York9 FC’s Lowell Wright makes history as CPL’s youngest goalscorer

The Canadian Premier League’s youngest goal scorer is also on the league’s longest contract.

Not a bad bit of business from York9 FC, who saw teenager Lowell Wright make history on Saturday by scoring his first professional goal, one of two Y9 goals against expansion side Atlético Ottawa in 2-2 draw at The Island Games.

In finding the back of the net, the 16-year-old Wright became the youngest scorer in league, besting 17-year-old Tyler Attardo’s record for Valour FC last season.

“It’s a bit strange, with the circumstances, but still fantastic,” Wright told from his hotel room in Charlottetown, adding he was just sorting through messages from friends and family back in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Oh man, so many messages. Haven’t had a chance to go through them, taking a bit of time.”

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The Brampton, Ont. native was signed by York9 in late July, on a CPL-record four-year contract, as a replacement for Argentinian midfielder Brian López who was unable to get into Canada due to border restrictions.

Wright’s goal with 30 minutes left in regulation came just in time for the Nine Stripes, who found themselves floundering against a club who’d yet to play a game. On as a substitute alongside Max Ferrari, Wright and his fellow teenager combined in the 60th minute on a well-worked sequence which ended up spurring a second-half comeback for York9.

Despite the lack of game experience with Ferrari, Wright knew what his teammate was thinking on the play.

“I know Max loves to run at defenders even in training so, when I saw that one-v-one, I had a feeling,” Wright recalled about his first professional goal.

“I knew if he cut in he’d have a chance for a shot. When he ran forward, so did I.”

In the buildup to Saturday’s match, coach Jimmy Brennan teased featuring young players against Ottawa, and hecredited the group for energizing his squad late on.

“They’ve got talent… and it shows the belief we have in them,” Brennan said of Wright, Ferrari, and fellow teenage debutant Ijah Halley. “I didn’t want them to start and put a lot of pressure on them.

“You have to gradually bring them in. Now, they know now they can compete, and keep pace with the professional game.”

Wright simply sounds confident, all the way from PEI. As he should be, York9 has placed their trust – both on paper and on the pitch – on him, and he has delivered thus far.

“It feels good to know, at a stage like that, Jimmy trusts us. To know we’re an important part of the team,” Wright said.

“It’s great to come out and score like that… but it doesn’t feel out of the ordinary. Jimmy tells us to never feel afraid. We’re young but there’s a reason we’re here.”

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