Once touted as one of the brightest young forwards in MLS, Toronto FC's Ayo Akinola has fallen on hard times the past three seasons.
The Canadian international has only scored twice in his previous 40 MLS appearances for TFC, with his last goal coming in 2022. A loan spell with the San Jose Earthquakes last season didn't light a spark under Akinola, who is going into the final year of his current contract with the Reds in 2024.
At age 24, Akinola, a native of Brampton, Ont., finds himself at the crossroads of his career and anxious to rediscover the top form he showed before suffering a knee injury while on duty for Canada at the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
In this one-on-one interview with TFC Republic, Akinola talks about his experiences in San Jose, the upcoming MLS season, how he hasn't lived up to expectations since his contract extension in 2022, coming back from his ACL injury and much more.
This Q&A has been lightly edited and trimmed for brevity and clarity.