Toronto FC announced Monday that the club has formed Toronto FC III, a rebranding of the club’s current Pod 1 (senior academy) team that competes in League1 Ontario, a pro-am men's and women's soccer league in Ontario, Canada. In addition, Toronto FC III will be coached by Danny Dichio who is currently in his sixth season with the Kia Toronto FC Academy.
Toronto FC III will train and play League1 Ontario regular season home matches out of the club’s Kia Training Grounds located in Toronto, Ontario inside Downsview Park. They will also compete and feature in an enhanced level of competitive tournaments that will be released at a later date.
“With TFC III we will expand the level of competition for our academy athletes in preparation for our USL team TFC II,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Our commitment to providing world class competitions will also give them an opportunity to grow their game on a number of levels, emulating the progression model shared by many of the top clubs from around the world.”
Dichio, 42, spent the past two season as the head coach of the Kia Toronto FC Academy Pod 1 team. His team competed in the Ontario Soccer U-21 League (OSL). Dichio has completed his Elite Formation Coaching Licence program, a development course partnered by Major League Soccer (MLS) and the French Football Federation (FFF). He also holds a UEFA ‘B’ and United States Soccer Federation (USSF) ‘A’ & ‘B’ coaching licences.
“Ontario has a wide range of talented soccer players and as we continue to build relationships with other clubs in the community, it will continue to make our player pathway stronger,” said Academy Director Laurent Guyot. “Danny and I look forward to working with these young men aiding in their growth as soccer players and leaders in the community.”
League1 Ontario is sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association and the Ontario Soccer Association as a Division III league in the Canadian soccer league system.