Out of all the CPL clubs, Forge FC have enjoyed the quietest off-season. It feels as though that's for good reason, having just won the CPL Playoffs for the third time in the league's four season existence. It might be the sign of a settled squad and players having no inclinations toward seeking pastures new. But for the Canadian Premier League, this is uncharacteristic. With the season just under two months away from kicking off, Forge are without a back-up keeper, or anyone to challenge the Canadian for a place.
Category: Canadian Premier League
The successful throw-in playbook (ft. Forge FC)
CPL Winners Forge FC ranked second in successful throw-ins across the 2022 season - at 90.9%. They exceled through movement off the ball to create space, and a series of meticulous routines to unbalance the opposition. Here is how they achieved success.
Initial thoughts on a professional women’s league in Canada
Last night, news circulated that the long wait for a women's professional league in Canada may soon be on its way. News has circulated in the past that some traction may be developing in this area, but never with the evident backing of people like Christine Sinclair and Diana Matheson, or clubs like the Vancouver Whitecaps and Calgary Foothills. We're still a few years away from the proposed 2025 start date, but it appears as though we can officially cheer for joy that a women's league in Canada will be on its way.
Alessandro Hojabrpour – Player Analysis
Alessandro Hojabrpour has been one of the standout performers of the past two seasons in the Canadian Premier League. Playing in an understated defensive midfield role where he's required to proactively participate in all phases of the game, Hojabpour has also been a name that has gone relatively unnoticed when compared to some of his CPL peers. At 22 years of age, with the maturity of someone in their mid-twenties, Hojabrpour should be on the radar of every single MLS club, and soon enough on the radar of our national team. Here is my analysis of the remarkabilities to Alessandro Hojabrpour in 2022, and why he's one of the best midfielders that Canada has to offer.
Canadian Premier League Scouting Database – Attacking Midfielders
We tracked every single CPL game over the course of the season to come up with our unique rating system. We compile that information alongside each player's defensive, attacking and possession rankings. We present the players that are more than ready for that next step, whether that be playing in the MLS or somewhere in Europe. If rumours have it, Marco Bustos may already be on his way. Here is our analysis of the best '10's' in the CANPL.
The case for short corners
Among a host of changes to the game and innovations popping up at every turn, short corners remain an understudied facet of the game. While they often frustrate fans in stadiums when they ultimately come to nothing, the right short corner kick routine can bear fruit for any team, creating an overload before whipping the ball into the box.
Replacing Alejandro Diaz at Pacific FC
Following the loss of eventual CPL Golden Boot winner Alejandro Diaz, Pacific FC immediately went from title contenders to top four contenders, scraping into the playoffs with a fourth-place finish come the end of the season. The repeated line as the likes of myself and CPL.ca wrote about Pacific became all about how things could have been very different for Pacific in front of goal had they only had that missing link. Diaz was everything to the Pacific attack, acting as both a 'False 9' capable of dropping deep and receiving the ball, and somehow even fulfilling duties as an occasional 'Target Man' despite his 5'10 height. He linked up with Marco Bustos and Manny Aparicio magnificently well as the three of them dovetailed around each other, and his desire to drop deep often allowed Joshua Heard to run into the vacated space behind. Pacific signed Electric City striker Jordan Brown to try and make up for the loss, but it was clear that Brown was a far less dynamic player, and far less clinical in front of goal. With that, we analyze the essential characteristics in need of replacing when it comes to Diaz and his game, and four possible replacements from around the globe.
Atletico Ottawa 0-2 Forge FC – CPL Playoff Final – Match Analysis
The 2022 CPL season has officially come to an end, with a thrilling final between Atletico and Forge ending in another victory for the Hammers - their third CPL Playoff win in four years. Forge bamboozled Atletico Ottawa on the day, completely stunting their quick attacking transitions, while dominating the flow and possession of the match. Here is our tactical analysis of the final, and how Forge came out the other side as victors once more.
Canadian Premier League Scouting Database – Central Midfielders
After this long-haul search of central midfielders in the CPL, four key figures stand out as being above the level of the league. Ollie Bassett is perhaps the most obvious to catch the eye when you watch him play, and his defensive awareness does not necessarily manifest in crunching into tackles and accumulating positive defensive stats like some of his peers. Here is our analysis of central midfielders inside the Canadian Premier League.
Atletico Ottawa v. Forge FC – CPL Playoff Final – Tactical Preview
After a long, hard-fought Canadian Premier League season, tomorrow will see the attacking fluidity of Forge meet the defensive solidity of Atletico Ottawa in the CPL Playoff final. The season saw an intense top four battle between the two playoff finalists alongside Pacific and Cavalry over the past seven months, and we are now one day away from the finale to what has been an explosive, groundbreaking season for the CPL. Here is our tactical preview of the final, and what both teams may look to do ahead of tomorrow.
Canadian Premier League Scouting Database – Defensive Midfielders
When asking the question of what player to sign, it's important to examine the most relevant information for your context. If you desire to find a true '6' who can hold down the midfield and play as a lone wolf - anchoring all on their own, Andre Rampersad might be your best bet. If looking for someone slightly more savvy in possession, Alessandro Hojabrpour is worth the swing. If you're looking for someone to play in a double pivot and dynamically venture box to box, Diego Gutiérrez is one of the best that the CANPL has to offer. Here is our analysis of the best defensive midfielders in the CPL.
Canadian Premier League Scouting Database – Centre-Backs
All eight of our centre-backs are fairly similar in their approach, each standing out both in and out of possession. They could each hold their own in a high-possession system, and would likely continue to excel if put under the pressure of greater defensive responsibilities. But they also each have their own unique attributes that may work better in some contexts over others.
CPL Playoffs – Cavalry 1-1 Forge – Match Analysis
While it wasn't the most explosive semi-final match inside the CPL Playoffs, Forge and Cavalry met for an intriguing tactical battle of wits inside the semi-final first leg, settling for a 1-1 draw. Here is our match analysis of the first-leg encounter between Cavalry and Forge, and what both teams may look to do ahead of the second-leg.