We're 17 matches into the 2020 CPL season — well over halfway through the first round at The Island Games — and yet it feels like it just started, doesn't it? But no, things are well and truly underway at full speed. Some teams have started to rise to the top, and some have struggled to get out of the gates, but the level of play has been high and there's still plenty of wiggle room in the table. Every team arrived in Charlottetown with at least a few players who are new to the league — some more than others, of course. While this season’s rapid-fire format is hardly an easy way to transition into a new team, some newcomers have taken to the CPL like ducks to water. Who has been the best newcomer, though? Is it someone who's come in and lit his team's attack on fire? Or perhaps a defender who has brought much-needed stability to a chaotic tournament? CanPL.ca's Charlie O'Connor-Clarke, Marty Thompson and John Molinaro each made one pick. RELATED READING: 2020 CPL regular season: The Island Games
Francisco Acuña - Atlético Ottawa

This is the obvious choice, and it's the right choice. Ottawa's star man, the 32-year-old midfielder with years of experience in Liga MX, has been the top-quality piece he was advertised to be. He scored a pair of superb goals against FC Edmonton, including one just 22 seconds in, but he's not even really a goalscorer. Acuña seems to pop up everywhere on the field, showing up to support teammates as an outlet and then almost always finding a positive, attack-minded pass. He's brought a touch of magic to the Ottawa lineup, and it's impossible to count out the expansion side's offence whenever he's out there. To coach Mista's credit, Acuña seems to have been given full license to roam wherever he wants for Ottawa. The only problem, perhaps, is that he's not quite able to play the full 90 minutes, although he did get as far as the 74th against Edmonton. Still, any minutes that Acuña is on the pitch should be appointment viewing for the remainder of Atlético Ottawa's time at The Island Games. – By Charlie O'Connor-Clarke
Mo Babouli, Forge FC

Alright, I’ll eat my words – I didn’t expect much from Mo Babouli after his late addition to Forge. A known quality in Toronto soccer circles, I was skeptical about his ability to assimilate into a side such as Forge on short notice. A few weeks later, he has emerged as the first bonafide "super-sub" at The Island Games. The former Toronto FC attacker has proven to provide contrast to Forge’s attack: selfish, direct, and willing to take risks. Babouli has been a secret weapon for coach Bobby Smyrniotis, who has used him as a second-half injection of energy in four of five matches to great effect. Babouli was key in the buildup to a pair of crucial, point-earning goals, specifically Kyle Bekker’s late markers against Pacific FC and Cavalry FC. His cunning ability in the final third has made the CPL’s most-dangerous offence even more so, as he helped Forge add points to their Island Games total. Few first-year players can boast that. – by Marty Thompson
Mohamed Farsi, Cavalry FC

A quick look at Mohamed Farsi’s statistics at The Island Games make for uninteresting reading: five appearances, with no goals, 1 assist and not a single shot on target. But the 20-year-old fullback from Montreal has been a major feature in the Cavs’ attack and back line, and played a key role in helping Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s outfit go top of the table. Just the fifth CPLer to arrive in the CPL from Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ), the young fullback only signed with the Cavs in April but he’s looked anything like a league rookie during The Island Games. He’s featured on both flanks thus far, and shown the ability to deliver great crosses and break towards goal at great speed with the ball glued to his feet. Opposing defenders have quickly learned just how dangerous he is; Farsi won a penalty in each of his first two CPL games, earned an assist against Valour FC, and set up Cavalry’s first goal against FC Edmonton. His energy and pace have been a perfect complement to Cavalry at both ends of the field, especially in attack: he continually looks to play an incisive pass into space for a teammate and move forward with quickness. “Mo Farsi, ever since he stepped in the door as well, we saw the talent he has, just the way he goes forward and the way he attacks relentlessly,” Cavalry forward Jordan Brown. – by John Molinaro

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