CPL Fan Awards: Breaking down Best Celebration nominees
Canadian Premier League

To vote in the 2020 CPL Fan Awards, click here.

The Canadian Premier League’s 2020 Fan Awards launched earlier this week with nine categories, including the all-new Best Celebration honour.

There were many iconic player celebrations that took place at The Island Games, from Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah’s spirited opening weekend pile-on, to Forge FC’s now-iconic drinks off the North Star Shield.

Here’s a breakdown of the three nominees: HFX Wanderers FC attacker João Morelli, Valour FC’s Jose Galan, and Atlético Ottawa’s Mohamed Kourouma.


Joao Morelli, HFX Wanderers FC — vs. Cavalry FC, Sept. 12 (2nd Round)

Move over FC Edmonton, there’s a new rabbit in town.

HFX Wanderers FC attacker Joao Morelli offered this unique bunny hop celebration after converting a crucial penalty against Cavalry FC. Teammates joined in for a series of hopping that was entertaining to see as it was bizarre.

We don’t know the story behind this celebration, either, which is maybe a good thing.

Jose Galán, Valour FC — vs. Atlético Ottawa, August 19 (1st Round)

Jose Galán’s marker in extra time in Valour’s 4-0 win over Atlético Ottawa made two things certain: Valour meant business at The Island Games, and Galán knew where the cameras were.

Valour’s Spanish midfield maestro commemorated the moment with a salute to his wife Paloma, and daughter Celia, who was born in May, by sucking his thumb and pantomiming cradling and rocking a baby.

Galán became teary-eyed soon after, reminding viewers how much CPLers had sacrificed to stick in professional soccer during 2020 and take part in The Island Games.

“I felt like my daughter gave me the power to score that goal because of the circumstances. The people who know me know this has not been easy,” he said after the game.

Mohamed Kourouma, Atlético Ottawa – vs. York9 FC, August 15 (1st Round)

History made. Mohamed Kourouma scored the first goal in Atlético Ottawa history in the CPL expansion club’s first-ever match against York9 FC. A scrappy goal led to one of the more frantic celebrations in CPL history.

Kourouma launched himself into a bench of his teammates who were eager to catch him – a moment that will live forever in Ottawa professional football and captured beautifully by hidden cameras near Ottawa’s part of the touchline.