Toronto FC announced this afternoon that they have signed 21-year-old Raheem Edwards to a first-team contract after an impressive preseason.
Edwards, a Toronto native, is a graduate of the TFC Academy and has featured the last two seasons for TFC II in the USL. There, he has made 41 appearances and scored eight goals.
Over the past month, Edwards has been with the Reds for their offseason training camp and has appeared in several games, clearly making enough of an impression to convince Greg Vanney and Tim Bezbatchenko to bring him into MLS.
While normally a winger or forward, Edwards featured at left wing-back in the final friendly against the Chicago Fire and could be Justin Morrow’s backup while Ashtone Morgan recovers from another foot surgery.
Edwards has played for TFC’s main team twice before, briefly taking the field in the final of last year’s Canadian Championship against the Vancouver Whitecaps in an MLS match against the Seattle Sounders.
In January, Edwards was called up to the Canadian men’s national team’s senior camp for the first time in his career.
“Since beginning his soccer journey within the Toronto FC system where he has played with Toronto FC II, Raheem has faced every challenge head on and continues to excel with the opportunities placed in front of him,” Bezbatchenko said in the club press release.
The TFC Academy has now produced 14 first-team players for the Reds since its inception in 2008.
Vanney confirmed today that TFC 2 striker Ben Spencer has made the first team squad. #TFC— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) March 1, 2017
Greg Vanney confirmed earlier this week that Edwards’ TFC II teammate Ben Spencer is also set to receive a first-team deal, with that announcement likely to come soon.
Adding some depth up front will be particularly helpful to TFC come the summer, when Jozy Altidore, Tosaint Ricketts and Jordan Hamilton are all likely to head to the Gold Cup.