Ahead of the 2021 Final in Hamilton on Sunday, the Canadian Premier League unveiled their nominees for the 2021 Awards set to be given Tuesday, December 14. Naturally, CPL finalists Forge FC and Pacific FC stand joint-tied with three nominees apiece including Coach of the Year Bobby Smyrniotis and Pa-Modou Kah and Player of the Year Kyle Bekker and Terran Campbell, respectively. The Awards – each a unique piece of Inuit Art – are made by talented artists from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, a small hamlet just off Baffin Island in Canada's North, renowned as the epicentre of Inuit art. "We are thrilled to announce and congratulate our CPL Award nominees for the 2021 season. Delivering a full season was a priority for the League this year and we are extremely pleased that we were able to do so," said David Clanachan, Commissioner, Canadian Premier League. "These beautiful awards reflect the hard work, tenacity and incredible talent that was showcased on the pitch by all our players and coaches this season. We congratulate and thank all of them for an incredible season." The winners will be selected in a poll of three nominees in each category by a judging panel comprised of media writers and reporters from across Canada. The Golden Boot for the CPL's leading goalscorer will be announced after Sunday's final. View the nominees below.
Player of the Year – 2021 CPL SeasonTerran Campbell, Pacific FC – Campbell's 11 goals and four assists, including a massive opener in their semi-final against Cavalry FC, led Pacific's high-powered attack to their first CPL Final. Kyle Bekker, Forge FC – Forge FC's ever-present captain led Hamilton's hearty midfield to a third final in a row and sent the team deep in the Canadian Championship and Concacaf League. Joao Morelli, HFX Wanderers FC – Morelli was a force to be reckoned with in 2021, scoring 14 goals – a single-season CPL record – and setting the Golden Boot-winning pace for Halifax.
Coach of the Year Nominees – 2021 CPL SeasonBobby Smyrniotis, Forge FC – Two-time defending champion Smyrniotis has yet to win a Coach of the Year award but his bid in 2021 could be his greatest attempt yet following a massive Concacaf League run, Canadian Championship results, and topping the league. Pa-Modou Kah, Pacific FC – The Tridents' were an explosive force in Pa-Modou Kah's second season, setting a blistering attacking pace with 47 goals in 28 league matches. Kah inspired PFC to be one of the hardest-working teams in the league… All the way to the 2021 CPL Final. Tommy Wheeldon Jr, Cavalry FC – Wheeldon Jr.'s leadership led Cavalry to an impressive season right up to the semi-final stage and managed level on points with top-ranked Forge in the regular season – just like in 2019's split-season format.
Goalkeeper of the Year – 2021 CPL SeasonTriston Henry, Forge FC – The reigning Goalkeeper of the Year has backstopped Forge to their third-straight title in impressive fashion, taking eight clean sheets in the league across 24 appearances. Marco Carducci, Cavalry FC – Carducci was once again a stable force for the Cavs, collecting seven clean sheets – none more impressive than a seven-save night away to FC Edmonton, easily one of the best goalkeeper performances by a goalkeeper in CPL history. Jonathan Sirios, Valour FC – Sirios, 20, led Valour from the back this season, starting with an impressive run at The Kickoff. The CF Montreal loanee returns to his parent club with 24 professional starts and a league-leading nine clean sheets under his belt.
Best Under 21 Canadian of the Year – 2021 CPL SeasonMax Ferrari, York United FC – York United's versatile wideplayer was an unexpected catalyst for the playoff-bound side, ranking 2,160 minutes – the most among under-21 players – in the regular season. Alessandro Hojabrpour, Pacific FC – The CPL Finalists' top defensive midfielder was a key cog in Pa-Modou Kah's lineup, becoming one of the most reliable defensive-minded players in the CPL. Victor Loturi, Cavalry FC – Loturi played all but one match for Cavalry in 2021, returning through the U-SPORTS Draft to emerge as Tommy Wheeldon Jr.'s nifty and quick-thinking midfield operator.