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Toronto FC academy prospect signs with SC Freiburg, another draws Euro interest

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16 year old Gabriel Pellegrino has signed with the Bundesliga club while Jordan Peruzza is reportedly attracting serious interest overseas.

Toronto FC II striker Jordan Peruzza with his hands in the air during a match last season. The 19-year-old Canadian is attracting serious interest from Europe.
(Toronto FC II)

TORONTO, Canada—The Canadian pipeline continues to flow.

On Friday, Toronto FC academy product Gabriel Pellegrino, a 16-year-old midfielder from North York, Ontario, revealed on Instagram that he has signed a professional contract with Bundesliga club SC Freiburg.

“So excited to announce that I have signed my first contract with Sc Freiburg,” Pellegrino wrote in the post. “I want to give a big thanks to my family and agent for supporting me throughout my journey. Can wait to get started.”

According to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff, Pellegrino received a Homegrown contract offer from Toronto FC, but opted to instead sign in Germany. The 2004-born Canadian youth international, who has been with the TFC academy since at least 2017, had reportedly trained with FC Barcelona and Porto leading up to making his decision.

The Reds will be disappointed to lose a talent like Pellegrino’s.

Back in January, Toronto FC were able to fend off interest from several European giants and secure the signature of a then-15 year old Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty. The now-16 year old has yet to play a match for the club, but boasts enormous potential that has those around North America raving.

News also surfaced on Friday that another well-known Toronto FC academy forward Jordan Peruzza is “attracting plenty of interest from Europe,” according to ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.

The 19-year-old Canadian has tore it up with Toronto FC II in the USL, scoring 15 goals in 24 matches.

Portsmouth, Brentford, Watford, QPR, and Middlesbrough all reportedly have interest in the Canadian, while a couple of German clubs and Italian trio Benevento, Brescia, and Empoli, where Peruzza spent time at before joining the Young Reds in Dec. 2018, are also keen, according to Hamilton.

The ESPN reporter also adds that Peruzza is attracting “plenty of interest” from Premier League teams, as well, but current quarantine regulations make a trial difficult. I’d assume TFC have also offered the TFC II striker a first-team contract, but with a EU passport, a loan plus option to buy is apparently the most likely outcome.