Here’s Who Is Trialing With Pacific FC
The Tridents have kicked off preseason camp, with Pacific FC now formally unveiling a list of ten players currently on trial out west.
There’s plenty of young faces among them, including a few who have Canadian Premier League experience.
Without further ado, here are the athletes currently looking to carve out a contract with Pacific FC for themselves ahead of the 2023 CPL season:
League1 Ontario youngster Aidan Hugo rode the bench for York United a handful of times as an emergency fill-in last season, though the left-footed midfielder is still awaiting his professional debut.
Stemming from the North Toronto Nitros, the 18-year-old made eight appearances for the club’s League1 Ontario squad which turned a lot of heads by reaching playoffs last year. His last appearance came at home during a fiery playoff atmosphere against the Simcoe County Rovers.
Former Forge FC and Toronto FC II goalkeeper Baj Maan is an interesting trialist. He’s a few years older than Gazdov, made seven appearances for Forge during his time in Hamilton, and looked sharp for TFC 2 during an exhibition match against the Chelsea U-23 squad.
One thing he isn’t here to do, however, is warm the bench.
“One thing I really want is consistent minutes,” Baj told us following his debut MLS NEXT Pro campaign. “It’s something I haven’t had since I went to university. That’s when I felt like I developed the most. My confidence was high and I was performing day in and day out.”
Given that Torressan was selected by James Merriman in the 2023 CPL-U SPORTS Draft, his inclusion here is no surprise. The North Vancouver native is a regular starter for Trinity Western, while also featuring for League1 BC with Unity FC last season.
A centre-back who can also feature out left, the Whitecaps Academy product offers a sizable, young defensive presence who might also surprise onlookers with his agility, too.
Another young goalkeeper vying for the open position is Callum Weir, who hails from the Yukon Territory. Born in Haines Junction, he tests himself between the sticks through both football and futsal.
Last season saw Weir named to the all-star team at the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games, with the youngster also suiting up for German lower division side Blumenthaler SV last year.
Having ties to North Vancouver, he’s an interesting addition to camp and arrives as a relatively unknown prospect at the professional level.
19-year-old youngster Eric Lajeunesse wrapped up his first U SPORTS campaign before being hand-picked by Merriman in the 2023 CPL-U SPORTS Draft. The youngster was a big piece of the UBC Thunderbirds defensive line, earning 22 starts last season.
“Eric is a left-footed central defender with good size at six-foot-two,” added Merriman on the Whitecaps Academy product. “He plays with composure, plays simple on the ball and has good potential.”
Karajovanovic concluded that he had ‘unfinished business‘ in the CPL following his previous season with Toronto FC II, where he contributed two goals and two assists in 19 appearances.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign with the Halifax Wanderers in 2021, with the Gatineau-born forward bagging one goal and two assists through 28 appearances out east – but it’s fair to say his chances created set the expectation for a much higher ceiling.
Karajovanovic had trialed with York United the season before his stint in Halifax, having also developed with Ottawa South United, AS Blainville, FC Gatineau, and the Ottawa Fury Academy. He was also quite prolific with the Carleton Ravens, where he bagged 35 goals in just 37 games.
The second Torressan to join the club on trial, the North Vancouver native has proven to be a nice playmaker for the Trinity Western Spartans, and one could only imagine what he might pick up from Pacific’s existing fast-footed midfield lineup.
He earned a Canada West Second Team All-Star in 2021 and, like his younger brother, also developed through the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy.
…and the trio from the Van Isle Wave Program
The same program that helped develop Pacific midfielder Sean Young has produced three players also on trial with the side, including goalkeeper Jack Garner (2005), midfielder Ole Cameron (2005), and midfielder Sam Marvasti (2006).
The full plans for Pacific’s preseason camp are still an unknown, with the team starting preparations at the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence turf field.