Toronto FC waives Mississauga-raised forward Mo Babouli
Columbus Crew SC Mohammed Saeid gets tangled up with Toronto FC Mo Babouli second half MLS soccer action in Toronto Saturday May 21, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, April 21, 2017 10:15AM EDT
Toronto FC has waived Canadian forward Mo Babouli.
After impressing in training camp last season, the 24-year-old from suburban Mississauga appeared in 16 games in 2016 including six starts. He had one assist in 647 minutes of league playing time.
But an injured ankle has kept him out of action this season and the MLS team decided he was surplus for requirements.
Babouli showed flashes of skill and was given a chance to showcase his skills last summer when Jozy Altidore was sidelined with a hamstring injury. But it was fellow Canadian Jordan Hamilton who eventually impressed as the understudy.
Babouli, a technically gifted forward, had plenty in his bag of tricks. But sometimes the flash backfired.
And he has fallen down the pecking order in Toronto's stable of strikers which includes Sebastian Giovinco, Altidore, Tosaint Ricketts and Hamilton.
The club also has Aikim Andrews, Ben Spencer and Ryan Telfer with TFC 2.
Babouli joined the Toronto FC academy in January 2014, winning the League1 MVP and Golden Boot awards with the senior academy team. He signed with Toronto FC II in March 2015.
In 2015, he represented Canada at the Pan American Games and CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. He scored in his debut for Canada against Brazil at the Pan Ams.
It was a rapid rise for a player who once thought his dream of playing professional soccer might never come.
"It was at a point where I was about 20, I had some schooling done, some in the States, some here," Babouli told MLSsoccer.com in 2015. "I figured I'd get that done and get it out of the way. Obviously (I'd) never leave soccer completely, just not play competitive."
Then the door opened at the TFC academy and the five-foot-eight 170-pounder with an ever-changing hairstyle rose through the ranks.