Christian Rossi, a rising soccer star who plays for Langley’s Trinity Western University (TWU) Spartans, has been drafted by York United FC of the Canadian Premier League.
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) January 21, 2022
Rossi, 19, a 5’11” 150 lb. forward from Surrey, was York’s fifth overall selection, and one of 16 university-level draft picks who will be invited to preseason training camps to try out for a 2022 U SPORTS developmental contract with their selecting teams for the upcoming season. Picks were announced Jan. 20.
During his first season with TWU, Rossi became the first Spartan men’s soccer player to win the Lou Bilek award as U SPORTS Rookie of the Year and was also named to the Canada West and U SPORTS All-Rookie teams.
A CPL online article described Rossi as “one of the most dynamic and exciting attackers in this draft; he’s got a penchant for beating defenders out wide and cutting in from the wing, with an ability to bury spectacular curling shots from distance.”
He started 10 of 12 matches for the Spartans, scoring a team-high five goals, four of which came on the road.
Rossi notched a pair of tallies in a 2-2 draw against the eventual Canada West champions from UBC. He followed that up by playing a part in the lead-up to all three goals in TWU’s 3-3 tie the next night against the same Thunderbirds side.
TWU coach Mike Shearon described Rossi as coming to TWU from Surrey United “with a ton of potential.”
“During the COVID break, he worked hard and really got after his game,” Shearon recalled.
“Without his dynamic ability, we probably wouldn’t have done anywhere near as well as we did this year. The underrated part of his game is the defensive side. He worked tirelessly there, covering tons of ground and tracking guys. He’s beginning to understand how defensive structure works, which is really unique for a young player.”
Rossi is the third TWU Spartan to be selected in the CPL draft, following Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman and Jake Ruby from North Vancouver.
Waterman and Ruby were both selected 14th overall in the 2018 and 2019 CPL-U SPORTS drafts respectively.
Waterman currently plays for the MLS club, CF Montreal, after spending a season with CPL side Cavalry FC.
The centre-back has made 35 appearances in the MLS while being selected to the Canadian national team for two World Cup Qualifiers.
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