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.
On October 13, 2022, Halifax Wanderers officially parted ways with Halifax Wanderers boss Stephen Hart. The former Trinidad & Tobago coach had been in charge since the Wanderers' inception in 2018, and won the Coach of the Year award for his efforts in 2020. But life inside the Canadian Premier League did not go as smoothly as planned in 2022, with the Wanderers stumbling down to a 7th place finish (in an 8 team league), as Hart's time at the club inevitably coming to an end. So with that, we examine Hart's tactics in his final season with the Wanderers, and how to fix the club moving forward!
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.
Last week, the Canadian Premier League kicked off for its fourth season, with the opening set of matches featuring a repeat of last season's Playoff Final. From a personal standpoint, I opened the season with the launch of our Role Continuity Player Evaluation System - our first ever database scoring player habits and on-the-field actions. But anyone who knows this site knows that we're here for the tactics, and the in-depth scrutinization of each and every team. So after our analysis of every single opening match, here is what each team needs to change ahead of the second round of fixtures.