Around the Canadian Premier League, teams are kicking off training camp, with the start of the 2024 season just 47 days away. As they do so, many move towards finalizing their squads for the upcoming season, as this week again several big signings were announced around the league. Canada Soccer also announced the draw for the 2024 Canadian Championship, featuring some mouthwatering matchups involving CPL sides, and some CPLers made their mark for the national team. Here is everything you should know about the past week around the league:

Vancouver FC add defender Elage Bah, their latest Canadian U-21​

Ahead of just their second season as a club, Vancouver FC are already becoming a destination for local talent in the lower mainland, announcing the signing of Elage Bah this past week. While Bah isn't technically a local, having been born in Ottawa, the 19-year-old defender has been with the Whitecaps academy since 2020. Bah, a right fullback, was a key member of Vancouver Whitecaps 2 in MLS Next Pro, playing the third most minutes of any player on their squad this past season. He becomes the seventh player on the Vancouver roster who is eligible for domestic U-21 minutes. VFC led all clubs in this category last season, with 5,203. They will be favourites to do so again in 2024. Bah is just the latest young player within the local soccer scene to pull on the Vancouver FC shirt. His VWFC 2 teammate Vasco Fry made a permanent move to VFC this off-season, while the club also signed 16-year-old Surrey, B.C. native Grady McDonnell. Last year saw local talents like James Cameron, Anthony White and TJ Tahid play significant roles for the club.

Wanderers sign Canadian defender Julian Dunn​

The Halifax Wanderers added serious quality to their backline this week with the signing of 23-year-old central defender Julian Dunn. Dunn joins the club after a very difficult spell with HamKam in the Norwegian top division, which saw him miss the better part of two years through injury. Prior to that, he came through the Toronto FC system, including making three appearances for the senior team. While with Toronto FC, he was loaned to Valour for the 2020 Canadian Premier League Island Games, where he impressed during seven matches, earning a nomination for the Best Canadian U-21 Player award. He gives Halifax options at centre-back, something they lost when Doneil Henry and Cristian Campagna left this club this off-season.

Atlético Ottawa sign former York United winger Kevin Dos Santos​

Atlético Ottawa made yet another significant splash in an off-season full of them this past week with the signing of 24-year-old attacker Kevin Dos Santos. Dos Santos joins the club from rivals York United, with whom he helped deal a significant blow to Atleti's playoff hopes this past season. He also scored six goals and added an assist as one of the league's most exciting attackers last season. The Portuguese winger joins a revitalized Ottawa attack that already includes signings like Matteo de Brienne, Ballou Tabla and Kris Twardek.

Pacific FC add Victoria-born attacker Dario Zanatta​

Pacific FC brought another Islander home this past week, as they announced the signing of 26-year-old attacker Dario Zanatta. The Victoria-born Zanatta joins the club after nine seasons in Scotland, most recently with Hamilton Academical in Scottish League One. He began his professional career in the Scottish Premier League with Hearts. The Tridents also announced the departure of Dutch fullback Bradley Vliet this week. That leaves them with 16 players announced under contract ahead of the 2024 season.

Forge FC's Kevaughn Tavernier scores for Canada at U-20 Concacaf qualifiers​

Canada's U-20 side are off to a great start in their Concacaf U-20 qualifiers group after a 8-0 win over Dominica on Friday, and a 4-0 victory against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday. In a month where he had already become one of the youngest Canadians to score in the Concacaf Champions Cup, 17-year-old Kevaughn Tavernier of Forge FC added his first youth international goal against Dominica. In the 27th minute of that match, Tavernier beat his man and sent a perfectly placed low shot to open his international account. Vancouver FC's James Cameron meanwhile, has appeared in both games for Canada, playing the full 90 against Dominica, before coming on for the second half against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Canada play their decisive final Group D match against group hosts Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday. With only the top team from each group qualifying for the Concacaf U-20 Championship, Canada need a win or a draw to advance.

Several all-CPL matchups headline 2024 TELUS Canadian Championship draw​

On Friday, Canada Soccer revealed the draw for the preliminary round of the 2024 Canadian Championship. The opening round features three all-CPL matchups, as Cavalry FC host Vancouver FC, Atlético Ottawa take on Valour at TD Place and the 905 Derby takes place in the Canadian Championship for the first time, to be played in Hamilton. Halifax Wanderers, meanwhile, host Ligue1 Québec champs CS St-Laurent, Pacific FC welcome League1 BC's Victoria Highlanders to Starlight Stadium and Toronto FC take on Simcoe County Rovers at BMO Field. Dates and times have not yet been officially revealed, but the preliminary round will be played between April 23 and May 1. The preliminary round of the competition is single leg, while the quarters and semifinals are home-and-away ties, with a one-match final in September. Defending champions the Vancouver Whitecaps, and finalists CF Montréal, were given a bye through the first round of the competition.

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