Canada: Ayo Akinola gets call-up for Florida national team camp

Ayo Akinola, who scored for the USA in his international debut against El Salvador on Dec. 9, will join Canada's national team scheduled to hold its first camp since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Akinola, who played for the USA at the U-17 and U-20 levels in competitive play, will have to file a switch of association with FIFA to play for Canada. Since no international matches are planned during the January camp in Florida, it will not be an issue.

Akinola, who is also eligible to play for Nigeria, was born in Detroit and raised in Brampton, Ontario. He signed with Toronto FC as a Homegrown Player in 2017 and enjoyed a breakout season with the Reds in MLS in 2020, scoring nine goals in 15 games.

He is one of many dual nationals eligible to play for the USA's senior national team and its U-23 team but also represent one or more other countries.

Other MLS players earning their first call-ups include Dayne St. Clair (Minnesota United), Alistair Johnston (Nashville SC) and Tajon Buchanan (New England Revolution), who all started for teams reaching the 2020 conference semifinals.

Akinola's Toronto FC teammates, Richie Laryea and Jonathan Osorio, were also called up, as was Mark-Anthony Kaye, who started for Los Angeles FC on its run to the Concacaf Champions League final.

Canada begins its World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign in Concacaf's preliminary round in March. It faces Suriname, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Aruba in group play.

Canada Roster:
Goalkeepers
Maxime Crepeau, Vancouver Whitecaps
*James Pantemis, Montreal Impact
*Dayne St. Clair, Minnesota United
Defenders
*Derek Cornelius, Vancouver Whitecaps
*Belal Halbouni, Werder Bremen II, Germany
*Kamal Miller, Montreal Impact
*Frank Sturing, FC Den Bosch, Netherlands
Joel Waterman, Montreal Impact
Samuel Adekugbe, Valerenga, Norway
*Zorhan Bassong, Montreal Impact
*Zachary Brault-Guillard, Montreal Impact
*Tajon Buchanan, New England Revolution
*Cristian Gutierrez, Vancouver Whitecaps
*Alistair Johnston, Nashville SC
Richie Laryea, Toronto FC
Midfielders
Tesho Akindele, Orlando City
Marco Bustos, Pacific FC
*Liam Fraser, Toronto FC
Mark-Anthony Kaye, LAFC
*Noble Okello, Toronto FC
Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC
Samuel Piette, Montreal Impact
*Ralph Priso, Toronto FC
Forwards
*Ayo Akinola, Toronto FC
Lucas Cavallini, Vancouver Whitecaps
*Marcelo Flores, Arsenal U-18, England
*Jayden Nelson, Toronto FC
*Theo Corbeanu, Wolves, England
*Eligible for Canada's U-23s.

5 comments about "Canada: Ayo Akinola gets call-up for Florida national team camp".
  1. Raffaele Aquino, December 28, 2020 at 11:15 a.m.

    Ayo needs to do the right thing and play for Canada show respect for the country he has been living in since the age of 1 years old. Also plays for his hometown team Toronto FC. 

  2. R2 Dad, December 30, 2020 at 8:56 p.m.

    We have all been down this path with dual nationals--each one makes a personal decision based on their situaiton at the moment of the decision. Circumstances change, players mature, family issues change/evolve. There are a lot of moving parts. Not sure what he is planning on doing, but it sure would be good for Canada to suck less--there is no reason they can't challenge the US and Mexico in CONCACAF. But it seems he's culturally Canadian, which means he's probably too polite to stir the pot. We could use more competition in the USMNT, and he is such a promising talent. Just hope he is happy with the decision he makes.

  3. frank schoon replied, December 31, 2020 at 11:04 a.m.

    R2, You want someone to" stir up the pot" and not be polite give Zlatan US citizenship..... :)

  4. R2 Dad replied, December 31, 2020 at 1:54 p.m.

    Frank, I would love to have a say in how the US handles immigration: 1) any professional athlete that signs a contract in the US immediately gets a green card, with a fast track to citizenship (2 years instead of the normal 5 years-ish). 2) All pHd graduates from US institutions immediately get green cards. Most importantly, 3) all documentation of foreign nationals can get processed in US offices in those foreign countries instead of continuous parades from south to our border that risk the lives of women and children because Congress can't be bothered and Presidents pick and choose which laws they want to follow. 4) Increase the allowable quota of economic migrants to closer match the actual demand, but then get real about kicking out people who break our laws--this sanctuary city nonsense is truly unAmerican. I live in one and it neuters law enforcement so as to be ineffective yet still very expensive. 5) Facilitate the settling-in of immigrants with more local resources to encourage better enculturation. We should return to the melting pot that served our country so well for the first 200 years.
    Lastly, I would offer Zlatan a host spot on Jeopardy. Or maybe Pericolo Calcio. This has nothing to do with immigration but I'm a fan of the big Swede, too. Or USSF ambassador in Europe? He's always entertaining in addition to being a straight shooter, and could interest others to play in the US. His knowledge, skills, and habits are exceptional and have lead to a long and storied career. 

  5. frank schoon replied, December 31, 2020 at 2:55 p.m.

    R2,I couldn't agree with you more....

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