All The CPL Athletes Who Featured In The Gold Cup
Last night saw Gold Cup favourites Mexico claim the trophy of the continental tournament, besting Panama with a late gut-punch through Santiago Gimenez.
The international trophy hunt provided fireworks aplenty on the way, with four current Canadian Premier League athletes featuring on the tournament’s group stage, while a couple former CPL athletes reached the knocks and another pair saw their journey end in the qualifiers.
Without further ado, here’s a quick recap on the Canadian Premier League’s representation at the Gold Cup:
Haiti – Garven Metusala
Forge defender Garven Metusala‘s Haiti debut came last year in a friendly against Guatemala, and his inclusion for the country’s Gold Cup squad was never a doubt.
In camp for two pre-tournament closed door tilts, Metusala featured in every possible minute for Haiti through three group stage matches, though that’s as far as Les Grenadiers made it in the tournament.
The six-foot-one defender found himself deployed as a centre-back, helping Haiti to a group stage opening win over guest country Qatar before losses to Mexico and Honduras followed suit. Metusala had an individually strong tournament, so we expect the Terrebonne native to feature regularly at the national level.
Trinidad and Tobago – Andre Rampersad
After making his long-awaited debut for Trinidad and Tobago earlier this year, Andre Rampersad was a no-surprise returnee for the Soca Warriors as they entered a tough group that included heavyweights Jamaica and USA.
Rampersad played 77 minutes as his country hit cruise control in a 3-0 win against St. Kitts and Nevis before being replaced by Luke Singh. While the subsequent 4-1 loss to Jamaica was tough to swallow, Rampersad scored his first international goal on the night with a wonderfully tidy finish, describing it as a joyous moment.
Trinidad and Tobago’s journey would close out against the United States, with Rampersad riding the bench until half-time in a six-nil loss. While it wasn’t the end Rampersad would have wanted, being able to feature in all three matches certainly bodes well for the international career of the Halifax Wanderers captain.
Trinidad and Tobago – Luke Singh
Having attended national team camps with both Canada and T&T back in 2021, Luke Singh committed his senior international future to Trinidad and Tobago at the 2023 Gold Cup.
The Toronto FC defender, on loan with Atletico Ottawa, is in the midst of his second straight CPL season as a consistent starter. His first foray into competitive international action saw him make his debut as a late substitute in the Soca Warriors‘ win over St. Kitts and Nevis, with Singh ensuring the country kept its clean sheet for the tournament opener.
The 22-year-old went unused in the subsequent loss to Jamaica, but earned a high-profile start in a must-win match against the USA. He was rotated out after the country found itself three goals down at half-time, though a similar second half saw Trinidad and Tobago bow out of the group stage.
Trinidad and Tobago – Malcolm Shaw
At 27, Malcolm Shaw featured in all three matches for the Soca Warriors in the midst of his very first-call up.
The Atletico Ottawa striker, who has T&T roots through his mother, made his debut as an off-the-bench substitute in the team’s opening win over St. Kitts and Nevis, stepping onto the pitch in a double substitution that also saw his former Ottawa forward Ryan Telfer enter the match.
While the physical forward wasn’t able to etch his name onto the scoresheet, head coach Angus Eve handed Shaw a starting role in the country’s next two matches, though he would come off in the second half in both subsequent losses to Jamaica and the USA.
The Pickering-born striker credited his time with Atletico Ottawa as a key component to his national team call up, and earning three straight appearances in the Gold Cup means that Angus Eve certainly liked what he saw from the Atletico Ottawa attacker.
While Guyana called upon both York United’s Jonathan Grant and Vancouver FC’s Marcus Simmons to aid them in their qualification run for the Gold Cup, the country succumbed to a two-nil loss against Guadalupe after besting Grenada, falling just short of reaching the group stage. Jonathan Grant played every minute along the way, while Marcus Simmons will still await his international debut after the first-time call-up.
Valour’s Andrew Jean-Baptiste also cracked the preliminary squad for Haiti, but has only returned to action at club level for now.
There were a few former Canadian Premier League athletes in the midst as well, with Guyana also calling upon former Forge forward Emery Welshman, Trinidad and Tobago featuring Ryan Telfer, and the Canadian national team handing international debuts to both Victor Loturi and Dominick Zator, who made one and two appearances respectively.