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.

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.

Picking the 2022 Canadian Premier League Team of the Season

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.

How to take notes when watching football

Trying to capture everything imaginable when watching a football match remains an impossible endeavour. But simultaneously, trying to capture absolutely nothing beyond the first glance won't necessarily yield great results in your task to remember important information and events. So as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, I'm going to be teaching you my entire process of taking notes from start to finish.

Calin Calaidjoglu – U21 Talent Watch – Player Analysis

After catching the eye for Montreal Impact's Academy in 2018, the career of future Canadian international Calin Calaidjoglu has gone quietly under the radar. Currently plying his trade in his native Moldova, that much is understandable. But Calaidjoglu recently impressed in his side's UEFA Conference League tie against Slovenian side NS Mura, and has enjoyed a bright start to the 2022-23 season. While CPL clubs tend to recruit even younger players, the 21-year-old would have plenty to offer if a move were to be made back home. In this tactical analysis, we break down the strengths and weaknesses of Calin Calaidjoglu at the age of 21, and the CPL clubs that would most benefit from his playing style. Here is our analysis!

Why Alejandro Diaz caught the eye of Sogndal Fotball

Devastated. Alejandro Diaz is one of the most exciting, flamboyant, energetic, tactically intelligent, heroic figures of the Canadian Premier League, and has been for the past few seasons since joining Pacific in 2020. It's amazing to see the Mexican forward achieve a massive move to Norway and their 1. divisjon. But Diaz helped build something … Continue reading Why Alejandro Diaz caught the eye of Sogndal Fotball

Recognizing and playing to your teammates’ strengths in football

Each situation in football is unique, and that means every player must endeavour to scan the field at every turn, allowing for appropriate adjustments to each specific situation in the quest to properly perform the next action. But beyond the act of scanning the field, players must have a keen understanding of their own teammates' strengths and weaknesses.

Forge’s new signings paying dividends in recent run of form – Tactical Analysis

The atmosphere inside Tim Hortons Field was electric on Sunday, culminated by a string of impressive performances leading toward another top class win over first-placed Pacific FC. The Hammers dominated the tempo of the match from start to finish, with the entire squad in full flow and complete harmony over a tired Pacific team. Impressively, Forge's recent run of form has been accompanied by the introduction of two new faces to the team - Malik Owolabi-Belewu and Rezart Rama. Both have fit like a glove in Bobby Smyrniotis' side, pushing others into roles that allow the entire team to achieve equilibrium and stability. Here is our match analysis of Forge's 3-0 win over Pacific, and the impressive accomplishments of Owolabi-Belewu and Rama since entering the frame.

Four tactical discussion points from Matchday 6 in the CANPL

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.

Canadian Premier League Matchday 5 – Tactical Review

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!

Why patterns and context are so essential to analysis in football

If you're reading this article, chances are you love to analyze football. So allow me to help with your love for analysis with this call to action. Stop taking information from single-match occurrences, or single-match statistics, even statistics over time on their own, as a mechanism for making inferences about the wider context at hand. Recognizing patterns over time, and the wider context behind those patterns, are the essentials behind analysis in football, allowing you to more accurately assess performance, and improve upon performance problems.

Canadian Premier League Matchday 4 – Tactical Review

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.

Canadian Premier League Matchday 3 – Tactical Review

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.