York9 FC announced Friday the club has signed former Valour FC winger Michael Petrasso to a full contract, adding the Canadian international to its roster ahead of the 2020 Canadian Premier League campaign.
Petrasso, a 24-year-old native of Woodbridge, Ont., spent last season with Rob Gale’s Valour team, but returns to his hometown club with York9 FC. He also reunites with familiar faces such as Manu Aparicio, Luca Gasparotto, and Chris Mannella at the club.
“Coming to the CPL last season, all expectations were very high. After seeing the league and seeing all the players that have come into the league and grown out of the league, I think this league is very good for showing off your talent,” Petrasso told CanPL.ca.
“After the season finished, York9 was my number one choice. I watched them play and they’re a good football team. Even when I came to play here away, the first time, my whole family had the big tent behind the goal and I felt local support from my family. It was my main target to come back and play here.”
York head coach Jimmy Brennan said of Petrasso: “We kept a close eye on Michael all of last season. He’s from the community and we really wanted to bring him home – he a local boy who’s got great experience overseas. He’s also a leader on and off the pitch, and the type of guy who will fit right into our squad and be a dangerous asset going forward – (He is) an absolute nightmare for defenders.”
Indeed, Petrasso, who featured for youth clubs in Kleinburg, Markham, and Woodbridge before moving to the TFC Academy, is a well-ingrained part of York9’s community. He returns home having spent the last nine years at various outfits, including Queens Park Rangers, whom he joined at 15 years of age.
Petrasso has also played for Oldham Athletic, Coventry City, Leyton Orient, Notts County, the Montreal Impact, and the Ottawa Fury, before he joined Valour for the inaugural CPL campaign.
He made his debut for the Canadian national team in 2016, and went on to collect nine caps for the Reds.