HFX Wanderers looked a completely different side on Matchday 1 against last season’s first-place finishers, with a genuine intentionality behind their team tactics and set-up. The interesting thing to now keep on the radar will be whether the tactics they used on opening day were created to mitigate Atletico Ottawa’s own innovations, or whether they intend on utilizing the same ideologies in their matches moving forward. Either way, Halifax enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, through much in the way of innovation and pizzazz. Here is Game of Numbers Issue No. 16 - all about how Gheisar achieved balance in his side via the use of Riley Ferrazzo as an 'Inverted Fullback'.
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.
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.
CPL Playoffs – Pacific FC 0-2 Atletico Ottawa – Tactical Review
If you wanted a playoff match to perfectly represent the way that two teams played the entire second half of the season, this was that match. Full of intent and intensity, both teams played to win in their own distinct style, with their own unique complexities popping up along the way. Here is our match analysis of the first-leg semi-final between Atletico and Pacific, and what both teams may look to do ahead of the second-leg.