Beckie Confirms CPL Interest
Former USL and NASL defender Drew Beckie is interested in joining a Canadian Premier League club.
The six-foot-two defender is currently a free agent following two years with El Paso Locomotive in the USL, stating that he may pursue a return to Canada – where he last played with the Fury in 2015 – after receiving some CPL interest.
The Regina-born defender has made his openness to the league quite clear, including a CPL hashtag on a recent player highlight video and even responding to a league article on Canadian free agents – for which he wasn’t included – with a waving emoji. Like free agent Jeff Addai, however, he’s not putting all his eggs in a Canada-only basket just yet.
The former Columbus Crew 2013 SuperDraft pick has spent most of his career stateside, aside of two stints with the Ottawa Fury (both in its PDL and NASL eras) in which he made 44 league appearances with three goals contributed. He then became a first team regular at then-USL Championship side Carolina Railhawks, and signed with the Jacksonville Armanda in 2017 before going on trial with a top flight Finnish side before an unexpected struggle with Myocarditis.
His return to professional football after the near-deadly infection is well documented in the film Still Defending, with Beckie returning stateside to work some odd jobs before getting another training opportunity with the Jacksonville Armada and, after his safe return to fitness was proven, signing with USL side Oklahoma City Energy in 2018, and most recently signing for El Paso Locomotive in 2019.
While the Canadian Premier League was having its inaugural season in 2019, Beckie made 18 starts and 22 appearances for Locomotive’s inaugural USL Championship season. After struggling with injuries throughout 2020, however, Beckie found himself released at the end of last year’s campaign.
In his younger days, Beckie was also part of the Canadian national team youth system, appearing for Les Rouges at the U-17, U-20, and U-23 levels. He was called up to the senior team during his time with the Columbus Crew, but missed the opportunity through injury.
If Beckie can stay fit, he’s a proven USL and NASL level defender who could help solidify plenty of backlines around the Canadian Premier League. While he predominantly slots in as a centre-back, Beckie has also proven capable defending out on the right, offering the salary cap-controlled clubs some oft-priceless positional versatility.
If the salary numbers can match up (something which former Fury midfielder Christiano Francois says is less likely for veteran players), it’d be easy to see Beckie into several different CPL sides, though it remains to be seen where the Regina-born athlete ultimately ends up going.