Isaiah Johnston is a focal point in a young York core: The Next Gen Presented by Jones DesLauriers | Navacord

After playing just 17 minutes across three substitute appearances at the Island Games in 2020, York United midfielder Isaiah Johnston had a breakout year in 2021, becoming one of the Nine Stripes’ most important players.

The 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario spent some time with Woodbridge Strikers of League1 Ontario between 2017 and 2019, as well as a season with the CBU Capers at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia. He was drafted by the club out of CBU in the 2019 CPL U-Sports Draft, and signed a contract ahead of the 2020 season.

He made 26 regular season appearances in 2021, pitching in with three goals and an assist. The pick of the bunch was a perfect one-touch finish against FC Edmonton in the Kickoff bubble.

His passing ability is also a standout quality, with the youngster capable of creating chances and get out of danger with the ball at his feet.

He was rewarded with a three-year contract extension in November, keeping him with the club until the end of the 2024 season. He has one more year of U21 eligibility as well, and will help York United with the U21 minutes requirement that they absolutely smashed in 2021. Johnston collected over 2,000 minutes this year, passing the team’s 1,500 minute requirement on his own (Max Ferrari did the same for The Nine Stripes, with 2,249 of his own.

If Johnston can build on his first full professional season in 2022 and beyond, he’ll be an important player for York United, and there will be teams queuing up to acquire his services.