The CPL kicked off last weekend after a long-awaited return and it was worth the wait. Stunning goals, shock results and no draws!
As part of “The Kickoff” (the launch new season), teams will be playing eight games in a single-site bubble for the first month of the campaign. That means two games per week for four weeks!
The first mid-week game of the season is Valour vs. Wanderers.
Valour come into this game on the back of an impressive 2-0 over two-time champions, Forge FC. Goals from Dyer and Ricci before the half-hour mark were enough to secure the win over the pre-season favourites. Interestingly, Valour only needed 33% possession to fell the opposition, showing a cutting edge up front and a resilient back-line. Wanderers, on the other hand, disappointed in the season opener, falling 2-0 to Pacific. They were out-shot, out-passed and largely out-playing, though it would take a fool to write off last season’s finalists after just one game, especially with a player like Akeem Garcia amongst their ranks.
The game the follows on Wednesday is Atletico vs. Cavalry, arguably the most exciting fixture of the match round.
After a stuttering first season, through no fault of their own, Atletico have generated quite the buzz with several exciting overseas additions to the squad. Rafael Nunez and Alberto Soto, a loan duo from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid will bring a touch of class to the already talented Atletico Ottawa side and the experienced former Toronto FC man Ryan Telfer will add a potency in attack.
Talking of exciting signings, Cavalry completely arguably the biggest signing in CanPL history with the addition of Joe Mason from England’s MK Dons. Mason has played over 100 games in England’s second division and will bring a wealth of talent and experience to the side. He did, however, miss Sunday’s 2-1 win over York United and his return date is unknown.
Both sides will want to keep a 100% record and prove to their championship credentials.
Thursday’s 3pm (MDT) kick-off is York United vs. Pacific.
York United’s new era got off to a disappointing start as they were beaten 2-1 by Cavalry. Despite going 2-0 down, York really could and should have ended the game with a point. Abzi gave them a ray of hope with a stunning free-kick with 10 minutes to go and then a glorious chance was spurned in the dying seconds of the game. Dominick Zator was a signing that signalled great ambition for the season and the nine stripes will be hoping he secures his first clean sheet against Pacific. Pacific, however, will be full of confidence ahead of Thursday’s game, having comfortably swept aside Wanderers in gameweek 1 – and they didn’t even need prolific scorer Terran Campbell!
The final game of the round is Edmonton vs. Forge.
The only meeting between two sides without a single point. The good news is, at least one team will get their season started! Back-to-back champions Forge suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Valour on the opening day whilst Edmonton lost 1-0 to Atletico. Forge are in a small transition period, having lost two key members of their front line in the off-season in the form of Marcel Zajac and Anthony Novak and that may explain Sunday’s mis-fire in front of goal. New additions Omar Browne and Joshua Navarro may need a bit of time to integrate in the side and start making an impact.
Edmonton fell to a late Atletico goal but showed signs of promise having had more possession and matching their opponents statistically. They didn’t set the world alight in their off-season activity but the signing of Hunter Gorskie may prove to be an astute addition to their back line as the club aims to lock up the league’s worst defence last season.
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