York United 2021 CPL season preview – Canadian Premier League
2021 at a glance
Jimmy Brennan’s York United side have been given a facelift on and off the pitch as the club look to fight for their first North Star Shield in 2021.
Competing as York United for the first time after changing their names in the offseason, the club’s roster has also undergone a major overhaul, with a dozen newcomers inside and outside CPL .
Returning stars like Diyaeddine Abzi and Michael Petrasso (among others) will also play a huge role in the success of the Nine Bands in 2021, as will rookies like CPL veterans Dominick Zator, Noah Verhoeven, Niko Giantsopoulos and Chrisnovic N’sa. .
- Record CPL 2020 (WDL): 2-4-1 (5th overall)
- Goals scored: 8
- Goals against: 7
- Goal difference: +1
- Best striker: Joseph Di Chiara (3)
What happened in 2020?
Struggling to turn draws into wins is what ended York’s run to the Island Games after the first round. In seven matches, they drew four, winning two more and losing their last game of the season 1-0 against the Cavalry.
They started the season with three consecutive draws: 2-2 against Atlético Ottawa, 1-1 against Pacific FC and a 0-0 draw with Valor. Although undefeated, it was still a somewhat disappointing start to the tournament.
The next game, a 3-2 victory over local rivals Forge FC, was arguably their best performance of the season. Goals from Kyle Porter and Joe Di Chiara put York up 2-0 before half-time, but the defending champions shot in the second half, making it 2-2 after a pair of goals in the first seven minutes of the second half. Di Chiara, who ended up leading the club with three goals in 2020, scored the game-winning goal from a penalty kick in the 60th minute.
Manny Aparicio was the best player in games five and six for York at Prince Edward Island, scoring directly from free kicks against the HFX Wanderers and FC Edmonton. The former drew 1-1 before beating FC Edmonton 1-0.
They entered the final day against the Cavalry knowing that if either team won they would definitely be in the next round, but both teams had a chance depending on the other results. In the end, York fell 1-0 to Cavalry, sending them home after just seven games.
The club also changed their name at the end of the season from York9 FC to York United, so the 2021 season is kind of a start for the new Nine Stripes look.
How have they changed?
PLAYERS IN: Niko Giantsopoulos, Dominick Zator, Chrisnovic N’sa, Felix N’sa, Ryan Lindsay, Terique Mohammed, Cédric Toussaint, Jordan Faria, Jordan Wilson, Gerard Lavergne, Noah Verhoeven, Osvaldo Ramirez, Julian Ulbricht
OUTPUT PLAYERS: Ezequiel Carrasco, Fugo Segawa, Luca Gasparotto, Matthew Arnone, Morey Doner, Julian Altobelli, Chris Mannella, Manuel Aparicio, Kyle Porter, Joseph Di Chiara, Wataru Murofushi, Gabriel Vasconcelos, Ryan Telfer, Jace Kotsopoulos
York United’s roster was reshuffled this offseason by chairman, CEO and general manager Angus McNab.
The roster has rejuvenated since last season, with new players this season eligible for the league’s U21 minute requirement, as well as a nominee for last year’s Canadian U21 Player of the Year award, now 22-year-old defenseman Chrisnovic N’sa. This team is very young, but also very talented – many of these players come from MLS club academies, or have experience in Ligue 1 Ontario.
They also brought in several experienced players to balance it out, both inside and outside of CPL. New additions to the York United squad include Dominick Zator of Cavalry FC, Noah Verhoeven of Pacific FC and Jordan Wilson of Danish club Nykøbing FC.
The club have also signed four players who are unable to join the squad for the start of the season in Winnipeg, due to delays in obtaining visas. Lisandro Cabrera and Mateo Hernández have been loaned to Costa Rican side Guadalupe FC, while the club also have Sebastian Gutierrez and William Wallace still abroad.
Several regulars from the past two seasons are leaving the club, including inaugural captain Manny Aparicio at Pacific FC, 2020 top scorer Joseph Di Chiara at Cavalry FC and center-back Luca Gasparotto – who has played every minute in York history United before retiring. this offseason – among other key pieces.
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Projected starting eleven
Nathan Ingham; Diyaeddine Abzi, Roger Thompson, Dominick Zator, Chrisnovic N’sa; Noah Verhoeven, Jordan Wilson; Ijah Halley, Max Ferrari, Michael Petrasso; Julien ulbricht
In goals, York United have the best goaltending duo in the league. It is difficult to choose between them, as both could be newbies in CPL. Nathan Ingham was nominated in 2019 for the goalie of the year award and is tied for third all-time in the CPL clean sheets. Niko Giantsopoulos has also been an impressive replacement for Marco Carducci with the cavalry, picking up four clean sheets in 10 games for the club over two seasons. He will push Ingham for minutes and could very well be chosen as a starter, but Ingham has done nothing to lose his place which is why he is currently listed in pencil.
Two of the league’s best young full-backs, Diyaeddine Abzi and Chrisnovic N’sa, will feature prominently in a bottom line that will likely be anchored by newcomer Dominick Zator and veteran Roger Thompson. There are over 100 CPL appearances between those four, and Zator has been one of the best defensemen in the league over the past two seasons with Cavalry. His signing is a major blow for The Nine Stripes, who entered the offseason to replace the aforementioned Gasparotto.
Brennan has a ton of midfield options at her disposal, as many York players can play in multiple positions. Michael Petrasso has had an exceptional season on loan at Barnet FC in England and hopes to bring some of that good form with him to Winnipeg for kick-off. He was named Barnet’s player of the year, scoring 10 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions. He’ll be a big part of the attack and is probably as close to a guaranteed starter as you’ll get on this list on a wing. Options at the base of the midfielder could include Noah Verhoeven and Jordan Wilson, while Max Ferrari, Gerard Lavergne, Jordan Faria and others could all see a ton of minutes in midfield. On the other side, players like Nicholas Hamilton (who can play both sides or as a striker) and youngster Ijah Halley are among those who fight for minutes.
At the top, Álvaro Rivero has impressed at the Island Games and will be on Brennan’s plans again this season, while Julian Ulbricht trades Hamburger SV II in Germany for CPL. These two, along with Hamilton, the recent signing of Osvaldo Ramirez and newcomer Lowell Wright, will form an impressive group of forwards to choose from.
Coach Profile: Jimmy Brennan
Entering his third season as York boss, Brennan is hoping to take the next step after finishing right out of the playoffs in each of the first two CPL campaigns. They finished third in 2019, when the top two went to the final, and 5th in 2020 after the top four qualified, so the club have been close.
The former Canada international is 13-13-15 (WDL) in all competitions with York United 11-11-13 in CPL action which is good for third place in everyone’s regular season table. league times.
The format of the 2021 season beyond kick-off is still unknown, but however it unfolds, York United will try to push for the top of the table.
What they say
“We have to maintain a good balance in the group and keep people in a good mood. This is the hard part of getting into a bubble, ”said Brennan. “We leave seven days before the first game to give ourselves a chance to acclimatize and work out. It’s really about bringing our whole team together and helping to build that team. We didn’t want to go too early because we ended up in something like seven weeks in a bubble. It is exhausting and demanding. – Jimmy Brennan, York United Head Coach