April 16, 2024
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3 Former CPL Players Who Just Landed Elsewhere

By on March 4, 2024 0 2010 Views

The 2024 Canadian Premier League season is now just a little over a month away, and all eight clubs have made changes aplenty as they prepare for the league’s sixth season. Some of the footballers who previously called the league home have now landed elsewhere, so we wanted to recap where a few of them have landed of late.

Without further ado, here’s three former Canadian Premier League footballers and where they’ve resurfaced following their spells in Canada’s top flight:

Pacific FC Bradley Vliet
Photo Credit: Sheldon Mack / Pacific FC

Bradley Vliet

The release of Pacific left-back Bradley Vliet came as somewhat of a surprise given that he was still under contract for the upcoming season, with Georges Mukumbilwa now expected to be the de-facto starter following Vliet’s departure.

The 25-year-old had made fifteen appearances since arriving from Cavalry last season, but has now completed a move to the United Arab Emirates, where he’s signed with fourth division side Arabian Falcons FC. He makes history as the team’s first-ever Dutch signing, where he’ll be touted as a starting calibre left-back in the UAE.

The Dutchman’s first stint in the CPL had been with Cavalry back in 2022, where he featured regularly and tallied two assists for the perennial title contenders. His move to Pacific came to fruition after Cavalry passed on his club option last year, though it appears they would mutually terminate the deal midway through it.

Valour FC Klaidi Cela
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

Klaidi Cela

There were a few fans who thought centre-back Klaidi Cela would stay with Valour after the former TFC2 man successfully replaced Matt Chandler in the roster last season. Instead, Cela has found himself a new chapter in Kosovo, where he was confirmed as one of three new reinforcements for struggling top flight club KF Liria.

His time with Valour saw Cela jump into a starting role after his arrival, making 24 appearances while also contributing goals against league heavyweights Forge and Cavalry. While he came in fresh off a season with TFC2, he had also previously made 18 appearances for Hamiltonian side Forge FC.

Touted as a centre-back signing who can help Liria stay in Kosovo’s top flight, Klaidi’s debut came in a 3-1 loss to Prishtina yesterday, though it remains to be seen if Klaidi can acclimate and keep the club in its current ranks – perhaps echoing what former CPL centre-back Dominick Zator has done in Poland.

CF Montreal Sean Rea 2023
Photo Credit: CF Montreal

Sean Rea – CD Castellon

While this move isn’t formally announced, there are now growing reports that former Valour loanee Sean Rea has signed a pre-agreement with Spanish third tier side CD Castellon pending the side’s promotion back into the second tier – something they look like strong candidates to achieve.

Rea, who won the CPL’s Best U-21 Canadian Player during a stunning two-year loan stint at Valour between 2021 and 2022, had clocked seven goals and thirteen assists in Canada’s top flight after which enjoyed a strong start at CF Montreal before falling out of favour with now-departed head coach Hernan Losada.

His subsequent free agency saw him trial with the Portland Timbers this year, though a move didn’t come to be following his preseason stint with them. For now, OneSoccer’s Josh Deming reports that the the former CF Montreal midfielder will stay in Spain to acclimatize to his new surroundings, playing with the reserves and training with the first team ahead of the move’s expected maturation.

The 2024 Canadian Premier League season will kick off next month, with all eight clubs – and their refreshed rosters – hoping to start strongly in both league and domestic cup action. It is expected that Canadian viewers can tune in OneSoccer, who appear to have settled their legal dispute with Canadian Soccer Business behind the scenes and have been showing national team matches.

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