CPL praised by hall-of-famer Dwayne De Rosario for helping soccer grow & More News Here

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The sport of soccer has grown from coast-to-coast in Canada.

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Thanks in a big half to the success of the Canadian Premier League.

Proof constructive is in Sunday’s CPL contest between Cavalry FC (2-1-2) and HFX Wanderers FC (2-1-2) in Halifax (midday, OneSoccer TV/OneSoccer.ca).

The West-v-Maritimes occasion is a sight that delights one of many recreation’s pioneers, Dwayne De Rosario, who spoke Thursday on the topic throughout his day within the highlight as a Class of 2022 inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

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“Huge pride,” mentioned De Rosario, a four-time Canadian Player of the Year with 81 caps on the nationwide males’s crew.

“The CPL’s created multiple avenues and opportunities for kids at all levels to seek their career path in Canada — and it’s amazing,” continued the four-time Major League Soccer champion, whose son, Osaze, is a expertise with the CPL’s Toronto United FC. “It’s a great platform for kids to showcase their talents. Not every young aspiring athlete is going to get the opportunity to play at (MLS) Toronto FC or the Vancouver Whitecaps or CF Montreal. But you have this CPL avenue, and things can click in the CPL for you and you get your confidence and showcase your talent, and your world can change just like that.”

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No, it’s not prefer it was when the Canadian soccer legend often known as ‘DeRo’ was younger.

The footie pathways have been then restricted for a child in Canada, particularly for one comparable to De Rosario, who grew up as “an inner-city kid of West Indian descent in a diverse (Toronto) community in a very — at the time — white-populated sport.”

So he totally embraces the CPL’s progress.

“It’s a league we have to continue to support and continue to help grow,” De Rosario mentioned. “Without the support of the fans and the football community, the league won’t grow. I encourage everyone where they have CPL teams to continue to go out and support, because the youth is the future of the sport in this country. You look at the horizon and see the World Cup coming to Canada in 2026, we hope the CPL can become even bigger than it is today.”

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That’s the hope of these making an attempt to make the home league blossom …

Guys comparable to Cavalry boss Tommy Wheeldon Jr., who can level to DeRo as a part of the explanation the game has turn into what it’s in Canada.

Nik Ledgerwood, a former Cavalry FC captain and the club’s current assistant coach and community relations manager, is considered a trailblazer for soccer in Canada.
Nik Ledgerwood, a former Cavalry FC captain and the membership’s present assistant coach and neighborhood relations supervisor, is taken into account a trailblazer for soccer in Canada. Photo by Jim Wells /Postmedia

“He’s been one of those shining lights and bright spots for the Canadian men’s national team,” mentioned Wheeldon Jr. “He scored some key goals for the national side. He kind of kept the burning candle going for Canadian football. I call him a trailblazer — and I put Nik Ledgerwood and David Edgar in that category, as well — because they are leaving a legacy and it’s great to have guys of that ilk around. They were the guys when there wasn’t a Canadian professional league.”

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Wheeldon Jr. noticed that trailblazing himself first hand in 2002 when he joined the USL A-League’s Calgary Storm alongside Ledgerwood, who was simply 17 and looking for a path to greater soccer phases.

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“After that year, Nik chose the option of going to Europe and the road less travelled to gain a career,” mentioned Wheeldon Jr. of a man who’s now the Cavs assistant coach. “Kevin McKenna, another Calgary boy, was the same. That’s what they had to do.

“Now you’ve got players like (Cavs goalkeeper) Marco Carducci, (York defender) Dominick Zator and (Cavalry midfielder) Elijah Adekugbe that don’t necessarily have to leave to pursue a career in the professional game,” continued the Cavs gaffer. “Marco’s up there with the best goalkeepers in Canada, and he’s still playing in Canada, which is great. And it only serves to create a bigger base for the Canadian men’s national team.

“I’ve always been a believer that the wider the base, the higher the pyramid. And with more clubs coming in as we see with Vancouver and others interested in joining our league, it will only get bigger, deeper and stronger.”

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With the assistance of promoters comparable to Wheeldon Jr., the CPL is in good arms.

“I try to help — I’m willing to grab a shovel and put a shovel in the ground,” mentioned Wheeldon Jr. “I’m a builder by nature. And anything I can do to help, it’s a small part to a grander gesture. I’d love to be in that situation later down in life where we do the work now and the next generation can capitalize on it.”

Just as De Rosario did throughout his shining time for the nation.

“My sole goal as a young child was to help Canada make the World Cup and the Olympics, so to see us in the World Cup now is a dream come true,” added De Rosario. “Yes, I’m not physically a part of it, but I’m still a fan, and I still feel very much a part of the growth and movement of Canada right now.”

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Midfielder Fraser Aird suffered an ACL damage 9 days in the past in opposition to host FC Edmonton and can endure surgical procedure. He is predicted to overlook the rest of the 2022 season. “It’s unfortunate for him, because it really looked like he was starting to come into his own,” mentioned Wheeldon Jr. “It’s the first serious injury he’s had through his career.” … The Cavs may even be with out ahead Joe Mason (groin), who missed final weekend’s contest however is predicted again Monday in coaching … The different sidelined Cavalry members are midfielder Sergio Camargo (calf), defender David Norman Jr. (groin) — each of whom might return subsequent Saturday to face visiting Valour FC — defender Tom Field (knee), goalkeeper Tyson Farago (again), midfielder Joe Di Chiara (MCL) and ahead Anthony Novak (ACL) … The mounting accidents have created the necessity for the Cavs to signal midfielder/defender Markus Kaiser to a CPL-U SPORTS improvement contract for the season. The Calgary native and 2022 CPL-U SPORTS draft by Cavalry got here up by the Calgary Foothills Academy, with whom he gained an under-17 nationwide championship. He has been enjoying for the U SPORTS’ UBC Thunderbirds since 2020. “Markus is a good addition to our squad,” mentioned Wheeldon Jr. “He’s versatile and can provide depth in our fullback and midfield positions. He is a player with a great engine to get around the pitch, very tidy in possession and has a superb attitude.” Kaiser follows within the steps of his older brother, Daniel, who was signed to a U SPORTS improvement contract with Cavalry final season. “I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity and to prove myself at the professional level,” Kaiser mentioned. “I have been in and out of Cavalry training ever since the franchise started a few years ago. I’m hoping to use this opportunity to fight for Cavalry as a homegrown player and continues progress as a footballer.”

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