The Earthquakes fortified their roster Tuesday by adding forward Ayo Akinola for the stretch run of the season.
Akinola, 23, arrives from Toronto FC via loan for the rest of the season in exchange for a 2023 international player roster slot. The Quakes will have the option to buy the rest of Akinola’s contract — which runs through 2024 — after the season.
The deal appears to be a move aimed at solidifying a playoff spot for the Quakes, who currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with 32 points. The Leagues Cup competition began Sunday with a 2-0 loss to Portland, and they play Liga MX’s Tigres on Sunday in the group stage. They resume MLS season play Aug. 20 against Vancouver.
Akinola is a “dynamic attacker with the strength, pace and finishing ability to impact any match,” Earthquakes GM Chris Leitch said in the team’s statement announcing the move.
The forward has appeared in 14 games in 2023, starting four games, and has taken 11 shots but hasn’t registered a goal or an assist. He has appeared in 78 games total over six seasons with Toronto.
Akinola, a Detroit native, first signed with Toronto FC as a homegrown player and qualifies for a U22 Initiative roster slot.
He played in the U.S. national team system, making his debut at the senior level in 2020 before making a one-time switch to Canada in 2021. He played with the Canadian team in the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this month.
The loan comes just a day after the Quakes signed striker Cristian Espinoza, their All-Star, to a deal through the 2025 season.