Why has Triston Henry always been viewed as the underdog? This question is poised retrospectively, of course, as the Forge FC goalkeeper is a back-to-back Canadian Premier League champion, and is one win away from helping his team qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Champions League. Henry, a 27-year-old Scarborough, Ont., native, is also nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year at the 2020 CPL Awards, set to be announced Thursday. Henry is up against Pacific FC’s Callum Irving and HFX Wanderers FC’s Christian Oxner To answer the previous question, we need to revisit Day 1 of Henry’s professional career: April 27, 2019, the CPL’s Inaugural Game. Named to Forge's starting lineup ahead of Quillan Roberts – something that caught more than a few Canadian soccer pundits by surprise – Henry began a long-and-winding path towards asserting himself as one of the CPL’s best ‘keepers (which included a high-profile Golden Glove nomination snub in 2019, despite winning the North Star Shield).
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Now, 17 months into his professional career, the former Sigma FC goalkeeper at League1 Ontario stands as the CPL’s all-time leader in clean sheets (14) after recording five shutouts in 10 matches at The Island Games, including one in Final 2020. "We knew no matter what we're faced with, we'd get through it," Henry told CanPL.ca about the team's season in PEI. "We progressed really well, especially with the rotation that we're able to do on keeping guys fresh." Forge teammates have always backed up Henry despite the lack of plaudits or Canadian men’s national team attention. It’s what compelled Anthony Novak and Kwame Awuah to challenge OneSoccer’s Kurt Larson just minutes after winning the CPL Championship. Henry may have finally silenced any critics in 2020 after back-to-back wins in Central America, keeping Forge organized during a fantastic Concacaf League run that is set to culminate with a quarter-final tilt against Haiti’s Arcahaie FC on Dec. 1. "It's everything you want to have on your resume, of course, the biggest thing is winning championships, which we've done twice now," Henry said of an already-impressive 2020 campaign. "(Winning goalkeeper of the year) would just be the icing on the cake. I've worked hard, I've done what I've had to do and whoever they choose, you can't really take that away from me at this point."