June 18, 2024
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York United Roger Thompson

York United Captain Roger Thompson Retires

By on December 20, 2023 0 1148 Views

York United’s captain and one of the first players to feature in a Canadian Premier League match is hanging up his boots.

Nine Stripes defender Roger Thompson – who has captained the side since 2021 – made sixty appearances over the last five seasons, tallying two goals while serving as a big leadership figure for the team.

His departure marks the last of the inaugural squad who had continually served at the club since its launch.

The 32-year-old defender tallied fifteen league appearances this year and fourteen in the last. It’s fair to say that injury spells hampered his influences throughout the the last five years: despite an iron man campaign occurring in 2020, he never featured more than 15 times a season through any of the last five years.

Flashback: Thompson Ready To Lead Young Nine Stripes Roster

Described as a calm presence both on the pitch and off, the sturdy Jamaica-born defender – known as ‘Big Rog’ to the team – has enjoyed a career that spans over 200 professional appearances. At the moment, it remains to be seen what he’ll do now that he’s hung up his boots.

Cavalry FC Mikael Cantave Roger Thompson
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Like many players of his age who had little professional opportunity at home when they started, Thompson moved abroad to kickstart his pro career: the University of Cincinnati graduate signed with Finnish third division side Vasa IFK, then moved to IFK Mariehamn one year later.

Europe would continue to prove fruitful for the six-foot-three centre-back, with a stint in Germany preceding a successful promotion run with Swedish side Trelleborgs FF that saw him land in the country’s top flight. Two years later, he dropped down to the second division with Ljungskile SK before returning home in 2019 as one of the York United’s first player signings. It marked his first time playing professionally at home.

2021 Holiday Roger Thompson
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Having played a pivotal role in the club’s founding days, Thompson’s departure coincides with a new era for the Nine Stripes: under new ownership with the Pasquel brothers, the club is hoping to challenge for championships ‘day-in and day-out’, something which the last few rollercoaster seasons haven’t provided consistently.

In both times the club reached playoffs, Thompson was sidelined for the knockout bouts. With fellow centre-back Tass Mourdoukoutas also leaving the side, it looks like York United will need to recruit smartly for its defensive end come 2024.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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