The Canadian Premier League is built on the promise of building the future of soccer in Canada. THE NEXT GEN celebrates this promise by showcasing and honouring the best young Canadian soccer talent from coast to coast in the Canadian Premier League.
Welcome the NEXT GEN CLASS OF 2020, an eight-part video series celebrating the best young Canadian talent on display during the Canadian Premier League 2020 season. These incredible young players’ performances demonstrated their talent and grit at the Island Games in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and are proof that professional soccer is now attainable in Canada.
Sean Young made his professional debut at The Island Games, but it sure didn’t look like that.
Young, 19, made history as Pacific FC’s first Victoria-area signing this summer and went to enjoy a breakout showing at The Island Games, earning a starting gig in the heart of midfield and an honour in the Canadian Premier League’s Next Gen series.
Young is not technically the first Vancouver Islander to sign for Pacific — that title belongs to Comox native Nolan Wirth, However, Young putting pen to paper with the Tridents was a symbolic moment for both club and community.
“Once the (CPL) club announced that it was gonna play on the Island, I think a lot of young players set their sights on the club,” Young told CanPL.ca.
“It’s amazing to play for your hometown team and have a professional team here. I think a lot of players kind of thought, ‘Oh, I can play professional soccer in my hometown instead of going to Europe or abroad.'”
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Young describes himself as a box-to-box midfielder with a knack for getting on the ball and distributing forward. Standing six-feet-two, he’s also hoping to continue using his size to knock opponents off the ball at the professional level.
Coach Pa-Modou Kah is the first to admit Young was never meant to fill a bench spot at PFC. Young made his debut coming off the bench against York in their second first-stage match in PEI and quickly came into his own, despite his age and lack of professional experience.
He went on to make three starts in the second stage, competing for spots in a PFC midfield that featured veterans such as Matthew Baldisimo, Jamar Dixon, and Josh Heard.
“It’s unbelievable,” Young said of being offered a spot on the Pacific first team. “Something I’ve dreamed of, and in the moment you’re kind of like — you kind of can’t believe it, and then later that day I was thinking about it, like, wow, I really got to this point and this is the beginning of my pro career. So yeah, it’s unbelievable.”