At least one former L1CA player picked by every club in CPL-U SPORTS Draft

Players from all four competitions in the League1 Canada Alliance were selected across the Canadian Premier League U SPORTS Draft yesterday, with at least one former L1CA representative heading to every club.

The draft began with Owen Sheppard being picked by Valour FC. He played 14 times for Guelph United in the 2022 season, scoring one goal in a 3-1 win against Burlington, as his side finished just outside the playoff spots. His past year included running out for Calgary Foothills in the League1 Alberta Exhibition Series which took place in the summer.

Luke Norman was then picked second by Vancouver FC, after he won the League1 British Columbia Men’s Division with an academy team from Vancouver Whitecaps. He played 15 games across the season, including his side’s playoff semifinal and final which was won via penalties against Victoria Highlanders.

Christian Zeppieri, an L1ON Men’s Premier Division Midfielder of the Year Finalist and First XI starter, was then selected in Round Four by York United. He shone for Vaughan Azzurri at the York Lions Stadium in a victory against Woodbridge Strikers in May – one of 20 Vaughan games he featured in during 2023, racking up more than 1,500 Premier Division minutes.

Immediately after that, goalkeeper Daniel Clarke was chosen by former Vaughan coach Patrice Gheisar and his backroom team at Halifax Wanderers. The shot stopper played 10 times for Woodbridge Strikers this year, doubling the appearance tally he achieved at Scrosoppi in 2022.

Rush Canada prodigy Michael Maslanka, who scored seven goals in 13 games for their U21 side in the 2023 L1ON Men’s Reserve Division, was then selected by Pacific FC as the sixth overall pick. Then Cavalry selected Caden Rogozinski who played 11 times in Electric City’s debut L1ON campaign before playing an integral part in Victoria Highlanders’ impressive 2023 season in L1BC.

Round Two kicked off with the pick of L1ON Men’s Premier Division Defender of the Year Gianfranco Facchineri, who played more than 1,300 minutes in Windsor City’s backline.

Rodane Cato and Samuel Laplante then became the 10th and 11th overall picks, heading to Cavalry and Atletico Ottawa respectively. The former was on the books for St Albert Impact in the L1AB Exhibition Series and the latter has been part of St Hubert’s squad in Ligue1 Québec.

Max Bodurtha ran out for Electric City 14 times in the L1ON Men’s Premier Division in 2023, and was chosen by Halifax Wanderers as their second pick of the draft.

Lastly, two more League1 Canada prospects were selected by Vancouver FC and Forge FC respectively. Tommy Powell scored twice in 11 games for L1BC side Unity FC in 2023 and was the penultimate pick, before Ottawa South United (L1QC) player Amadou Kone was chosen by the four-time champions.