Kareem Sow Signs With Halifax Wanderers
There’s no waiting for Wanderers Wednesday this week: the Canadian Premier League’s Halifax outlet has announced the signing of Kareem Sow, who has put pen to paper on a standard professional contract after two seasons spent as a U SPORTS prospect.
The 23-year-old has made sixteen appearances for the Halifax Wanderers split between 2021 and 2022, opting to focus on obtaining his engineering degree before pursuing a standard pro deal with the first team.
That’s something the club had pledged to support him with as he hit the books over the last few years, promising Sow that he would always have the opportunity to prove his worth when he came back as a degree-carrying prospect.
“There are some harder classes in engineering and during those stressful times, I was like, do I continue this? Do I have their full support? Should I just stop this and go to Halifax right now, because what if the opportunity isn’t there anymore?,” reflected Sow, who is now wrapping up the final semester of his engineering degree.
“But they have always been true to their word, letting me prove my worth and giving me a fighting chance at a contract. It’s something I don’t take for granted.”
Sow first signed a developmental deal with the club back in 2021 following his CPL-U SPORTS draft selection, with then-head coach Stephen Hart describing him as a calm and collected defender. He transitioned to a U SPORTS deal, making eleven appearances for the side that year.
Hart secured his return the following year on another U SPORTS contract, appearing five times. His first two stints in blue saw him feature largely as a centre-back, though he was tested out on the left flank as well.
“Even though I’ve had two professional contracts, in my head this is the first real professional contract that I’m going to be having, because it’s the first time I’m going to be 100% dedicated to my sport and to my passion,” said the defender, who also won national titles with the Montreal Carabins in 2018 and 2021.
While Sow didn’t sign any contract with the team last year, he spent time in Halifax training with the first team and even featured for the Wanderers U-23 team for a summertime series against Holstein Kiel.
For Wanderers Sporting Director Matt Fegan, the long process to sign Sow on a first-team deal is well worth the wait.
“We’ve been intentionally methodical and patient in support of Kareem’s academic commitments while immersing him in our environment over the past few seasons,” said Fegan himself. “We are strong believers in the value of gaining an education wherever possible and the beauty of the CPL U SPORTS contracts is to provide some flexibility to work with this level of talent and continue to provide these opportunities.”
The 23-year-old defender becomes the third ‘new’ signing of the offseason: Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare also secured a return out east, while Trinidad and Tobago international Ryan Telfer was signed last week.
Sow’s contract with the Halifax Wanderers runs through the 2024 CPL season with a club option for 2025.