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Toronto FC signed its third homegrown player in as many days Thursday, adding 17-year-old forward Jayden Nelson to its first-team roster.

The Canadian Press

Toronto FC signed its third homegrown player in as many days Thursday, adding 17-year-old forward Jayden Nelson to the first-team roster.

Following in the footsteps of 19-year-old defender Rocco Romeo and 15-year-old midfielder Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Nelson becomes the 23rd player in club history to sign for the first team from the Toronto academy.

it’s been a dizzying nine months for the teen from Brampton, Ont.

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He made his pro debut with Toronto FC 2 last April, turned 17, represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup and was named Canadian Youth International Player of the Year. He kicked off 2020 by making his senior debut Jan. 7 and scoring his first goal three days later in a pair of 4-1 wins over Barbados.

“Jayden is an incredible young player. Very explosive and dynamic. Not afraid to take players on in the attacking third,” general manager Ali Curtis said in a statement. “We love his mentality – humble but confident.

“Jayden has all the tools to be a top player. He’s only 17, so we need to be measured with his development, but we believe he can be a very important player for both club and country,” Curtis added.

The 5-foot-7 145-pounder appeared in 14 matches for Toronto FC II during the 2019 USL League One regular season.

Nelson’s signing brings the TFC first-team roster to 27 players, 12 of whom are 24 or under. The MLS club, currently at training camp in Florida, continues its search for a designated player.

Nelson played at the 2017 CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship and then helped Canada qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil later that year with five goals in six games at the CONCACAF U-17 Championship.

He started all three games at the FIFA U-17 World Cup against Brazil, Angola and New Zealand and was named man of the match against New Zealand.

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His preferred position is left wing, although he likes to roam inside. Nelson is a shifty player with smart vision, able to take players on and dip into his bag of tricks when needed.

On and off the pitch, Nelson is easy to spot with a shock of hair usually bursting out of a headband and sometimes sporting colour. Some have dubbed him the Canadian Valderrama after former Colombia playmaker Carlos Valderrama.

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