Soccer League. March 4, 2013. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013.
  8. ^ Brown, Josh (April 24, 2017). "K-W United FC partner up with TFC". Waterloo Region Record. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  9. ^ "Canada Finalize roster for Gold Cup, announces friendly". Canadian Soccer Association. June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2013.
  10. ^ "Toronto FC announces USL PRO team". Toronto FC. November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  11. ^ "Toronto FC Unveils USL PRO Details". USL Pro. January 21, 2015. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  12. ^ "OSA, Toronto FC and Vaughan partner in new stadium". Ontario Soccer Association. January 21, 2015. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  13. ^ Cudmore, John (August 30, 2015). "Ontario Soccer body unveils new playpen in Vaughan". York Region News. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  14. ^ "Development Academy Expansion Welcomes 16 New Clubs For 2018-2019 Season". US Development Academy. March 9, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Grossi, James (August 31, 2018). "Joining USSDA provides a high level of competition for the Academy". Toronto FC. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Toronto FC Academy joins U.S. Soccer Development Academy". Toronto FC. June 7, 2018. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "OPDL League". Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  18. ^ "Total of 94 clubs join forces as part of MLS's elite player development platform". Major League Soccer. 2020-05-13. Retrieved 2020-10-12.
  19. ^ Wolstat, Ryan (May 29, 2012). "TFC high on new facility". Toronto Sun. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  20. ^ a b Girard, Daniel (May 30, 2012). "New TFC facility by the numbers". Toronto Star.
  21. ^ "Nick Dasovic Named Head Coach". Toronto FC. September 14, 2010.
  22. ^ a b "Toronto FC Academy". Canadian Soccer History Archives.
  23. ^ a b "United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League". Canadian Soccer History Archives.
  24. ^ "Toronto FC III". Canadian Soccer History Archives.
  25. ^ Krueger, Adam (August 28, 2017). "Academy Update - August 21–27". Toronto FC. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Krueger, Adam (March 8, 2018). "Dallas Cup Draw Announced". Toronto FC. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "What is TFC Juniors?". Toronto FC.
  28. ^ Maharaj, Lauren (October 20, 2016). "Inside The TFC/ Windsor/ London Partnership". League1 Ontario.
  29. ^ "TFC Academy Partnerships". Toronto FC.
  30. ^ "Toronto FC and Windsor Stars Announce Partnership". Toronto FC. June 16, 2016.
  31. ^ Dalla Costa, Morris (November 29, 2017). "Soccer: FC London's academy changes look, adds programs with Toronto FC link". The London Free Press.
  32. ^ "Club History". Ottawa TFC.
  33. ^ "Toronto FC announces three more youth affiliates". Toronto FC. June 17, 2021.

External links[edit]