It’s been a while since we last checked in and there has been a lot going on around the busy BMO Training Ground this summer. Here is a quick update to get you all caught up on all things TFC Academy.
USSDA off and running
It’s been a summer of transition for the Academy as three teams made the switch joining the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. The USSDA provides the academy with an opportunity to play top competition in North America week in and week out.
This season the TFC Academy is fielding three sides at the U-19, U-17 and a U-15 age groups. The teams opened up their 2018-19 campaign the first week of September in Chicago against the Chicago Fire Academy.
The three teams went 1-1-1 on opening day with the U-17s picking up a 4-3 victory and the U-15s playing to a scoreless draw. The very next day the teams took on the Sockers FC with the U-15s and U-17s picking up 2-1 victories.
The next weekend the teams hosted the first ever USSDA games at the BMO Training Ground as they took on the Michigan Wolves. The U-15s opened it up with an 11-0 offensive outburst followed by a 3-0 victory from the U-17s. The U-19s, unfortunately, fell 1-0.
The season continues until the middle of November and then picks back up in March. The year culminates with a playoff in June. You can keep up to date with all things USSDA on their website here.
Summer Season Wrap
While the three squads prepared for the USSDA’s the rest of the TFC Academy teams continued their local summer seasons with varying success.
TFC III put together a strong season in League1 Ontario. The team was near the top of the table all season and with one game left sit in second place in the league. The team also made it all the way to the L1 Cup final falling 2-1 to Vaughan.
The Toronto FC Academy U-17 (2001) team finished their Ontario Soccer League U21 Elite season with a 7-4-3 record which was good enough for 3rd place in the division.
The Toronto FC Academy U-15 (2003) team is well into their OPDL U-17 season and have put together an incredible effort thus far. The team is undefeated through 14 games with a 12-0-2 record. With just four games left the boys are ten points clear of the second-place team in the East. The two winners of each division will meet for the championship later this year.
And finally, the Toronto FC U-13 (2005) team has had mix results in their first season in the OPDL. The team is currently 6-2-6 on the year playing in the OPDL U-14 Central division. They have six games left in their season.
This summer was busy for the Academy teams as they traveled across North America to compete in some top international tournaments.
In early July, the U-14 (2004) team captured the Montreal Impact L’International U14 Tournament title defeating Bologna FC (Italy) in the finals.
The U-17 (2001) team also took home some silverware this summer winning the second annual International Soccer Cup held at York University. The team beat the York 9 Selects 2-1 in the final.
The Toronto FC Academy U-13 (2005) team put in a strong effort at the U-13 CONCACAF Champions League in Mexico. The team went 3-0-0 in the group stage picking up wins over teams from Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, and Mexico.
The team fell out in the quarterfinals in heartbreaking fashion falling 4-3 on PKs to eventual champions LAFC.
Lastly, the Toronto FC Academy U-16 (2002) team was also in Mexico to take part in the LIGA MX Internacional Tournament. The boys went 1-5-1 against some of the top competition on the continent.
New Academy Director
In addition to the USSDA switch, there was another major change for the TFC Academy this summer as Anthony Capotosto was named the TFC Academy Director following the departure of Laurent Guyot to Europe.
Capotosto, who previously served as the assistant Academy Director, holds his USSF National B and Youth Licences and has completed the highly regarded Elite Formation Coaching Licence through the French Football Federation.
You can read more about Capotosto’s appointment here.
Homegrown graduates making an impact throughout
TFC Academy Homegrowns have made an impact across the board for TFC at both the first team and TFC II levels this season.
Jay Chapman leads the way with 838 MLS minutes this year but not far behind is Ashtone Morgan (829) and Jordan Hamilton (803). Both Chapman and Hamilton have scored twice in MLS play.
Rookie midfielder Liam Fraser has seen some time in the MLS this year logging 525 minutes thus far. Liam was selected to represent TFC at the 2018 MLS Homegrown Game where he picked up the lone goal for the MLS team.
Fellow first-year homegrowns Julian Dunn, Ayo Akinola, and Aidan Daniels have all made their MLS debuts this season. Akinola scored his first goal with the first team in the Canadian Championships.
At the USL level, TFC Academy homegrowns have played 17,031 minutes so far this season. That accounts for 63% of all the available minutes this year.
Defender Robert Boskovic leads the team with 1,979 minutes while Hamilton leads the team with six goals in just eight games.
TFC hold Second Annual Scholarship night
The TFC Academy held its second annual Youth Scholarship night in late August.
The club hosted executives from 19 Ontario-based youth clubs and academies, all of which had a player join the TFC Academy this season. As a thank you the club treated the executives to a dinner that evening and presented each club with a cheque to be reinvested into their club.
You can read more about the event here.