Eagles Youngster McDonnell Set For Ireland U-16 Duty
The Canadian Premier League’s youngest professional is en route for up to three international friendlies with the Ireland U-16 team.
Vancouver FC had only announced its signing of 15-year-old Grady McDonnell this week, with the teenage midfielder immediately becoming the youngest professional in the league after usurping the throne from teammate TJ Tahid.
The sought-after Whitecaps academy product has dipped his toes in both the Ireland and Canadian youth setups, and flew out to join the Ireland U-16 squad on the night that his arrival to the CPL was unveiled.
The Surrey-born midfielder – who has Irish heritage through his father – could feature in up to three international youth friendlies for Ireland, who face Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Greece next week.
McDonnell had previously captained the Ireland U-15 side, but then joined Canada for the Concacaf Boys U-15 Championship, where we labelled the youngster as a top Canada U-15 prospect to watch out for.
With Ireland having more camps to feature in, last fall saw him step into the Ireland U-17 side for the U-17 UEFA Championship qualifiers, with McDonnell now taking the opportunity to test himself in yet another different age group.
The youngster will turn 16 just ahead of the 2024 CPL season, with Vancouver FC showing enough faith in him to sign him on a three-year contract. The club’s own preseason will begin next month, with McDonnell potentially getting a test against MLS opposition.