With pre-season training camps entering Week 3 and Canadian Premier League rosters close to 80% full, we’re looking at who’s projected as the top players in each position.
Granted, the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural match — Forge FC vs. York9 FC on April 27 at Tim Hortons Field — remains six weeks away, but it’s never too soon to look into our crystal balls to predict who the top performers could be in Season 1.
This series is currently based on pedigree, past performance and expectations upon seeing these players put pen to paper with their respective clubs.
Expect CPL Editorial to revisit this list at the conclusion of the Spring campaign in order to see whose stock skyrocketed and, well, whose plummeted.
Without further ado, here’s our top five goalkeepers (in no particular order) currently patrolling between CPL posts.
Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)
Cavalry FC’s presumed starter is brimming with potential, with the 22-year-old making the step into the CPL having earned Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s trust with the Calgary Foothills last year. Carducci may be young, but he is still quite experienced, having come through the Whitecaps’ youth ranks before settling into Alberta with a stop at Rio Grande Valley in-between. He’s already made public his intention to compete for a spot on the international stage with Canada, and those expectations and goals can only be reached with standout performances. Can Carducci live up to lofty expectations he’s set for himself?
Jan-Michael Williams (HFX Wanderers FC)
The most experienced goalkeeper of the bunch comes in the form of HFX Wanderers FC’s Jan-Michael Williams. The 34-year-old has been capped 81 times for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, where he and his now-club head coach Stephen Hart first linked up. Will that experience serve him well at the club level, though? He’s played just 15 times in the last two years, and hasn’t exactly had consistent playing time throughout his career, but valuable experienced in tournaments like the Gold Cup cannot be ignored.
Quillan Roberts (Forge FC)
A former Toronto FC and Los Angeles FC net-minder, Quillan Roberts brings a healthy mix of experience and potential to Forge FC, where he is expected to be the No. 1 between the sticks in 2019. Roberts’ infamous cross-field goal may have put him on the map, but he’ll look to command even more of a reputation through solid showings in Hamilton. He’ll need them, too, as Roberts was once touted as a possible Canadian international prospect, an expectation he’ll hope to re-establish this season.
Tyson Farago (Valour FC)
A Winnipeg-born talent making his debut for Valour FC, Farago is a well-known prospect out of the Manitoba soccer system and will look to propel into the limelight with a homecoming pro season under his belt. He has previously suited up for FC Edmonton in the NASL, where he was commended for his safe hands and good instincts. Now? He’ll be squaring off against his former team, albeit in a new league, and carries with him new expectations for his own career, and for the success of his new team.
Mark Village (Pacific FC)
Pacific FC represents Mark Village’s first foray into top tier football, having spent a few years with the Whitecaps FC 2 team before joining FC Cincinnati on Nov. 21, 2017. He didn’t find many opportunities there, and on the advent of Cincinnati’s move to MLS, Village opted, instead, to return to his home in British Columbia by signing for the Vancouver Island-based side. Village may not be the most recognizable name of the bunch, but the 27-year-old is entering the prime of his career and will work to change that, on and off the Island.