Tristan Borges Loaned To Forge FC
The Canadian Premier League’s first-ever Player of the Year is returning to Forge FC for the upcoming season.
Today, the reigning CPL champions have announced Tristan’s return on a season-long long from Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven.
Borges set the league alight in its inaugural season, contributing a Golden Boot-winning thirteen goals and five assists across 27 league appearances for Forge FC. He became the first player to score against every CPL side in the 2019 season and the first to score an Olimpico goal in the CPL.
We’re very happy to welcome Tristan back to our club. The cooperation with OH Leuven has been very good here, with the common, important goal of furthering the competitive development of Tristan over this upcoming year.Costa Smyrniotis
His first leg goal against Cavalry in the 2019 CPL Finals was the title-winning goal for the club’s first North Star Shield win, too.
Tristan’s impressive campaign saw him take home three trophies at the 2019 CPL Awards: The Player of the Year, Best U-21 Canadian Player of the Year, and the aforementioned Golden Boot. The Forge FC star was then sold to Belgian side Oud-Heverlee Leuven in a landmark deal, but has found playing opportunities in Europe limited.
With his last professional appearance now clocking in at just over a year ago, it’s clear that the Canadian midfielder needs a restart of sorts. The loan move could be just what he needs to build on a fresh start, be that ultimately taking place back with OH Leuven or elsewhere. If he can help Forge FC secure a three-peat in terms of Canadian Premier League titles, that’d be quite the CV for the CPL star.
Tristan’s first task with the side will be to help them in a Canadian Championship Final against Toronto FC which is expected to take place on March 20. The CSA has yet to confirm the date of the cup tie, but March 20 has now been mentioned by both TFC head coach Chris Armas and sports journalist Kristian Jack.
We reported earlier that Borges has already been training in Milton, indicating that he’s right where he needs to be in order to slot into the Forge FC preseason training camp when it opens. That’s also expected to happen in the next week or two, meaning the hammers will be a few weeks behind Toronto FC in terms of preseason schedule.
Borges was once a member of the TFC Academy system, which helped him earn a call up to the Canadian U-17 national team. He caught the eyes of a SC Heerenveen scout after he scored against Mexico, with the Eredivisie side then signing him to a two-and-a-half-year deal.
As that contract wound down, Borges found himself unable to break into the first team at SC Heerenveen. He opted to return back to Canada, signing for League1 Ontario side Sigma FC. After one season there, head coach Bobby Smyrniotis brought him along for Forge FC’s inaugural campaign, where he became the star of the season and earned a national team debut.
Forge FC has now rostered sixteen players ahead of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season, with Borges being the first loanee. The former Norther Star Shield winner becomes the first CPL athlete to return to the same CPL club after spending a year away from it, and the third athlete in the league to make a CPL return following a season outside of the league after Tyson Farago and David Norman Jr.
With midfielders Kyle Bekker, Paolo Sabak, Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, and Elimane Cisse all onboard alongside forwards David Choiniere, Chris Nanco, and Molham Babouli, the back-to-back Canadian Premier League champions have a rock solid attacking contingent on paper.
Familiar with almost all of the club’s returning roster, Borges is confident he’ll slot in well with the side this season.
It’s going to be an any easy fit, just having the relationship that I have with the guys. It’s going to be an easy transition, I think; just getting back on the ball with them, and getting some games in and getting back in the grove going off the year they had last year.Tristan Borges
In the defensive third, it’s looking like Dominic Samuel will return to a centre-back roll beside Daniel Krutzen following the retirement of David Edgar. Aside from the departure of Anthony Novak, the rest of the core roster has been retained. It is expected that 2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft picks Garven-Michee Metusala and Jose Maria Ribeiro da Cunha will trial with the side when preseason camp opens in the near future.
With the first-ever CPL MVP now set to return, the Forge FC roster is looking extremely solid – and it’ll need to be if the side is to take on Toronto FC after just a handful of training sessions later on this month.
Borges arrives to Forge FC on a season-long loan from Jupiler Pro League side Oud-Heverlee Leuven. It is unclear if the loan arrangement allows for OH Leueven to recall the player.