York United has announced the signing of Canadian striker Theo Afework. The 19-year-old joins on a two-year deal, plus a club option.
He began playing with his local side, Calgary Rangers, when he was just four years old and also represented local sides Blizzard and Foothills before making the switch to the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy at 13. While in BC, he received a call-up to the Canada Under-15 side for the 2019 Concacaf Championship and appeared in all five games, scoring once.
Seeking a new challenge at club level, Afework headed to Europe in early 2022 and signed with German side 1.FC Nürnberg. Making a handful of immediate appearances for the Under-19 team, he arrived at the perfect time as the club finished strongly and secured a second-place finish in the table to reach the playoffs.
The 2022/23 campaign began brightly for the attacker and along with more game-time, Afework also grabbed a crucial 89th-minute winner in a last-gasp DFB Pokal Der Junioren victory over RB Leipzig which secured a subsequent quarter-final clash with Hertha.
“Theo is a really talented young player who we believe can make an impact in the CPL,” says Angus McNab, York United FC’s CEO/President and GM. “He’s performed very well in Germany and, in many ways, he’s plotting a similar course to Ronan Kratt in coming back to Canada and the CPL having played at a good level overseas.
“I really can’t praise 1.FC Nürnberg enough for their part in all of this. Theo needed surgery to tidy up an issue with his quad and the care and diligence they have shown to ensure he returns to us as quickly as possible and with the best medical support has simply been impeccable. We are looking at a return to team training for Theo in July/August and that is plenty of time for him to have an impact on our 2023 season.”
For Martin Nash – York United FC’s Head Coach – Afework boasts impressive attributes that will particularly aid him in a CPL environment.
“Theo is an athletic and physical young striker with a lot of upside,” Nash says. “Coming from 1.FC Nürnberg, which is another of those impressive European football nurseries, he’s also got a very solid technical foundation. We’re blessed with some exciting attacking talent for the forthcoming season and we feel Theo will only add to it.”