Aikim Andrews and Jelani Peters signed by Toronto FC II

​Aikim Andrews, left, and Toronto FC II head coach Jason Bent. (Photo: torontofc.ca)

W Connection duo Aikim Andrews and Jelani Peters both secured their first overseas moves, pending work permits, with Toronto FC II – the second team of Major League Soccer (MLS) outfit Toronto FC – that competes in the United States’ United Soccer League (USL) Pro.

Andrews, a 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international winger, has been signed to a permanent USL deal with TFC II, while defender Peters, 23, joins the Canadian side on loan for the 2017 season.

Both players have been on trial since February in the city of Vaughan, Ontario in Canada where they teamed up with another Trinidadian, Ricardo John, who joined the Canadian side last season following his stint with TT Pro League champions Central FC.

TFC II kicked off their 2017 campaign with a 1-0 away win over Phoenix Rising, the new team of former England international Shawn-Wright Phillips, a week ago in Arizona. But coach Jason Bent’s side were edged 1-0 by Tampa Bay Rowdies in Florida last Saturday, ahead of Tuesday’s visit at Orlando City B.

​Jelani Peters, top row, third from left, line up with his W Connection teammates during the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League.

“With the additions of Aikim and Jelani, they will add greater depth and competition for places in the squad,” said Bent, a former Canada international.

Andrews and Peters, like many TFC II players before them, are hoping to earn breakthroughs into TFC first team in the MLS.

“(…) playing abroad professionally was always one of my dreams,” said Andrews. “So I take this (TFC II move) as a stepping stone in my career. At Toronto FC the environment is very professional; there [are] everything needed to prepare and develop players to be at the top levels at all times.”

Peters meanwhile said it was great feeling to accomplish one of his goals—to earn a foreign move.

“I always wanted to play abroad,” he said. “And I told myself, once I get the opportunity I’ll make the best out of it. I want to do my best with the USL team this season, and I am hoping in the near future I play for the MLS team.”

Both Andrews and Peters thanked W Connection and coach Stuart Charles Fevrier for their professional development.

Last season Trinidad and Tobago and Connection defender Triston Hodge represented TFC II on loan which expired in December.

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