CPL Fan Awards: Breaking down the Assist of the Year nominees

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The Canadian Premier League’s 2020 Fan Awards launched this week with nine categories, including the new Assist of the Year distinction.

As you can recall, The Island Games had some truly incredible playmaking displays – almost as impressive as the goals that were scored in PEI.

Here’s a breakdown of the three nominees: HFX Wanderers FC winger Alex Marshall, FC Edmonton midfielder Antony Caceres, and Forge FC danger man David Choinière.


Alex Marshall, HFX Wanderers FC — vs. Forge FC, August 19 (1st Round)

Going into halftime of this first-round match, HFX Wanderers looked demoralized against Forge. A questionable first-half penalty gave Forge the lead and left an otherwise impressive Wanderers group looking for answers. Then came Jamaican Alex Marshall, who entered the game as a substitute in the second half and immediately made his presence known.

The tricky winger was on the pitch for less than 90 seconds when he delivered a perfectly-weighted, perfectly-timed, line-breaking pass to Akeem Garcia. The slicing feed sailed through Forge’s formidable defence with ease for Garcia to finish off. It was Marshall’s first goal involvement for the Wanderers since signing with the club in the off-season, and the first of Garcia’s Golden Boot-winning six goals in PEI.

Antony Caceres, FC Edmonton — vs. Atlético Ottawa, August 23 (1st Round)

FC Edmonton’s high point in an ultimately disappointing season came in this game when Jeff Paulus’ group clawed out of a two-goal second-half deficit to equalize against expansion side Atlético Ottawa to earn their only point at The Island Games.

The second goal, which came in second-half injury time, was as simple of a tap-in as you can get for Easton Ongaro, but Antony Caceres brilliantly set it up for him.

FCE’s young midfielder pulled off one of the most spirited runs we saw at The Island Games by beating a defender, taking a one-two pass from Hanson Boakai, getting in behind Ottawa’s defence, and somehow shovelling the ball through a defender and goalkeeper to the open net for Ongaro to finish off.

David Choinière, Forge FC — vs. Cavalry FC, August 13 (1st Round)

Forge FC’s David Choinière has a knack for coming up in big games, such as Finals 2019 and his team’s runs in the Concacaf League. So, when Forge took the field on Aug. 13 against Cavalry FC in the opening match of The Island Games, you just knew Choinière would do something special.

The former Montreal Impact winger tracked teammate Kyle Bekker’s late run into the box and whipped in an inch-perfect cross, requiring his captain to simply lean into the diving header and give Forge the lead. All of this came after an excellent overlapping run after seeing teammate Mo Babouli surge forward.