For three years, Coquitlam’s Polisi brothers have been able to play alongside each other for Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) men’s soccer team.
Now they’ll be as far apart as they could possibly be while still in the same country.
Months after Matteo Polisi signed a pro contract with Victoria-based Pacific FC in the Canadian Premier League (CPL), his older brother, Marcello, is turning pro with the CPL’s Halifax Wanderers.
“This is something I’ve been working towards for a very long time,” Marcello Polisi said in an interview published on the Wanderers’ website.
Polisi started all 49 games during his three-season career at SFU, scoring six goals and adding seven assists from his position as a defensive midfielder.
In his freshman season, he was the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s player of the year. He was also chosen to the GNAC’s all-conference first all-star team for all three seasons and in 2019, he was named to the West Region’s second team. SFU did not participate in the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wanderers’ head coach and general manager, Stephen Hart, said Polisi is “a different type of player, he’s more of a traditional sort of holding midfielder.”
Polisi said he had been checking in with Hart annually for the past couple of years to discuss his soccer ambitions, and the deal came together in just a few days. He got the offer while making breakfast.
“I’m extremely grateful for [Hart] trusting in me and believing in me and giving me this opportunity to showcase myself at the professional level,” said Polisi, who will be joining his new club in Winnipeg in time for a match against the Valour on June 30.
The CPL is starting its season with a five-week “Kickoff” in which all eight teams will play 32 games at IG Field in Winnipeg and to reduce travel. If public health restrictions across the country then allow, the league will endeavour to complete a full 28-game season for each of its clubs in front of home fans.
Matteo Polisi signed with Pacific FC last February after the 22-year-old scored 36 goals and 18 assists in 52 matches at SFU.
Both brothers were eligible for selection in the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) annual Super Draft of top graduating players from the American college sports system, but neither was picked.
The two Polisis could face each other as professionals for the first time on July 13. There is now three former SFU players in the CPL.