CPL announces expansion of developmental roster, Exceptional Young Talent category

Toronto, ON – (July 20, 2023) The Canadian Premier League (CPL) today announced a new roster subcategory aimed at furthering the League and its member clubs shared commitment to developing the next generation of young talent in Canada.

The new Exceptional Young Talent roster subcategory, implemented as part of the League’s existing Developmental roster, allows CPL clubs to sign two additional under-18 domestic players outside of their 23-man Primary roster. Those players will occupy spots 24 and 25 on a club’s Master roster.

The new roster designation became effective on Friday, July 14.

Primary Roster 1-23
Developmental Roster
Exceptional Young Talent 24 & 25
Development Player Maximum 4 players

Three current CPL players have now been designated Exceptional Young Talent:

Taryck “TJ” Tahid (Vancouver FC)
Khadim Kane (Forge FC)
James Cameron (Vancouver FC)

Any player added to a club’s Master roster as Exceptional Young Talentmust be considered a domestic player, as per League competition guidelines, and must be signed to a Standard Player Contract. To further incentivize CPL clubs investment in such young talent, compensation of a player signed as Exceptional Young Talent will not count toward a team’s cap.

A player designated Exceptional Young Talent is eligible to remain in the category up to and including the year he turns 21 years old.

We want to be the league of choice for the best young talent in our country,” said Costa Smyrniotis, Executive Vice President, Soccer, Canadian Premier League.

The introduction of this new roster category further exemplifies the League’s and our clubs commitment to investing in and developing the next generation of talent in our country.”

Alongside the pair of roster spots earmarked for players designated Exceptional Young Talent, each CPL club may continue to sign four players to Development Player Contracts at any one time. Players signed to developmental contracts can be included on a club’s Master roster without losing the ability to train and play with the amateur team who holds his registration. Find more information on the CPL’s Developmental Roster here.