In The Six: York United Activates Options On Several Players
Canadian Premier League side York United FC has activated options on a staggering six players today.
Leading the names will be defensive midfielder Brem Soumaoro, while the likes of defender Noah Abatneh, midfielders Matthew Baldisimo, Marki Voytsekhovskyy, Kadin Martin-Pereux, and local forward Austin Ricci will all return in 2024.
Liberian international Brem Soumaoro was one of the top players to represent the Nine Stripes this season: suiting up 27 times throughout the year, the physical midfielder was a key anchor point for a side who still has an option for a further year.
The 27-year-old also proved to have rocket-powered laces throughout the campaign, with his above goal against rival side Forge FC proving a goal of the season contender.
Richmond Hill native Austin Ricci will extend his second stay with York United after arriving from Valour in 2022. While last season saw him largely sidelined by a re-aggravation of a prior knee injury, 2023 finally saw him record a healthy year in green.
Accumulating 28 appearances across all competitions, the feisty forward tallied four goals and two assists, but the general sentiment is that there’s still a ceiling that he hasn’t reached.
Former Pacific FC midfielder Matthew Baldisimo will also return after a similar story to Ricci: after his move to York was hampered by injuries in 2022, this year saw the 25-year-old tally 19 appearances.
With only three of those being ninety minute shifts, the big question will be how Baldisimo fares in 2024: he hasn’t truly stuck out of the pack, though a combined 77 appearances split between Pacific and York United show faith in further untapped potential.
The club’s midseason youth reinforcement of Kadin Martin-Pereux proved quite fruitful, with his successful transition from Germany’s low ranks echoing Ronan Kratt. He tallied two assists in six appearances, one of which helped York United clinch a playoff berth.
It goes without saying that a full season of Kadin Martin-Pereux looks a great thing for York United: while his sample size in the league is small, he settled in quickly and looked an astute pickup from former Club President Angus McNab.
It was an unfortunate rookie season for League1 Ontario standout Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy, a speedy left winger who had only tallied 179 minutes of game time before suffering a season-ending foot fracture in June.
While York United pitched his return as an option extension, he had previously signed a two-year deal with further club options, so…he was always coming back.
Canada U-20 international Noah Abatneh grew into the season, getting just 81 minutes of game time over the first twelve matches before tallying 599 after that, including the big late-season wins over Atletico Ottawa and Vancouver FC that saw York United clinch a playoff spot.
The Lazio Academy product – a Toronto native – has largely featured as a centre-back in the CPL, though he can play anywhere across the back four. Expect him to rack up some good domestic U-21 minutes for York United in 2024.
There’s still a plethora of roster decisions to be announced by York United: Himaras, Gee, and Buschman-Dormund are awaiting option decisions, while Giantsopoulos, Grant, Dos Santos, and Petrasso are out of contract.
We’ve heard that Paris Gee will be moving out west, which will leave York United without a versatile defender. With Thompson and Mourdoukoutas both gone, expect a defensive restructuring ahead of the next season.