Toronto FC added some depth to its midfield on Thursday, promoting youth academy product Manuel Aparicio to the senior team.
Aparicio, a 17-year-old who was born in Buenos Aires but calls Toronto home, becomes the eighth youth academy player to sign for the first team.
He joins defenders Ashtone Morgan and Doneil Henry, midfielder Jonathan Osorio and third-string goalkeeper Quillan Roberts as players who have been promoted from the academy to the current MLS roster.
"We’re very pleased to have Manny graduate from our academy to our first team. He’s a terrific young man and talented player," club president and GM Kevin Payne said in a new release. "His signing is further evidence of the quality of our academy."
Aparicio added: "This is a dream come true. The coaches have showed all the faith in me and I just want to make the most of this opportunity."
TFC’s new midfielder joined the club’s academy system in October 2010. He scored two goals in seven matches for the senior academy team this season, and made five appearances for Toronto in the MLS Reserve League.
Aparicio was also recently named to Canada’s Under-18 side that will compete in an international tournament later this month in Spain.
Aparicio had been working out with TFC’s senior side in recent weeks, and academy team Danny Dichio recently told sportsnet.ca that the youngster was on the verge of making the jump to the first team.
"He has a lot of talent. We think he’s going to be a good player not only for us, but also potentially for Canada," Dichio said.