Forge FC Hamilton announced Tuesday the team has re-signed Canadian international midfielder Kyle Bekker. Bekker, who has served as Forge FC’s captain since the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season in 2019, returns to Hamilton for his third year with the club.
Bekker, 30, was named the CPL’s 2020 Player of the Year – awarded to the Most Valuable Player in the league based on their overall play and importance to their club – after leading the league in appearances (tie-11) and minutes played by an attacking player (879), while posting a team-high three goals and adding one assist with five shots on target. The 5-10 native of Oakville, Ontario helped lead Forge FC to its second consecutive CPL championship and North Star Shield in 2020 after being crowned the league’s inaugural season champion in 2019. He was also a runner-up for the CPL’s 2019 Player of the Year Award.
“We are extremely happy to have our captain sign his new contract and commit to our club for the foreseeable future,” said Costa Smyrniotis, Director of Football of Forge FC. “Kyle has been such a valuable leader for our club since day one, both on the field and in the community. We look forward to continued success together in Hamilton.”
Bekker has made 49 appearances for Forge, including 39 in CPL play, eight in Concacaf League and two Canadian Championship matches. In addition to Forge FC’s success in the CPL with Bekker as captain, the team made a historic run in 2020 Concacaf League play capped by becoming the first CPL squad to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament, and still has an opportunity to qualify for Champions League with a berth in the upcoming 2020 Canadian Championship Final against Toronto FC.
Prior to joining Forge FC, Bekker suited up in 58-career Major League Soccer regular season games, including 33 starts, from 2013-16 with Toronto FC, FC Dallas and the Montreal Impact after being selected third overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto. He spent 2018 with North Carolina FC in the United Soccer League, earning USL All-League Second Team honours, and 2017 with the North American Soccer League’s San Francisco Deltas where he helped bring home the league championship.
The Oakville, Ontario native developed through Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis’ Sigma FC youth program and was a member dating back to 2007 while also spending four years at Boston College from 2009-12. Internationally, Bekker has 18 senior caps, including 10 starts, with the Canadian Men’s National Team from 2012 to 2017 where he recorded two assists overall.