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MLS Season Review: Top performing Canadian players

Neither CF Montreal nor Toronto made the playoffs while Vancouver failed to get past round one, but a few Canadian players had seasons worth highlighting.

We'll review the best Canadians in Major League Soccer from the 2023 season.

Mohamed Farsi (Columbus Crew)

Crew full-back Mohamed Farsi made a little bit of history this season by becoming the first Canadian Premier League export to lift the MLS Cup.

The 23-year-old from Montreal, a former favorite on the right side of Calvary's back line in the CPL, put in a supreme performance in the wing-back role helping Columbus beat Los Angeles 2-1 in the final.

The pacy right-sider has been the neatest of fits in Wilfried Nancy's 3-4-2-1 set-up and is only going to get better.

The biggest decision which is going to be facing the uncapped Farsi over the coming months is whether to declare for Canada, the country of his birth, or Algeria, the country where his parents were born.

Maxime Crepeau (Los Angeles FC)

It wasn't quite the fairytale end to 2023 Maxime Crepeau would have hoped for, but the Los Angeles FC goalie could still sign off for the winter with a smile on his face.

The 2023 campaign, which he started on crutches as he recovered from a broken leg suffered in the 2022 MLS Cup Final, finished with another shot at league glory.

Crepeau broke his leg (and was red carded in the process) in last year's final against the Philadelphia Union, though at least he was able to get a winner's medal sent to his hospital bed.

This time around LA were beaten 2-1 by the Crew and while Crepeau will be disappointed with the result, he must feel thrilled to have fought his way back to full fitness and become first-choice No.1 again at the BMO Stadium.

Kyle Hiebert (St Louis City)

It was a great regular season for expansion team St Louis City and classy defender Kyle Hiebert played a big role in it.

The Winnipeg-born player was poised to start St Louis' first MLS season as a defensive back-up until injury to Joakim Nilsson saw him claim a starting role at centre-back on opening night in Austin.

He went on to start each of the next seven games in that position before being shuffled across to the left flank.

Hiebert's assured displays earned an international summons from his country - he debuted for Canada in March 2023 - and he went on to play a starring role as St Louis completed a memorable debut campaign by finishing atop the Western Conference.

Jonathan Sirois (CF Montreal)

Montreal just missed out on the playoffs but goalie Jonathan Sirois still got himself some silverware at the end of his first playing season at the club.

Sirois kept a franchise-high 11 shutout - good for fourth in the league - including nine at home, which earned the Winnipeg-born keeper the honour of being named Montreal's Defensive Player of the Year.

Richie Laryea (Toronto FC, loaned to Vancouver Whitecaps)

Canada veteran Richie Laryea started the season at Toronto FC – where he was four times named in the MLS Team of the Matchday – before joining Vancouver in August in a blockbuster loan switch.

He immediately became a core starter for Vanni Sartini's side, starting every single one of the Caps' final 12 games of the regular season and both games of the ill-fated MLS Cup Playoffs series against LAFC.

Ali Ahmed (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Rising star midfielder Ali Ahmed was promoted to the first team in 2023 after impressing for the 'Caps FC 2, and he cemented his reputation.

The Whitecaps won seven and lost just one of the 12 regular-season matches that Ahmed started, and he made 28 appearances across all competitions winning Most Promising Player honours at the end-of-year awards.

His performances at the heart of the Vancouver midfield also got the 23-year-old on the national team radar, debuting for Canada in the Gold Cup in the summer.

Deandre Kerr (Toronto FC)

Toronto FC's 21-year-old forward Deandre Kerr came out of nowhere and worked his way into his team's lineup amid its third-straight season near the bottom of the league. Kerr was one of the few bright spots for a Toronto team that had the league's highest payroll but finished with the fewest points.

Kerr, who made less than $100,000 last year, was the team's joint-top scorer with five goals, level with designated player and former Italy international Federico Bernardeschi.

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