A slightly undermanned Valour FC fell 3-1 to York United in CPL action. Valour took the lead through a penalty but then conceded three straight goals, dealing a massive blow to their playoff hopes.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 20
- Date of Birth: 15/05/2002
- Current Club: Valour FC (On loan from CF Montreal)
- Career: CF Montreal (Y)
- Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger
- Preferred Foot: Right
Sean Rea was nominally a winger in this match but in practice, he spent most of the game in central positions. He showed some good playmaking ability. He created one fantastic chance for Matteo De Brienne from a cross and played several tantalising balls behind the york backline that did not quite work out. The rest of the Valour front line was a bit lacking in cutting edge and I’m convinced Rea could have done more offensively.
It also seems likely that his future is probably in the midfield rather than the front line at a higher level. His passing is really good. He is great at dropping deep to make link-up passes and he also has the skill and vision to split open defences. But he does not score very many goals personally. Rea leads the CPL in assists but is 15th in goals. A big reason for this is that he does not shoot very much. He had one shot in this game, it was from very far away and missed the net by a lot. Rea does put in a good amount of defensive work but I am not sure the quality of that defending is at a high enough level for him to be a wing-back. His dribbling is also mediocre and you would lose out on the good stuff he does in the centre of the pitch if he were hugging the touchline.
So the obvious position for him to play is as an aggressive #8 in a three-man midfield. This way you can utilise his top-class passing and playmaking ability in the centre of the pitch and his slightly less top-class other qualities are less of a problem.
Rating – A2
Sean Rea is on loan from CF Montreal. He is probably good enough to be an MLS contributor in a very specific role but that role does not really exist in Montreal’s 3-4-1-2. I doubt they would just hand him the #10 role that Djordje Mihailovic will be vacating at the end of the season and I’m not sure he can cover enough ground to take over the spot in the midfield that Ismaël Kone will likely vacate. This puts Rea in a bit of a weird spot. Going back to the CPL for a third year probably won’t do much for his development but there is not a natural path to the first team. A sale abroad is a possibility, and Rea does have Italian citizenship which would help with a move to Europe. But I’m not sure what Montreal’s asking price would be.
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 22
- Date of Birth: 12/10/1999
- Current Club: Valour FC
- Career: CF Montreal (Y), US Vibonese, Université de Montréal Carabins, AS Blainville
- Position: Goalkeeper
- Preferred Foot: Right
Yesli has one natural advantage over other young keepers in the CPL. He is huge. Yesli is 6’6 and very thin. He honestly looks a bit goofy in the goal, as he looks like one of those FIFA mods where they make one team really big. But, so far in his young professional career, he seems to use his massive size to good effect. He barely has to dive for some shots that shorter keepers would be at full stretch. He made a save on a headed shot where he didn’t so much dive as just fall to his left. When he is at full stretch he covers quite a lot of the goal.
He made one save in this match where he was forced to go full stretch and simply being huge allowed him to get to a very well-placed shot. He also made a save from close range and, once again, being huge helped him to cover a lot of the goal. He is also quite good at holding on to the ball and neutralising further danger. But, there are drawbacks to Yesli. He is extremely limited with his feet. If a five-yard pass isn’t on then he lumps it long without fail. I don’t think he completed a clean long-range pass once in this game. Furthermore, his clearances always ballooned high into the air and he didn’t actually get that much distance. He did show himself to be equally capable of clearing it with his left foot as his right but he could not do anything tricky with either.
The size that is an asset to him in some situations also has the potential to be a hindrance. It’s hard to move around a body that big and sometimes he does look a bit clumsy. He conceded a goal in this match from what looked like a shanked cross and, while I would not say it was 100% his fault, I would be watching how he reacts to situations like that, which require quick footwork, quite closely if I were a potential buyer. Yesli did not leave his line very often in this game but for the most part, I would say that was the right decision.
I would definitely want to see a full season in CPL before recommending him for a move to a higher level. But his shot-stopping stats look great so far, he more or less passes the eye test, and it’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of a gigantic goalkeeper. He also will probably never be suited to a team that relies on playing out of the back.