The OPDL Spotlight Series, presented by Toronto FC, highlights stories, teams and initiatives from around the league.
This week features an interview with Bill Manning, Toronto FC President, who speaks about OPDL, TFC Juniors and lots more.
We want to help further the development of elite soccer players and see the best players eventually joining our Academy and hopefully one day moving on to the pro ranks.
The OPDL is a great platform for the young aspiring professionals and we wanted to support that program.
It brings together many of the best programs in Ontario to compete on the field.
The better the competition the more it can directly improve young talent.
Essentially, it’s the top of the player pathway to a professional career and entry into the Canadian national team.
Our Academy program is still relatively new but progress is being made quickly.
We just had 11 players chosen from the TFC Academy for the U17 Canadian national team.
Our MLS counterparts in Montreal and Vancouver had four each. More and more, we think for players in Ontario entry into the national team programs will come through TFC.
Our Juniors program does indeed include female players.
As for an Academy, we will see down the road as it would be a complementary program should we ever acquire a National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) franchise.
Bill Manning was named President of Toronto FC on October 12, 2015. Under his direction, TFC promptly put together a 2016 season that was easily the best in club history, both on and off the field. During his first full-season as President, Manning oversaw an organization that won the Canadian Championship, the Major League Eastern Conference championship and finish as runners-up in the MLS Cup while shattering past attendance records.
Manning joined Toronto FC after spending the previous eight seasons as president of Real Salt Lake (RSL) and Rio Tinto Stadium.
President, Toronto FC