Hamilton’s Forge FC sparks rivalry with Pacific FC with signing of Alessandro Hojabrpour


Published January 12, 2022 at 4:12 pm

Alessandro Hojabrpour scores the winning goal against what would be his future team in the 2021 CPL Final. (David Chant/CPL)

Forge FC is making sure the Canadian Premier League’s North Star Shield returns to Hamilton. And in the process, they’ve weakened the Winnipeg-based club that beat them in last year’s Final.

The CPL club officially announced the signing of Canadian midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour to a multi-year agreement on Wednesday (Jan. 11).

The news comes a day after Forge announced the signing of MVP runner-up, forward Terran Campbell to a multi-year deal.

Both players spent last season with Pacific FC, who upset Forge in the chilly 2021 CPL Final at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton after Forge won back-to-back championships. It was Hojabrpour who scored the lone goal in that game.

One Soccer CPL analyst Oliver Platt says the moves by Forge have sparked an already bitter rivalry with Pacifc.

“From what I’m hearing… Pacific respect the right of the players to move on. No grudges there. But towards Forge, there is contempt for the way this went down. For a few reasons a real rivalry started to brew around the final and just got turned up big time,” tweeted Platt.

Hojabrpour, 22, played 63 games over three seasons (2019-21) with Pacific, recording two goals and two assists in all competitions. The midfielder was named the CPL’s Best U-21 Canadian Player of the Year in 2021.

“We are very happy to welcome Alessandro to Hamilton and our club,” said Forge FC Director of Football Costa Smyrniotis. “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.”

The five-foot-11 native of Vancouver, British Columbia also spent the 2018 season with Lokomotiv Plovdiv U19’s of Bulgaria First League and was a part of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC academy for three seasons (2015-17).

Internationally, Hojabrpour made three appearances tallying one goal for Canada at the U17 Concacaf Men’s Championship in 2017.

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