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Two Ridgebacks soccer players go national

(Photo courtesy Ontario Tech Ridgebacks)

Two Ontario Tech Ridgebacks soccer players have gone national.

Christopher Campoli and Danial Rafisami from the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks men’s soccer squad have been drafted to Canada’s professional men’s soccer league, the Canadian Premier League (CPL).

Campoli was the first player to be selected Friday in the two-round CPL-U SPORTS draft, selected fourth in the first round by York United FC.

Rafisami was selected fifth in the second round, also by York United FC.

Ontario Tech Men’s Soccer Coach Ramin Mohammadi says it’s great to see the students excel in both their academic studies as well as in their soccer career.

“When they excel in their academics it’s amazing, for both the coach and the individual. When they excel in their soccer career it’s also a great feeling for both,” he says. “To have four players in the Canadian Premier League draft and have two selected is a great feeling, knowing that it (playing soccer at Ontario Tech) opened the path for the student-athletes to play at the top level professionally in our country.”

Campoli was named an OUA first team all-star in his rookie year in 2019-20, finishing second in the OUA for assists with seven and eight in goals with six. His steady presence on the pitch also earned him the men’s soccer MVP award.

Rafisamii’s played all but three matches in his rookie campaign in 2019-20, finishing the year with an assist.

This is the third CPL-U SPORTS draft ahead of the league’s third season. The 2020 season was played in a bubble at the University of Prince Edward Island, which Forge FC (Hamilton) won to defend their inaugural title.

The CPL debuted on April 27, 2019. Playing in world-class and unique venues, and partnering with strong community-led ownership groups, the CPL is a league for Canadians by Canadians that brings professional soccer to communities coast-to-coast.