New Miami FC midfielder Bolu Akinyode has made 128 appearances in the Championship's regular season and playoffs since his first campaign in 2015. | Photo courtesy Birmingham Legion FC
MIAMI – The Miami FC announced on Friday the club had acquired midfielder Bolu Akinyode from Birmingham Legion FC for an undisclosed fee, pending league and federation approval.
“First, I would like to thank Jay Heaps at Birmingham for working with us to get this deal over the line,” said Miami Technical Director and Head Coach Paul Dalglish. “We wrote player profiles before we started recruiting our roster and then used data and analytics to source the best options in each position. Quite simply, there is not another player like him in the USL, so we reached out to Birmingham to see if we could get a deal agreed upon. Defensively, he is the best midfielder in the league and being left-footed he gives us lovely balance. He is the ideal player profile to play his role in our game model.”
Akinyode joins Miami after spending last season with USL Championship’s Birmingham Legion FC. Originally from Lagos, Nigeria, Akinyode came to the United States at the age of 16 to join the New York Red Bulls Academy prior to going on to play collegiately for Stetson Hall University. During his four years at Stetson Hall, Akinyode appeared regularly for Red Bulls U23, and joined the professional ranks when he signed with the Championship’s New York Red Bulls II for the club’s inaugural 2015 season.
Bolu Akinyode celebrates scoring for the New York Red Bulls II during his first professional season in 2015. | Photo courtesy New York Red Bulls II
After a successful rookie year at Red Bulls II, he signed with Philladelphia Union II where he would appear in 26 league matches. His performances led him to get picked up by North Carolina FC in 2017.
Akinyode’s talent caught the eyes of Nashville SC in 2018, which signed him to its squad of its inaugural USL Championship Season. In his two seasons in Nashville, the Nigerian was one of the bright spots on Nashville’s roster, playing in 64 league and five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches. He was consistently selected in the starting lineup, while being in the top five in minutes played for the club in both seasons.
Most recently, Akinyode spent the 2020 USL Championship season with Eastern Conference rival Birmingham. The defensive midfielder played in 16 league matches, while once again being in the top five outfield players with most minutes on the roster. His passing success rate of 90.4 percent was one of the club’s highest, helping Birmingham reach the USL Championship Playoffs for a second consecutive campaign.