Work hasn't stopped for Canadian Premier League coaches who are building their 2020 squads. COVID-19 protocols have suspended the start of the CPL's sophomore season, putting players, coaches, and supporters in an excruciating holding pattern. But the on-the-pitch delay hasn’t stopped the off-the-pitch work that needs to be done. Roster-building, for example, is still very much underway. York9 FC managing consultant Angus McNab has hinted at upcoming signings, Atlético Ottawa needs to roll out more newcomers, and Cavalry FC just inked sought-after fullback Mohamed Farsi. While the start of the 2020 CPL remains in limbo, let's take a look at some of the roster moves that all eight clubs still need to make. RELATED READING: CPL off-season roster tracker: How each team is shaping up
York9 FC – A young Canadian attacker

York9 should be announcing new additions shortly, if managing consultant Angus McNab is to be believed. But with 21 players signed, who could possibly still arrive for The Nine Stripes? Perhaps a young domestic forward would be a good idea. Y9's attacking contingent is made up entirely of internationals, although Gabriel Vasconcelos (Brazil), Adrián Ugarriza (Peru), and Nicholas Hamilton (Jamaica) appear to be excellent additions, to be fair. But perhaps Jimmy Brennan will bring in a Canadian prospect to learn and gain experience while appearing in the odd game?
Forge FC – A reliable striker

Forge needs a day-in and day-out striker who can score on a consistent basis – coach Bobby Smyrniotis has said as much. Getting someone such as Emery Welshman, who they recruited in 2019, would be massive to Forge's chances for success in 2020. A new, experienced attacker with strong finishing abilities could help develop young strikers Anthony Novak and Marcel Zajac, too.
FC Edmonton – Central midfield options

Jeff Paulus has built a respectable group for 2020. With 22 players on the books, his FCE side is nearly complete, save for one more central midfielder. Erik Zetterberg, Keven Alemán, and Edem Mortotsi are Paulus' lone established operators in the middle of the park. The Eddies will need another body, even if they reduce their midfield numbers and switch to a 4-4-2, a formation that suited them well in 2019.
Valour FC – A talented No. 10

Rob Gale had too many no. 10s last year. Now he has too few. Brett Levis, Stefan Cebara, Masta Kacher, and Fraser Aird are all talented midfielders… on the wings. What Gale needs are two, or maybe three, central figures who are able to drive the ball forward and create. Dylan Carreiro is the only option there currently.
Pacific FC – Left-sided talent

On paper, Pacific FC has one of the best XIs in the CPL, but look past that initial grouping and things start to look suspect. If newcomer Marco Bustos is to be believed, he'll line up to the right of the attack, joining Zach Verhoven and Kadin Chung in a three-headed trident. This creates a massive hole on the left, especially if Víctor Blasco moves centrally in a more suitable role, and leaves only injury-prone Marcel de Jong as a first option at fullback or winger With six or seven roster spots still open, coach Pa-Modou Kah should recruit at least two left-sided options.
HFX Wanderers – Replacements for Perea and Skublak

Halifax has firepower up top, a solid goalkeeping tandem, and multiple quality options up and down its spine. But there's something amiss up top. Stephen Hart has gone quick and direct with his new signings, picking pacy options such as Alex Marshall and Alessandro Riggi to join Akeem Garcia up top. They've yet to replace their two open-up-space centre forwards from Year 1: Luis Alberto Perea and Thomasz Skublak. At six-foot-two, Ibrahima Sanoh is the lone "back-to-goal" attacking option. Out of Holland College on Prince Edward Island, Sanoh might take a while to get up to pro level. Is Garcia a back-to-goal striker? That's debatable, for sure. Perhaps loanee Will Baynham will fill that need once play resumes.
Cavalry FC – Fullbacks

Tommy Wheeldon Jr.'s 2020 side, which is nearly complete, has one major need: fullback. Replacing departed Malyk Hamilton with Mohamed Farsi is a great start, but is coming pretty late in the squad building process. Farsi and Nathan Mavila are the only pure fullbacks on contract. Thankfully, Dean Northover and Chris Serban – two Year 1 wide options – remain unsigned. Don't be surprised to see Wheeldon Jr. spend both remaining roster slots on wide defensive options.
Atlético Ottawa – A premier no. 9

Scoring goals in the CPL is hard. Scoring goals as a first-year club is even more difficult. To make a splash in 2020, Atlético Ottawa needs a pure, bruising number nine. Coach Mista has given this theoretical player all the reason to join, with quality wingers such as Ben Fisk – who jointly-led the CPL in assists last season (5) – and Liga MX veteran Francisco Acuña promising to create loads of chances for a figurative central attacking figure. Ottawa's midfield dynamism doesn't end there, either, with Osah Bernardinho and Ajay Khabra offering creative options in the middle. Ultimately, this group is missing a focal point in attack.

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