Who’s who? CPL coaches dish on league’s most intriguing signings … so far

TORONTO — Provided anonymity, CPL coaches were recently asked to name players — not their own — who they’ll be keeping an eye on when the league kicks off in Hamilton on April 27.

More specifically, the CPL’s bench bosses were asked to pinpoint opposing players they’ll be watching from afar, and likely studying a little bit more when their sides meet this season.

Be it for their experience or raw potential, or through genuine intrigue, here are the players who the CPL coaches identified as potential difference-makers in 2019.


Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)

“He’s a player who could have carried on in the U.S. leagues because he’s just hitting his peak at 28 years old. It shows the type of player we’re attracting to this league.

“It’s a signing that caught my eye early … He’s a skillful player and now he has a league to show it.”


Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)

“I’ve seen his ability and I’ve seen the quality player he is. I think he’s a really good addition to our league because I think he’s on the cusp of that national team pool. I don’t know where he’s at on (Canadian national team coach) John Herdman’s depth chart but he’s a player you’d talk about in that mix.

“For me, he’s just shown some really good attacking flair with his ability to get forward and get into good spaces. He always seems to have an impact when he gets the ball. He’s just clever. At the end of the day, he’s getting goals and assist and he had a very good year this past year (with North Carolina FC).

“He’s a different player now. A much more rounded player. He’s better on the ball now attacking-wise. He’ll be a key player in this league.”

Kyle Bekker (Canada Soccer)
Kyle Bekker (Canada Soccer)


Trinidadian Quartet (HFX Wanderers)

“I love the Trinidadian signings by (HFX Wanderers). They’re going to bring a good quality to (coach Stephen Hart’s) team. I also love Pacific FC bringing in all of these young players we’ve seen play in our youth national teams. I really love what they’re doing. I think every team right now has a good player where I’m like, ‘Well done.'”


Son Yongchan (FC Edmonton)

“He impressed me very much at the Toronto Open Trials. I think it’s a very good signing. I liked him a lot when I watched him. He had so many tools and he carried himself very well.

“He looked like he’s been through this. Nothing is going to faze him. I like that.”

Son Yongchan during the Toronto Open Trials. (CPL)
Son Yongchan during the Toronto Open Trials. (CPL)


Dylan Sacramento (Valour FC)

“I want to see him make this transition. He was tactically and technically dominant in League1 Ontario and I want to see if that translates — and I hope it does. He has a knack for goals. He finds himself in good places in the final third of the field, breaking lines or getting in the box. He’s an intelligent player with finding space. He could be something special.”


Son Yongchan (FC Edmonton)

“He’s one guy I’m very intrigued to see because he looked so good at the Open Trials. He brings some level of experience, but he’s still a little bit of an unknown. I’ll be curious to see what level he brings. He was a good engine. He buzzed around. You could see his level of professionalism. Now what’s he going to look like in this league where the level is going to be quite high?”


Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)

“We kind of knew we never had a shot at him, but I would have loved to have seen Kyle Bekker (on our roster). He has experience, leadership qualities and he’s a guy that can lead a team coming into this opening season. He’s someone young people can lean against. I think he’s a great signing.”