Welcome to CPL50, a series where we’ll reveal the top 50 players from the 2021 Canadian Premier League regular season, as voted on by a panel of coaches from all eight teams and media from OneSoccer and CanPL.ca.
For more information on the voting process and method, click here.
Coming in at number 49 in the CPL50 is Pacific FC’s young midfield maestro, Alessandro Hojabrpour. Voted into this spot before his heroic goal in the CPL Final, Hojabrpour has flown a little under the radar in three seasons on Vancouver Island, but he’s nonetheless established himself as one of the most talented and reliable central midfielders in the league.
Hojabrpour, still just 21 years old, has played 63 games for Pacific over three years in the CPL. In 2021, he fully established himself as a key part of the club’s midfield, making 26 appearances for the team across the CPL regular season and playoffs. He was a steady presence on the ball, dispossessed only three times all season as he formed a reliable link between Pacific’s defence and attack. The Burnaby native, who spent much of his youth career with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy — aside from a stint in Bulgaria with Lokomotiv Plovdiv — has developed into an intelligent, mature player in the middle of the pitch who reads the game about as well as anybody in the league.
Though he’s usually not the player making headlines, Hojabrpour was the one to provide the heroics for Pacific in the 2021 CPL Final, when he scored the game’s only goal with a header from a set-piece (a moment he’s since referred to as one of the greatest of his life) to beat Forge FC 1-0 and deliver the North Star Shield to Vancouver Island for the first time.
As a result of his formidable play in 2021, Hojabrpour was recently named one of three finalists for the CPL’s U-21 Canadian Player of the Year Award.