TORONTO, Canada—Toronto FC’s youngest-ever signing Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty has received his first senior international call-up.
The 16-year-old Brampton, Ontario native will be replacing one of Liam Millar (loan) or fellow TFC teammate Liam Fraser (ankle) at Canada’s January camp, which is set to kick off tomorrow in Bradenton, Florida. For what it’s worth, Fraser’s ankle injury doesn’t appear to be too serious, with the midfielder exercising caution ahead of what he expects will be a big 2021 campaign.
Jacob Shaffelburg and Vancouver Whitecaps’ Theo Bair has also been named to the Canadian camp. It’s the TFC young winger’s second with the senior team.
Marshall-Rutty, a Canadian youth international, made his MLS debut in October after rocketing through the TFC academy ranks, coming on for 18 minutes at the end of a 5-0 defeat vs. Philadelphia Union, becoming the youngest player to ever play for Toronto FC.
He looked comfortable during that appearance, highlighted by earning the Reds’ best chance of the match—a volley from the top of the box—but aside from that one run-out, his competition against senior players has been limited to simply training sessions with TFC.
A highly-touted winger, Marshall-Rutty has been on the radar of major European clubs even prior to signing with the Reds in January. A call up to his first senior international camp months before he turns 17? That surely has to further increase his stock.
It’s also worth noting that the call-up will make the youngster eligible for the upcoming 2021 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Marshall-Rutty won’t be the only TFC young gun making their debut at Canada camp. A month after competing for the U.S. and scoring on his debut, Ayo Akinola has received his first Canadian senior call-up to the non-cap-tying camp, while fellow 2020 Homegrown signee Ralph Priso also received his first nod.
Canada’s camp will run Jan. 9 through Jan. 24 and will feature two training scrimmages as well as an intra-squad scrimmage. There has been strong word that the camp will also feature a match against the United States, but that has still not been confirmed.
An interesting tidbit that’s worth keeping an eye on: the Michigan-born, Brampton-raised Akinola still has to decide which country he wants to represent: Canada, United States, or Nigeria. Again, regardless of whether or not the 20 year old goes on to appear in a game for Canada during the January camp, it won’t affect his eligibility to represent the U.S. moving forward.
"Switching locations not only geographically but on the pitch as well, the 21-year-old London native has gone from @WesternMustangs striker to Werder Bremen centreback in the past two years."— Waking the Red (@WakingtheRed) January 4, 2021
Get to know the latest #CanMNT camp roster