A.S. Blainville defender Mohamed Farsi tries to control the ball against York9 FC during the first round of the 2019 Canadian Championship. (Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports for CPL)
Cavalry FC newcomer Mohamed Farsi latest PLSQ grad to jump to the CPL
Having flown under the radar thus far in Canadian soccer circles, speedy fullback Mohamed Farsi could soon turn out to be the CPL’s worst-kept secret.
Just the third CPLer to arrive from Première Ligue de soccer du Québec (PLSQ), the young fullback signed with Cavalry FC earlier this month after a season spent with three-time Quebec’s top-flight winners AS Blainville – and as one of Quebec’s top-ranked prospects since making his first PLSQ appearance at age 17.
Farsi, now 20, is following a trail blazed by Diyaeddine Abzi, whose breakthrough first pro season in 2019 as the CPL’s only PLSQ grad earned him a two-year contract extension with York9 FC this week.
Also, Atlético Ottawa signee Michel Djaozandry last represented Montreal Impact Academy across three seasons in the PLSQ.
“When I see the PLSQ, I see a lot of players who can make the jump to this league,” Farsi told CanPL.ca. “I hope there will be more. We have a lot of good players there and they don’t have a direct link to the CPL.”
It’s only fitting Farsi earned his breakthrough into the CPL the same way Abzi did, via the Canadian Championship first round. Lining up opposite to Abzi – who powered that same Blainville side to the second round in 2018 – Farsi impressed against an early-season Y9 outfit, creating chances and impressing with solid footwork en route to a slim 1-0 two-legged defeat in 2019’s expanded tournament.
“That was Abzi’s first season at a left fullback – people didn’t know that,” Farsi said, adding he’d been playing with his fellow Montreal native for years, particularly with the Canadian national futsal squad.
“We deserved to win one of the games. We had a good squad. Our first game our second striker [future York9 CPL-U SPORTS Draft pick] Stefan Karajovanovic was injured and he played only a few minutes in the second game.
“We defended really well. Did well on the ball. York only had one or two chances.”
Farsi was on trial with Cavalry for two weeks in March and signed a deal with the club before flying home to Montreal for self-isolation. Farsi will count towards Cavalry’s under-21 contingent, which contains Elliot Simmons and Jose Hernandez, and Toronto FC loanee Robert Boskovic.
Whether more talent from Quebec’s top league makes their way onto CPL rosters in 2020 remains to be seen.
Still, Farsi is quick to offer a few names who could make the jump, including 22-year-old Pierre Lamothe, a third-year University of Montreal midfielder and an ex-FC Montreal pro who was shortlisted by CPL coaches during the 2019 CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
“Lamothe can play for any team in CPL,” Farsi offered.
Then there’s veteran striker Pierre Rudolph Mayard, who has maintained a goal-a-game rate with Blainville since departing the Ottawa Fury in 2014.
“The CPL just doesn’t know those guys are out here,” Farsi admitted.
“Maybe when there’s a CPL team in Quebec we’ll start to see more players.”