Sean Young is a 22-year-old box-to-box midfielder who plays for Pacific FC in the Canadian Premier League. Young took a slightly unorthodox development path. He never played in the academies of any of the Canadian MLS teams, instead playing for the Vancouver Island Wave in the BCSPL and for Westcastle United in the amateur Vancouver Island Soccer League as a youth. He also played for the Victoria Highlanders in USL League 2. Young was signed by Pacific F.C. in 2020. He has made 74 appearances for the club, at the time of writing. In the 2023 season, he seems to be hitting another level, showing signs that he may be ready for a step up from the CPL. Young has not played for Canada at any level, which is indicative of his under-the-radar development.
If you are a team considering signing Sean Young, there are two main things that probably excite you. Firstly, he’s very tall. At 6’1 he is bigger than the majority of centre-midfield players. He is not the most muscular player but he is quite dominant in aerial duels in the middle of the park. The other thing is that he is a very adept box arriver. Young has always gotten quite a lot of shots inside the box for his position but in 2023 he has really hit another gear, scoring 2 goals and adding 3 assists in 8 appearances. His size and off-the-ball movement make him difficult for opponents to handle.
The rest of his game is average to above average but not really outstanding. He is a solid 1v1 defender and obviously, his size helps him significantly. Pacific has even tried him out as a centre-back. But he is not the Canadian Kante, who’s going to be covering every blade of grass chasing the ball down. His passing is also pretty reasonable. Particularly this season Young has improved in making short penetrative passes in tight spaces. He also can play some longer-range passes. But he is not the sort of player who is going to dictate the tempo of a game. He is better suited to making occasional connective passes before getting in the box.
Young’s contract expires at the end of the season and if he continues to perform at the level he has this season he will have suitors. The question is, where will he end up? I think he could probably do a job in MLS but he might not have quite enough elite skills to be anything more than a depth player. Victor Loturi made the jump from CPL to the Scottish Premiership with relative success so a lower team in that league could also be an option. I have advocated for A-League clubs to take a look at younger players in the CPL and USL for foreign signings and I think Sean Young is a prime example of the sort of player I am talking about.