The Canadian Premier League is just a few weeks away from kicking off. The Mastermind Site kicked off its 2019 #CANPL Team Guides with Halifax Wanderers FC and then Forge FC and now it is time to check out Jim Brennan’s latest project, York 9. Like HFX and Forge, York 9 are an entirely new club formed for the specific purpose of competing in the Canadian Premier League. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for Jim Brennan’s York 9.
Towards the tail-end of 2017, former Canadian international Jim Brennan stepped down from his position as executive director of Aurora FC and just a few months later it was announced that Brennan would take on an unknown franchise in York. Many believed that the club, led by president Preben Ganzhorn, would be a future CPL franchise and their wishes came true on May 10, 2018, when it was announced that York 9 would be the first team to join the Canadian Premier League.
The ‘9’ in the club’s name represents the nine municipalities that make up the York Region near Toronto – Aurora, East Gwillimbury, King, Georgina, Newmarket, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stoufville. Two months after unveiling the club, Jim Brennan was announced as the club’s head coach and vice president.
The club will wear green, white, black and grey, and will play their home games at York Lions Stadium located in York University’s campus. This stadium might only be their temporary home field for the season, as the club plans to a build a 15,000 seat stadium within the next three years. Swedish striker Simon Adjei was announced as the club’s first signing, before a number of players came through the door over the course of the next few weeks and months.
Here is the official roster for Jim Brennan’s York 9, with links to their twitter profiles to keep the conversation going all season long and continue to raise awareness on Canada’s first ever top flight league. Player additions will be added as they come in!
|1||Goalkeeper||Matt Silva||@MattSilvs |
|2||Defender||Daniel Gogarty||@gogsinnit |
|3||Defender||Morey Doner||@moreydoner3 |
|5||Defender||Justin Springer||@j_springs11 |
|7||Forward||Austin Ricci||@AustinRicci10 |
|8||Midfielder||Joseph Di Chiara||@canada0110|
|11||Midfielder||Emilio Estevez||@emilioestevez8 |
|12||Forward||Simon Adjei||@simonkadjei |
|13||Defender||Luca Gasparotto||@lucagasparotto3 |
|18||Midfielder||Ryan Telfer (on loan from Toronto FC)|
|19||Midfielder||Kyle Porter||@KylePorter19 |
|29||Goalkeeper||Nathan Ingham||@nateybird1 |
|77||Defender||Steven Furlano||@furlano_steven |
|Vice president||Jimmy Brennan||@JimmyBrennan11|
|Head coach||Jimmy Brennan||@JimmyBrennan11|
|Assistant coach||Carmine Isacco||@CarmineIsacco|
|First team coach||Sergio De Luca|
|Equipment manager||Luca Forno|
|Team manager||Ryan Brennan|
MANAGER: JIMMY BRENNAN
Jim Brennan was Toronto FC’s first ever captain, a role he maintained for three years until he retired from football in 2010. The former TFC and Nottingham Forest man is probably the manager with the most playing experience, which may give him a unique advantage heading into this opening CPL season. Having played 49 games for his national team and 93 games for Toronto FC, Brennan knows what it takes to play at the very top level in this country and should be able to bring that into his coaching this season. On the flip end of things, the 41-year old former defender is probably the least experienced when it comes to coaching at the top level. He managed TFC’s Youth Academy for a year and had a role as an assistant coach with the Reds, which should have presented Brennan with a few unique experiences. Following that he took on a technical director/head coaching role for Aurora FC in 2015. He then remained at the helm of Aurora for three years before accepting his position as York 9 manager. The former TFC man’s experiences in coaching may go back 9 years, but they aren’t as diverse or complex as some of the other coaches in this league. Nonetheless, Jimmy Brennan is keeping an open mind and many believe that heading into this opening season that he has built something special in York. Only time will tell to see how he fares and if he has what it takes to manage a team at the highest level.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
Jim Brennan was part of the 4-4-2 era of football and might be tempted to deploy something similar in his first ever season at York 9. Ryan Telfer and Kyle Porter aren’t really central midfielders, but the question will become about how Brennan will get Aparicio, di Chiara and the two former MLS men all in the same lineup. With Aparicio being a bit more attack-minded and Di Chiara being more of a pivot, a 4-4-2 diamond may be the answer. At the back, Brennan has several solid options at centre back but right-back looks a lot less crystal clear. As a result, York University central defender Daniel Gogarty may be deployed on the right as Roger Thompson occupies the left. Up front Jim Brennan could decide to go either with a front two and deploy Porter and Telfer deeper in midfield, or could play Michael Cox alone up front with Telfer and Porter a bit more advanced. With being the club’s first ever signing, Simon Adjei can be expected to play a big role this season, regardless of whether he’s a regular starter or not. Jim Brennan definitely has options heading into the opening match on April 27th, and he’ll look to sort out which options are the best within the next week.
KEY PLAYER: LUCA GASPOROTTO
Although Ryan Telfer and Kyle Porter would also have been solid picks for York’s key player, Luca Gasporotto brings a lot of experience, poise and composure to this York 9 back-line. The North York native has so much experience playing in Scotland from his time at Rangers FC, Falkirk and most recently Greenock Morton FC in the Scottish championship. The central defender also has several games under his belt for Canada’s youth teams, and earned one call-up (although he didn’t play) for the men’s team in a World Cup qualifier against Belize back in 2015. York 9 don’t look entirely settled at the back and Gasporotto will undoubtedly be a key man in bringing stability to Jim Brennan’s side throughout the course of the season.
PREDICTED FINISH: 6TH
York 9 have had a bumpy road in pre-season matches, but there is still so much optimism surrounding this newly formed team. They fared well in a U-17 tournament beating Juventus and only losing to TFC’s Youth Academy in the final. But U-17 isn’t really representative of the club. They then had a difficult March & April, losing matches to some of their CPL rivals.
Beyond that, the club looks to be lacking in a few key areas. Matt Silva could prove to be a good goalkeeper, but the highest level he’s played is in Swedish Divison 2. Their midfield looks to have a strong base, but the question of how to get the best out of Telfer and Porter while fitting Aparicio and di Chiara into the squad still looms large. Meanwhile Michael Cox and Simon Adjei don’t have the most stellar goal-scoring record between the two of them, but look like York’s likeliest goal scorers so far. One final knock against them is Brennan’s relative inexperience as a coach at the top level. They have a good squad and it’s so hard to call at this early stage, but York 9 might just struggle in their first ever CPL season.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for York 9. What are your thoughts on Jim Brennan’s work on this York-based team so far? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Also be sure to check out the other team guides that have been posted so far below.
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @mastermindsite. See you soon!