March 26: Recapping The Last Week In CPL
This week was proof in the pudding that you don’t need to have matches to have a seven day stretch that was chock-a-block with developments.
With seven Canadian Premier League talents getting call-ups, a huge development happening regarding OneSoccer’s cable aspirations, two new kits and some roster movement for both clubs and the league office, it’s been quite the week – and that’s before we mentioned that a CPL ownership group might be buying a club in the England Championship.
Here’s everything that went down over the last seven days.
Twelve Current And Former CPL Players Get National Team Nods
This week saw the start one one of the biggest international windows we’ve ever seen for the Canadian Premier League: there were no less than seven international call-ups for current players, with five former CPL athletes also embarking on international duty.
Between Andre Rampersad finally getting his opportunity with Trinidad and Tobago, Pele Martinez making history for Vancouver FC, and two former CPL talents cracking the Canadian national team roster, there’s a lot to go over in our full recap here.
CRTC Favours OneSoccer In Ongoing Timeless vs Rogers Complaint
Canada’s broadcast regulator and supervisor made a big call this week that could fast-track OneSoccer (and it’s coverage of the Canadian Premier League) to millions of Rogers subscribers from coast-to-coast.
The CRTC declared that Rogers’ initial decision not to carry OneSoccer on a linear channel gave undue preference to both Rogers and other streaming services similar to OneSoccer, and has asked both Rogers and OneSoccer owner Timeless Incorporated to come up with solutions by April 11.
In short, this means that Rogers is being pushed into offering OneSoccer as a traditional cable channel, something that would open the streaming service to a drastically larger audience, which would be a big signal boost for the Canadian Premier League.
CPL Recruits One Of Canada’s Most Powerful Women To Executive Role
In corporate news that will likely fly under the radar of many, the Canadian Premier League secured itself quite a high-caliber hire this week in Marni Dicker.
A lawyer and infrastructure expert with a track record of getting things done – like construction of Pan Am venues that include Tim Hortons Field and York Lions Stadium, for example – she’s help the league’s expansion and infrastructure from coast-to-coast, while also overseeing the CPL’s legal affairs, direction, and governance.
Are The Owners behind Two CPL Teams Buying A Club In The English Championship?
With English Championship side Huddersfield Town recently undergoing a takeover from a North American buyer, we’ve posited that SixFive Sports and Entertainment could be the buyer.
We know that the owners of Pacific FC and Vancouver FC have been seeking to purchase a football club in Europe, having zeroed in and held discussions with multiple English sides on the market. Vancouver FC had also sent three of its first signing to train with Huddersfield last month.
There isn’t concrete proof, but it certainly ticks a lot of boxes – especially with some rumours pulling in the Whitecaps, for whom Vancouver FC-related projects are frequently mistaken for in international media.
Three Players In, One Player Out
It was a quiet week for Canadian Premier League transfers: two of them were draft picks who we’ve long-suspected were set to stay, and one was a domestic U-21 signing that York United had teased at an event last week.
IN: York United – Theo Afework
The Nine Stripes added Canada U-20 prospect Theo Afework, who signed a two-year deal that brought the Canadian back on home soil following a spell with the FC Nurnberg U-19s.
He’s a replacement for Ronan Kratt, and boasts a lot of similarities: both were domestic talents who went to Germany to play U-19 football and impressed while abroad, both were provisional Canada U-20 selections who didn’t make the final cut, and both signed 2+1 options with York.
If he performs in the same class at Kratt, his signing will be a golden move from the Nine Stripes.
OUT: Valour FC – Matthew Catavolo
Valour midfielder and Canada U-20 international Matthew Catavolo was set to suit up for a second season with the club after making 17 appearances in his rookie campaign, but was instead signed by Toronto FC II this week.
Valour had stated he was on a multi-year deal when they signed him 2022, but neither club mentioned a transfer fee in his move to TFC2. We’ll assume this was a freebie unless Valour declares otherwise.
IN: Vancouver FC – Anthony White, Ameer Kinani
Afshin Ghotbi inked both of his draft selections to contracts this week. First overall pick Anthony White has turned fully pro, signing a two-year deal with options straight through to 2026. The former TSS Rovers and University of Toronto defender is all-in on the CPL.
Also joining is Ameer Kinani, who has been scoring goals left and right during preseason. We predicted he could make the jump up to the professional level, though the prolific ProStars FC product signed a U SPORTS contract and will thusly return to his studies in the fall.
Vancouver FC’s Inaugural Kits Are Here
Canadian Premier League expansion side Vancouver FC revealed the club’s first-ever kits this weekend.
The lower mainland is firmly represented in the climbs black primary kit, which features sublimated text paying homage to the communities which all the region home.
The alternate kit features a classic red-and-black hoop, with the team boasting CIBC as it’s front-of-jersey sponsor for Year One.
We’d also like to give a shout out to former Valour head coach Rob Gale, who transitioned from the NYCFC Academy to being announced as an assistant coach with the Portland Thorns this week.
The 2023 Canadian Premier League season will officially kick off in just about three weeks, and there’s still some big news coming, including at least two new additions to be unveiled by Pacific FC.
We hope you’ve had a great week – see you later!