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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola's stock is on the rise

Toronto FC forward Ayo Akinola's stock is on the rise, and with five goals and a hat trick already to his name in the MLS is Back Tournament, has raised a vital question of what country he'll choose to represent at the international level.

That's because the 20-year-old could theoretically choose one of three options, with status as a young and emerging No. 9 ensuring all three will likely be making a play and ensuring they invite him.

Any US men's national team fans watching Akinola's early exploits for TFC probably can't stop themselves from dreaming that he could be the elusive carry-the-load No. 9 the program has been pining for. 

Who knows if that's what he'll become, but there's at least some reason to believe he'll choose to represent the US, Akinola has already featured for the US at the U-15, U-17 and U-20 levels. He's been productive, too, racking up 34 goals in 42 matches in those appearances. 


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Speaking to media recently, Akinola revealed his intention of playing for US National team, when he was specifically asked about his hopes of representing the US at senior level.

" I think for me, I’d love to get called to the national team but at the same time I can only control what I can control," he said. "At the end of the day, it’s the coach’s decision. For me, if I do my own part and I do it right I’m hopeful a call will come. But if not then I’ll continue to do my thing at the club level."

However, the player's agent Tom Bogert also said, that Akinola yet to make any decision about where his international future.

He was born in Detroit, but moved with his parents to Canada when he was one, he got his Canadian citizenship with his younger brother Tom, was part of the Toronto FC academy, attended a Canadian youth identification camp in 2015. The Canadian Soccer Association has reportedly been in touch to discuss where they think he could play in the short and long term. 

Akinola's parents are from Lagos State in Nigeria, which makes him also eligible to compete for the Super Eagles. The Nigeria Football Federation contacted his mom during the U-17 World Cup in India in 2017.

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