Berkshire's Jacob Shaffelburg ’19 has signed a contract with Toronto FC II, an affiliate of the Major League Soccer (MLS) club.
Shaffelburg, a senior forward from Port Williams, Nova Scotia, led Berkshire's boys varsity team to a 19-0 record this season and the School’s fifth New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) championship in the past seven years. He netted three goals in the Bears’ 3-0 semifinal win over Taft School and tallied the first goal in Berkshire’s 3-1 victory over Worcester Academy in the NEPSAC final.
“It’s a dream come true,” Shaffelburg said of signing a contract to play professionally. “It really hasn’t hit me yet, and probably won’t until I start training.”
Shaffelburg will join Toronto FC II ahead of the start of the team’s 2019 season which begins in March. At Berkshire, he's maintained a B average and had previously committed to playing collegiately at the University of Virginia.
“Berkshire has given me so much,” said Shaffelburg, 2017's Massachusetts Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year. "A lot of great friendships that will last a lifetime, including great relationships with teachers. The school is by far my favorite place to be.”
Shaffelburg helped Berkshire capture the 2016 Class A title as a sophomore, and in addition to playing varsity soccer all four years, he has trained with the U-20 Canadian national team and suited up for the locally-based Black Rock FC Player Development League (PDL). Earlier this month, he was chosen to play in the High School Boys Soccer All-American Game held annually in Orlando, Florida.
“I’m proud of the way he’s carried himself. He’s ultra-competitive, and he’s also very thoughtful and a great teammate,” said Berkshire head coach Charlie Bour. “Jacob always wants to train hard, wants to be challenged. It’s helped us be a better team.”
Shaffelburg is the third player from Berkshire in the past three years to sign with an MLS team. Former two-time Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year Jack Harrison ’15 was the first-pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft before being traded from the Chicago Red Bulls to New York City FC. Harrison played two seasons for NYCFC before leaving to play in Europe. In 2017, Zeiko Lewis ’12 was drafted with the 17th pick by the New York Red Bulls following a successful career at Boston College. Lewis currently plays professionally in Iceland.