Over the first two months of the Canadian Soccer League season there have been quite a few great performances by players who in my estimation are rising stars in the world game. The players on this list, in my opinion, are either ready to make the immediate step up into MLS, or at the very least capable of making it on MLS rosters depending on the philosophy of the club.
These are players that I’ve either seen with my own eyes or in the case of Brampton City United players have witnessed in training, spoken with and gotten to know (as Head of Media/Brand Development for the club). All of these players have either had spells in Europe and/or have dreams of playing there one day. However, in my opinion, they are perfect for MLS style and are capable of making the natural progression to the North American top flight.
1. FWD Stefan Vukovic – Toronto FC Academy
2. GK Maxime Crépeau – Montréal Impact Academy
3. GK Jacob Matthews – Brampton City United B
4. MID Wandrille Lefevre – Montréal Impact Academy
5. MID Richard West – Brampton City United FC
6. FWD Andrew Ornoch – Mississauga Eagles FC
7. MID/FWD Oswald Adu – Brampton City United FC
8. FWD Tristan Jackman – Toronto FC Academy
9. MID/FWD Junior Ellis – Capital City FC
10. FWD Thierry Mangwa Batomen – Mississauga Eagles FC
The two goalkeepers on this list have impressed me a great deal, Montréal Impact Academy’s Maxime Crépeau has a commanding presence between the posts and has two clean sheets in his last two matches, winning 3-0 against Brampton City United FC and 5-0 against Windsor Stars. With the Impact coming into MLS next season he might be a name to keep in mind for the future, he may not be an immediate replacement for current No.1 Bill Gaudette but if he keeps developing it will only be a matter of time.
As for Jacob Matthews, even though he currently plays on Brampton City United B it has nothing to do with his skill set and it says something that he’s the only player on this list that is not a full-fledged first team member. He has European experience in England with Burnley FC and Blackburn Rovers and has the perfect goalkeeper frame in terms of size and strength for the MLS.
However, the one attacking player that has lit up the CSL so far has been Toronto FC Academy’s Stefan Vukovic, he currently leads the CSL in goals and looks to be in Toronto FC’s long term plans earning recent call ups to the first team.
There are many other rising stars in this league and as the league progresses I may update this list. Personally my hope is for these players to go the MLS route and forgo Europe at least until they develop further. The future is bright in Canadian soccer, and hopefully North America is starting to take notice.
Kamal Hylton is Owner/Freelance Soccer Writer at Hylton Sports Media,
he specializes in covering Youth Development in Canada and the
CONCACAF Region as well as European leagues such as Bundesliga, Serie
A and UEFA Champions League. Follow him on Twitter to view all his work.