Toronto FC II announced Thursday that the club has signed eight players to USL contracts. 2015 MLS SuperDraft picks Clement Simonin, Skylar Thomas, Wesley Charpie, Edwin Rivas, and Sal Bernal join Kia Toronto FC Academy players Molham Babouli, Luca Uccello, Mark-Anthony Kaye as the first players signed in club history. As per club and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed. All players will be added to the roster upon receipt of their International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Today marks a significant step in the young history of Toronto FC II. We are able to provide players that have developed within our Academy and those we drafted with an opportunity to play meaningful games in a professional environment,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “These players trained with the first team in preseason and impressed the coaches, especially Jason Bent. We are proud to bring them on at Toronto FC II and we are excited about their continued development.”
Simonin, 23, was selected in the first round, ninth overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Prior to being drafted, Simonin split time between Lander University and North Carolina State University. With the Lander Bearcats he appeared in 32 career matches, registering two goals and three assists. He was named Second team All-American, was a Two-time NSCAA All-Southeast Region and All-Peach Belt Conference team performer. He then transferred to NC State and appeared in 24 career matches registering four goals and three assists for the Wolfpack.
Thomas, 21, was selected in the first round, 11th overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He spent the past four seasons at Syracuse University. He appeared and started in 56 matches, while scoring eight goals and adding one assist. In 2014, he was named All-ACC Second Team and NSCAA All-South Region Second Team.
Charpie, 22, was selected in the second round, 29th overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Charpie spent the last four seasons at the University of South Florida. He appeared in 81 matches, registering five goals and 21 assists for the Bulls. During his collegiate career he earned NSCAA East All-Region First Team, All-American Athletic Conference First Team, American Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team and American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.
Rivas, 23, was selected in the second round, 37th overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. He spent the last four seasons at California State University, Northridge. He appeared in 78 matches, starting in 72, registering 17 goals and 10 assists for the Matadors. He was named All-Big West First Team (2012) and All-Big West Second Team (2013).
Bernal, 22, was selected in the fourth round, 70th overall by Toronto FC in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Bernal spent the last four seasons at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). He appeared and started in 72 matches, scoring 26 goals and adding 16 assists. In 2014, he became the first Rebel in 24 years to be named an All-American, and third in UNLV history.
Babouli, 22, originally joined the Kia Toronto FC Academy in January 2014. Last season he played with the Senior Academy team In League1 Ontario. Babouli won both the 2014 League1 MVP and the Golden Boot award; while scoring 26 goals in all competitions. In addition, he was named to the League1 Ontario Top XI, and won Player of the Week honours three times (Weeks 3, 5, 14).
Uccello, 17, originally joined the Kia Toronto FC Academy in October 2011. Last season he played with the Senior Academy team in League1 Ontario. Uccello finished the season with six goals and was named to the League1 Ontario Next XI. He was also named Player of the Week for Week 11.
Kaye, 20, originally joined the Kia Toronto FC Academy in January 2013. Last season, Kaye split time between the Senior Academy team and Wilimington Hammherheads FC of the USL. He appeared in six matches for Wilmington, starting in four, while scoring one goal and added one assist.
Toronto FC II will open its inaugural season on Saturday, March 21 against the Charleston Battery in Charleston at 7:30 p.m. The club will play its home opener at BMO Field on Saturday, May 23 against the Rochester Rhinos. Toronto FC II will play 12 regular season home matches at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. Season seats are on sale now for $96 (or $8/match). For more details,visit www.tfc2.ca or by calling (416)-360-GOAL (4625).