Pacific FC have signed U SPORT standout and League1 Ontario All-Star Lukas MacNaughton ahead of the inaugural Canadian Premier League (CPL) pre-season. The centre back heads to Vancouver Island as the second central defender to join the ranks.
The New York native arrives on the Island following a successful five year university career with the University of Toronto Blues. The domestic player has an intriguing story with a true mixture of cultures throughout his family and childhood.
Raised in Belgium to an Austrian mother and a Canadian father, MacNaughton developed his trade across the Atlantic Ocean. When finishing up high school MacNaughton decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, who despite being Canadian grew up in France but returned to Canada to attend Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
“I came back to Canada for school,” explained MacNaughton. “It was a decision where none of my friends were staying in Brussels because I went to an international school. They lived in Holland and the United States. I’m Canadian but have never really felt Canadian, so I was like why not Canada.”
A return to Canada for an education and to pursue athletics with the U of T Blues sparked an impressive U Sports career that spanned a full five years as a defender. MacNaughton found himself at home winning multiple accolades.
The defender was named to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) First Team four years straight, named twice to the U SPORT All-Canadian Second Team, and registered the most goals for the Blues during the 2016 varsity season with the Blues.
“CPL is something that everybody was talking about even a couple years ago,” explained MacNaughton. “Seeing it be real, it was a goal of mine to be there. I was looking at a couple teams…somebody I played with before knew assistant coach James Merriman and Vancouver Island turned out to be a really good fit.”
Since arriving back in Canada in 2013, MacNaughton has lived away from his family with the exception of his sister who also attends school in Toronto. His family still resides in Belgium, and has family in both France and Austria. Despite being so far away, the MacNaughton family is looking forward to seeing Lukas leading Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC from the back line.
“They’re excited,” said MacNaughton. “When I was in Toronto my sister also went to school in Toronto. So they’d come over every summer, they have a cottage in Montreal so we would see them there. Now obviously it’s a bit further, but I think they’ll come out to see some games.”
The 23-year-old could see himself partner with recent addition and fellow centre back Hendrik Starostzik. The partnership can already be seen with MacNaughton translating and communicating with Starostzik.
Along with Starostzik and Canadian international Marcel de Jong, Pacific FC’s back line is shaping up to be one of the strongest of the inaugural season of the CPL.
ABOUT PACIFIC FOOTBALL CLUB
Founded in 2018, Pacific Football Club brings professional football to Vancouver Island. Playing out of a renovated, 6000-seat Westhills Stadium in Langford, the club will provide an outlet for Canadian soccer players to compete at the professional level of the sport on home soil. Fans will be able to enjoy the thrilling, fast-paced sporting atmosphere associated with the sport when the Canadian Premier League season kicks off in April 2019.
For season ticket information: https://pacificfc.canpl.ca/pacific-football-club-ticketing
ABOUT THE CANADIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Canadian Premier League (CPL) is Canada’s professional men’s soccer league set to debut on April 27, 2019. Playing in world-class and unique venues, and partnering with strong community-led ownership groups, the CPL is a league for Canadians by Canadians that will bring professional soccer to communities coast-to-coast.
For updates and more information, please go to CanPL.ca.Connect with us on Twitter: @CPLsoccer and #CanPL