Rumour: Alajuelense Target Forge Defender Manjrekar James
Following his first season and a title win with Forge FC, it looks like veteran centre-back Manjrekar James has picked up interest abroad.
Journalist Kevin Jimenez states that the defender is on the target list of Costa Rican powerhouse LD Alajuelense, with negotiations having already started – though not all the pieces are in place as of yet. He also credits Costa Rican news reporter Fabian Borbon with the scoop.
The defender – a Canadian international who was born in the Caribbean nation of Dominica – was a constant presence on the Forge backline this season, racking up 31 appearances across all competitions.
He helped Forge retain the playoff championship title this year, leading the side in clearances (81), recoveries (190), duels won (161), and passes (1782), certainly proving himself an invaluable successor Daniel Krutzen.
Even league-wide, he had the second-most passes and recoveries behind Lorenzo Callegari, so it was no shock to see him earn a nomination for the league’s defender of the year award following his first season in orange. Forge finished with 0.87 goals against per game in the regular season, tied for second-best in the league.
However, the Hamilton, Ontario-based club already confirmed his return in their end-of-season roster update, suggesting that Alajuelense would have to pay up to secure the services of the defender.
Interestingly, Alajuelense will have been able to get close eyes on the defender earlier this year, with Forge having used the Costa Rican side’s facilities for a preseason camp which also saw him suit up against the Costa Rican powerhouse.
Former Forge loanee Joshua Navarro eventually landed with them after his spell with Forge in 2021, too.
It’s been a history-making season for Alajuelense: they became the first to win the Concacaf Central America Cup this year following a 1-4 aggregate win over Nicaraguan side Real Esteli, and did the double by hoisting the Costa Rican Cup after finishing runners-up in the 2023 Costa Rican Apertura stage.
Like Forge, Alajeulense will take place in the upcoming Concacaf Champions Cup, and could potentially even meet their CPL rivals Cavalry FC en route to the final.
James – who has been played for ten clubs over his career thus far – has enjoyed a career highlighted by UEFA Champions League appearances, a domestic league and cup win in Denmark, his recent title win with Forge, and seventeen caps for the Canadian national team.
Header Image Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League