Cavalry FC's young upgrades have been confirmed for the 2021 Canadian Premier League season. Under-21 Player of the Year nominee Mo Farsi, midfielder Elliot Simmons, and attacker Jose Hernandez will return to Cavalry for next year, the club announced Friday. "Elliot and Mo appeared in all 10 of our Island Games and gave a good account of themselves," coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said. "Jose has more to give and we can't wait to see it next year."
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Farsi, 20, won admirers right away in PEI, drawing two penalties and notching an assist in his first 40 minutes with Cavalry. The Montreal, Que. native went on to make 10 appearances as a tricky wide player, scoring a late-second round golazo to cap off a breakout campaign. A clear frontrunner for Under-21 Player of the Year, Farsi was excellent at both ends of the pitch, recording a team-high 15 tackles and ranking third among Cavs players in passes in the opponent's half. "There were game-winning moments that caught our eye and that became a perceptual bias," Wheeldon Jr. said of Farsi's impressive showing at The Island Games, which has reportedly made him a target for clubs in Europe and throughout North America. "We watched the games again and asked, ‘what does the data tell us?’ He was winning his one-on-one duels in defence, in attack his forward passing ratio was great, GPS readings etc. The answer is ‘yes,’ in all departments he hit the metrics we're looking at." Simmons, 22, returns after playing a key role in Cavalry's midfield in 2020. The Ottawa-raised Englishman, who moved from HFX Wanderers FC last the off-season, impressed with long passes and mobility in the middle of the park. "He's got another gear," Wheeldon Jr. said. "He showed his passing range, whether it's a quick one around the corner or a 30-yard ping to the far channel. He can keep the team ticking." Simmons is currently training with Swedish first division side Östersunds FK of Sweden’s through the off-season. "Returning to the club was really important for me, as I love the city and environment at the club. I'm really enjoying my football and feel as if I am developing as a player under Tommy,” Simmons said.” Hernandez, 20, spent most of The Island Games injured with a lower-body injury. The former Pacific FC attacker still showed flashes of brilliance in 102 minutes across three matches. "He's excited, he's still got lots to learn, but he's got the attitude that he wants to continue that journey," Wheeldon. Jr. said. Cavalry's young returnees join "a core" group that includes Marco Carducci, Mason Trafford, Elijah Adekugbe and Sergio Camargo who are also set to return in 2021. Friday's announcement also comes after the club mutually agreed to part ways with five players earlier this week: Nathan Mavila, Jordan Brown, Niko Giantsopoulos, Jair Cordova, and Marcus Haber.