CANPL POWER RANKINGS: WEEK 15 | Presented by tonybet
It was a busy weekend of movement in the Canadian Premier League, leading to a tightening of the table.
Just six points separate the top six teams, as the title race remains wide-open, which should make for a photo finish.
Because of that, there's understandably some movement in the power rankings, led by a new leader. Fittingly, that also just happens to be the CPL's new overall leader, too: Cavalry FC, who continued a strong stretch of results by dethroning Pacific as league leaders.
Yet, for those who have been following along, that's not too surprising, as Cavalry have been one of the hottest teams as of late, dominating the power rankings the last few weeks. So, here’s a look at the latest edition presented by tonybet, as well as a quick look at what went down across the league this weekend (make sure to check out High Press for more in-depth tactical takeaways, too).
AGR's notebook: Quick thoughts from around the CPL
Kicking things off are Cavalry FC, who remained red-hot as they nabbed their sixth win in their last eight games with a big 5-1 road win over Vancouver. In particular, it was the Ali Musse show on the day, as their MVP had one of his best games of the season, playing a big role in two of their goals. Along with a big showing from Ben Fisk on the opposite wing, it was a good day to be a Cavalry winger, especially when you factor in that William Akio also made his debut. Between that, and some good performances across the lineup, it's going to be hard to imagine Cavalry slowing down anytime soon. Oh yeah, Callum Montgomery is almost back from his injury, too, having made his return to action with Cavalry's U-21s, so safe to say things are looking good in Calgary right now.
It was a frustrating road loss for Atlético Ottawa, who just couldn't get a foothold in their game against Halifax. Really, if not for a solid showing from Nathan Ingham and Diego Espejo, it could've been a lot worse, as Ottawa just couldn't get anything going in midfield. The good news is that Ollie Bassett won't have many more quiet games like that, so look for him to have a big game next week. Plus, it's good to see Gianni Dos Santos back, as he was sorely missed, even if Ottawa was able to go on a bit of a run without him.
The Halifax Wanderers have really made the Wanderers Grounds a fortress this season, as they've now won five straight at home after this weekend. Yet, this game showed why - they were dominant from start to finish, barely allowing Ottawa a sniff on the day. Led by a strong performance at the back from Daniel Nimick, who is continuing to push his way into the defender of the year conversation, and then supported by strong performances from usual suspects such as Lorenzo Callegari and Andre Rampersad, it was a good showing from Halifax. And, as a bonus, Doneil Henry made his debut in this game, so things could only continue to be on the upswing for these Wanderers, who could make a surprise late push for the title if they keep this up.
It was a huge win this weekend for Forge FC over Pacific, in a game where they looked like, well... Forge. Given that they haven't always been able to do that this season, that's huge, as it allowed them to grab a key victory. Yet, credit has to be given to Alessandro Hojabrpour and Kyle Bekker in midfield, as well as Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson in his hybrid defender/midfielder role, as they really allowed Forge to control the middle of the park in this game. Through that, and a clutch showing from David Choinière, who is finding his feet again after injury, allowed Forge to nab a deserved win continuing a solid run from the defending champions as of late.
It's now been five straight games without a win for Pacific FC, whose recent slump has completely opened up the CPL table once again. Yet, as has been the case in recent games, they continue to allow sloppy goals, and just aren't executing in the final third. The latter should go away, but the former is a big concern, one they'll need to clean up quickly. In particular, they'll need their midfield to clean up their play, as they've looked a bit sloppy there as of late. In good news, it was a good showing from Josh Heard, who has looked solid out wide recently, as he could be key in a turnaround. Otherwise, good to see that the injury to Djenairo Daniels wasn't as serious as it could've been after a scary moment in this game, so hopefully he can now make a quick and swift recovery.
It wasn't their best performance of the year, but York United will be pleased that they continued their road success by nabbing a clutch win over Valour. Led by a strong performance from Austin Ricci, and a much-needed goal from Osaze De Rosario, York was able to ride a strong start to a result, doing well to get things over the line in the end. If they're to keep pace in this title race, however, they'll need to find some consistency, as they remain without back-to-back wins since May, something they'll look to change. The good news is that if their defence keeps up this recent form, they'll be on the right track, so keep an eye out for that.
Unfortunately, matches against Cavalry haven't been too kind to Vancouver FC, and this 5-1 loss is a big example of that. One where a questionable early red card hurt them, they just then dug a hole they couldn't get out of, allowing their guests to claim a big win. Despite that, there's a lot to be excited about with this team - they continue to show fight in games and show glimpses of good play. Plus, Renan Garcia continues to look like a huge addition, while Alejandro Díaz has picked up where he left off in terms of his CPL goalscoring ability. Really, the big goal for Vancouver will be to tidy things up defensively after two rough performances in that regard in back-to-back weeks.
GOAL 🦅— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) July 22, 2023
Well then... game is BACK ON! 👀
10-man @VanFootballClub strike back quickly vs. @CPLCavalryFC as Wero Diaz catches 'em sleeping at the back 🎯
It's 1-1 and we're just 10 minutes in 😎 pic.twitter.com/JTsf5zblz9
The good news for Valour FC this weekend? They scored an open-play goal. The bad news? They've only got one win in their last six games after their loss to York. Plus, their defence has shown cracks as of late, which is a big worry given their offensive struggles. Therefore, they'll need to find a way to tighten things back up defensively just to give them a chance, while hoping that someone can find some magic up front, be it Pacifique Niyongabire, Kian Williams or someone else. If not, the season could quickly slip out of reach for Valour, especially if the teams in front of them stay hot.