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.
I've spent many hours across the past eight months watching and scrutinizing over the Canadian Premier League. The 2022 campaign saw several seasoned stars move onto pastures new across Europe, and a race for first that came down to the final day. Now that the regular season has officially come to a close, it's time for me to pick my 2022 CPL Team of the Season.
Cavalry FC started the season without a bang. They went winless in their first three matches, scoring just two goals, as Joe Mason and Myer Bevan failed to fully live up to the hype up front. After a change in system from 3-4-3 to 4-2-3-1, Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s team started to see more stuttering success, and the team achieved greater fluidity across the board. At exactly the right moment, Wheeldon Jr. introduced Aribim Pepple into the lineup, and soon afterward, Cavarly hit top gear. The 19-year-old has been in incredible form in the past month, scoring 6 goals in 7 matches en route to being named the CPL’s Player of the Month for June. His stuttering form in front of goal has even reportedly earned himself a move to England, the details of which are still being finalized. Here is our analysis of Pepple and his impending move.
Victor Loturi has been a stalwart and a mainstay in Wheeldon Jr.'s plans, featuring in eight matches as a central midfielder, and even two filling in as an out-and-out right-back in the face of injuries. Coming out of the Calgary youth ranks and Wheeldon Jr.'s old Calgary Foothills, Loturi has been destined to stardom since making his professional debut in 2019. Since making two appearances that season, the box-to-box midfielder has only grown in his role and importance for the Cavs, and has now caught the attention of Ross County in the Scottish Premiership. So with that, we take a look at why Victor Loturi has caught the eye this season, and predict how he will fare in Scotland.
Even despite missing important players and shifting key figureheads out of position, Cavalry fought their way to a 1-0 victory on Saturday against HFX Wanderers. The only goal came from a set-piece (as we're becoming accustomed to when these teams play), courtesy of a wonderfully coordinated routine to steal the victory away. So with that, we break down the set-piece that resulted in Cavalry's 1-0 win over HFX, and the important steps to replicating the routine with your team.
I can't remember another game in my lifetime where four goals, in fact - 100% of the goals, came from set-pieces. I love analyzing team structures and shapes in traditional match analyses, and I could tell you all about Cavalry's almost 3-3-1-3-esque build-up or Halifax's stern 4-3-1-2 press. But ultimately, this game was decided by free kicks and corners. While that may be seen by some as "boring", on this occasion, all four of the goals resulted off the back of both tactical and psychological mistakes, more than worth breaking down in detail. So with that, here is our Match Analysis of Halifax's 2-2 draw with Cavalry, and our case study on how not to defend set-pieces.
Due to time restrictions, I've been unable to get my usual tactical review of the weekend that was in the Canadian Premier League up and running. But the league still delivered in its sixth round of fixtures, with plenty of intriguing tactical adaptations taking form. So with that, here is what you need to know about the sixth round of fixtures, ahead of Matchday 7.
This season in the Canadian Premier League, Rhys Desmond will be bringing you the tactical minutiae behind every single match, team, and moment. Here is our tactical review of the Canadian Premier League's fifth round of fixtures!
The Cavs started the season in a 3-4-2-1 formation, suffering two embarrassing losses to York and Atletico, and a stagnant draw against Forge. After realizing the slow-moving car wasn't quite motoring the way he wanted it to, even despite the gas pedal being pressed, Wheeldon Jr. was right to identify a new vehicle. Now in a flexible 4-4-2 shape, Cavalry have been utterly dominant in both of their matches since, both in and out of possession. On this particular occasion, they completely stunted Edmonton's progress going forward, and massively exploited space in exactly the right areas through staggering their personnel across the pitch. Here is a quick tactical analysis of Cavalry's commanding 3-0 win over FC Edmonton.
We may be four matches in now, but the Canadian Premier League continues to show no signs of slowing down, with four goals scored in both of the weekend's fixtures so far, balancing out a dull midweek affair between Edmonton and Pacific. Ahead of the final two fixtures, here is our ongoing tactical review of Week 4 inside the Canadian Premier League.
The Canadian Premier League continues to entertain, with 15 goals scored across the 4 matches in Week 3, Pacific continuing their unbeaten run, Forge ending Edmonton's late equalizing steak, and Valour running riot over the previously undefeated Ottawa. Here is our tactical review of the Canadian Premier League's third round of fixtures.
Saturday's match promises to be an exhilarating encounter, with the team accumulating the most possession in the league so far (62%), going up against the team with the least amount of possession so far (38%). Is it fate that those numbers balance each other out perfectly? Perhaps.
York United's start to the season has failed to be as fruitful as the Nine Stripes would have liked, but Martin Nash's team showed marked improvements against FC Edmonton in providing more attacking thrust than the opening day against HFX. Developing a sense of identity with fullbacks pushing high up the pitch and attacking rotations between their striker and attacking midfielder, York's identity should contain two crucial elements required for breaking Cavalry down.