Manny Aparicio Joins First Team

Kia TFC Academy star midfielder becomes eighth player to make the leap.

Video: Manny Aparicio joined by proud parents Maria and Gabriel at Kia Training Ground.

Toronto FC announced Thursday that the club has signed KIA Toronto FC Academy midfielder Manuel (Manny) Aparicio as a Homegrown Player. He becomes the eighth player in club history to sign for the first team. As per team and league policy terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We're very pleased to have Manny graduate from our Academy to our first team. He's a terrific young man and talented player,” said Toronto FC President and General Manager Kevin Payne. “His signing is further evidence of the quality of our Academy.”

More on Aparicio: Thomas Rongen | Danny Dichio
RELATED: Aparicio in Canada U-18 squad to Spain

Aparicio, 17, started in seven matches, scoring two goals for the KIA Toronto FC Academy Senior Team this season. He was also named the club’s player of the tournament earlier this season during the Dallas Cup. Aparicio has also made five appearances for the club in MLS Reserve League play this season, starting in four matches.

“This is a dream come true,” said Manny Aparicio. “The coaches have showed all the faith in me and I just want to make the most of this opportunity.”

Aparicio joined the Academy in October 2010 after spending one season with the Unionville Milliken Soccer Club. Upon moving to Canada with his family, Aparicio joined the North York Soccer Club and spent four seasons there.

“Manny is a young talented player with great character and passion for the game,” said KIA Toronto FC Academy Director Thomas Rongen. “He is a player that our TFC fans and community can be proud of for years to come.”

Aparicio was recently named to Canada’s U-18 National side that will compete in 2013 COTIF U-20 Tournament later this month in l’Alcúdia, Spain.

Manuel (Manny) Aparicio # 34
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5’7
Weight:  150
Birthdate: September 17, 1995
Birth Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Nationality: Argentine-Canadian
Last Club: KIA Toronto FC Academy
How Acquired: Signed with Toronto FC on Thursday, August 8, 2013
Pronunciation: “App-ah-ree-cee-oh”