Toronto FC signs homegrown midfielder Manny Aparicio

The 17-year-old joins Toronto's first team from the TFC Academy, the eighth player in club history to do so.
Toronto FC announced Thursday that it has signed TFC Academy player Manny Aparicio to a professional contract.

A 17-year-old midfielder, Aparicio becomes the eighth homegrown signing in Toronto's history. Fellow TFC Academy graduates Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan currently play major roles with the Reds, something that the teenager hopes to emulate in the years ahead.

“This is a dream come true,” Aparicio told the club's website. “The coaches have showed all the faith in me and I just want to make the most of this opportunity.”

After joining Toronto's academy in the fall of 2010, Aparicio quickly made his mark with the youth teams. So far this year he has starred for TFC's under-18 side in the famed Dallas Cup, scored twice in league play for the U-18's, and he has also played five games with Toronto's MLS Reserve League side.

He did enough with the academy and reserve teams to impress his coaches and earn a pro deal.

“Manny is a young talented player with great character and passion for the game,” TFC Academy director Thomas Rongen said. “He is a player that our TFC fans and community can be proud of for years to come.”

Born in Argentina, Aparicio was recently named to Canada's U-18 team that will take part in the 2013 COTIF Tournament in Spain. Canada is using that competition as preparation ahead of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, for which qualification takes place in the spring of that year.