Ottawa Athletic’s Ollie Bassett and Baloo Tabla and Forge FC’s Alexander Ahinioti-Johnson, Kyle Becker and Wubens Pacius, whose teams meet Sunday in the Canadian Premier League championship game, are among the 10 finalists for the inaugural CPL Player of the Year award .
It is the first league award to be decided by player vote.
Others on the shortlist are Pacific FC’s Manni Aparicio and Alejandro Diaz, Cavalry FC’s Ali Muse, Valor FC’s Sean Rea and York United FC’s Mo Babuli.
The award is given to the best player in the 2022 regular season, as judged by his peers. Each player was asked to submit a shortlist of three players to determine the winner. Players could not vote for themselves or include a teammate in their ballot.
The winner will be announced Friday at the CPL awards ceremony in Ottawa, where Atlético Ottawa hosts the Forge at TD Place on Sunday.
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Ahinioti-Jonsson, Aparicio, Bassett, Rea and Tabla are also in the running for the Canadian Premier League Player of the Year, which is decided by a media vote.
Achinioti-Jonsson, a defensive midfielder who moved back to centre-back this season to fill an injury void, is also a finalist for defender of the year.
Pacius and Rea are finalists for Canada’s under-21 player of the year.
Diaz won the Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer with 13 goals in 18 matches despite moving to Norway’s Sogndal in early August.
Becker, the Forge captain, will miss the league game after being sent off in Sunday’s semi-final win over visiting Konjica.
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