CPL Power Rankings Week 10: One Titan Falls While The Other Stands
After ten weeks, the standings are as close as ever. So how can one tell which teams have the edge over others? Well, you’re at the right place! With three teams on two wins, and just five points separating second and sixth, I will do my best to try and sort the eight CPL teams in a fair Power Rankings.
I thought last week was going to be difficult, this week… well let’s just get started.
8th Place – Vancouver FC
I don’t want to outright say that Vancouver’s season is already over because they are only five points out of a playoff spot, but they’ve practically solidified themselves at the bottom of these rankings.
Yet again, Vancouver looked outmatched in this week’s game, giving up 17 shots and 56% possession. The scoreline may have ended 1-0, but that was more due to Ottawa’s incapability of scoring rather than Vancouver’s defence. In fact, Vancouver’s defence looked as soft as their previous games, where they gave up three and six goals respectively. Ottawa gave up plenty of set-piece chances to Vancouver this game, yet the Langley residents weren’t able to capitalize, dropping their third game in a row and extending their winless streak to 8 games.
No one expected an easy season for the CPL’s newest expansion side, yet there was some hype over Ghotbi and what he might be able to do. Unfortunately, whatever Ghotbi was cooking has blown up in his face as Vancouver is severely lacking in depth in all categories.
The solid defensive performances from earlier in the season have vanished and Vancouver is being outmatched in every single match. They are only five points out of a playoff spot, but I believe the gap will just continue to increase week-after-week. My only hope is that Vancouver will be able to earn a couple of results at home so they can start building a strong fanbase.
7th Place – Atletico Ottawa
I said on CCSG’s Twitter Pre-game show that if Ottawa can’t score multiple goals in this game, there will be an issue, and they only scored one. 17 shots, yet only one goal against the worst team in the league AT HOME is not a sign of good form.
I will say this every week, but performances against Vancouver will be taken with a grain of salt since every team has been dominating them recently. However, what other teams have done that Ottawa can’t do is finish. This is the fourth straight season where Ottawa has finishing problems, and only scoring one goal in this game is extremely worrying because you’re not going to get these many chances against better teams like Forge and Pacific, who Ottawa just so happen to play next.
A win is a win, however, and Ottawa is on a two home-game win streak, putting them one point out of fourth. However, strangely enough, Ottawa still look like the weakest team other than Vancouver. If this Ottawa team wants to be competitive, goal scoring needs to be fixed ASAP, and Ottawa may have a solution on hand, but they will have to wait until the transfer window opens in order to bring in reinforcements.
Until then, Ottawa is going to need to find a way to get results against Forge and Pacific, both on the road.
6th Place – Cavalry FC
I could sense this result coming from a mile away. Look at my comments from last week:
Still, I’m interested to see what kind of performance they put together against a Halifax side also coming off a much-needed win. A poor performance against Halifax will surely tank Cavalry in these rankings no matter how dominant this win against Vancouver was.CPL Power Rankings – Week 9
Outside of the Vancouver win, this is Cavalry’s third disappointing match in a row. With a chance to use the momentum off the Vancouver win, Cavalry turned around and dropped another stinker where they can’t defend and can’t score. Despite 61% possession and 14 shots, Cavalry were only able to score one goal… off a penalty in the 8th minute. To make matters worse, they conceded three times to Halifax, with the first coming in the sixth minute.
This is an important year for Cavalry, and Tommy Wheeldon Jr. too. A trophy seems a must, and those hopes seem to be sliding away based on the recent Cavalry performances. Their two wins this season have come against ATO and Vancouver, which does diminish the value. Cavalry are struggling right now, and with the standings so tight, they can quickly find themselves slipping in the CPL Standings on top of these Power Rankings.
5th Place – Forge FC
Do not rub your eyes, you are reading this correctly. The reigning CPL Champions are sitting in fifth place in this week’s Power Rankings thanks to a 2-0 loss to Valour FC.
I don’t want to be that “I told you so” person – but also “I told you so”.
Since the beginning weeks, I’ve been warning everyone that Forge seem off this season, and teams will all get a chance to capitalize on this ‘offness’. Yet again, this match was another episode of Forge dominating possession (56%) and shots (19) yet coming up with nothing. Valour only had four shots this game yet were able to earn a 2-0 win. Forge looked frustrated the entire game, and their attacking talents have all forgotten how to finish.
Forge are winless in their past four games with a record of 0-1-3. They look frustrated. beatable and, most importantly, vulnerable. This is a unique spot for Forge, who typically dominate the league and definitely don’t go on poor stretches such as this one. They’ve built themselves a small buffer in the standings, but as these Power Rankings point out, there are only a few teams who look worse than Forge right now.
Forge’s next two matches are against Vancouver and Ottawa, two teams that they either should beat or have a good track record against. However, as this season has shown, both of these games are up in the air. All eyes will be on Forge to see how they overcome this adversity.
4th Place – Valour FC
This is a massive result for Valour, who earn their second win of the season. Their last match against Forge must have given them the confidence for this tilt, as despite being statistically dominated by Forge, Valour always looked like the more confident side. Pianelli scored his first career CPL goal late in the first half, and Ponce would add the clincher in the 63rd minute, giving Valour that must needed win against the reigning CPL Champions.
Valour is an intriguing team: they join Cavalry and Halifax in the 2-6-2 club and can’t seem to break through this season. After putting up a horrible performance last week against Halifax, they turn around and defeat Forge. After drawing Pacific one week, the next week, they draw 0-0 with Vancouver. Valour is the definition of inconsistent, and with matches against Pacific, Vancouver, Cavalry and Ottawa coming up, Valour have a real chance at finally getting their season started and going on a run.
However, based on the first ten weeks, I fully expect Valour to appear anywhere between third and sixth in these rankings.
3rd Place – Halifax Wanderers
Halifax is one of the three CPL teams to have a record of 2-6-2, and although they sit below the other two teams in the standings, in these rankings they will finish ahead of them.
After earning their first win of the season in a dominating fashion last week, Halifax was looking to continue the momentum against Cavalry – and continue the momentum they did. Halifax scored three goals on nine shots and only conceded one goal off fourteen shots, with that goal coming off a penalty.
Earlier in the season, Halifax wouldn’t have gotten this result, yet the past two games have given hope to Wanderers fans that, perhaps, the team that showed glimpses of success early on in the season is finally ready to take that success. Halifax has always played well, their biggest issue was not being able to finish games off. The past two matches have shown that Halifax can do exactly that.
However, with their next two opponents being York and Forge, Halifax will have to prove to everyone that these past two games weren’t a fluke.
2nd Place – York United
Despite losing, York retains their spot at 2nd place in these power rankings. York came to play in this game, taking the edge in possession 55% to 45% and splitting the shots 13 apiece. However, once again, the lack of finishing eventually hurt York, as they weren’t able to bury any of their chances. Pacific grabbed on to some late-game momentum and stole all three points in the 88th minute ending York’s five-game unbeaten run.
York came out to play and could have easily walked away with a draw. They played courageously and didn’t let Pacific dominate the game. These are all very good signs for a York team who suddenly find themselves in a title race.
With York’s next three matches being against Halifax, Cavalry and Vancouver, there is a big possibility of York separating themselves from the rest of the CPL pack behind them.
1st Place – Pacific FC
Another week, another win for the league leaders Pacific FC. They extend their lead at the top of the table to five points and showed their strength against arguably the second-strongest side in the CPL. This was a much tougher game for Pacific, but they always looked like they had the edge. It took them until the 88th minute to grab the winner, but as that famous quote states: “Champions find ways to win”.
Pacific look like clear title favourites at this stage in the season. It is very difficult to find many faults with this team but one thing to look for is the fact that outside of the Vancouver game, Pacific hasn’t scored more than one goal in a game since May 14th (5 games). This could be an area that can eventually bite them in the rear end, but for now, they keep on winning and don’t look like they will stop anytime soon.