Forge FC has confirmed the signing of forward Terran Campbell and midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour, who helped Pacific FC to the Canadian Premier League title last month.
In a departure from normal protocol, the players' move to Forge — beaten by Pacific in the CPL championship game — was announced last Friday by Pacific.
"You know, if you can't beat them, sign them,'' Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah said in a statement. "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.''
Forge announced the arrival of Campbell on Tuesday and Hojabrpour on Wednesday.
Hojabrpour, named the league's top under-21 player last season, scored for Pacific in its 1-0 CPL final win over Forge.
“We are very happy to welcome Alessandro to Hamilton and our club,” Forge director of football Costa Smyrniotis said in a statement. “His quality play, tireless work rate, and mature character will suit him really well within our group. We are very much looking forward to supporting his further development as a young professional over the next years to come."
Smyrniotis also cited Campbell's "ability to create quality chances for himself and teammates."
Campbell scored 13 goals and added six assists in 30 games in all competitions last season when the 23-year-old from Burnaby, B., C., was a nominee for the league's player of the year.
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 had also been with Pacific since its inception, coming from Bulgaria's Lokomotiv Plovdiv. The 22-year-old from Vancouver is tied for second in Pacific games played with 63.
In other CPL news, HFX Wanderers named Spain's Alejandro (Alex) Dorado as an assistant coach to Stephen Hart.
Dorado most recently was an assistant coach to Rafa Benitez at Dalian PRO in the Chinese Super League. He began as a youth coach for the Spanish Football Federation before joining Real Madrid as an academy head coach. He was with Finland's FC Honka before joining Benitez’s stafaf in China.
Assistant coach Mesut Mert will move to a new role with Halifax's under-23 program.
Also Wednesday, the Canadian league announced its annual CPL-U Sports draft will be held Jan. 20.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2022
The Canadian Press