Toronto FC signs local product Babouli

The Canadian U-23 international earns an MLS contract with the Reds after impressing TFC head coach Greg Vanney during preseason.

A day before its season opener at the New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC added to its attack with the signing of Canadian striker Molham Babouli following a productive preseason campaign.

The 23-year-old is the sixth new addition to the Reds for 2016 and follows MLS SuperDraft pick Tsubasa Endoh in being another attacking option for TFC head coach Greg Vanney this season. The forward is also the 12th player in club history to sign an MLS contract after coming through ranks at the Toronto FC Academy.

“We are excited to sign Mo to the first team after a strong preseason. He continues to excel with the opportunities placed in front of him,” Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a club statement. “Mo is the first product of the full player pathway designed at Toronto FC, playing within our academy to signing professionally for TFC II and now the first team. We are very proud of his progression and know he will be a welcomed addition to the first team.”

Last season with the club’s reserve side Toronto FC II, Babouli had four goals and four assists in 20 appearances during the team’s inaugural season in the United Soccer League.

Though born in United Arab Emirates, Babouli hails from nearby Mississauga, Ontario, and represented Canada last year at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the CONCACAF U-23 Olympic qualifiers.

In 2014, Babouli led Southern Ontario’s Sheridan College to a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national title.

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