York United announce signing of Canadian defender Nyal Higgins

York United announced on Friday the signing of Canadian defender Nyal Higgins on a one-year deal, plus a club option.

The 26-year-old, a native of Ajax, ON, has amassed plenty of experience across a busy career, including two seasons in the Canadian Premier League.

Having excelled at NCAA level with Oakland University and later Syracuse, Higgins was part of the MLS SuperDraft in 2020, selected 19th overall by Toronto FC. Later that year, having made a handful of appearances for TFC II in the United Soccer League, Higgins was loaned to Swedish club Nyköpings BIS and enjoyed an excellent campaign there, making 18 appearances in all competitions.

In 2021, Higgins returned to his native country and signed a loan deal with Atletico Ottawa. He made eight appearances in total before moving to FC Edmonton the following season. He enjoyed plenty of game time with the Eddies: from his 24 games, he managed 90 minutes in all but two.

Since 2023, Higgins has featured regularly for League1 Ontario side Vaughan Azzurri and has been involved with The Nine Stripes throughout the offseason, with his character, attitude and ability impressing the club’s technical staff.

“Nyal has been with the group all through preseason and effortlessly slotted in,” says Head Coach Martin Nash. “He’s a capable, composed centre-back and reads the game well. He brings plenty of experience and knowledge of the league and he’s an excellent addition for us. He’ll play a vital role this season.”