Sean Rea plays down potential CPL loan return in bid for key role at CF Montreal
Sean Rea may be a star name in the Canadian Premier League, but could he be one to watch in Major League Soccer this season?
The 2022 CPL U-21 Player of the Year winner – twice sent out on loan to Valour FC – returns once again to parent club CF Montréal as the arrangement expired ... but this time around, Rea is hoping to stick around and compete for a spot as new head coach Hernán Losada brings a fresh perspective to the roster makeup.
"I don’t think I’ll return to the CPL," Rea told Radio-Canada Sports, as quoted by Northern Tribune. "My goal this year is to stay here. I think I had two good seasons in the CPL and the next step for me is to get some minutes here in Montreal, help the team and do what I do best."
He added: "I'll play my game, I'll try to do the best I can in the preseason, and then afterwards, if the coach thinks I can – not replace (recently-sold star midfielder Djordje Mihailovic) but play his position, and then help the team in that role? That’s fine with me!"
Rea is one of several young Canadian footballers that have benefitted from loans to the CPL out of MLS, where playing time in meaningful competition is afforded and a chance to make a name for yourself naturally emerges, too. Like fellow CFMTL teammates Jonathan Sirois and Karifa Yao, Rea saw full value from the early days of this talent pipeline.
"It's great for the club because it shows that there are good players in the academy," Rea said, of his loan to CPL. "It's exciting for the fans to see that there are good players out there who are scoring great goals, like I did."