CF Montréal today announced the loan of two Homegrown players to Canadian Premier League clubs for the 2021 season. Each move involves a ‘right to recall’ on the players.
Defenders Karifa Yao and Keesean Ferdinand will join Tommy Wheeldon’s Cavalry FC and Atlético Ottawa respectively.
“The idea behind these loans is to allow them to play minutes and earn experience,” said CF Montréal sporting director Olivier Renard. “These are two young players from our Academy in which we put a lot of trust in for the future. We hope they will grow and come back stronger with CF Montréal. James Pantemis’ loan last year is a good example.”
Yao signed his first professional contract on June 4, 2019, and played his first professional minutes on September 20, 2020, coming on as a substitute against the Philadelphia Union. He played two games, including one start, for a total of 127 minutes of play. He also sat unused on the bench in 22 MLS games and 2 in the CONCACAF Champions League. Yao joined the Academy in 2017 from amateur club Les Étoiles de l’Est.
Ferdinand signed his first professional contract on June 17, 2020. He joined the Club’s Pre-Academy at the age 10 from amateur club Panellinios and then played for the different teams in the Academy and represented Canada at the U17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, in 2019. Ferdinand first appeared in a match day squad in Florida for the CONCACAF Champions League 2nd leg game against Olimpia. He was an unused substitute.
These latest moves possibly suggest the CF Montreal u23 or reserve team may not see action in 2021, particularly in light of Covid restrictions. So possibly we might see other players going on similar loan-type deals. Alternatively, it could also mean that the club simply sees CanPL as the right grounding for Yao and Ferdinand at this point in their respective developments.