CPL Fan Awards: Breaking down the El Jimador Shot of the Year nominees

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The Canadian Premier League’s 2020 Fan Awards launched on Monday with nine categories in all, including the El Jimador Shot of the Year award.

The Island Games featured plenty of goals — 92 of them, in fact — as all eight CPL teams got in on the action. The list of nominees has been whittled down to just three that may have stood out the most.

Here’s a breakdown of the three finalists: Forge FC fullback Kwame Awuah, former York9 FC captain Manny Aparicio, and Cavalry FC youngster Mo Farsi. 


Kwame Awuah, Forge FC — vs. FC Edmonton, August 18 (1st Round)

Forge’s first win of the 2020 campaign happened in style, with a 2-0 triumph over FC Edmonton. The high point of the game came early on, when Forge took the lead in the 11th minute.

Mo Babouli, making his first start for Forge, tried to make a run into the box, but ultimately he laid it off for Awuah, who was drifting in from the left flank. Awuah spotted the loose ball, sprinted onto it, and fired it towards Edmonton’s goal without even taking a first touch. The 30-yard screamer caught everyone, including Eddies goalkeeper Connor James, by surprise as it sailed high into the net.

Even the opposition was impressed; then-FCE coach Jeff Paulus called it a “wonder-goal” after the match. Certainly, it was one of the best long-distance strikes of the 2020 CPL season.

Manny Aparicio, York9 FC — vs. HFX Wanderers FC, August 29 (1st Round)

CPL opponents learned in 2020 how dangerous it was to give Manny Aparicio a free kick at the top of the box. When given an opportunity against HFX Wanderers, the former York9 captain made no mistake finding the top-left corner with a rocket.

Of course, he did pretty much the same thing just a few days later against FC Edmonton, but his effort against the Wanderers was a little more aesthetically pleasing with its quick curl to the near post. Aparicio’s reputation as a set-piece specialist is now well-known, and it’s a skill he’s sure to bring with him to his new gig at Pacific FC.

Although York9 didn’t quite hang on to win that game against HFX, Aparicio’s spectacular free kick remained the highlight.

Mo Farsi, Cavalry FC — vs. Pacific FC, September 9 (2nd Round)

This was the crown jewel of an excellent Island Games campaign for the young wingback. His play was excellent all night, with plenty of sizzling runs (one of which drew a penalty for the Cavs), but the marquee moment was this goal, in the 75th minute.

Farsi did it all himself, pouncing on a sluggish pass out from the back by Pacific’s goalkeeper. He knocked the ball ahead for himself, took it into the box, and then rifled a shot perfectly off the far post and in from a difficult angle. It was a goal created from nothing, and a moment of magic that sealed Cavalry’s 3-1 victory to open the group stage of The Island Games.

After the match, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. was asked how far Mo Farsi can go. His tongue-in-cheek answer? “Up and down the touchline, often. And a lot.”