Canadian Premier League champion Pacific FC has lost two key players to rival Forge FC.
The Vancouver Island team said Terran Campbell, the club's all-time leading scorer, and Alessandro Hojabrpour, named the league's top under-21 player last season, have left Pacific to join Hamilton-based Forge.
Campbell scored 13 goals and added six assists in 30 games in all competitions last season when the 23-year-old forward from Burnaby, B., C., was a nominee for the league's player of the year. Hojabrpour scored for Pacific in its 1-0 CPL championship game win over Forge in December.
Campbell joined Pacific from Fresno FC for the CPL's inaugural 2019 season. He scored 11 goals in 29 games and was nominated for the CPL’s Best U-21 Player award. He leaves Pacific as the club’s all-time leader in goals (25) and games played (69).
Hojabrpour has also been with the club since its inception, coming from Bulgaria’s Lokomotiv Plovdiv. The 21-year-old midfielder from Vancouver is tied for second in games played with 63.
“What Ale and T have done for the club, it’s been nothing short of remarkable given the way they were part of the ‘originals’ when this club started,” Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah said in a statement.
"They both should be remembered as champions because that is the work they did for themselves and for the club,” he added,
In an unusual move, the players' departure was announced by Pacific rather than Forge.
“You know, if you can’t beat them, sign them," said Kah. "As a club we move on and we’ll be back stronger next year. We played a part in their growth and development and making them champions, that’s an everlasting bond that can never be broken."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021
The Canadian Press