What did you expect from the Canadian Premier League's inaugural game? If your answer wasn't some sort of emotion or feeling, this article isn't for you. Predicting tangible things ahead of Forge FC and York9 FC's maiden Canadian Premier League voyage was a fruitless endeavour; two brand new teams, a brand new league, and some brand new pros really didn't lend itself to pub-style prognosticating. Part of the beauty of the inaugural game was its added layer of unknown qualities. Picking who would score the first goal felt like a guess upon a guess. Never mind who could score, who's going to be the best goalscorer? Whether virtually or physically, we left Tim Hortons Field a year ago with a new lease on life and having many questions, concerns, apprehensions, and assorted feelings wiped away. Here are a few things we learned on April 27, 2019.
Great moments come at unexpected times

Poor Dominic Samuel. The Canadian Premier League's first goal came through his diving legs – a quick pass from York9's Manny Aparicio managed to cruelly find a space between his limbs. Ryan Telfer famously finished that chance in the third minute, barely before fans at Tim Hortons Field could get settled into their seats. No buildup, no anticipation: the CPL's first goal came almost right away Thankfully, the dynamic defender went on to have a successful first year playing professionally in Canada, making 25 appearances for Forge and played a big part in helping the club win the North Star Shield.
Hamilton: CPL's rightful first home

Take a bow, Hamilton. When 17,000 people streamed through the turnstiles at Tim Hortons Field on that windy Saturday, things started to feel real. Players and coaches there will tell you that, too, as it was the first match in front of a crowd that size for many of them. Soccer fans in Steeltown showed up in droves, welcoming the CPL in a way that, frankly, no other Canadian city would be able to match in Year 1. A founding city giving the Canadian Premier League a rightful footing.
Tristan Borges was one to watch

Looking back, Tristan Borges almost went tape-to-tape in the CPL. The diminutive attacking midfielder was close to scoring multiple goals on that historic day if it wasn't for York9 FC goalkeeper Nathan Ingham. As we know, Borges went on to take the CPL Golden Boot and Player of the Year – two awards he emerged as favourites for later in the season. Still, if that wand of a left foot got at least one past Ingham, his CPL Year 1 would be an even greater story to tell.
League1 Ontario produced some serious talent

Introduced four years prior as a stopgap measure for player development in Canada, League1 Ontario had its finger prints all over the CPL's inaugural game. Incredibly, 15 of the starting 22 players had featured in League1 Ontario before the CPL – Bobby Smyrniotis' Sigma FC producing the most with eight starters. What's more, L1O players were the match's stars. Ryan Telfer played for Vaughan Azzurri, Forge's first-ever goalscorer Kadell Thomas spent years in League1, and others such as Kwame Awuah and Manny Aparicio were standouts in their own right.

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