The MLS Next Pro is a league that creates a great pathway for CPL players to make the jump to the MLS. Some MLS sides may be hesitant to bring a player from the CPL with it being a fresh league that is growing season by season, leaving the talent level in the league a bit unknown. This league gives MLS clubs an option to bring in CPL stars without fully committing.
Last season, many people were surprised to learn that Mohamed Farsi would leave Cavalry FC for Columbus Crew 2. Farsi felt this was the best path for him to play at a higher level and that paid off, after only 11 appearances for the MLS farm team, the 22-year-old got his break and subbed on for Columbus against Charlotte FC. Even though it was only one minute of game time, his hard work has been getting him noticed. With his recent success, I have decided to make a list of 10 players that can make that move in the future.
The players on this list must be owned by a CPL club. The MLS Next Pro is quite close to the CPL when it comes to skill level, so there are a lot of players I feel that can make this jump. This means there are a lot of players I left off. I chose the 10 that I feel have the best arguments for them to make the move.
10. Lowell Wright (York United FC)
At only 18 years old, Lowell Wright is already in the middle of his third pro season. Having time with Canada U20, the potential of the young striker is known league-wide. Having 42 appearances and seven goals for York, an MLS team may want to see what the youngster can offer before bringing Wright to the main squad.
9. Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)
One of the older players on this list, Marco Carducci is seen as one of the best goalies in the CPL. Being 25 years old, this may not be a path the Canadian keeper is interested in, but it is an option. Carducci had been part of the Vancouver Whitecaps system in his younger years, where it, unfortunately, didn’t plan out. Carducci sits second among all goalies in the CPL in clean sheets and is making a good argument for goalie of the year. A move to the MLS Next Pro could give Carducci a new look for other MLS teams and make his way through a system with the experience he now holds.
8. Moses Dyer (Valour FC)
Coming over from New Zealand three years ago, Moses Dyer has become one of Valour’s most reliable players. Like Carducci, the 25-year-old’s window may be closing in on him. Being impactful in every league he’s appeared in, Dyer could bring a lot of experience to a young MLS Next Pro side. With success in the league, we could see an MLS side give him a shot to impress at a higher level. One thing that may go against him is being from New Zealand, Dyer would be taking up a valuable international spot while having to prove himself.
7. Ollie Bassett (Atletico Ottawa)
Ollie Basset has started the 2022 season in excellent form. Being in the conversation for best player of the season Bassett can find many eyes on him for next season. If the MLS Next pro is in his future, it will likely be after the 2023 season due to being under contract for two years in Ottawa. As a free agent, an MLS team may swipe him right up to see if they can develop the now 24-year-old to a higher level. The Northern Island International could very well be on his way to Europe as well with his solid performance to start the 2022 season.
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6. Daan Klomp (Cavalry FC)
Being a key member of Cavalry’s backline, Daan Klomp is a player I think would come to little surprise to see him move on to an MLS Next Pro side. The 23-year-old centre-back has plenty of experience to contribute to a young MLS Next pro club, and with regular minutes can find himself on an MLS side in no time.
5. Samuel Salter (Halifax Wanderers FC)
Playing in just his second pro season, Samuel Salter is impressing the CPL with four goals in 11 games. Leading the Wanderers on goals, the 21-year-old has stepped up with recent golden boot winner João Morelli being out for the season. Salter has been a threat around the box all season in the CPL. With his contract expiring at the end of the season Salter can find himself in an MLS Next Pro club if the MLS is a future he wants to consider.
4. Myer Bevan (Cavalry FC)
Being the third Cavalry player on this list and the second player from New Zealand, Myer Bevan has had a big impact in his first season in the CPL. Being part of Cavalry’s deep roster has two goals in seven matches, as well as three goals in two games in the Canadian Championship, including one goal coming against MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps. Once again though, age may be working against him, being 25 and still having another year on his contract, Bevan may have to look at other options if looking to move up into a higher league.
3. Tobias Warschewski (FC Edmonton)
With the very young roster on FC Edmonton, there is a bunch of players that can eventually make their way on to the MLS Next Pro or even the MLS, but with all those players playing in their first or second professional season a lot of them still need more time to show what they truly have. Tobias Warschewski on the other hand is one of the most experienced players on the squad, and has been one of their only positives in the struggling season. Being 24 years old, Warschewski brings a big body that can work anywhere on the field, not just inside the box. Tobias’s future may be with higher clubs in the CPL but an MLS Next Pro team is not too far of a stretch for him.
2. Alejandro Díaz (Pacific FC)
With being one of the most consistent strikers in the CPL, Alejandro Diaz makes this list as maybe the most controversial player. Being 26 years old and from Mexico, that may be a hard sell on an MLS side. Giving him a chance in the MLS Next Pro may be the approach to take, however. Little can deny the talent and consistency he brings to the pitch and he may fit into a young bench extremely well. Bringing experience to a young squad can demonstrate great leadership and hard work from the Mexican. Though if he is to leave the CPL, a move back into Mexico or Costa Rica may be more likely, we could still see an MLS club take the gamble on Diaz.
1. Terran Campbell (Forge FC)
From Burnaby Ontario, the 23-year-old striker leads all-time CPL goals scored with 25, tied with former CPL player Easton Ongaro. This past offseason Campbell made a big splash by moving to Forge FC from Pacific FC after winning the Northern shield in just his second season in the league. Campbell has experience in the American system, playing four seasons in the USL with Fresno. Campbell’s early success in the CPL may get the eyes of MLS scouts and find his way onto a Next Pro team very quickly if he continues his success in the league.
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