York United sign Canadian defender Jonathan Grant

York United FC has signed 29-year-old year Canadian fullback Jonathan Grant to a one-year deal.

A native of Pickering, Ont, Grant brings a wealth of experience to the club and plenty of Canadian Premier League know-how, having been a crucial member of Forge FC for the past four seasons.

Across 55 appearances in all competitions, he ended up with three CPL winner’s medals while in Hamilton and also featured prominently in various editions of the CONCACAF League.

Prior to his time in the CPL, Grant spent a season in Sweden playing with Nyköpings BIS, while he also enjoyed two separate United Soccer League (USL) campaigns for Sporting Kansas II (formerly known as Swope Park Rangers) and FC Montreal respectively.

On the international front, Grant has represented Canada at Under-23 level, playing alongside his new club teammates Mo Babouli, Michael Petrasso and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé. Also part of that Canada group was Mauro Eustáquio, current York United assistant coach.

Training with the squad for the past number of weeks, Grant has hit the ground running. For Angus McNab, York United FC’s CEO/President and GM, his attitude and work ethic have been immense. That hard work has now been rewarded with a place on the 2023 roster.

“We all have a lot of respect for the way Johnny has gone about his business and made this roster,” McNab says.

“He’s a three-time CPL champion and he’s been willing to work, prove his fitness and earn a spot. The experience he brings to the group is really helpful and we feel that he can contribute at both right-back and centre-back for us, even though it’s probably going back to his days in Kansas City since he played frequently in the middle.”

Grant, like quite a number of the club’s offseason signings, provides pedigree. With a proven track record and plenty of positional flexibility too, he represents an exciting addition for Head Coach Martin Nash.

“Johnny has been one of the best defenders in the CPL since day one,” Nash says.

“His combination of size, athleticism and technical qualities are what we were looking for in a defender. He’s a top pro who brings a championship-winning mentality to our group.”