York United FC

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York United FC
Full nameYork United Football Club
Nickname(s)The Nine Stripes
FoundedMay 5, 2018; 5 years ago (2018-05-05) (as York 9 Football Club)
StadiumYork Lions Stadium
Toronto, Ontario
Capacity4,000
OwnerGame Plan Sports Group
PresidentRicardo Pasquel
Head coachMartin Nash
LeagueCanadian Premier League
2023Canadian Premier League, 5th
WebsiteClub website
Current season

York United Football Club (formerly known as York9 FC) is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Toronto, Ontario.[1][2] The club competes in the Canadian Premier League and plays its home games at York University's York Lions Stadium.

History[edit]

York United players celebrate a goal by Álvaro Rivero against HFX Wanderers during a game in September 2021.

In December 2017, former Canadian international Jimmy Brennan stepped down as executive director of Aurora FC and announced his intentions to take a role within the Canadian Premier League.[3] In March 2018, it was revealed that Brennan had been named executive vice-president of York Sports & Entertainment back in January.[4] The following day, it was revealed that the company's president Preben Ganzhorn named himself as president of an unknown entity called York9 FC, believed to be a Canadian Premier League franchise.[5]

On May 5, 2018, York Region was one of four groups accepted by the Canadian Soccer Association for professional club membership.[6] Greenpark Group, headed by Carlo Baldassarra, was revealed as the owner of York9, with his son Mike as the chairman.[1][7][8] Both Brennan and Ganzhorn were pictured at the Annual Meeting of the Members when the group was announced.[9]

York9 FC was officially unveiled on May 10, 2018, as the first team to join the Canadian Premier League.[10] As well as confirming their place in the league for the 2019 launch season, the club also revealed their crest, colours and branding.[11] The club adopted the name York9 FC to represent the nine municipalities that make up York Region – Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.[12] On July 27, 2018, York9 announced executive vice president of soccer operations Jimmy Brennan as the club's first head coach.[13]

In August, York9 fielded a York Region Soccer Association Selects team to compete in the U17 International Soccer Cup held at York Lions Stadium. The team beat Juventus FC before losing to Toronto FC in the final.[14]

York9 era[edit]

The team has been called "Y9" and "The Nine Stripes" by the media and the league.[15][16][17] York9's first match was the inaugural CPL match at Forge FC on April 27, 2019,[18] launching the 905 Derby with a 1–1 draw, as Ryan Telfer scored the first goal in Canadian Premier League history.[19]

To determine the Canadian Soccer Association's representative in the CONCACAF Champions League, York9 played in the 2019 Canadian Championship competing for the Voyageurs Cup. The team lost the quarterfinal to Montreal Impact after a 2–2 draw at home and a 1–0 loss at Montreal.[20]

In early 2020 the team announced the departure of Preben Ganzhorn from the club.[21] He was replaced by Angus McNab, initially as a management consultant and later as the team's President, GM, and CEO.[22][23]

York9 was expected to begin their second season in the Canadian Premier League in April 2020 but the season was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.[24] During the postponement, the club sold young midfielder Emilio Estevez to Dutch Eredivisie side ADO Den Haag, the first CPL player to be sold to a European top flight.[25]

York United era[edit]

On December 11, 2020, the club was rebranded as York United FC, adopting a new crest and colour scheme along with the name change. While the original club name exclusively targeted York Region, the new branding also represents the City of Toronto.[26] In their first season as York United FC, the club finished 4th in the 2021 Canadian Premier League season. They were eliminated from the playoffs after a 3–1 loss to Forge FC. Following the season, head coach Jim Brennan's tenure at the club ended after it was announced November 23, 2021, that his contract would not be extended.[27] He was replaced by Martin Nash on December 21, 2021.[28]

During the 2023 season, it was announced that the club was sold from the Baldassarra family to the Canadian Soccer Business with plans to transfer the club to new ownership.[29] Angus McNab stepped down from his role as president, CEO, and general manager following the season on November 3, 2023.[30] On November 30, 2023, the Canadian Premier League announced that Mexican-based Game Plan Sports Group had purchased York United with immediate effect.[31][32] The ownership group is led by brothers Eduardo, Ricardo and Miguel Pasquel, who each took roles in the day-to-day operations of the club, respectively, as chief executive officer, president and general manager, and chief commercial officer.[31][32][33]

Stadium[edit]

York Lions Stadium is a stadium at York University Heights used by York for home matches.

York plays its home matches at York Lions Stadium in York University's Keele Campus in York University Heights, a neighbourhood of North York, Toronto.[34] Initially, the club had planned to use Alumni Field, on the same campus, while York Lions Stadium was being renovated for use at the end of the season.[35] Before the start of the 2021 season, the stadium was renovated with a larger, artificial turf pitch and the removal of the athletic track which surrounded the playing surface.[36]

In 2018, the club announced plans to build a modular, wooden, 15,000-seat stadium within the next three years.[37] As of August 2021, financing and location of the new stadium was yet to be determined.[38]

In March 2022, Woodbine Racetrack announced plans to add an 8,000 seat soccer-specific stadium and adjoining training facilities in the northeast corner of their property in Rexdale, Etobicoke; this would be the presumed new home of York United and possibly house a future professional women's soccer club.[39]

Crest and colours[edit]

The club's namesake and crest pays homage to The Queen's York Rangers, as well as Toronto and York Region's predecessors, York, Upper Canada and York County. The crest's shape is derived from that of The Queen's York Rangers, a Canadian Army regiment based in Toronto and York Region. A blue element on top of the shield symbolizes Lake Ontario, a body of water that rivers in York Region and Toronto flow into. The shield features a YU monogram and nine vertical stripes, a nod to the club's nickname "The Nine Stripes". A crown at the top of the shield represents Canada's monarchical history. A trillium and a maple leaf are incorporated into the crown's design, with the former representing Ontario.[40]

Although the club does insinuate the crest used as inspiration is of the original Town of York, that then became the City of Toronto, the club's colours of dark green, dark blue, white, and gold, are taken from the coat of arms of the City of York, a former city that was later amalgamated into the new City of Toronto in 1998. Unlike the majority of clubs in the CPL, York typically uses home kits that are primarily white.[41]

Former crest and colours[edit]

The inaugural "York9 FC" logo used during the club's first two seasons

The club used its original branding while it was known as York9 FC, between 2018 and 2020. The main feature of the crest's design was nine beams at the top of the crest, one for each municipality in York Region. The upward angle of the bars is a nod to the region's motto "Ontario's Rising Star". A white trillium at the base of the crest recognized Ontario, the province's floral emblem since 1937.[42]

The official club colours were light green, grey, and black (branded by the club as "electric green", "charcoal grey", and "black on black"). These colours symbolized the region's nature (in tandem with the club's environmental focus) and Black Creek.[11][42]

Club culture[edit]

Much more so than other CPL teams, York is a club which relies heavily on data and analytics to make decisions.[43]

Supporters[edit]

A supporters' group called Generation IX was present at the club's launch event.[44][45] Prior to the team's second season in 2020, two new supporters' groups formed: a student supporters' group based out of York University called The Green Lions and a female-led supporters' group called Dames of York.[46][47]

Three new supporters' groups, Centre of the Universe, The Northern Corridor, and Eastenders 416, were formed in 2021.[48][49][50]

Rivalries[edit]

York United has a geographic rivalry with Forge FC in nearby Hamilton. As both towns use the 905 area code, it was used to name the derby between the league's closest teams. On January 29, 2019, the Canadian Premier League announced that the inaugural match of the league was going to be a 905 Derby on April 27, 2019, in Hamilton.[18] The match ended in a 1–1 draw.[19]

Players and staff[edit]

Roster[edit]

As of April 21, 2024[51]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK France FRA Thomas Vincensini
4 DF Mexico MEX Oswaldo León
5 DF Canada CAN Frank Sturing
6 DF Mexico MEX Orlando Botello (on loan from Monterrey)
7 DF Canada CAN Juan Córdova
8 MF England ENG Elijah Adekugbe
9 FW Canada CAN Brian Wright
10 FW Syria SYR Molham Babouli
11 MF Liechtenstein LIE Dennis Salanović
12 MF Canada CAN Clément Bayiha
14 FW Canada CAN Theo Afework
15 MF Mexico MEX Josué Martínez (on loan from Monterrey)
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 MF Canada CAN Max Ferrari
17 MF Ukraine UKR Markiyan Voytsekhovskyy
18 GK Canada CAN Eleias Himaras
21 MF Canada CAN Christian Zeppieri
22 FW Canada CAN Austin Ricci
23 DF Canada CAN Noah Abatneh
30 MF Canada CAN Kadin Martin-Pereux
32 DF Liberia LBR Brem Soumaoro
33 MF Philippines PHI Matthew Baldisimo
37 MF Canada CAN Trivine Esprit
62 DF Canada CAN Nyal Higgins

Staff[edit]

As of April 12, 2024[52][53]
Executive
Chief executive officer Eduardo Pasquel
President and general manager Ricardo Pasquel
Chief commercial officer Miguel Pasquel
Vice president, ticketing and hospitality Brittany Arner
Vice president, content and communication strategy Eoin O’Callaghan
Technical and sporting director Jorge Villalpando
Technical and coaching staff
Head coach Martin Nash
Assistant coach Mauro Eustáquio
Assistant coach and goalkeeping coach Camilo Benzi
Director of football operations Derek O’Rourke

Head coaches[edit]

As of April 21, 2024
Coach Nation Tenure Record
G W D L Win %
Jimmy Brennan  Canada July 27, 2018 – November 23, 2021 72 22 25 25 030.56
Martin Nash  Canada December 21, 2021 – present 63 21 15 27 033.33

Statistics include regular season and Canadian Championship matches.


Club captains[edit]

Years Name Nation
2019–2020 Manny Aparicio[54][55]  Canada
2021–2023 Roger Thompson[56]  Canada

Records[edit]

Year-by-year[edit]

Season League Playoffs CC Continental / other Average
attendance[a]
Top goalscorer(s)[b]
Div League Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts PPG Pos. Name Goals
2019[c] 1 CPL 28 9 7 12 39 37 +2 34 1.21 3rd DNQ R3 Ineligible 2,668 Chile Rodrigo Gattas 11
2020[d] 7 2 4 1 8 7 +1 10 1.43 5th DNQ DNQ N/A Canada Joseph Di Chiara 3
2021 28 8 12 8 35 39 -4 36 1.29 4th SF QF 1,118 Three-Way Tie 6
2022 28 9 7 12 31 37 -6 34 1.21 6th DNQ SF 1,234 United States Osaze De Rosario 13
2023 28 11 5 12 35 44 -9 38 1.36 5th Play-in QF 1,242 Syria Molham Babouli 7
2024 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0 0.00 7th TBD TBD 2,654 Canada Austin Ricci 1
  1. ^ Average attendance include statistics from league matches only
  2. ^ Top goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in league season, league playoffs, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF League, and other competitive continental matches
  3. ^ Split season format was used with 10 games in spring season and 18 games in fall season
  4. ^ Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the season was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, as a two stage round-robin season with a single match final[57]

All-time top scorers[edit]

As of April 21, 2024[58][59]
# Name Nation Career at club Goals scored
CPL Cup Int'l Total
1 Osaze De Rosario  United States 2022–2023 18 1 0 19
2 Molham Babouli  Syria 2022– 11 1 0 12
3 Rodrigo Gattas  Chile 2019 9 2 0 11
4 Ryan Telfer  Trinidad and Tobago 2019–2020 8 2 0 10
5 Simon Adjei  Sweden 2019 7 1 0 8
Diyaeddine Abzi  Canada 2019–2021 7 1 0 8
7 Álvaro Rivero  Spain 2020–2021 7 0 0 7
Lowell Wright  Canada 2020–2022 7 0 0 7
9 Kevin dos Santos  Portugal 2022–2023 6 0 0 6
Jordan Wilson  Canada 2021–2022 5 1 0 6

Note: Bold indicates active player

All-time top assists[edit]

As of April 21, 2024[58][59]
# Name Nation Career at club Assists
CPL Cup Int'l Total
1 Diyaeddine Abzi  Canada 2019–2021 8 1 0 9
2 Michael Petrasso  Canada 2020–2023 5 2 0 7
Kyle Porter  Canada 2019–2020 5 2 0 7
4 Osaze De Rosario  United States 2022–2023 5 0 0 5
Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé  Canada 2023 5 0 0 5
Isaiah Johnston  Canada 2020–2022 5 0 0 5
Noah Verhoeven  Canada 2019 5 0 0 5
Lowell Wright  Canada 2020–2022 3 2 0 5
9 Morey Doner  Canada 2019–2020 4 0 0 4
Max Ferrari  Canada 2020– 4 0 0 4
Molham Babouli  Syria 2022– 4 0 0 4

Note: Bold indicates active player

All-time most appearances[edit]

As of April 21, 2024[58][59]
# Name Nation Career at club Games played
CPL Cup Int'l Total
1 Max Ferrari  Canada 2020– 77 5 0 82
2 Diyaeddine Abzi  Canada 2019–2022 65 11 0 76
3 Nathan Ingham  Canada 2019–2021 54 8 0 62
4 Roger Thompson  Canada 2019–2023 56 4 0 60
5 Chrisnovic N'sa  Canada 2021–2022 54 5 0 59
6 Dominick Zator  Canada 2021–2022 53 5 0 58
7 Osaze De Rosario  United States 2022–2023 52 5 0 57
Jordan Wilson  Canada 2021–2022 52 5 0 57
9 Noah Verhoeven  Canada 2021–2022 51 5 0 56
10 Niko Giantsopoulos  Canada 2021–2023 50 5 0 55

Note: Bold indicates active player

Single-season records[edit]

As of October 12, 2023[58][59]
Record Name Statistic Season
Goals (all competitions) Osaze De Rosario 13 2022
Goals (league matches) Osaze De Rosario 12 2022
Assists (all competitions) Michael Petrasso 7 2021
Assists (league matches) Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé
Michael Petrasso
5 2023
2021
Clean sheets (all competitions) Nathan Ingham 8 2019
Clean sheets (league matches) Niko Giantsopoulos
Nathan Ingham
6 2022
2019

Note: Bold indicates active player

Awards[edit]

Canadian Premier League Awards[edit]

Year Name Award Status
2019[60] Nathan Ingham Golden Glove Nominated
Diyaeddine Abzi Under 21 Canadian Player of the Year Nominated
Jimmy Brennan Coach of the Year Nominated
2021[60] Max Ferrari Under 21 Canadian Player of the Year Nominated
2022[60] Dominick Zator Defender of the Year Nominated
Molham Babouli Player's Player of the Year Nominated
Osaze De Rosario Under 21 Canadian Player of the Year Nominated

York United FC Fan Voted Awards[edit]

Year Name Award
2019[61] Morey Doner Fan Voted Player of the Year
2020 Not awarded due to shortened season
2021[62] Diyaeddine Abzi Supporters Choice Player of the Year
Max Ferrari Supporters Choice U21 Player of the Year
2022[63] Niko Giantsopoulos Supporters Choice Player of the Year
Osaze De Rosario Supporters Choice U21 Player of the Year
2023[64] Brem Soumaoro Supporters Choice Player of the Year

References[edit]

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  62. ^ Centre Of The Universe Supporters Group [@COTU_SG] (November 21, 2021). "Last night, along with @NrthCorridorUtd, we had the opportunity to announce and present the Supporters Choice Player of the Year and U21 Player of the Year award scarves. And the winners were @Abzi__20 and @maxthegod20. 💚💙 #UnitedByYou | #YorkUnitedFC https://t.co/z5iPopmbV4" (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 21, 2021. Retrieved March 19, 2022 – via Twitter.
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  64. ^ "Instagram". www.instagram.com. Retrieved October 2, 2023.

External links[edit]