Three CPL Players Who Just Landed Elsewhere
Yesterday saw no less than three Canadian Premier League players return to former clubs outside of the professional level.
Here’s a quick look at where the alumni from Canada’s top flight will be kicking off from next:
Colin Gander – Guelph United
Left-back Colin Gander is making a return to League1 Ontario pastures to Guelph United, a team for whom he suited up a handful of times in their championship-winning 2021 campaign.
The former TFC Academy product spent last season with the Halifax Wanderers after they selected the OUA title winner in last year’s draft.
Gander made fifteen CPL appearances under appearances under Stephen Hart, contributing two assists. The youngster also suited up against his former side in Canadian Championship action, playing the full ninety in a win over Guelph United and another full ninety in the following 1-2 cup loss to Toronto FC.
Suffice to say, the 22-year-old returns to League1 Ontario with a nice dose of pro experience in his back pocket, making him an stellar player for Guelph United to bring back home.
Matteo Polisi – BB5 United
While his younger brother completed an intra-league move to Valour, Matteo has stepped outside of the professional game to return to BB5 United, a former team of his who won the BC Provincial Cup in 2019 and 2022.
The move to the VMSL heavyweights comes after two seasons with Pacific FC, a club he’d signed on with after being eligible for the MLS SuperDraft and one of SFU’s top products, too.
Matteo enjoyed a promising start with the Tridents in 2021, but found his gametime cut short in 2021. The midfielder left after contributing three goals and one assist in 39 appearances, and had largely been expected to land at the professional level.
The former Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency youth product has suited up for BB5 United before, playing alongside the likes of Jordan Haynes back in the day. He’s already there, dressing for the team in a friendly against Vancouver FC earlier this week. Quite a coup for the club to get back!
Mamadi Camara – BB5 United
Another former Canadian Premier League athlete to return to BB5 United, Camara played for both the Halifax Wanderers and FC Edmonton before settling down in the VMSL with BB5 once again.
Camara first tasted CPL action in 2021, arriving to the Wanderers as a late-season reinforcement who left after only scoring a single goal against York United:
With his option having been declined by Halifax, the centre-forward joined FC Edmonton on the club’s final voyage last year, bagging four goals throughout what ultimately became the club’s final season.
Having previously suited up for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks and SFU, the well-travelled Camara has also played for several PLSQ teams in the past, among other semi-pro sides like the the TSS Rovers and the Calgary Foothills.
It’ll be interesting to see if he bounces back in to the pro game in the future.
With the Canadian Premier League now entering its fifth season, there’s a growing amount of alumni landing outside of it – some at higher levels, some at lower, and some on different paths entirely. It’s to be expected given the number of athletes involved.
The CPL will kick off on April 15, with all eight teams opening their campaigns over the course of that weekend.