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.
Pacific FC’s dynamo of a winger was an integral part to the Tridents’ run to the 2021 CPL championship, bringing direct play and tireless energy to the wing game after game. Heard, 27, made 26 appearances over the league season – including two starts in the CPL Playoffs – including the North Star Shield-winning tilt at Tim Hortons Field earlier this month. The Welsh-Canadian entered his second season with the Tridents at The Kickoff earlier this year – objectively his best stretch of the season – where he was a dominant left winger, complementing star opposite number Marco Bustos with cunning attacking nuance and a mind-numbing mile-a-minute engine. Heard, who grew up in nearby Victoria, recorded five goals and two assists on the season – none more important than what he provided in Pacific’s amazing 4-3 Canadian Championship preliminary round win over provincial rivals Vancouver Whitecaps. The tricky winger was more than a handful for his MLS opponents, recording a lovely assist and an absurd goal that saw multiple defenders beat on the left wing before he outsmarted the ‘keeper on a nice far-post finish – not bad for a former Whitecaps draft pick. Over the 2021 season, Heard became one of Pa-Modou Kah’s most reliable operators and emerged as a key complement to PFC’s star-studded attack that includes Alejandro Diaz, Terran Campbell, and Bustos. A group made even better by Heard’s work rate and ability to stretch the play.
The rest of the CPL50 countdown is available here. Five more players will be revealed per day until December 22.