Welcome to CPL50, a series where we’ll reveal the top 50 players from the 2021 Canadian Premier League regular season, as voted on by a panel of coaches from all eight teams and media from OneSoccer and CanPL.ca. For more information on the voting process and method, click here.
Next up in CPL50 is perhaps the finest left fullback in the Canadian Premier League, with Forge FC's Kwame Awuah. The Toronto native has been vital to Forge's success over three years, and 2021 was no different as he went on to play 35 of Forge's 40 games across all competitions, contributing two goals and three assists. Awuah started all but six of Forge's 30 CPL matches this year, drawing some MVP chatter as he put in perhaps his best season in Hamilton so far. He was a driving force in Forge's attacking play with his pace and technical ability up the left wing; Awuah made the fourth-most passes into the box (57) in the CPL this year, and the fifth-most passes in the attacking third (256) -- a remarkable feat for a defender. Though his greatest contributions came from beating defenders and creating opportunities for his teammates, Awuah has also occasionally done the scoring himself, as he did twice this year -- both times on the brink of fulltime to rescue a result. His cross-turned-shot preserved a point for Forge against HFX Wanderers, and his late run into the box in the Concacaf League semi-final put Forge on level footing against Motagua. On the other side of things, Awuah is also an excellent ball-winning fullback; he ranked in the CPL's top 10 in recoveries (155) and duels won (142), making the second-most tackles on his team (30). Defensively, he fits Bobby Smyrniotis' tactical setup perfectly; he's a very hard player to beat one-on-one, and he's fast enough to remain consistently in position even after venturing upfield. Awuah was one of the first players to sign for Forge before the 2019 season, reuniting with his former Sigma FC coach in Smyrniotis. He had enjoyed a solid college career at the University of Connecticut, which led him to be drafted in the first round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft by New York City FC (where he remained for two years). He also played twice for Canada's U23 team, though he has yet to play for the senior national team.
The rest of the CPL50 countdown is available here. Five more players will be revealed per day until December 22.