The wait is over! After nearly 10 months and several schedule delays, the Canadian Premier League is back.
The 2021 campaign’s season opener sees FC Edmonton take on Atlético Ottawa on June 26th (12:00 MDT). Atlético Ottawa, the league’s first-ever expansion team, finished 7th in the 2020 season, seven points clear of Sunday’s opponents FC Edmonton. However, any reference from the last CPL campaign should be taken with a pinch of salt, owing to a highly disrupted season due to COVID-19.
Instead, we should inspect the clubs’ transfer activities during the lengthy break; Atlético Ottawa announced the arrival of exciting duo Rafael Núñez and Alberto Soto from La Liga champions Atlético Madrid this month and they will be hoping they can fill the sizeable void of the departed Francisco Acuña, a highly experienced midfielder who left the club after one season.
On the other hand, FC Edmonton have one of the greatest goal threats in the league in the form of Easton Ongaro. The 22-year-old is the joint-highest scorer in CPL history with 13 goals and he will be the man that Edmonton looks to, to propel them up the table. At the other end of the field, Head Coach Alan Koch is hoping to improve on 2020’s worst defence with the arrival of experienced USL centre-back, Hunter Gorskie. Gorskie, 29, has featured for the New York Cosmos, Tampa Bay Rowdies and San Antonio FC to name a few.
ComeOn! Game of the Week
Moving on to the ComeOn! Game of the Week, which sees Calvary take on York United. Historically speaking, Calvary are one of the strongest teams in the competition having finished top of the regular season on both occasions since the league’s beginning, however Forge FC would go on to pip them to the North Star Shield in the post-season. Calvary were boosted by the hugely exciting signing of Joe Mason, a 30-year-old forward has played over 100 times in England’s second division. Mason also has MLS experience after spending a year at the Colorado Rapids. Another exciting new addition to the Calvary front-line is Anthony Novak. Novak joins after a short stint in Portugal, but most notably, the 27-year-old comes with experience of winning the CPL twice with Forge FC. With these two signings to their name, as well as existing success in the league, Calvary will be many people’s favourites to go all the way.
The newly rebranded York United will be hoping a new change of colours and crest will bring change for the better – under the name York9, the club never reached the post-season, after finishes of 6th and 5th respectively. An interesting sub-plot is the arrival of Dominick Zator, a talented defender who arrives from Sunday’s opponents, Calvary. Zator, who featured in a Canadian national team camp last November, is seen as one of the biggest signings of the off-season.
We can’t wait for the CPL season to get up and running! Join us on our socials to join in with the excitement for the 2021 campaign.