Canadian Premier League - HFX Wanderers FC vs FC Edmonton - Wanderers Grounds, Halifax, Nova Scotia - September 28, 2019. HFX Wanderers FC Goalkeeper Christian Oxner (50) dives to make a save. (Trevor MacMillan/CPL)
Who’ll be the CPL’s next ‘hometown hero’ to emerge during 2020 season?
Marty Thompson, Digital Content Editor (@martythompson_)
CanPL.ca’s Virtual Newsroom discusses which CPLer could be the league’s next “hometown hero” on their latest episode. Watch in full here.
Look around: The Canadian Premier League is chock-full of Canadian youngsters plying their trade in their hometown or home province.
Sean Young (from Victoria) and Matteo de Brienne (from Nepean, Ont.) are the latest CPL players to get professional deals with their hometown clubs after signing with Pacific FC and Atlético Ottawa FC last week.
The latest episode of the CanPL.ca Virtual Newsroom discussed how the upcoming 2020 season – dubbed The Island Games –could see any number of Canadian prospects make a name for themselves with their hometown clubs, just as Valour’s Tyler Attardo and FC Edmonton’s Easton Ongaro did in 2019.
So, who will emerge as the CPL’s next hometown hero?
Here are a few names to watch for during The Island Games.
Oxner, 24, returns to the Wanderers this season with loads of potential after an impressive 2019 campaign that saw him overtake Jan-Michael Williams as HFX’s starting goalkeeper. Oxner was awfully active, making more defensive actions (1.63) per 90 minutes than any other CPL goalkeeper in 2019, according to SportLogiq.
Antoine Coupland – Atlético Ottawa
Admittedly a raw package, Coupland (still only 16) crosses the river from Chelsea, Quebec, after spending last season in the USL with the Ottawa Fury. It may be a few seasons before Coupland hits his stride with the expansion Atlético Ottawa but, with midfielders such as Francisco Acuña and Ben Fisk to learn from, he is a hometown prospect who Ottawa supporters can get excited about during The Island Games.
Max Ferrari – York9
There are more than few York9 FC youngsters to choose from since Julian Altobelli, Ijah Halley, Isaiah Johnston, and Lowell Wright were added this spring. But, perhaps former League1 Ontario and Aurora FC standout Max Ferrari is the best set for a breakout season.
Another box-to-box midfielder, Ferrari has been honing his craft at L1O level for a number of years, emerging as one of Ontario’s top club talents in one of York Region’s nine municipalities.
“Talking to the football developmental folks at the CPL, they are very high on him,” CanPL.ca’s John Molinaro said during the latest Virtual Newsroom. “Very good in possession, quick on the dribble, fearless in taking on defenders. He could offer some dynamic attacking elements.”
Sean Young – Pacific FC
Another young-but-exciting prospect, Victoria-area midfielder Sean Young made headlines last week as Pacific FC’s first hometown signee. A 19-year-old box-to-box midfielder, Young will need to break through a strong central midfield core of Matthew Baldisimo, Jamar Dixon, and Noah Verhoeven to get minutes.
But, as we saw with an on-loan David Norman Jr. last year, PFC does not shy away from mixing up their midfield with younger, more industrious operators. A few good appearances and, who knows, Pa-Modou Kah has another kid to trust.
Amanda has the ability to be the face of Paulus’ Academy project. Joining the FC Edmonton Academy in 2015, Amanda has grown into his technical ability; he’s six-foot-one, pacey, and with a knack for key dribbles and a quality crosses.