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Cavalry FC Ali Musse

Cavalry First To Clinch Playoff Berth

By on September 13, 2023 0 921 Views

A clinical performance from Cavalry saw the top-of-the-table side become the first team to lock in a guaranteed playoff spot in the 2023 Canadian Premier League season.

Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side marched into Halifax last night and left the veritable fortress with all three points – albeit by a slim margin – with the result extending their lead in the pole position up to seven points.

With the bulk of trailing playoff contenders in Atletico Ottawa, York United, and the Halifax Wanderers all set to face eachother in the season’s closing stanza, the math now says that Cavalry has already done enough to lock in a playoff spot regardless of how the rest of its matches go.

Cavalry FC William Akio
Last year’s regular season champions are still unimpressed, though. (Photo Credit: Matt Zambonin)

Of course, Alberta’s Canadian Premier League team will be pushing for results in its final four matches of the regular season in a bid to not only secure their third regular season title (having done so in 2019 and the shortened 2020 season), but potentially secure a Champions League berth and a soon-to-be-revealed trophy, too.

See Also: CPL’s Regular Season Champion To Get Champions League Spot…And More Money

With a surplus in attacking talent through the likes of Myer Bevan, Ali Musse, Sergio Camargo, and midseason reinforcement William Akio, the club is leading the league in terms of goals scored with 1.6 per match. They’ve also excelled on the defensive end, level with Pacific for the least goals conceded with iron man Marco Carducci leading well from the back.

Cavalry FC Marco Carducci
Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian

Halifax took a big gamble in resting several of its key players for last night’s bout against Cavalry, which makes the visitors leaving with three points in the bag a massive step in their ambitions to finish top of the regular season. The next three matches see them face Vancouver FC (eighth), York United (sixth), and Valour FC (seventh) before a closing match against second-place side Pacific FC, by which point Tommy will hope to have mathematically locked in the number one spot.

The Canadian Premier League introduced yet another change to playoffs this season, expanding the postseason to five teams with big advantages to those finishing higher up the table: finishing first or second nets you a chance to have a one-off match granting access straight to the 2023 CPL Final, while finishing third or lower means it’s a real uphill slog of matches to get there.

Canadian Premier League Playoff Format 2023

Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side have always been a top team in the regular season, but playoffs have been less than kind to them. They’ve been in the postseason running each and every year, with belief growing that the fifth time will be the charm for Cavalry – though that page in history is far from written.

The club will still need to lock in a few hundred more domestic U-21 minutes to reach the league’s requirement of 2,000. Failure to do so will forfeit a club’s playoff berth regardless of their standing in the league table.

At the opposite end of the table, expansion side Vancouver FC are on the precipice of elimination, but kept the slimmest of margins alive with a last-gasp home win over Atletico Ottawa.

Header Image Photo Credit: Trevor MacMillan

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