1. Jayden Nelson
The Toronto FC players travel to Florida on Thursday to kick off outdoor pre-season camp as the club’s youth kick continues unabated.
The day after signing 15-year-old academy product Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty and two days after penning 19-year-old defender Rocco Romeo to a contract, TFC signed forward Jayden Nelson as a Homegrown Player on Thursday. Nelson becomes the 23rd player in club history to sign for the first team from the TFC Academy.
“Jayden is an incredible young player,” said TFC GM Ali Curtis. “Very explosive and dynamic. Not afraid to take players on in the attacking third. We love his mentality — humble but confident. He was the Canadian Youth International Player of the Year, and it is not surprising.
“Jayden has all the tools to be a top player. He’s only 17, so we need to be measured with his development, but we believe he can be a very important player for both club and country.”
Nelson appeared in 14 matches for TFC II during the 2019 USL League One regular season. He made his professional debut with TFC II on April 6, 2019, when he came off the bench against Orlando City B.
Internationally, Nelson recently received his first call-up to the Canadian Men’s National Team, making his senior debut in a friendly match against Barbados on Jan. 7, 2020. He scored his first goal with the CMNT against Barbados on Jan. 10, 2020. Nelson also represented Canada at the Concacaf Men’s U-17 Championship, where he scored five goals (including a hat-trick against Guatemala) in six appearances as Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first time since 2013.
He is the first TFC player to be named Canadian Youth International Player of the Year.