Soccer

Toronto FC makes Brazilian Auro a permanent addition

Toronto FC made versatile Brazilian Auro a permanent member of its squad Monday while, looking farther to the future, signing 14-year-old forward Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty to a USL contract.

Reds also sign Toronto teen Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty to USL contract

Auro Alvaro da Cruz Junior joined TFC in February 2018 and made 28 appearances for the team last season. (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Toronto FC made versatile Brazilian Auro a permanent member of its squad Monday while, looking farther to the future, signing 14-year-old forward Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty to a USL contract.

The MLS team exercised its option to buy the 22-year-old Auro, whose full name is Auro Alvaro da Cruz Junior, from Brazilian club Sao Paulo FC.

Auro, who can play fullback, wingback and midfielder, joined TFC in February. He quickly established himself as first choice on the right side of defence in the absence of Steven Beitashour, who went to LAFC as a free agent prior to the 2018 season, and Nico Hasler, traded to Chicago in July.

The hard-running Brazilian made 18 appearances in the league, including 16 starts. In all he made 28 appearances in all competitions with five assists.

"Auro showed in 2018 that he's a very capable two-way player and an important part of our team," Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. "Auro is an attacking threat on the wing who also puts in solid defensive work."

The Toronto-born Marshall-Rutty has been playing for Toronto' U-15 squad in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy circuit, leading the league in scoring with 12 goals in 20 games. He joined the TFC academy in February 2015.

He will be eligible to start with Toronto FC II when his contract kicks in Jan. 1.

Marshall-Rutty, the youngest homegrown signing by TFC, is the 42nd player to sign professionally from the TFC academy.

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