Forge’s no. 1 is getting the recognition he deserves after backstopping Forge to back-to-back CPL Championships. Henry made 23 saves in 10 appearances, posting a league-best 0.8 goals against per 90 minutes and five clean sheets, also tops in the CPL. Henry made crucial stops during the business end of The Island Games against Pacific FC, Cavalry FC, and the Wanderers to put him over 300 minutes without conceding a single goal.
Kadin Chung (Pacific FC)
Consider this a breakthrough campaign for Pacific FC’s inaugural signing. Chung, 22, showcased incredible defensive solidity and attacking know-how in PEI, establishing himself as the CPL’s best right fullback. Leading all CPL defenders with 75 successful passes in the final third, the youngster’s defence-stretching runs up the right side helped him forge a game-breaking partnership with Marco Bustos.
Dominick Zator (Cavalry FC)
The Cavalry FC defender gave fans exactly what they expected from him in his second CPL campaign: aerial dominance, unmatched defensive prowess, and defensive solidity during the Cavs’ nine-match run. Earning multiple Gatorade Team of the Week nominations, the Canadian men’s national team prospect proved as sturdy as ever in a Cavalry side that was depleted by injuries. Oh, and don’t forget that Island Games-opening goal.
Daniel Krutzen (Forge FC)
Forge’s standout centre back from 2019 had an incredible Island Games at both ends of the pitch. Mobile, tactically astute, and technically gifted, the Belgian maintained his fantastic partnership with David Edgar and displayed incredible dead-ball ability in the final third. Two goals, one from the penalty spot, and numerous dangerous freekicks that led to scoring chances showed another side of his game.
Mo Farsi (Cavalry FC)
The 20-year-ols native of Montreal was destined for this list. He drew two penalties and notched an assist in his first 40 minutes with Cavalry, establishing himself as one of the best fullbacks less than an hour into his CPL career. Shocking, considering he was passed on by several coaches, who gritted their teeth as Farsi ripped part their defences. A late-second round golazo marked Farsi’s biggest moment. A clear frontrunner for Under-21 Player of the Year.
Kyle Bekker (Forge FC)
Arguably the most consistent performer in PEI, Bekker was an unstoppable force in the middle of the park. He scored crucial goals (including a late winner vs. Pacific), assisted on important ones (like Mo Babouli’s chip vs. Cavalry), and worked tirelessly to keep Forge organized and tough to break down. No midfielder played more minutes (879) than the Forge captain who, after back-to-back championships and Player of the Year nominations, could easily be considered the best player in CPL history.
Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers)
“Rampy” led HFX Wanderers to the CPL Final and dominated with his high intensity and two-way ability in match after match. The best box-to-box midfielder of this Best XI midfield-three, the Trinidadian posted an incredible 82 per cent passing accuracy in the final third, matched by a league-high 67 duels won. Crucial in the Wanderers’ press, and even more important spearheading attacks, Rampersad has a bright future ahead of him in Halifax.
Abou Sissoko (HFX Wanderers)
HFX’s new midfielder, and the reigning U SPORTS Athlete of the Year, was a revelation. A dominating midfielder with quick pressing and an unbelievable amount of stamina, Sissoko used his physical prowess to elevate his excellent passing game, moving the ball quicker than most CPL defences can handle. Pair that with a league-best 91 per cent dribbling success rate and you have one of the CPL’s best midfielders, even if he’s only played 10 matches.
Marco Bustos (Pacific FC)
Player of the Year nominee Bustos carried Pacific on his back at times on PEI. Five goals and three assists in 10 matches, the 24-year-old diminutive attacker’s many moments of magic sent PFC into the second round, gave the club its biggest win in its history, and sent coach Pa-Modou Kah into a pitch-side frenzy. Bustos more than lived up to his MVP hype despite Pacific’s meagre second-round exit.
Akeem Garcia (HFX Wanderers)
Finally, we have The Island Games’ Golden Boot winner. Garcia’s six goals put HFX firmly in the CPL Final. All of them were poacher’s goals – in on the goalkeeper, all on his right foot – with the Trinidadian emerging as the CPL’s purest finisher in dramatic fashion. Garcia’s play without the ball was impressive, too, pressing well and winning possession in dangerous areas of the field.
Javier Acuna (Atlético Ottawa)
From shredding York9 FC in the club’s inaugural match to setting a record for the fastest goal in CPL history, Acuña was an eye-catching talent in PEI, to say the least. Brilliant touches, passes, and movement made opposing coaches and pundits suggest he was the most talented CPL player ever. While two goals and two assists in seven matches isn’t the most impressive return, you can’t underestimate Acuña’s influence for the expansion team.
Christian Oxner (HFX Wanderers)
That terrible goal given up in the final minute of the CPL Final shouldn’t cast a shadow over Oxner’s incredible Island Games performance. He was involved in more defensive actions per 90 minutes than any other goalkeeper, and he was right near the top in claims and saves per game. Good value for his Goalkeeper of the Year nomination.
Alex Achinioti-Jönsson (Forge FC)
Achinioti-Jönsson has a great case to start in this lineup: three goals (including the CPL Final winner), numerous heroic defensive performances, and a steady presence at the back.
Andrew Jean-Baptise (Valour FC)
Valour’s defence, led by Jean-Baptise, was exceptional in their short spell on PEI (nine goals conceded). The Haitian international’s experience and physical acumen shined through with his game-saving tackles and solid positioning.
David Edgar (Forge FC)
The Canadian international was one of Forge’s keys to a second championship. Steady with the ball and dominant in the air, Edgar particularly thrived in Forge’s counter-attacking style late in the tournament.
Kwame Awuah (Forge FC)
Forge’s steady-as-ever left fullback delivered on some early Island Games expectations, rarely putting a foot wrong up and down Forge’s left side.
Joe Di Chiara (York9 FC)
Di Chiara was an early Player of the Year candidate but, as York9 FC failed to advance, those shouts were quickly drowned out. Dominant early-season performances (and goals) against Atlético Ottawa and Forge FC leave Y9 supporters asking what could have been.
Elijah Adekugbe (Cavalry FC)
Adekugbe made more successful passes (54) and tackles (three) per 90 minutes than any other midfielder. Second-round heroics against Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers saw his stock rise.
Elliott Simmons (Cavalry FC)
Simmons brilliantly paired with Adekugbe vs. Wanderers in the second round, one of several impressive performances as a young energetic midfielder who was quick in the tackle.
João Morelli (HFX Wanderers FC)
The Brazilian was one half of Halifax’s dynamic attacking duo with Garcia. With the pair combining for 10 goals on PEI, Morelli (four goals) is one of the most successful attackers in CPL history, statistically speaking.