FULL RESULTS: 2023 Canadian Premier League AWARDS on OneSoccer
The 2023 Canadian Premier League Awards will take place on October 26, 2023 (7PM ET / 4PM PT) as regular-season accolades are shared with players and coaches in a green carpet event LIVE from Hamilton, ON.
Voting for all the CPL’s annual awards will this year be based on performances during the regular season, not including Canadian Championship, Concacaf or playoff action.
Here are the nominees for each award:
2023 Player of the Year
On Thursday, the Canadian Premier League revealed that Cavalry FC defender Daan Klomp has been voted the 2023 Player of the Year. The award is given to the player voted best in the league by media members from across the country and technical staff representatives from each club.
The 25-year-old was the league’s only outfield player to appear in every minute of all 28 matches for his club, and was critical to Cavalry lifting the 2023 CPL Shield as regular season winners. Klomp was also named the league’s Defender of the Year for the 2023 season.
With Klomp at the centre of defence, Cavalry allowed the fewest goals against of any team this season, with just 27. Klomp also scored four times this season, and added an assist. He was key in building Cavalry’s attacks from the back, finishing second in the league in passes completed (1494), completing a tidy 90 per cent of his passes while playing 120 successful long balls.
“For me, he is the most important player for us this year,” Wheeldon Jr. told the Calgary Sun earlier this season. “He sets the tone as a playmaking defender. His intelligence and understanding of the game has seen him come on in leaps and bounds this year.”
2023 Players' Player of the Year
Ali Musse of Cavalry FC has been named the 2023 Canadian Premier League Players’ Player of the Year, the league revealed on Thursday.
Voting for the award took place in early October and a total of 182 CPL players submitted their top three players, with five points awarded to their number one choice, three points for their second selection and one point for whomever they picked third.
Any player who played in the league in 2023 was eligible to vote and be included for consideration by the players. Players were not allowed to vote for anyone on their own team, and voting took place strictly based on how the players performed in the Canadian Premier League regular season.
In total, 43 players received votes during a process that saw players meet face-to-face with members of the Canadian Premier League office to give their choices. The results of the vote were revealed during Thursday evening’s 2023 CPL awards show in Hamilton.
The Players’ Player of the Year is awarded the Muskox, a sculpture carved by Inuit artist Ruben Komangapik. The Muskox represents leadership, organization and defence of its most vulnerable members.
Musse finished with 350 points and was named on 94 of 182 ballots (52 per cent), receiving 49 first-place votes. He was not eligible to be named on 24 of them submitted by players from his own club.
Musse received the most points (80) from Halifax Wanderers’ players, being named on 20 ballots with 12 first-place votes. York United players named him on 17 of their ballots and Valour FC on 15 ballots.
“In Ali Musse you’ve got one of the most exciting attacking players in this league, and he’s done that year in and year out,” Musse’s coach, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said recently. “[He’s] someone I’ve got to know. He’s different, there aren’t many players like him. … I think he’s just got that difference about him. And he’s exciting, people are excited about the way he plays.”
2023 Golden Glove - Goalkeeper of the Year
The Canadian Premier League revealed on Thursday that Forge FC’s Triston Henry has been awarded the Golden Glove as Goalkeeper of the Year for 2023.
Henry was named the recipient at the CPL’s Awards event in Hamilton ahead of this weekend’s Final, where he and his Forge teammates will take on Cavalry FC in a bid to be the first side to hoist the North Star Cup.
This is the second time Henry has taken home top goalkeeper honours, having last won the award in 2020. He was also nominated in 2021. This year, he was voted the league’s best keeper of the regular season by a selection of media members from across the country as well as representatives from CPL clubs’ technical leadership, beating fellow nominees Marco Carducci of Cavalry FC and Rayane Yesli of Valour FC.
In 2023, the 30-year-old Scarborough, Ont. native led the CPL with nine clean sheets, starting 27 regular season matches for a Forge side that conceded the joint second-fewest goals in the league (32).
Henry was the only shot-stopper in the league to be named Allstate Goalkeeper of the Month twice in 2023, earning the nod in both May and July — the latter being a particularly outstanding month for him, with just one goal conceded from four total matches.
Forge’s well-rounded keeper, who has become beloved by teammates and fans in Hamilton over his five seasons with the club so far, had a number of outstanding performances. He was named man of the match after Forge’s 1-0 win at Atlético Ottawa on May 27, when he made a club-record and career-high eight saves — a mark that’s tied for the fourth-most saves by a goalkeeper in one game in CPL history.
“He’s absolutely excellent,” Forge head coach Bobby Smyrniotis said about Henry after that game. “Throughout the years, and he’s played in big games, he’s been our rock in the goal. This is a guy who has played over 20 Concacaf games, he’s played the most important games in the CPL championships, in Canadian Championships, and he’s top notch.”
Smyrniotis would go on to add that a key part of Henry’s skillset is his ability to remain focused and make key saves, even in games where Forge don’t concede many shots — which is fairly often, considering Forge allowed the fewest shots on target in the league (93) in 2023.
“The important thing about a top goalkeeper is he’s a goalkeeper of the moment, because you’re going to need him in one or two moments in a game,” Smyrniotis said. “Sometimes that’s what we miss a little bit in looking at keepers. The defenders do a great job, but when we need him he’s there.”
2023 Defender of the Year
Cavalry FC’s Daan Klomp was revealed as the Canadian Premier League’s 2023 Defender of the Year on Thursday.
The 25-year-old Dutch defender played every minute of the 2023 season for regular season-winning Cavalry FC, who allowed the fewest goals in the league this campaign, just 27 goals in 28 matches.
Defensively, Klomp finished in the top five in the league in blocks with 17, possession won in the defensive third (87), aerial duel(51) and clearances (81) while winning an outstanding 78.95 per cent of his tackles.
“Klompy’s grown into the other side [of the game],” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr. earlier this season. “We’ve always known he’s a good passer, but he’s grown into a better defender, and I think as he matures you’ve seen the other side of him this season.”
The Canadian Premier League’s Defender of the Year award was one of two new awards introduced last season, with Forge FC’s Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson taking home the inaugural honour. It is awarded to the defender voted best at his position during the 2023 CPL regular season by media members.
Forge FC’s Manjrekar James and Halifax Wanderers’ Daniel Nimick, both of whom just completed their debut season in the league, were the other two nominees.
The Defender of the Year is awarded with the Walrus, a sculpture crafted by Inuit artist Ruben Komangapik. The Walrus is known as one of the ocean’s toughest creatures.
2023 Canadian U21 Player of the Year
On Thursday, the Canadian Premier League revealed that Valour FC’s Matteo de Brienne had been named as the league’s 2023 Best Canadian U-21 Player.
The award is given to the player voted best among U-21 Canadians by media members from across the country and representatives of CPL clubs’ technical leadership.
The 21-year-old from Ottawa, Ont. had an outstanding sophomore season in the league. Despite being hampered by injury in the middle portion of the campaign, De Brienne made 20 appearances, finishing second in the league in interceptions with 40, while adding three goals and three assists. He also won the possession 7.62 times per 90, which is the fourth most of any CPL player this season.
“He has grown every game, he has grown since last year a lot,” said Valour FC Head Coach Phil Dos Santos. “You see a young player that what you get in the games is what you get in training, it is the way that he is, it is his state of mind and he never cheats. When you are like that, even though you have deficiencies in your game, and you are not perfect, you will grow, you will progress and I think that’s what he does.”
A player with a flair for the dramatic, De Brienne has become known for scoring highlight reel goals, as he did in June of this year against York, and his trademark front flip celebration.
2023 Coach of the Year
The Canadian Premier League revealed on Thursday that Cavalry FC manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. has been named the league’s Coach of the Year for the 2023 season.
Wheeldon received the honour at the CPL Awards ceremony in Hamilton, Ont. ahead of this Saturday’s CPL Final between his Cavalry and Forge FC. The 44-year-old from Liverpool, England was voted the best head coach in the 2023 regular season by a selection of media from across the country and representatives from CPL clubs’ technical leadership.
The Cavalry boss beat fellow nominees Patrice Gheisar of Halifax Wanderers FC and Bobby Smyrniotis of Forge FC, winning the award for a second time after first taking it home in 2019. Wheeldon was also nominated for Coach of the Year in 2021, having been at the helm for the Calgary-based club in every year of its existence.
This season, Wheeldon steered Cavalry to the regular season title, as they finished 13 points clear of the rest of the league with 16 wins and 55 points, losing just five matches in the campaign en route to being the first club to lift the brand-new CPL Shield.
In 2023, Cavalry posted one of the most dominant regular seasons since their own 2019 campaign, leading the league in goals scored (46) and conceding the fewest (27). Impressively, they kept their resolve after going winless in a stretch of five consecutive draws to begin the year.
The Cavs ended their regular season in outstanding form, winning their last five matches and riding a nine-game unbeaten run (of which eight matches were victories).
“Tommy is a manager that is a leader first and foremost,” Cavalry captain Marco Carducci told CanPL.ca earlier this season. “That’s the type of leadership that I think defines this club. He’s a leader by example, he’s a big culture piece and he sets the standard. I think you see that on the sideline, you see that everywhere.”
2023 Golden Boot
During the Canadian Premier League’s 2023 award ceremony on Thursday, Atlético Ottawa’s Ollie Bassett and Cavalry FC’s Myer Bevan were officially recognized as this year’s Golden Boot award winners as the league’s joint-top goalscorers over the course of the campaign.
Bassett and Bevan both scored 11 goals this season en route to capturing the prize. Bevan caught Bassett on the final day of the season, scoring his 11th in Cavalry’s season finale against Pacific FC in a 3-0 victory for the 2023 regular season winners.
Bassett and Bevan join an illustrious list of CPL Golden Boot winners, including last year’s top scorer Alejandro Díaz, who scored 13 goals for Pacific FC in 2022. Prior winners include Forge FC’s Tristan Borges (2019), and Halifax Wanderers’ Akeem Garcia (2020) and João Morelli (2021).