Home Canadian Premier League CanPL News and Notes “What a CanPL will mean for us”: Canadian players speak up

“What a CanPL will mean for us”: Canadian players speak up


As the Canadian Premier League moves closer to going from dream to reality, with meetings ongoing this week in Toronto, it’s a good time to start hearing from the Canadian players whose careers could be impacted by a new national soccer circuit.

The 11 is reaching out to Canadian players, simply asking them for their thoughts about what a CanPL would mean to them.

The hope is that this becomes a  bulletin board of sorts; that we hear from players across the country.

If you’re a Canadian player and want your voice added to the discussion, reach out to me @stevensandor or [email protected].

Thanks go to Rob Notenboom for helping with the inquiries. Here’s to hoping that I’ll be seeing you at a CanPL game in Regina. Actually, make that many CanPL games in Regina.

David Monsalve, goalkeeper

Résumé: Toronto FC (MLS), FC Inter Turku (Finland), FC Edmonton (NASL), AC Oulu (Finland), America de Cali (Colombia), CD Suchitepequez (Guatemala), Husqvarna FF (Sweden)

“It gives us all a clear rather to becoming a pro. Once a pro, it gives us a sense of belonging — something we otherwise don’t really feel. As Canadians we often have to go far distances  to play the sport we love to play, away from family and friends and other opportunities.

“Having something at home gives us a chance to contribute to the game in OUR country as opposed to someone else’s — also it can give us older players an opportunity to make the transition into coaching or other opportunities within the soccer world.

“Long answer short, the CPL is something we can wholeheartedly get behind and support.”

Elijah Adekugbe, midfielder

Résumé: Trinity Western University (CIS), Calgary Foothills (PDL), PDL Top 50 Prospects List, Vancouver Whitecaps Residency

“We (Canadian players) are waiting in anticipation, a Canadian league will change the landscape of soccer. For Canadian players, it gives us a chance at a future that we’ve never had before.

“Right now, it’s tough for a Canadian to find a job. There really aren’t many scouts coming to Canada, so you have to spend a lot of money to go abroad just for a chance at getting a trial somewhere.”

Will Sykes in action

Will Sykes, goalkeeper

Résumé: Europa Point FC (GIB), Lincoln Red Imps (GIB)

“To me, a Canadian league is a requirement. For players like myself, who have had to go abroad to gain some recognition, it would be very important to have a league in Canada that offers chances to Canadian players, teams who aren’t like TFC or the Whitecaps, who are  very hard to break into unless you were part of their academy systems.

“I want to make a name for myself in this country. Being able to play in Canada would be a dream come true.”

Dylon Powley, goalkeeper

Résumé: Calgary Foothills (PDL), MacEwan University (CIS)

“It’s going to be great for Canada, for sure. Right now, there are only five pro teams in Canada, and most of their players aren’t Canadian. There is a real lack of opportunities for Canadian players; I am going to Sweden in November for some trials because of the lack of opportunity here in Canada.

“We have seen three teams do really well in the PDL; we got to the final last year, Kitchener-Waterloo won it, Thunder Bay is always near the top. We have the players here. But our players are missing out. We got to the final last year, a team that was 100 per cent Canadian, how does nobody get signed from that team? How do (PDL MVP finalist) Dominic Russo and Ajeej Sarkaria not get signed?

“And, last year, we got to the final, but no one paid attention to us. The MVP? An American? The coach of the year? American. The PDL even made up a creativity award (Creative Player of the Year) that they could give to an American.”

Tofa Fakunle, midfielder/striker

Résumé: Calgary Foothills (PDL), University of Northern British Columbia, 2016-17 Male Athlete of the Year (CIS)

“A new league would offer Canadian players like myself more chances to get to the next level. It would be another platform for us to look to get to.

“The league [PDL] is geared towards Americans. They are always promoting the American players. The last three years, a Canadian team has made it to the finals. But our players don’t get signed.

“A new Canadian league would get a lot of interest from Canadian players. People will be surprised at the number of Canadian players who will come looking for trials.”

Aaron Hooper, defender

Résumé: Indiana Fire (NPSL), then tore his ACL at a training camp in Malaga, Spain. Is expecting to be cleared to play again in February, 2018.

“It’s a huge opportunity for us. I got into soccer pretty late, I was 12. But what was special for me was that the first team I saw was TFC. And that means a lot to a Canadian player, to have a Canadian team to dream about right from the start.

“I coach as well, and I tell the kids that they could have an opportunity of a lifetime. I tell them they could have the opportunity that I never had at their age, to dream about playing in a Canadian league.

“When my knee heals I am looking to get back to NPSL, USL or PDL. But the goal would be to play in the Canadian Premier League for a long time. It would mean a lot to be able to play in front of family and friends, and then to help build the sport in this country.”

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  1. Kent

    September 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Great article. I’d be interested in hearing more, from a wide variety of players. Most of this one was low level guys still looking to break in to pro soccer. I’d like to see some more from established pros like Monsalve. At what level of play or experience do guys go from “sign me up!” to “It’s great for Canada, I’d be interested in seeing what the play is like before signing”, or see if any older guys would be interested in a final hurrah on a CPL team.

  2. JeffSalisbury

    September 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    Holy smokes Dylon Powley spitting fire. Right on! Tofa also speaking the truth.

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