A CPL-U SPORTS Draft with no U SPORTS games to work off from: It’s a considerable hurdle to clear for the Canadian Premier League, its clubs, and the league’s soccer operations department that facilitates the draft.
While CPL teams headed to Prince Edward Island to complete a truncated season last summer, U SPORTS cancelled its 2020 Men’s Soccer Championship, while the Canadian university season across each of its four member conferences was shelved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the good news is that that 2021 CPL-U SPORTS Draft will take place on Jan. 29, in an event that will welcome Canadian university players into the professional game despite the lost season.
Seventeen U SPORTS Draft choices have made the Canadian Premier League roster since the first draft in 2018, many of whom are considered some of the league’s brightest stars.
A total of 13 drafted players made the jump to CPL clubs in 2019, surprising coaches and Canadian soccer onlookers by making key contributions in the league’s inaugural season. Twelve former picks made at least one appearance during the 2020 season at The Island Games in PEI, further showing how valuable Canada’s university circuit is to the CPL.