CPL’s inaugural game starting XIs: Where are they now?

One year ago, the Canadian Premier League was born.

York9 FC and Forge FC players took to the pitch foe the league’s inaugural match at Tim Hortons Field, likely with a few modest achievements in mind.

After all, these teams had been tasked with popping the cap on a new league – getting through 90 minutes without a panic attack would be considered a job well done.

Those two starting lineups that walked onto the field at 12:50 pm ET that day did exactly what they set out to do: To formally introduce the world to the CPL.

Let’s review those 22 players who brought the Canadian Premier League to life.

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York9 FC

Nathan Ingham – GK

  • Re-signed with York9
  • Nominated as CPL Goalkeeper of the Year at Awards 2019
  • Made a league-high 89 saves across 26 starts

Justin Springer – DF

Luca Gasparotto – DF

Daniel Gogarty – DF

Kyle Porter – RM

  • Re-signed with York9
  • Y9’s inaugural signing brought experience to the York club en route to 25 appearances and two goals

Ryan Telfer – LM

  • Moved to Cypriot team Nea Salamis in January (has made two appearances)
  • On loan from Toronto FC, Telfer scored the first goal in CPL history on opening day
  • He made 26 appearances for Y9 in Year 1, scoring eight times

Joe Di Chiara – CM

Manny Aparicio (captain) – CM

  • Re-signed with York9
  • Given first red card in CPL history during the inaugural game
  • Made 31 league and CanChamp appearances for the Nine Stripes, wearing the captain’s armband in 30

Wataru Murofushi – CM

Cyrus Rollocks – ST

Simon Adjei – ST

  • Mutually parted ways with York9 in February, signed with Swedish side Assyriska IK soon after
  • Has yet to appear for Assyriska
  • First international signing in CPL history
  • Scored seven goals in 24 appearances for York9

Forge FC

CPL: Forge FC vs. York9 FC
Forge FC captain Kyle Bekker leads his squad on to the pitch before the CPL’s Inaugural Game. (CPL)

Triston Henry – GK

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Made 23 appearances as Forge’s no. 1 ‘keeper
  • Held on for two clean sheets in Finals 2019

Jonathan Grant – RB

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Recovered from inaugural game injury to make 10 starts in the CPL Fall season, scoring one goal

Elimane Cisse – CB

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Started in the centre of defence on opening day, went on to feature as a midfielder and striker
  • Made 25 appearances for Forge, scoring two goals and adding two assists

Dominic Samuel – CB

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Started as a centre back but appeared 27 more times, including at both fullback positions

Kwame Awuah – LB

Giuliano Frano – CM

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Alternate captain Frano emerged as a key water carrier for Forge, played in all but five matches

Kyle Bekker (captain) – CM

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Nominated for CPL Player of the Year at Awards 2019
  • Received a retroactive ban after elbowing Joe Di Chiara in the inaugural game

Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson – CM

Chris Nanco – LW

  • Re-signed with Forge
  • Set up the deciding goal in Finals 2019
  • Scored winning goal in Forge’s Concacaf League Leg 1 win over CD Olimpia

Emery Welshman – ST

  • Moved to Israeli club Hapoel Haifa in August, currently with Bnei Sakhnin
  • Scored three goals in 11 appearances for Forge
  • Attempted the first bicycle kick in CPL history, assisted Kadell Thomas’ opening day goal

Tristan Borges – RW

  • Sold to Oud-Heverlee Leuven in Belgium, first CPLer to move to Europe
  • CPL Player of the Year, Golden Boot winner, Best Canadian Under-21 winner
  • Scored 13 goals for Forge in 2019