The Canadian Premier League is built on the promise of building the future of soccer in Canada. THE NEXT GEN celebrates this promise by showcasing and honouring the best young Canadian soccer talent from coast to coast in the Canadian Premier League.
Welcome the the NEXT GEN CLASS OF 2020, an eight-part video series celebrating the best young Canadian talent on display during the Canadian Premier League 2020 season. These incredible young players’ performances demonstrated their talent and grit at the Island Games in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and are proof that professional soccer is now attainable in Canada.
You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know Mo Farsi’s name before this year.
Truth be told, the 20-year-old native of Montreal had flown somewhat under the radar as a member of AS Blainville in the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec and with the Canadian futsal team before going on a two-week trial with Cavalry FC this past March.
But Cavs coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. immediately saw something in the youngster during his training stint with the club and quickly signed him to a contract ahead of the 2020 CPL season.
“”He is the type of player we were looking at that can come in and make us better and we are looking forward to seeing him develop in our colours,” Wheeldon Jr. said at the time. “He is a modern-day fullback that is very technically accomplished, with great pace and jumps into the attack very well.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Farsi was one of the league’s breakout stars this year, taking The Island Games by storm with his dynamic and dangerous attacking play in PEI. Known for his pace and deft touch, Farsi made 10 appearances in Charlottetown as a tricky wide player and excelled at both ends of the pitch, registering a team-high 15 tackles and ranking third in passes in the opponent’s half.
Farsi immediately won the admiration of CPL onlookers during the opening match at The Island Games, drawing two penalties and notching an assist in his first 40 minutes of action for Cavalry against Forge FC.
He continued to have an impact in Cavalry’s second contest in PEI against Valour FC. Starting on the left, Farsi exploded up and down the touchline, proving too much for Valour, as he drew another penalty and delivered an inch-perfect cross to teammate Marcus Haber for a second Cavalry goal.
Farsi ended up hitting 35 crosses in open play (more than anybody else at The Island Games), notching an assist, and adding a second-round golazo against Pacific FC, which was voted the CPL Fan Awards’ El Jimador Shot of the Year.
It was that second goal that was the crown jewel of an excellent Island Games campaign for the young wingback. His play was excellent all night, with plenty of sizzling runs (one of which drew a penalty for the Cavs), but the marquee moment was this goal, in the 75th minute.
Farsi did it all himself, pouncing on a sluggish pass out from the back by Pacific’s goalkeeper. He knocked the ball ahead for himself, took it into the box, and then rifled a shot perfectly off the far post and in from a difficult angle. It was a goal created from nothing, and a moment of magic that sealed Cavalry’s 3-1 victory to open the group stage of The Island Games.
After the match, Wheeldon Jr. was asked how far Farsi can go. His tongue-in-cheek answer? “Up and down the touchline, often. And a lot.”
To top it all off, Cavalry FC’s first-year fullback was named the Best Canadian U-21 Player of the year, capturing an individual honour in an extraordinary first professional season
“Never in my life did I think I would have a first season like this, where I’d win awards right away,” Farsi told CanPL.ca. “It makes you proud, in a way, of the work you’ve put into it. I had 10 games to prove myself and I did that, which is satisfying.”
One of Quebec’s top-ranked prospects since making his first PLSQ appearance at age 17, Farsi announced his presence to a larger audience in 2020, firmly establishing himself as one of the CPL’s brightest young stars.
Surely, a lot more people now know his name.