Forge FC’s Triston Henry wins 2023 CPL Golden Glove Award

The Canadian Premier League revealed on Thursday that Forge FC’s Triston Henry has been awarded the Golden Glove as Goalkeeper of the Year for 2023.

Henry was named the recipient at the CPL’s Awards event in Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Final, where he and his Forge teammates will take on Cavalry FC in a bid to be the first side to hoist the North Star Cup.

This is the second time Henry has taken home top goalkeeper honours, having last won the award in 2020. He was also nominated in 2021. This year, he was voted the league’s best keeper of the regular season by a selection of media members from across the country as well as representatives from CPL clubs’ technical leadership, beating fellow nominees Marco Carducci of Cavalry FC and Rayane Yesli of Valour FC.

In 2023, the 30-year-old Scarborough, Ont. native led the CPL with nine clean sheets, starting 27 regular season matches for a Forge side that conceded the joint second-fewest goals in the league (32).

Henry was the only shot-stopper in the league to be named Allstate Goalkeeper of the Month twice in 2023, earning the nod in both May and July — the latter being a particularly outstanding month for him, with just one goal conceded from four total matches.

Forge’s well-rounded keeper, who has become beloved by teammates and fans in Hamilton over his five seasons with the club so far, had a number of outstanding performances. He was named man of the match after Forge’s 1-0 win at Atlético Ottawa on May 27, when he made a club-record and career-high eight saves — a mark that’s tied for the fourth-most saves by a goalkeeper in one game in CPL history.

“He’s absolutely excellent,” Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis said about Henry after that game. “Throughout the years, and he’s played in big games, he’s been our rock in the goal. This is a guy who has played over 20 Concacaf games, he’s played the most important games in the CPL championships, in Canadian Championships, and he’s top notch.”

Smyrniotis would go on to add that a key part of Henry’s skillset is his ability to remain focused and make key saves, even in games where Forge don’t concede many shots — which is fairly often, considering Forge allowed the fewest shots on target in the league (93) in 2023.

“The important thing about a top goalkeeper is he’s a goalkeeper of the moment, because you’re going to need him in one or two moments in a game,” Smyrniotis said. “Sometimes that’s what we miss a little bit in looking at keepers. The defenders do a great job, but when we need him he’s there.”

Henry’s 2023 campaign will also be remembered for his outrageous fingertip save against Pacific FC’s Amer Didic, who nearly scored with a shot from well inside his own half:

As winner of the 2023 Golden Glove award, Henry was presented with the Canadian Inuit Dog statue, a unique piece of soapstone art conceived by artist Kellipalik Etidloie.

Previous winners include Cavalry’s Marco Carducci in both 2019 and 2022, former Valour keeper Jonathan Sirois in 2021, and of course Henry himself in 2020.

Henry and Forge FC will vie for a fourth championship this Saturday, Oct. 28 at Tim Hortons Field, when they take on Cavalry FC in the 2023 CPL Final.