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.
At 14th in the CPL50 is another CPL champion: Pacific FC firecracker Manny Aparicio. Since joining Pacific in November 2020, Aparicio has bought in at Pa-Modou Kah's club and become a crucial part of the team both on and off the field. The 26-year-old played 22 CPL games this year, after working his way back from an early-season injury, and he went on to play all 210 minutes of Pacific's two playoff games, delivering a man-of-the-match performance in both. Aparicio had three goals and three assists in CPL play this year, plus a phenomenal goal in Pacific's Canadian Championship win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. He proved himself to be a player that steps up in big games this season, becoming the engine of Pacific's play in every knockout match they played in 2021. Aparicio is a player who often covers more ground than anybody on the pitch, especially when his team is out of possession -- his defensive workrate to put pressure on opposing players in midfield is second to none in the CPL. With the ball, he can do some special things as well; Aparicio has a knack for a creative pass, and he can hit a ball goalward from distance as well. Aparicio signed with Pacific last offseason looking for a new challenge, after spending two years as captain of York9 FC (now York United). Born in Argentina and raised in Toronto, Aparicio has a solid footballing resumé, including a stint at Toronto FC and their reserve team, as well as a few years in Spain at Órdenes, Izarra, and San Roque de Lepe.
The rest of the CPL50 countdown is available here. Five more players will be revealed per day until December 22.