Ryan Telfer returns to York9 FC for 2020 Canadian Premier League season

York9 FC has continued its splashy off-season overhaul, announcing on Wednesday that midfielder Ryan Telfer has signed with the club for 2020.

Telfer was a major part of the York9 squad that finished third in the overall league standings 2019, making 32 appearances across all competitions. He finished sixth in the CPL in scoring with eight goals, and added another two in the Canadian Championship. One of Telfer’s goals, of course, was the first in CPL history, which he recorded in the third minute of the inaugural match between York9 and Forge FC last April.

“York has always been a second home to me and it feels good to be back,” Telfer said. “To the fans and club, I’ve got unfinished business here.”

The 26-year-old, who played for York9 on loan from Toronto FC last season, signed with Nea Salamina Famagusta, a topflight side in Cyprus, in January after having been released by his MLS club. Telfer only made three appearances for the Cypriot side, starting just once, and he has now returned to York Region after his contract expired.

“I kept in touch with York9 staff while I was in Cyprus, and I could see from the outside the additions they made were impressive,” Telfer told “What they accomplished in bringing guys like (Michael) Petrasso, (Chris) Mannella, and (Nicholas) Hamilton, I was surprised how quickly they brought in these guys.

“From that point on, when I saw this from the outside, I thought York9 should be able to do a lot of good things for the upcoming season. I was really impressed what they’ve done, and adding me to that mix, I don’t think it’s going to be a fun experience for other teams to face us.”

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Telfer had a major impact on the CPL in its first season, aside from scoring the first goal in league history. He was also the first home goalscorer in York9’s history, the first CPLer to score against an MLS side with his Canadian Championship screamer against the Montreal Impact, and the first CPL player to score for an international team, which he did in September for Trinidad and Tobago.

Prior to joining York9 on loan, Telfer played in a variety of places around the Greater Toronto Area, appearing 16 times for Toronto FC in MLS, plus stints at Vaughan Azzurri of League1 Ontario and York University, among other places.

York9 FC managing consultant Angus McNab teased a few weeks ago that the club was working on adding to its roster after completing the sale of Emilio Estevez to Dutch topflight club ADO Den Haag. Certainly, the return of Telfer is a major addition, considering how big a part he was of York’s third-place finish last season.

“We are delighted to welcome Ryan back to the club,” McNab said in a statement. “We have had to be a little patient to get this deal completed, but now that it is, we’re all looking forward to the prospect of him rejoining the group. To be able to add a player of Ryan’s calibre to our attacking options only enhances how competitive we expect to be when we resume.”

McNab added: “He will always be a hugely important figure for both York9 FC and the CPL after scoring such significant firsts. After the sale of Emilio (Estevez), it was important to ensure we brought in a top-quality replacement, and with Ryan, we have done that.”

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Telfer was used in a variety of positions by coach Jimmy Brennan last season, playing both wings, in attacking midfield, and occasionally as a false nine or centre-forward.

He was one of the most dangerous players in the CPL in year one, sitting comfortably among the league’s elite (in the top two per cent) in shots, key passes, and successful crosses per 90 minutes according to Sportlogiq.

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