Valour FC Releases 2021 Roster Update
Canadian Premier League side Valour FC has released a roster update, confirming the release of a handful of players while also disclosing the likely return of some others.
The Winnipeg-based team showed a remarkable year-over-year improvement at The Island Games last year, with head coach Rob Gale fielding a team that came one match away from securing a postseason berth. He’s now re-signed eleven players in all, ten of whom were with the squad in Charlottetown.
With further ado, here’s a breakdown of the Valour FC roster update:
The club has yet to sign a goalkeeper for the 2021 Canadian Premier League season, with Gale alluding that the club is sorting through new options which include some young Canadian nationals and goalkeepers currently at the MLS level.
CF Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis put in stellar performances for Valour FC last season, which earned him some game time at the MLS level following the conclusion of his loan. Gale’s line about MLS-level keepers might also point towards Whitecaps goalkeeper Thomas Hasal, who is likely to be sent out on loan this year.
It’s also possible that Matt Silva could re-sign, but given that the club stated it was still discussing ‘what that role might look like’, it’s not likely he would be a starter – which is why he came there from York United in the first place.
The club has re-signed defenders Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Stefan Cebara, Arnold Bouka-Moutou, Amir Soto, and local youngster Francisco Pena, with the Winnipeg-based side now confirming the releases of Yohan LeBourhis and former Wanderer Chakib Hocine.
Yohan only featured in one game last season, while Hocine only racked up 92 minutes of game time over three appearances, coming off injured after being at fault for a goal against his former team.
Gale notes that the club is still in discussions with Raphael Garcia, who struggled with injuries through The Island Game. Toronto FC II loanee Dante Campbell will not be returning.
We’re excited with what we have here, also knowing also that Brett and Raph could move back there if need be. Keeping that backline together is important and we thought that before Andrew got injured we had the best backline in the tournament.Rob Gale
The Island Games saw Jean-Baptiste form a watertight partnership with Toronto FC loanee Julian Dunn, with Gale stating that both the player and his agent have a desire for him to return to Valour colours next year – it all just depends on what plays out with new Toronto FC head coach Chris Armas.
With Valour FC having hosted the most-improved defence last season, it’ll be interesting to see if the club can build on that momentum for the upcoming campaign.
Moving up the pitch to midfield, the club has re-signed Raphael Ohin, Brett Levis, and Moses Dyer. The club has a verbal agreement with Jose Galan to return, with veteran utility man Daryl Fordyce expected to re-sign as well.
Gale teases that the club will soon be announcing another one or two new midfielders in the near future that he says will ‘really bolster things’.
Ghanaian forward Solomon Kojo Antwi has departed home to Ghana, with last year’s first brand new signing having accumulated just 78 minutes of action at The Island Games.
Gale also confirmed that Shaan Hundal won’t be returning next year, though it’d be easy to see him land elsewhere in the CPL.
All-told, there are eleven players currently signed on with Valour FC for the 2021 Canadian Premier League season, with veterans Jose Galan Daryl Fordyce expected to re-sign. Raphael Garcia, Julian Dunn, and Matt Silva are tentative ‘maybes’, which still leaves Gale with plenty of space to bring in some fresh talent.
While it’s clear that the club is in for a smaller rebuild than it saw last year, the 2021 Valour FC roster will have its own fair share of fresh faces. The club still has two more international roster spots, but will also need to bring in more young domestic talent to satisfy the league’s U-21 requirements.
More Valour FC signings are expected in the near future, though the club is evidently waiting to see what can unfold in terms of MLS loans, too.