A look at the Canadian Premier League’s first 10 signings:
(Calgary) Cavalry FC
The 33-year-old defensive midfielder from Lethbridge Alta., has won 50 caps for Canada … Played in Germany and Sweden 2003 to 2015 before returning to play for FC Edmonton and then Calgary Foothills FC … Reunited with Foothills coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. at Calvary FC.
Quote: “I loved it over in Germany. All the experiences and culture and everything I learned there is kind of what I’d like to bring back to Canada soccer — that professional environment, that atmosphere and kind of what it takes to actually become a professional.”
The 24-year-old midfielder from Newmarket, Ont., joined the Toronto FC academy in 2009 and became the club’s 13th homegrown player in January 2017 … The Colombian-born Camargo, who came to Canada when he was four, split his U.S. college career between Coastal Carolina University and Syracuse University … Represented Canada at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup … Played in a friendly match for Toronto FC against Liverpool in 2012 … Spent time with Calgary Foothills FC in 2018 after TFC did not pick up his option in December 2017.
Quote: “(The CPL) came at a perfect time. I’m really blessed for it to happen right now.”
The 28-year-old forward was born in Ghana and moved to Edmonton when he was 12 … He was a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program before moving overseas to play in Finland and Germany … The speedster made his debut for Canada at 19, has one goal and 10 caps.
Quote: “I’m excited to wear the FC (Edmonton) jersey and play in front of my home crowd again.”
The 25-year-old defensive midfielder-defender was born in Paris to parents from the Ivory Coast … Moved to the Montreal area when he was nine and Edmonton at 15 … He was 19 when he made his debut in the Canadian youth program in 2012 and went on to take part in six U-20 camps … Trialed with England’s Leeds United and Scotland’s Glasgow Rangers before signing with FC Edmonton in 2015. Played 58 matches for the Eddies in NASL and Canadian Championship) … Returning from hip surgery.
Quote: “When I play defensive midfielder, I’m a ball-winner. I have a lot of energy, I run a lot, I tackle well. I’m more of a cleaner, I just win the ball and I just look to play simple and pass the ball to more creative players.”
(Halifax) HFX Wanderers
The 23-year-old fullback from Ottawa spent time in France as a teen with the AJ Auxerre academy before returned to Canada at 17 to join the Montreal Impact academy … Can play both sides, also on the wing … Spent two years with FC Montreal, the Impact’s reserve team, before playing in lower leagues in Sweden and Australia … His father Eli Sukunda represented Canada in fencing at the 1976, ‘84 and ‘88 Olympics.
Quote: “For me coming home was massive … especially in a league that has as much potential as the CPL.”
(Hamilton) Forge FC
The 28-year-old midfielder from Oakville, Ont., was taken third overall by Toronto FC in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft after a stellar career at Boston College … Played 58 MLS games for Toronto, FC Dallas and Montreal between 2013 and 2016 … Made his debut for Canada at 22 and went on win 18 caps … Won a NASL title with the San Francisco Deltas. Played most recently in USL for North Carolina FC.
Quote: “It’s about growing this game in this country and giving kids who are 10, 12 years old an opportunity — something to look up to and kind of not fizzle out like so many players that I’ve played in the past who had so much ability.”
The 23-year-old forward from Brampton, Ont., played for Syracuse University from 2013 to 2016 … Selected 55th overall in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union … Signed with the Union’s USL affiliate Bethlehem Steel in March 2017 … Played for Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2011.
Quote: “I’m very fast, I bring a lot of pace to the game. Even though I’m pretty young, I like to take a leadership role and I like to push my players and the team to be successful”
(North Toronto) York 9 FC
The 28-year-old fullback-winger from Mississauga, Ont., was with the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program before spending time with FC Edmonton and D.C. United … Won seven caps for Canada … Most recently played for the USL’s Ottawa Fury FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies
Quote: “It’s actually a great feeling. It’s the next chapter. I’m really excited to play … I buy into it. I believe in what we have in place and I’m just ready to get going.”
(Victoria) Pacific FC
The 20-year-old fullback from Port Coquitlam, B.C., was with the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program … Has played for Canada at the under-17 and under-20 level … In 2015, he was named Canada U-17 Male Player of the Year … Played in Germany for FC Kaiserslautern II reserves in 2018 … Has also played as a winger.
Quote: “I love (Vancouver) Island. It’s a beautiful place. And I’m just excited to get started.”
(Winnipeg) Valour FC
The 25-year-old centre back from Pickering, Ont., played for Syracuse University from 2011 to 2014 … Hard to miss at six foot four … Selected 11th overall in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC … Represented Canada in Olympic qualifying where he worked with Valour FC coach Rob Gale… Played for Toronto FC 2 in 2015-16 and most recently the USL’s Charleston Battery (49 appearances).
Quote: “I see it as a huge opportunity … I think we’re all just ready to get this going.”
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press