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Toronto FC striker Akinola shoots Nigeria and US for Canada

The 21-year-old, who is initially eligible for three countries, has chosen the team he wants to represent on the international scene

Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola has beaten Nigeria and the United States to dedicate his international future to Canada.

Akinola was eligible to play for the Super Eagles due to his father’s origins and the USA, which was his birthplace.

He was approached by the Nigerian Football Federation a few years ago, but he was invited to the US national team last year and he made a goal-scoring debut in their 6-0 result of El Salvador in December 2020.

The 21-year-old’s nationality change was approved on Wednesday and he will play for Canada at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup later this month.

“I am very excited to represent Canada internationally,” Akinola said. the Canadian FA website. ‘This is a very exciting time for the country with all the quality that is there.

‘Canada has been almost my home all my life and I’m excited to give it back. I am willing to do my best for the national men’s team in Canada in these important months. “

Akinola previously played for the U.S. youth teams before his only outing with their senior national team last December.

However, he is ready for a quick reunion with his former country as Canada and the Yanks will be placed in Group B in this year’s Concacaf Gold Cup.

Both countries will fight each other on July 18 in the Children’s Mercy Park.

Meanwhile, Canadian coach John Herdman is delighted with the quality of Akinola who will contribute Toronto’s second highest goal scorer to his team this season. He is also expected to increase their attacking options as they target their qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“This is good news. We have been working for the past 18 months to bring Ayo home to play for Canada,” Herdman said.

“He’s excited to get going, and I’m looking forward to immersing him in the national team environment.”

Akinola has scored two goals in nine games so far for the Reds who are 13th in the Major League Soccer table.

The Michigan star spent his professional career at Toronto FC after developing through the club’s youth academy as a teenager.

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