Ali Musse of Cavalry FC has been named the 2023 Canadian Premier League Players’ Player of the Year, the league revealed on Thursday.
Voting for the award took place in early October and a total of 182 CPL players submitted their top three players, with five points awarded to their number one choice, three points for their second selection and one point for whomever they picked third.
Any player who played in the league in 2023 was eligible to vote and be included for consideration by the players. Players were not allowed to vote for anyone on their own team, and voting took place strictly based on how the players performed in the Canadian Premier League regular season.
In total, 43 players received votes during a process that saw players meet face-to-face with members of the Canadian Premier League office to give their choices. The results of the vote were revealed during Thursday evening’s 2023 CPL awards show in Hamilton.
The Players’ Player of the Year is awarded the Muskox, a sculpture carved by Inuit artist Ruben Komangapik. The Muskox represents leadership, organization and defence of its most vulnerable members.
Musse finished with 350 points and was named on 94 of 182 ballots (52 per cent), receiving 49 first-place votes. He was not eligible to be named on 24 of them submitted by players from his own club.
Musse received the most points (80) from Halifax Wanderers’ players, being named on 20 ballots with 12 first-place votes. York United players named him on 17 of their ballots and Valour FC on 15 ballots.
“In Ali Musse you’ve got one of the most exciting attacking players in this league, and he’s done that year in and year out,” Musse’s coach, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said recently. “[He’s] someone I’ve got to know. He’s different, there aren’t many players like him. … I think he’s just got that difference about him. And he’s exciting, people are excited about the way he plays.”
Finishing second was Forge FC skipper Kyle Bekker with 249 points, named on 83 ballots with 24 first-place votes.
Bekker received the most points from Halifax Wanderers’ players (66), being named on 18 ballots with eight first-place votes. Valour FC players named him on 17 of their ballots and Cavalry FC players on 14.
Musse’s teammate in Calgary, defender Daan Klomp, finished third with 240 points, named on 76 ballots with 27 first-place votes.
Klomp received the most points from Pacific FC players (63), being named on 17 ballots with nine first-place votes. Players from Forge FC and Valour FC named him on 12 ballots.
Halifax Wanderers’ midfield maestro, Lorenzo Callegari, finished fourth with 182 points, named on 56 ballots with 25 first-place votes. Callegari received the most points from Pacific FC players (45), being named on 13 ballots with five first-place votes. Cavalry FC players named him on 12 ballots and Atlético Ottawa players named him on 10 ballots.
Pacific FC attacker Ayman Sellouf finished fifth with 174 points, named on 64 ballots with 16 first-place votes. Sellouf received the most points from Cavalry FC players (51), being named on 19 ballots with five first-place votes. Forge FC players named him on 12 ballots and Vancouver FC players named him on nine ballots.
Atlético Ottawa’s Ollie Bassett, who won this award in 2022, finished sixth with 139 points, named on a total of 43 ballots with 15 first-place votes.
Manny Aparicio, midfielder for Pacific FC, finished seventh with 61 points, named on a total of 26 ballots with five first-place votes.
Forge FC striker Terran Campbell finished tied for eighth with 25 points, named on a total of nine ballots with three first-place votes.
Halifax Wanderers defender Dan Nimick also finished eighth with 25 points, named on a total of 13 ballots with two-first place votes.
Rounding out the top ten was Nimick’s teammate, Massimo Ferrin, who finished tenth on 21 points, named on a total of nine ballots with two first-place votes.
The full top 20 is as follows:
- Ali Musse (Cavalry FC) 350 points
- Kyle Bekker (Forge FC) 249 points
- Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC) 240 points
- Lorenzo Callegari (Halifax Wanderers) 182 points
- Ayman Sellouf (Pacific FC) 174 points
- Ollie Bassett (Atlético Ottawa) 139 points
- Manny Aparicio (Pacific FC) 61 points
T-8 Terran Campbell (Forge FC) 25 points
T-8 Dan Nimick (Halifax Wanderers) 25 points
- Massimo Ferrin (Halifax Wanderers) 21 points
- Woobens Pacius (Forge FC) 20 points
- Sergio Camargo (Cavalry FC) 19 points
- Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC) 16 points
- Aidan Daniels (Halifax Wanderers) 13 points
T-15. Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC) 12 points
T-15. Charlie Trafford (Cavalry FC) 12 points
- Diego Gutiérrez (Valour FC) 8 points
T-18 Béni Badibanga (Forge FC) 5 points
T-18 Mikaël Cantave (Vancouver FC) 5 points
T-18 Kévin Dos Santos (York United) 5 points
T-18 Nathan Ingham (Atlético Ottawa) 5 points
T-18 Callum Irving (Vancouver FC) 5 points
T-18 Alberto Zapater (Atlético Ottawa) 5 points
The following players also received votes and are listed in alphabetical order:
William Akio (Cavalry FC), Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson (Forge FC), Mo Babouli (York United), Gabriel Bitar (Vancouver FC), Dante Campbell (Valour FC), Amer Didić (Pacific FC), Zach Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers), Renan García (Vancouver FC), Jordan Hamilton (Forge FC), Josh Heard (Pacific FC), Triston Henry (Forge FC), Shaan Hundal (Vancouver FC), Khadim Kane (Forge FC), Bradley Kamdem (Cavalry FC), Georges Mukumbilwa (Pacific FC), Rezart Rama (Forge FC), Elliot Simmons (Vancouver FC), Gareth Smith-Doyle (Cavalry FC), Cédric Toussaint (Pacific FC), Sean Young (Pacific FC)