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Christian Zeppieri

CPL-U SPORTS Draft littered with L1ON talent

By League1 Ontario staff, 12/15/23, 7:30AM EST

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Seven former League1 Ontario players were selected in the latest Canadian Premier League college draft.

Christian Zeppieri

Christian Zeppieri in action for Vaughan Azzurri

The Canadian Premier League U SPORTS Draft saw seven former League1 Ontario players selected by the country’s top-flight professional clubs.

The draft began with Owen Sheppard being picked by Valour FC. He played 14 times for Guelph United in the 2022 season, scoring one goal in a 3-1 win against Burlington, as his side finished just outside the playoff spots. His past year included time with Calgary Foothills in the League1 Alberta Exhibition Series which took place in the summer.

Christian Zeppieri, a Men's Premier Division Midfielder of the Year Finalist and First XI starter, was then selected fourth overall by York United. He starred for Vaughan Azzurri at the York Lions Stadium in a victory against Woodbridge Strikers in May – one of 20 Vaughan games he featured in during 2023, racking up more than 1,500 Premier Division minutes.

Immediately after that, goalkeeper Daniel Clarke was chosen by former Vaughan coach Patrice Gheisar and his backroom team at Halifax Wanderers. The shot stopper played 10 times for Woodbridge Strikers this year, doubling the appearance tally he achieved at Scrosoppi in 2022.

Rush Canada prodigy Michael Maslanka, who scored seven goals in 13 games for their U21 side in the 2023 L1ON Men’s Reserve Division, was then selected by Pacific FC as the sixth overall pick. Then Cavalry selected Caden Rogozinski who played 11 times in Electric City’s debut L1ON season before fulfilling an integral role in Victoria Highlanders’ impressive 2023 season in League1 British Columbia.

Round Two kicked off with the pick of Men's Premier Division Defender of the Year Gianfranco Facchineri, who played more than 1,300 minutes in Windsor City’s backline. 

Max Bodurtha ran out for Electric City 14 times in the Men’s Premier Division in 2023, and was chosen by Halifax Wanderers as their second pick of the draft. 

More League1 Canada players were picked from across the three other competitions – League1 British Columbia, Ligue1 Québec, and League1 Alberta – in the national alliance. Please click here to find out who else was selected.