CPL Headlines: Forge, Pacific add Canadian youth national team players

With Monday, April 1 being the Canadian Premier League’s roster compliance deadline, teams are looking to make their final few moves ahead of the 2024 campaign.

For some, with their primary rosters completed, this will mean focusing on more developmental signings, including U SPORTS players. Many such signings can be expected in the coming weeks.

Here are the most notable headlines from around the Canadian Premier League this past week:

Atlético Ottawa bolster U-21 depth

The capital city club added another piece that may be important for them this year as they re-signed fullback Zachary Roy. The 20-year-old from Saint-Bruno, Que. signed a deal for 2024 with an option for 2025, and he’ll now look to add to the 17 career appearances he’s already made for Atlético Ottawa over two seasons.

Roy will be a helpful addition to the side at right-back, and he’ll help them hit the required U-21 minutes threshold.

Aiden Rushenas re-ups with Halifax Wanderers

Rushenas looks set to be the Wanderers’ backup goalkeeper for a second straight year, as he inked a new deal with the club this week. The 20-year-old didn’t make an appearance in 2023, but he’ll nonetheless be valuable depth for Halifax behind starting ‘keeper Yann Fillion.

The Toronto native and former Dalhouse University shot-stopper has signed a deal for 2024 with a club option for 2025.

Forge FC sign CF Montréal midfielder Matteo Schiavoni on loan

Forge FC added another Canadian youth international to their ranks this week in talented 18-year-old midfielder Matteo Schiavoni — who joins the club on loan from CF Montréal.

The Montréal, Québec native recently signed a first-team deal with the MLS side, after which it was announced he had been loaned to Forge for the season. He spent the past few years with the youth teams of Bologna in Serie A, and therefore brings an exciting pedigree to the Forge midfield.

Schiavoni was teammates with Forge’s Kevaughn Tavernier at the recent Concacaf U-20 qualifiers competition in Trinidad and Tobago. He played 30 minutes off the bench in Canada’s group opener against Dominica, before starting and providing an assist in a 4-0 victory over Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the second match.

Pacific FC add Canadian U-20 fullback Christian Greco-Taylor

Schiavoni’s Canadian U-20 national teammate signed on the other coast this week, with Pacific FC adding 19-year-old fullback Christian Greco-Taylor.

The Calgary, Alta. native appeared in all three matches for Canada at the 2024 Concacaf U-20 Champions Qualifiers in February. He played an important role as Canada qualified for this summer’s U-20 Championship proper, which will be played in Mexico.

He spent this past season with the Vancouver Whitecaps MLS Next Pro team, making 21 appearances and contributing a pair of assists. He is an alumnus of both the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy and the Calgary Foothills program. He can also play as a midfielder, bringing tactical flexibility to the Pacific lineup.

Christian Greco-Taylor. (Pacific FC)

Halifax continue Vaughan connection with Development Contract for striker Remi Agunbiade

Another exciting talent from Vaughan Soccer Club is headed out east with 18-year-old striker Remi Agunbiade signing a Development contract for the 2024 campaign.

Agunbiade scored 14 goals for Vaughan’s U-19 side this past season, while also appearing with the club’s senior side at points during the year.

The youngster has committed to the University of Akron for the 2024 NCAA season, but this experience with the Wanderers will help him prepare for that next step in his career.

He joins a talented list of players who have spent time with the Wanderers on development contracts in recent years, including Canadian U-20 members Ethan Schilte-Brown (now of Kilmarnock FC in Scotland) and Kimani Stewart-Baynes, who recently got his first MLS assist with the Colorado Rapids.

Former Forge FC original Chris Nanco announces his retirement

This week, one of Forge FC’s first-ever signings, Chris Nanco, announced his retirement. The 29-year-old was an integral member of the Forge side that won the 2019 CPL Final, scoring four goals in his debut season with the club.

Nanco went on to play four seasons for Forge, winning three CPL titles. He also represented the club in Concacaf competition, famously scoring in a 1-0 home win against Olimpia in the club’s first continental campaign.

He also represented Canada internationally at the youth level, including at the 2011 U-17 World Cup in Mexico.

Forge FC unveil 2024 home and alternate kits

On Thursday at a special kit launch event, Forge FC unveiled their home and alternate kits for the 2024 season.

The home kit, which is Forge’s traditional orange, portrays sparks flying from a hammer in action — symbolizing the spirit and determination of the club.

Meanwhile, the stunning new ‘waterfall white’ alternate kit features a sleek design that pays homage to the city’s status as the waterfall capital of the world.

Both kits are now available for purchase.

Forge FC’s 2024 home and alternate kits