Toronto FC announced today that the club has signed 15-year-old academy product Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty to a Homegrown contract, making the Canadian midfielder their youngest signing in club history.
“Jahkeele is the top player in his age group across Canada and the U.S, and he is among the top young players in all of North America. He is an incredibly talented young man. While he’s only 15 years old, he plays the game in very mature way,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis. “He had interest from many top clubs in Europe.
“It’s important that we are both patient and aggressive with Jahkeele’s development, but he has the potential to be an incredible player moving forward. We’re also very proud of Jahkeele as he’s done a lot to get to this moment. Happy for Jahkeele, happy for his family, and we are excited about working with Jahkeele moving forward.”
Lining up as a winger/attacking midfielder, Marshall-Rutty appeared in three Toronto FC II games last season, making his debut on June 28 against Forward Madison FC. Widely regarded as one of the best players for his age group, he has also represented Canada at the U-15 level.
Prior to Marshall-Rutty (who will turn 16 in June), the youngest player to sign a first-team contract with TFC was Doneil Henry, who was 17 when he signed with Toronto in 2010.
The Brampton, ON-native’s signing comes on the heels of the Reds announcing a Homegrown deal with 19-year-old Richmond Hill-native Rocco Romeo yesterday, and I believe that we can expect a few more of these deals to trickle out over the next few days.