Yao A Surprise Departure In CF Montreal Roster Update
Major League Soccer’s CF Montreal unveiled a roster update today that saw it exercise options for ten athletes, but a notable omission was up-and-coming defender Karifa Yao.
The 22-year-old centre-back was developing well following two consecutive loan spells with Canadian Premier League side Cavalry FC, where he featured 56 times as a regular starter in Canada’s top flight.
There had been expectations that Yao would get a crack with the first team at CF Montreal, just as he had during preseason earlier this year. Instead, it looks like he’s no longer part of the plan for the MLS side led by Wilfried Nancy.
Both goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois and midfielder Sean Rea, who spent the last two seasons out on loan with Valour FC in Winnipeg, remain under contract for the upcoming season. Rea collected the Best U-21 Canadian Player award from the league this year, with Sirois winning golden glove in 2021.
The club is also releasing World Cup-bound James Pantemis, who’s career breakthrough while on loan with Valour back in 2020 resulted in 38 appearances for CF Montreal, while 2021 CPL loanee Keesean Ferdinand (and nixed loanee Tomas Giraldo) also being passed over in terms of club options.
Also departing the club are goalkeeper Sebastian Breza, defenders Zorhan Bassong, and forward Bjorn Johnsen. Midfielder Victor Wanyama will have his contract expire at the end of the year, with the loan of Gabriele Corbo expiring at that time as well.