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WATCHLIST: Top 21 prospects for 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft
Canadian Premier League

The 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft is nearly upon us, and with that, CanPL.ca Editorial has been hard at work alongside the league’s Soccer Operations department researching all the university-level talent available to the seven head coaches.

As evidenced last season, there are a lot of high-quality options out there in Canada.

With that in mind, here’s a list of the top 21 prospects for the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft (listed in alphabetical order) to get you started as we approach draft day in Montreal.


Ianis Abida (Montreal Carabins, 1st Year)

Position: Centre Back/Right Back
Games Played (GP): 10
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Height: 6’1″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1995-02-01 (24)
Hometown: Montreal, PQ.
Domestic: No

INFO: Abida played four years of soccer in 4th division French football with Chambery SF, before joining the Carabins in 2019. He is described as a strong defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, the result of starting his career as a forward before converting to centre-back. He is also versatile, and can play as a full-back, as such.


Daniel Assaf (Carleton Ravens, 1st Year)

Position: Forward/Winger
Games Played (GP): 10
Goals: 2
Assists: 0
Height: 5’10”
Date of Birth (DOB): 2001-01-10 (18)
Hometown: Napean, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Nicknamed “The Pharaoh,” the Egyptian-Canadian is a former Toronto FC Academy player. He’s also a two time OPDL top scorer. Played for Canada’s U-15 team in 2016 (3 goals, 3 games). He’s a forward who finds space and makes intelligent runs, but lacks physicality.


Cory Bent (Cape Breton Capers, 4th Year)

Position: Left Winger
Games Played (GP): 36
Goals: 24
Assists: 8
Height: 5’6″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1997-05-14 (22)
Hometown: Sydney, NS.
Domestic: No

INFO: Bent is a smaller winger from the U.K. who brings good speed and strong finishing skills. He is described as technically sound, and previously played for Preston North End Academy. Came to Cape Breton because it’s a “smaller place” allowing him to focus on his studies, while being nationally ranked in soccer.


Gabriel Bitar (Carleton Ravens, 3rd Year)

Position: Striker/Winger/Attacking Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 43
Goals: 35
Assists: 8
Height: 5’9″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-08-23 (21)
Hometown: Ottawa, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Cavalry FC player and U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, who went 1st overall in the 2018 CPL-U SPORTS Draft. He’s described as dynamic, quick, and sharp, good at driving at backlines from attacking central positions and creating combination play around box. Strong scoring instinct. Returned to Carleton on August 13 from Cavalry camp.


Caelan Budhoo (Cape Breton Capers, 4th Year)

Position: Central Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 45
Goals: 9
Assists: 11
Height: 5’8″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1996-05-09 (23)
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Played multiple years with WSA Winnipeg in PDL, 4 years as a starter for Capers. Deep playmaker in midfield, no. 8. Left footed. Versatile, can play CDM, CM, LM, and LB. Technically sound. Has experience playing in Spanish 4th division. Trained with Valour FC in last off-season. Also played for WSA in USL-2 in 2019 (12GP/0G/1A).


Felix Clapin-Girard (UQTR Patriotes, 3rd Year)

Position: Goalkeeper
Games Played (GP): 34
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Height: 6’1″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1997-02-18 (22)
Hometown: Trois-Rivieres, PQ.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Granada CF U-19 goalkeeper. Quebec provincial player. Trained with Ottawa Fury. Went to France and Spain as a youth player. Biggest surprise standout for UQTR in 2019 U SPORTS season. Good reflexes and shot-stopping ability. A touch small for a goalkeeper, but makes up for it in skill.


Dane Domic (Mount Royal Cougars, 1st Year)

Position: Central Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 15
Goals: 7
Assists: 7
Height: 5’11”
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-10-10 (21)
Hometown: Calgary, AB.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Went to Europe at a young age, playing for Sparta Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Called into CanMNT U-20 ID camp. Trialed with Cavalry last off-season. Pacy attacking midfielder with strong line-breaking skills. Part of Cavalry prospects roster vs. FC Edmonton. Described by Tommy Wheeldon Jr. in April 2019 as being a little “young” and needed more playing time. He got it.


Jackson Farmer (UBC Thunderbirds, 3rd Year)

Position: Centre Back
Games Played (GP): 14
Goals: 3
Assists: 1
Height: 6’2″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1995-05-03 (24)
Hometown: Edmonton, AB., Vancouver, B.C.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Jackson Farmer is well-known in Canadian soccer. He has played for the Canadian men’s national team, earning his first cap on Aug. 27, 2013 against Mauritania, coming in for Doneil Henry for Benito Floro’s side. Played for Whitecaps U-23, Whitecaps 2, Charleston Battery, and Calgary Foothills in 2018. Played for CanMNT U23, U20, U15. He’s a goal threat on set pieces, with a strong aerial presence. He’s also steady, and reads the game well – no nonsense.


Thomas Gardner (UBC Thunderbirds, 2nd Year)

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Forward
Games Played (GP): 30
Goals: 11
Assists: 8
Height: 5’9″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-03-17 (21)
Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Drafted 6th overall by Pacific FC in 2018 CPL-U SPORTS Draft, but did not sign for the club after picking up a knee injury in the off-season. Highly touted, as such. He’s a former Whitecaps FC 2 player, described as technically very smart. He attacks and receives the ball with pace, and likes to attempt through balls.


Jan Pirretas Glasmacher (Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, 3rd Year)

Position: Centre Back
Games Played (GP): 31
Goals: 6
Assists: 2
Height: 6’1″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-10-28 (21)
Hometown: Barcelona, Spain
Domestic: No

INFO: Played in Bundesliga Youth League with Bayer Leverkusen U-19. Very comfortable on the ball and reads the game very well. Trained with German U-16 National Team. Spent two years (2014-16) with Blackburn Rovers U-18 squad. Played for Cornelia U-16, and played with Saskatchewan Selects of the Canadian Pro Soccer League last summer.


Isaiah Johnston (Cape Breton Capers, 1st Year)

Position: Right Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 8
Goals: 1
Assists: 3
Height: 5’10”
Date of Birth (DOB): 2001-12-16 (17)
Hometown: Milton, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Highly-sought after Ontario prospect who played in League1 Ontario with Woodbridge Strikers. He’s described as being technically sound and athletic, with good ball distribution skills. He seems to have high potential, due to his versatility: He can play as a central midfielder, and out wide.


Stefan Karajovanovic (Carleton Ravens, 3rd Year)

Position: Striker
Games Played (GP): 37
Goals: 35
Assists: 4
Height: 5’9″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1999-04-16 (20)
Hometown: Gatineau, PQ.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Very consistent goal scorer at all levels of play. Played with FC Gatineau and A.S. Blainville in PLSQ, and featured as a substitute against York9 FC in the 2019 Canadian Championship. He’s described as an active attacker, excellent technical ability and creativity, who likes to look for space – 2019 was a breakout university season for the 20-year-old.


Pierre Lamothe (Montreal Carabins, 3rd Year)

Position: Central Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 30
Goals: 1
Assists: 4
Height: 5’7″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1997-09-18 (22)
Hometown: Longueuil, PQ.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Montreal Impact Academy player, and USL Pro with FC Montreal. Played PLSQ with CS Longueuil. Playmaker. Good distributor of the ball. Dribbles into space. Shoots from distance. Versatile, and can play multiple positions across the midfield and front line. He’s the 2018 RSEQ Rookie of the Year, and played a lot of Impact Academy games.


Reggie Laryea (York Lions, 2nd Year)

Position: Centre Back/Defensive Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 16
Goals: 0
Assists: 1
Height: 5’11”
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-02-25 (21)
Hometown: Toronto, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: That’s right – younger brother of former Sigma and current Toronto FC/CanMNT regular Richie Laryea. Reggie has played for NCAA Div. 1 team University of Akron Zips, and played in League1 Ontario with Sigma FC. He’s comfortable on the ball. He doesn’t bring too much pace, but he does have good defensive awareness for the levels he has played in thus far.


Matthew Roberts (U of T Varsity Blues, 1st Year)

Position: Striker
Games Played (GP): 7
Goals: 3
Assists: 0
Height: 6’0″
Date of Birth (DOB): 2000-04-02 (19)
Hometown: Dundas, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: CanMNT youth international who featured in Toulon Tournament. Youth player for English Premier League outfit Swansea City. Has been dealing with fractured metatarsal. He has received limited playing time in U SPORTS due to injury and recovery. Still, has very high pedigree and could flourish with elite opportunity. He’s your typical target No. 9, and left footed, too.


Jake Ruby (Trinity Western Spartans, 1st Year)

Position: Right Back/Winger
Games Played (GP): 17
Goals: 3
Assists: 2
Height: 5’8″
Date of Birth (DOB): 2000-06-04 (19)
Hometown: North Vancouver, B.C.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Vancouver Whitecaps Academy player. Played in PDL for TSS Rovers. Consistent full-back, steady in possession. Can dribble and cross from wide areas. Plays a touch conservatively. Immediately earned a starting role with the Spartans and started every single match in his rookie season.


Victory Shumbusho (UBC Thunderbirds, 3rd Year)

Position: Winger/Forward
Games Played (GP): 47
Goals: 26
Assists: 4
Height: 5’8″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-02-07 (21)
Hometown: Chilliwack, B.C.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Athletic, prolific goal-scorer with good speed and dribbling skills. Has a nose for goal and can find shooting opportunities with ease. He has featured for TSS Rovers in B.C., and has good potential. He’s a former Vancouver Whitecaps Residency player, and he last played with the Victoria Highlanders, for whom he recently signed.


Nikola Stakic (U of T Varsity Blues, 4th Year)

Position: Central Midfielder/Defensive Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 67
Goals: 16
Assists: 5
Height: 6’1″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-01-26 (21)
Hometown: Scarborough, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Toronto FC 2/Academy player who plays in League1 Ontario with Alliance United. Brings great size and strength and he’s a good distributor of the ball, a rare combination. He can spray the ball long and find rushing targets. He’s a penalty taker, too. Has played lots of college ball as captain of U of T. He’s an OUA East 1st team All Star. Good leader, high intensity.


Charlie Waters (Cape Breton Capers, 3rd Year)

Position: Striker
Games Played (GP): 21
Goals: 18
Assists: 10
Height: 5’10”
Date of Birth (DOB): 1997-10-13 (22)
Hometown: Lancashire, England
Domestic: No

INFO: Former Liverpool, Manchester United Academy player. Missed 2nd year (2018) with knee injury. “Bull in China Shop” mentality when it comes to attacking opposition backlines. Does not have trouble finding spaces. Good finishing abilities, as evidenced in scoring ratio per 90 minutes. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in position and scoring instinct.


Gabriel Wiethaeuper-Balbinotti (UQTR Patriotes, 1st Year)

Position: Striker/Winger/Attacking Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 2
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
Height: 6’1″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-04-12 (21)
Hometown: Trois-Rivieres, PQ.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former Montreal Impact youth academy product. Played with Ottawa Fury in 2018, and PLSQ side FC Lanaudiere in 2019, where he made 10 appearances, scoring 6 goals. Has experience with CanMNT U-15 and U-23 national team camps. Athletically gifted with good speed, though he hasn’t earned solid pro minutes, or much time in U SPORTS.


Alex Zis (Guelph Gryphons, 4th Year)

Position: Centre Midfielder
Games Played (GP): 29 (University of South Florida), 15 (Guelph)
Goals: 9 (USF), 8 (Guelph)
Assists: 8 (USF), 18 (Guelph)
Height: 5’7″
Date of Birth (DOB): 1998-05-25 (21)
Hometown: Oakville, ON.
Domestic: Yes

INFO: Former TFC Academy player who went to NCAA Div. 1 side South Florida. He’s a good goalscorer, and an agile, creative No. 10. He’s creative, with decent range from all different areas. Played in League1 Ontario with Vaughan Azzurri and the Oakville Blue Devils. Played PDL with GPS Portland. He’s tricky and small, and creates space by dribbling and passing. Set piece wiz, too.