Gabriel Balbinotti has come a long way since being selected in last year’s CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
The midfielder will be in El Salvador as Forge FC kicks off its 2020 Concacaf League campaign when it faces Club Deportivo Municipal Limeño on Thursday a 8:00 p.m. ET
Balbinotti was Forge’s first-round pick (seventh overall) at the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft. The 21-year-old led the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières to last fall’s national title (the school’s first national championships), scoring three goals at the U SPORTS championships in his hometown of Montreal.
After spending three weeks in Forge’s pre-season training camp in March, Balbinotti returned home during the lockdown only to be brought back by Forge during the summer.
The former Ottawa Fury player has gone from a first-year U SPORTS standout to playing in a Concacaf competition in less than a year – a head-spinning turnaround worth a story in its own right, COVID-19 complications notwithstanding.