Forge FC look to be in good shape for their CPL title defence this coming season.
The club announced on Tuesday that defender Daniel Krutzen has signed a new multi-year contract that will keep him in Hamilton through at least the 2022 season, as the CPL Champions continue to secure their core players.
Krutzen, 24, first signed with Forge in March 2019, joining the club from USL League Two side Reading United. The Belgian centre-back began his career in the academy of KRC Genk in his home nation, before moving to North America to play NCAA Division I soccer for the University at Albany.
In two seasons with Forge, Krutzen has made 49 appearances, scoring five goals and adding two assists. During the club’s Concacaf League run last year, Krutzen scored twice, including the last-minute penalty kick to beat Panamanian side Tauro FC in the round of 16. He started every match Forge played in 2020, having missed just two games in the side’s history.
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Krutzen led the CPL in minutes played at The Island Games last year with 961, while also finishing first in interceptions (34) and second in the league in total passes made (650). Recently, Krutzen trialed with several clubs in the Swedish leagues, including top flight side Örebro SK and second-tier Helsingborgs IF.
“Daniel has developed into the top defender in the CPL over the last two years,” Forge’s director of football Costa Smyrniotis said in a media release.
“He brings an element of leadership and composure to our club both on and off the pitch and we’re very pleased that we will continue together over the next few years.”
With usual centre-back partner David Edgar announcing his retirement at the end of 2020, Krutzen will be leaned on even more heavily to direct Forge’s defence during the 2021 CPL campaign. Currently, the club has two central defenders signed, with Krutzen and Dominic Samuel both returning — both of whom will be key to the club’s bid to maintain their league-best defensive record.
Forge now has 12 players signed for 2021 — all of them returning from the previous season — with key contributors such as captain Kyle Bekker, Triston Henry, and Kwame Awuah all returning. The club’s two CPL-U SPORTS Draft picks, Garven-Michée Metusala and José da Cunha, will also be joining them in training camp.