Jace Kotsopoulos Returns To Guelph University
As widely expected, Burlington-born striker and CPL-U SPORTS draft pick Jace Kotsopoulos has left Forge FC to return his focus to Guelph University. Kotsopoulos officially joined the hammer on May 16, 2019, and would go on to register two goals in just five appearances for the club, becoming one of the youngest goalscorers in a league which doesn’t skew too old to begin with.
Out of the six first round CPL-U SPORTS draft picks to join the Canadian Premier League, Kotsopoulos had accumulated the least minutes: he’d played just 190 minutes in all, though he was the only one who got ply his trade in the CONCACAF League, for which his late goal against Valour FC helped the club qualify for.
Jace’s two goals in five substitute appearances are indicative that the youngster certainly has what it takes to become a professional football player upon graduation. He’s been prolific prior to joining Forge FC, too: Kotsopoulos played a single game for the Vaughan Azzurri in 2018, and scored a hat trick on his debut.
With both Emery Welshman and Jace Kotsopoulos now having left the club, Forge FC head coach and technical director Bobby Smyrniotis has lost a fair bit of depth when it comes to central strikers. Anthony Novak will be expected to fill the void, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Hamilton-based club bring in a new replacement as the club heads into a 30-day span where it plays some nine fixtures.
Former Sigma FC striker Mo Babouli has remained quiet amid the speculation, having been widely expected to join the Canadian Premier League ahead of the inaugural season.
Kotsopoulos will return for “one last rodeo” with the Guelph Gryphons, for whom he has a stellar track record: the 21-year-old striker has scored an incredulous 53 goals in 57 appearances for his university team.
It’s fair to expect CPL U-SPORTS draft picks to return to university, since that’s the entire point of the draft: it allows youngsters to rack up some professional experience with Canadian Premier League clubs while retaining their eligibility to return to U SPORTS action in the following school year.
Both Gabriel Bitar and Peter Schaale have also left their respective clubs to continue their post-secondary educations, making Jace the third out of six first round picks to do the same. The remaining first round draft picks are Dylan Carriero, Daniel Gogarty (who graduated from York University this summer), and Connor James.
We wish Jace all the best as he pursues his degree in economics.
Source: Jace Kotsopoulos (via Instagram)