Canadian Premier League announces five finalists for Player of the Year
TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League Player of the Year will be Forge FC’s Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, Pacific FC’s Manny Aparicio, Atletico Ottawa’s Ollie Bassett and Ballou Tabla and Valor FC’s Sean Rea.
The five finalists were named by members of the league office. The winner, who will be determined by a media vote, will be announced at the league awards ceremony during the championship game weekend on October 29-30.
Brazilian striker Joao Morelli won the award last year after a 14-goal season with HFX Wanderers FC.
Achinioti-Jonsson, also a Defender of the Year finalist, led a Forge defensive line that conceded 25 league goals during the regular season.
The 26-year-old Swede, who moved to centre-back from his normal defensive midfield role to fill an injury void, led the league with 1,996 assists. His nine blocks, 29 interceptions, 49 clearances and 31 aerial duels led Forge.
Aparicio was the driving force in the Pacific midfield. The 27-year-old, who earned a cap for Canada, was named to the league’s Team of the Week six times and Pacific struggled to establish a 2-5-4 record when he n wasn’t in line.
Bassett helped Ottawa go from worst to first this year after leaving Pacific off-season. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder from Northern Ireland led Ottawa with eight goals and was named the CPL Team of the Week, a league-high 11 times.
Tabla, 23, scored six goals in his first season with Ottawa. His last was probably his best, a kick above the penalty area against Cavalry FC.
Tabla, who was picked six times in the league’s Team of the Week, is a Montreal Impact academy product who spent time with Barcelona B in Spain. The 23-year-old winger, who earned two caps for Canada, joined Ottawa in February.
Rea finished the regular season with five goals and nine assists for Valour. The 20-year-old Montreal striker, on loan from CF Montreal, was selected six times in the team of the week.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 20, 2022
The Canadian Press