The 2020 Canadian Premier League pre-season officially kicks off this week, with the seven founding clubs bringing their roster together, in person, for the first time. Some clubs have stayed the course after a turbulent Year 1, keeping the majority of their squad in-act. Others have embraced wholesale change and have given supporters an entirely new group of players to rate and discuss – something contributor Charlie O'Connor-Clarke has covered. To jump to an individual club, click below. Forge FC || FC Edmonton || York9 FC || HFX Wanderers FC Pacific FC || Valour FC || Cavalry FC || Atlético Ottawa With most rosters nearing completion, below is a look at how each team is shaping up so far. Atlético Ottawa, of course, has yet to sign players for their inaugural season. As such, they will not be featured on this list. RELATED READING: CPL pre-season roster tracker: How each team is shaping up PACIFIC FC
  • Players signed: 16
  • International slots used: 1/7
  • 2019 players retained: 11
    • 15,461 of 27,667 minutes played by Pacific in 2019 (55%)
GK: Callum Irving, Nolan Wirth DF: Kadin Chung, Marcel de Jong, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, Abdou Samake, Lukas MacNaughton MF: Noah Verhoeven, Jamar Dixon, Alessandro Hojabrpour, Victor Blasco, Matthew Baldisimo, Zachary Verhoven FW: Marco Bustos, Terran Campbell, Alejandro Díaz The lowdown: New coach, same spine to Pacific, in arguably the most impressive off-season of any CPL club. Pa-Modou Kah heads into the pre-season with a strong, young, and hungry core of players, as Terran Campbell is joined by fellow standout prospects Kadin Chung, Noah Verhoeven, and Matthew Baldisimo. This young core – which played a staggering 13,532 minutes last season – has been complemented with impressive signings. Ex-Ottawa Fury players Callum Irving, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, and Jamar Dixon were massive signing coups, Marco Bustos was arguably the biggest CPLer on the open this off-season, and former Club América attacker Alejandro Díaz is the biggest international signing in league history thus far. The holes: Midfield quality is still missing from this group. Defensive destroyer Alexander González will be missed – same with winger Ben Fisk. An aging Jamar Dixon and inconsistent Victor Blasco are the only options in relief. Depth is needed across the board, too. The top three: Terran Campbell, Marco Bustos, Marcel de Jong.

  • Players signed: 19
  • International slots used: 6/7
  • 2019 players retained: 7
    • 9,854 of 27,713 minutes played by HFX in 2019 (35%)
GK: Christian Oxner, Jason Beaulieu DF: Chrisnovic N’sa, Alex De Carolis, Peter Schaale, Jems Geffrard, Eriks Santos, Mateo Restrepo, Daniel Kinumbe MF: Andre Rampersad, Scott Firth, Omar Kreim, Aboubacar Sissoko, Louis Béland-Goyette FW: Akeem Garcia, Alessandro Riggi, Ibrahima Sanoh, Alex Marshall, João Morelli The lowdown: With a complete overhaul completed, coach Stephen Hart looks to turn the 2019 wooden spoon "winners" into contenders in Year 2. Only seven Wanderers remain from last season, Peter Schaale being a highlight. Hart has solidified an already average defence with centre backs Eriks Santos and Jems Geffrard. The midfield looks improved, too, with the addition of Louis Béland-Goyette, and the ex-Valour FC midfield maestro could assume the captain's duties. CPL-U SPORTS first overall pick Cory Bent out of Cape Breton should make the team, adding speed on the wings as one of the most promising young attackers in Canada. The holes: A lot of questions going forward – something they struggled with last season. Unproven professional Ibrahima Sanoh is the only out-and-out centre forward in the lineup. Sanoh and Akeem Garcia have been joined by Alex Marshall and João Morelli. Can they find balance in time for mid-April? The top three: Louis Béland-Goyette, Peter Schaale, João Morelli

  • Players signed: 19
  • International slots used: 6/7
  • 2019 players retained: 7
    • 21,257 of 29,588 minutes played by Cavalry in 2019 (71%)
GK: Marco Carducci, Niko Giantsopoulos DF: Mason Trafford, Nathan Mavila, Dominick Zator, Jay Wheeldon MF: Elijah Adekugbe, Sergio Camargo, Nik Ledgerwood, Sergio Camargo, Elliot Simmons, Bruno Zebie, José Escalante FW: Oliver Minatel, Richard Luca, Nico Pasquotti, Jordan Brown, Aribim Pepple, Jair Córdova, José Hernández The lowdown: Most of Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s Finals 2019 squad has stayed in Calgary – save for Joel Waterman and Julian Büscher. A dangerous group, which was already familiar going into Year 1 after time with Calgary Foothills, this Cavs lineup is poised for a return to the Finals again in 2020. Richard Lucas and Jair Córdova stand as the big international pick-ups as they have more than enough potential to maintain Cavalry’s attacking potency from last year. The holes: Cavalry is still missing defensive depth, especially at fullback, with only a few open slots left – fullbacks Chris Serban and Dean Northover are still unconfirmed from last year's roster. Centre forward could also be an area of concern if Dom Malonga does not return and Peruvian Jair Córdova doesn’t produce. The top three: Mason Trafford, Nico Pasquotti, Marco Carducci

  • Players signed: 20
  • International slots: 6/7
  • 2019 players retained: 14
    • 17,354 of 27,642 minutes played in 2019 (62%)
GK: Dylon Powley, Connor James DF: Kareem Moses, Ramon Soria, Allan Zebie, Jeannot Esua, Mele Temguia, Duran Lee MF: Son Yongchan, Edem Mortotsi, Erik Zetterberg, Hanson Boakai, Chance Carter, Anthony Caceres FW: Tomi Ameobi, Raúl Tito, David Doe, Prince Amanda, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye, Easton Ongaro The lowdown: The Eddies are poised to be a team built from the back again in 2020 – even if Amer Didic doesn’t return – as Duran Lee joins a well-oiled defensive unit that conceded 33 goals in 2020. Goalkeeper of the Year nominee Connor James keeps his spot, too. Coach Jeff Paulus’ squad has seen limited turnover, with attacker Oumar Diouck a lone sore departure. Hanson Boakai and Raúl Tito promise to be powerful options up the wings for Paulus, who will surely favour a 4-3-3 formation again in 2020. Edmonton talent is once again the crux of the Eddies operation as half of the 20 signed players were developed in the Alberta capital. The holes: FCE is still missing that crucial no. 10. Chance Carter and Anthony Caceres are still raw, Son Yongchan is coming off a tough year, and Erik Zetterberg – while a promising two-way midfielder – is a complete toss up. Who will cycle the ball and create chances in this midfield? The top three: Easton Ongaro, Raúl Tito, Connor James

  • Players signed: 12
  • Internationals: 5/7
  • 2019 players retained: 4
    • 4,709 of 27,655 minutes played in 2019 (14%)
GK: None. DF: Yohan Le Bourhis, Raphael Garcia, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Amir Soto, Arnold Bouka Moutou MF: Diego Gutierrez, Dylan Carreiro, Solomon Kojo Antwi, Fraser Aird, Brett Levis FW: Moses Dyer, Daryl Fordyce The lowdown: Four returnees mark the fewest to date of any club as coach Rob Gale picks up the pieces from a disappointing 2020. Gale has, smartly, moved to the international market and, perhaps unlike last season, found proven talent. Attackers Moses Dyer and Daryl Fordyce are lethal, Amir Soto and Andrew Jean-Baptiste are Concacaf-level defenders, and Arnold Bouka Moutou is Ligue 1 level, for crying out loud. With better talent in the 2020 camp, it’s up to Gale to get the best out of a group that has come together quickly with little time to gel together. The holes: James Pantemis’ rumoured arrival from Montreal Impact would fill the goalkeeping hole pretty quickly, so we turn to central midfield, where there's no replacement for Louis Béland-Goyette. Can Dylan Carreiro set up? Jose Galan likely returns, but will he do enough? Valour can’t afford to lose the midfield battle often – especially with quality options out wide. The top three: Arnold Bouka Moutou, Brett Levis, Moses Dyer

  • Players signed: 16
  • International slots: 3/7
  • 2019 players retained: 16
    • 26,061 of 29,660 minutes played in 2019 (87%)
GK: Triston Henry DF: Dominic Samuel, Jonathan Grant, Daniel Krutzen, Monti Mohsen, Klaidi Cela, David Edgar MF: Kyle Bekker, Kwame Awuah, Alexander Achinioti Jonsson, Giuliano Frano, Elimane Cisse, FW: Marcel Zajac, Chris Nanco, Kadell Thomas, David Choinière The lowdown: Status quo from the 2019 CPL Champions. No new players, yet, and 16 returnees that played a staggering 87 per cent of available minutes for Bobby Smyrniotis on their championship run. The holes: One Tristan Borges-sized gap remains in Forge’s 2020 roster. Forge has las the reigning CPL Player of the Year, a golden boot-winning 13 goals, and everything else that made Borges the biggest breakthrough in Year 1. Who is creative, cunning, and skilled enough to create and convert the chances this season? Top three: Kyle Bekker, Kwame Awuah, David Edgar

  • Players signed: 19
  • International slots: 5/7
  • 2019 players retained: 11
    • 17,991 of 27,719 minutes played in 2019 (64%)
GK: Nathan Ingham, Colm Vance DF: Luca Gasparotto, Morey Doner, Matthew Arnone, Roger Thompson, Fugo Segawa, Diyaeddine Abzi MF: Joseph Di Chiara, Wataru Murofushi, Chris Mannella, Manuel Aparicio, Kyle Porter, Emilio Estevez, Michael Petrasso, Max Ferrari FW: Adrián Ugarriza, Gabriel Vasconcelos, Nicholas Hamilton The lowdown: Coach Jimmy Brennan has a respectable core going into the official start of training camp (Ontario-based players have been training for weeks). Y9’s impressive late-season group has been kept intact, with big-name Canadian international free agents Michael Petrasso and Chris Mannella making Y9’s midfield a fierce opponent. York9’s ironic search for a no. 9 looks completed, too, as internationals Adrián Ugarriza, Gabriel Vasconcelos, and Nicholas Hamilton are young, but somewhat unproven replacements for Rodrigo Gattas and Ryan Telfer. The holes: It’s an impressive, nearly-complete squad. Very few issues present themselves, save for the roll-of-the-dice of completely overhauling your forward line. Depth could still be an issue, too, especially on the wings. The top three: Luca Gasparotto, Diyaeddine Abzi, Michael Petrasso

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