Garven Metusala is a strong defender on the rise: The Next Gen Presented by Jones DesLauriers | Navacord

Establishing himself as a promising young defender during a breakout year in the CPL, Forge FC defender Garven Metusala had a 2021 season to remember.

The 21-year-old from Terrebonne, Quebec was drafted eighth overall in the in the 2021 CPL–U Sports Draft out of Concordia University, and also spent time in the Montreal Impact academy and with AS Blainville, among other clubs in the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ).

In his first professional season he played in 25 of Forge’s 28 regular season matches, mostly as a centre-back but also making a handful of appearances at right back.

Forge had the best defensive record in the CPL in 2021, and the youngster was a big part of that, finishing third on his team in tackles (28), fourth in blocks (8), and third in aerial duels won (29), and was near the top of most defensive categories.

He’s also a threat on set pieces, and found the back of the net with a powerful header from close range for his first professional goal in August.

Had he been born a day later (he was born on December 31, 1999 — one day before the 2021 U21 eligibility cutoff), he would have likely been in the conversation for U21 Canadian Player of the Year.

A strong season was rewarded with a spot in the starting lineup for Forge in the 2021 CPL final, starting alongside Dom Samuel at centre-back against Pacific FC. While Forge went on to lose that game, Metusala put in a big performance in the biggest match of the season.

If he can build on his rookie campaign, he has the potential to become one of the CPL’s best defenders.