Four League1 Ontario Men’s Premier Division players heard their name called Thursday in the 2022 CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
Unionville-Milliken SC midfielder Christopher Campoli led the way after being drafted third overall by HFX Wanderers FC. The Ontario Tech Ridgeback was just the tip of the iceberg, though, as more L1Oers followed suit.
Read more about Thursday’s L1O selections below. Click here for a rundown of all 16 draft picks.
All 16 picks from Thursday's CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
Chris Campoli, last with Unionville-Milliken SC, was drafted for a second time in two years Thursday – this time heading east to HFX Wanderers FC.
It’s an interesting fit for Campoli, 21, who led a midtable East Division Unionville side with five goals in 315 minutes played as an attacking midfielder. The Ontario Tech Ridgeback is coming off a solid season in OUA, too, scoring three goals and adding two assists – enough to earn an OUA first team all-star nod.
Campoli, who heard his name called by York United at last year’s draft, could see a change of fortunes at CPL level with the Wanderers – a club that has developed by far the most university players from the four-year draft than any other CPL team.
Left fullback Colin Gander was also snatched up by the Wanderers as a member of the League1 Ontario defending champions Guelph United is set to move east.
The talented left fullback made four appearances for United over the Summer, scoring once, before moving on to lead the Gryphons to an OUA title this Fall. Gander also suited up for TFC III when they featured in L1O in 2017 and 2018
The third year, like Campoli, has a chance to develop with former Canadian men’s national team gaffer Stephen Hart – who has brought the likes of Peter Schaale, Cory Bent, Christian Oxner, and Jake Ruby through the Draft to become household names in Nova Scotia.
Sigma FC standout Soji Olatoye won’t have to go far to get his pro chance. The York University winger is set to earn a spot on York United’s squad... at York Lions Stadium.
Olatoye, 22, made five appearances for Sigma in last year’s condensed L1O season before joining up with the Lions where he finished third in team scoring with five goals and four assists – including a goal and two assists in a three-match playoff run.
The Sigma stalwart has been with the side for several years and, after trialing with former Sigma coach Bobby Smyrniotis at Forge FC last season, seems destined to make the jump to CPL sooner rather than later.
Moving down to Hamilton with another Sigma standout… First-year midfielder Mohamed Alshakman of McMaster University became the first player from the school selected in the draft.
Alshakman played eight matches for the Marauders following a decent run with Sigma in the summer; six appearances, one goal, and 379 minutes played. The 2021 OUA Central Rookie of the Year is a local product, too, hailing from Hamilton and set to compete for a spot with the Concacaf Champions League-bound side in the coming weeks.