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Utilero Carmelo De Grazia//
T&T’s Garcia captures CPL ‘Golden Boot’ award

Entornointeligente.com /

T&T’s for­ward Akeem Gar­cia was of­fi­cial­ly crowned the 2020 Gold­en Boot award win­ner dur­ing the Cana­di­an Pre­mier League (CPL) awards cer­e­mo­ny on Thurs­day night, as the HFX Wan­der­ers FC for­ward was cel­e­brat­ed for his six goals in ten match­es at The Is­land Games in Prince Ed­wards Is­lands.

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The 24-year-old for­ward won out in a close scor­ing race, beat­ing run­ners-up Mar­co Bus­tos of Pa­cif­ic FC (five goals) and his HFX Wan­der­ers team­mate João Morel­li (four goals)

T&T’s for­ward Akeem Gar­cia was of­fi­cial­ly crowned the 2020 Gold­en Boot award win­ner dur­ing the Cana­di­an Pre­mier League (CPL) awards cer­e­mo­ny on Thurs­day night, as the HFX Wan­der­ers FC for­ward was cel­e­brat­ed for his six goals in ten match­es at The Is­land Games in Prince Ed­wards Is­lands.

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The 24-year-old for­ward won out in a close scor­ing race, beat­ing run­ners-up Mar­co Bus­tos of Pa­cif­ic FC (five goals) and his HFX Wan­der­ers team­mate João Morel­li (four goals).

Gar­cia’s im­pres­sive at­tack­ing dis­plays in 2020 al­so earned him a nom­i­na­tion for the CPL’s Play­er of the Year award, along­side Bus­tos and Kyle Bekker of Forge FC.

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The 2019 Gold­en Boot win­ner was Tris­tan Borges of Forge, whose 13 goals helped spur his side to the first CPL cham­pi­onship

Gar­cia’s six-goal run at The Is­land Games helped the Wan­der­ers ad­vance to the 2020 CPL Fi­nal, with key goals in both the first and sec­ond rounds against even­tu­al cham­pi­ons Forge paving the way for the club’s suc­cess

“With the play­ers we got this year I knew that I would be giv­en a lot of ser­vices, it’s just up to me to put it in the back of the net, which I suc­cess­ful­ly did this year,” Gar­cia told Can­PL.ca. “Mid­way in the sea­son I was like, ‘Hey, I could go on and win this thing,’ when I start­ed to an­a­lyze and see what was go­ing on.”

Al­though he broke out as a goalscor­er in 2020, Gar­cia’s of­fen­sive abil­i­ty was not a sur­prise this year; he scored sev­en goals in 24 games in 2019, lead­ing the Wan­der­ers and fin­ish­ing sev­enth over­all in the CPL. This year, he cred­its a tac­ti­cal change from coach, fel­low T&T na­tive Stephen Hart for al­low­ing him to be the pri­ma­ry scor­ing threat

“This year coach al­lowed me to fo­cus on one po­si­tion; he on­ly played me for­ward this year and not on the wings,” Gar­cia ex­plained. “That gave me a lot of con­fi­dence know­ing my role, and what I can do best to help the team.”

Hart: Gar­cia al­ways had the hunger

Hart had kind words for his star for­ward, whom he’s known for years from their time to­geth­er with the T&T na­tion­al team

“Akeem, from when I knew him com­ing up in T&T, al­ways had a hunger, was al­ways hum­ble, will­ing to learn, and then al­so will­ing to do what was nec­es­sary to ad­vance him­self in the game,” Hart told Can­PL.ca. “Once you have that de­sire and that pas­sion you can go very, very far. I’m not sur­prised be­cause he’s con­tin­u­al­ly learn­ing and con­tin­u­al­ly striv­ing, and I ad­mire that in him.”

For win­ning the Gold­en Boot award, Gar­cia was pre­sent­ed with Hunter tro­phy, a tra­di­tion­al Inu­it sculp­ture from Nunavut, de­signed by lo­cal carv­er Pit­se­o­lak Qimir­plk

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