Bustos, Bekker and Garcia finalists for CPL Player of the Year award
Canadian Premier League

The Canadian Premier League announced the finalists for its end-of-season awards on Friday, and not surprisingly, Forge FC and HFX Wanderers FC lead the way in nominations.

HFX forward Akeem Garcia, Forge captain Kyle Bekker and Pacific FC attacker Marco Bustos are the nominees for the Player of the Year award.

Garcia currently leads the CPL in scoring with six goals this season, while Bekker has a team-leading three goals. Both are key starters who played pivotal roles in helping their teams qualify for Saturday’s CPL Final (2:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer & CBC).

Bustos finished the season with five goals (currently second-best in the league) and leads the CPL in assists at the moment with three.

Bekker was also a finalist for the 2019 Player of the Year award that ultimately went to former Forge teammate Tristan Borges.

Forge’s Triston Henry, HFX’s Christian Oxner and Callum Irving of Pacific are up for the Golden Glove, which goes to the league’s top goalkeeper.

Henry leads the CPL in clean sheets with four, Irving has made the second-most saves of any goalkeeper in the league (22), while Oxner has two shutouts to his credit.

The U21 Canadian Player of the Year nominees are Mohamed Farsi of Cavalry FC, HFX’s Chrisnovic N’sa and Valour FC’s Julian Dunn, who was on loan from MLS side Toronto FC.

Farsi had one goal in ten appearances for Cavalry in his debut CPL season, while N’sa helped HFX book its place in the 2020 CPL Final. Dunn played all 630 minutes of Valour’s opening round, and distinguished himself with his solid and consistent play at the centre back position.

The Coach of the Year honour will be contested between Stephen Hart of HFX Wanderers, Bobby Smyrniotis of Forge, and Atlético Ottawa’s Mista.

Hart and Smyrniotis guided their teams to the 2020 CPL Finals, while Ottawa posted a respectable 2-2-3 record under Mista in its inaugural season in the league.

The awards take into account the players’ performance for the full 202o season from Aug. 13 to Sept. 19. The winners will be voted on by a judging panel comprised of reporters from across Canada.

The awards are unique pieces of Inuit art, carved by artists from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, a small hamlet just off Baffin Island.

The Golden Boot award, which goes to the league’s top scorer, will be determined at the conclusion of the 2020 CPL Final on Sept. 19. The other four award winners will be announced at the 2020 Canadian Premier League Awards Ceremony later this year.

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