July 16, 2024
  • July 16, 2024
York United Brian Wright

CPL Power Rankings Week 11: And Take A Deep Breath

By on June 27, 2023 0 1507 Views

After six matches, week 11 of the Canadian Premier League season has come to a close, and fans across the country can finally take a breather. This was arguably the most thrilling week of the season – which will make these power rankings very interesting, so let’s begin.

Vancouver FC Ameer Kinani Goal
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier

8th Place – Vancouver FC

Vancouver started this week off on Cloud 9 but, by the end of it, found themselves crashing down to earth. First up was a match against Forge FC. Coming into this game, Vancouver and Forge were both on a three-game losing streak, and everyone was expecting Forge to dunk on Vancouver – as every other team had done this season. Yet, the beautiful game of football had different plans as Vancouver ended up taking this game 2-0 in another match they got dominated in. One could even say that their win was more of Forge struggling than Vancouver doing anything. Still, Vancouver ended up with a massive result and had the chance to build momentum with a game a few days later against Valour. However, the same old story happened with Vancouver: They got dominated in all statistical categories, and despite Calum Irving’s heroics, Vancouver fell 1-0 to Valour.

You can’t be getting four shots in a game and expect to do anything. Vancouver’s defence has bounced back in the past few games, but their offence remains inconsistent. Vancouver’s season is fading away, but hopefully they can continue to win some games.

Atletico Ottawa Karl Ouimette
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

7th Place – Atletico Ottawa

As an Atletico Ottawa fan, I wish I could skip this segment. Ottawa starts the game by scoring the opener 22 seconds into the game. They then gift Forge with two goals, one being an own goal and the other almost as bad. Forge adds another before halftime to make it 3-1. Ottawa rallies in the second half to tie the game at three apiece and then concedes with nine minutes left, falling to Forge 4-3.

This team is pissing me off. This is another game where they only showed up for 45 minutes. To score the second-fastest goal in CPL history and then to turn around and hand Forge the lead on a silver platter is enough to make a grown man go insane. However, to then come back and tie the game on the road against a team you’ve only beaten once in your club history – to then blow it with 9 minutes left… that’s enough to make a grown man cry. Ottawa’s struggles continue, and they find themselves only a point off the bottom of the table. They have yet to put together a solid 90-minute performance (outside of the game against Vancouver), and the vibes in the fanbase are at an almost all-time low. This is an ATO side that won the Regular Championship last season and have now fallen into Wooden Spoon contenders; One really has to start asking, how much longer will Carlos Gonzalez last?

Forge FC Terran Campbell Brace
Photo Credit: Jojo Yanjiao Qian / Forge FC

6th Place – Forge FC

Don’t let the game against Atletico Ottawa fool you: I’m still not impressed by Forge. Losing 2-0 to a struggling Vancouver side is enough to drop them again this week. Turning to the ATO game, they conceded 22 seconds into the game and were only able to get back into the game, thanks to Ottawa handing the game to them with a kiss on the cheek. They take a 3-1 lead into the locker room and then proceed to blow it until Woobens saves the Hamilton side with nine minutes to go.

Forge are not the team we are used to. They are fragile and still there for the taking. If Ottawa didn’t hand them this game, Forge were probably on their way to a fourth straight loss. In fact, in their last eight matches, their only two wins have come against Ottawa, both in the last ten minutes of the game. Good for Forge for coming away with three points, but in my opinion this wasn’t a good week for them, and they will desperately need a strong performance next week.

Cavalry FC Baby Fan
Photo Creditr: Mike Sturk

5th Place – Cavalry FC

Cavalry desperately needed a bounce-back game after their loss to Halifax last week. The first half against York United was relatively quiet, with both teams trading chances, but in the second half, the fireworks came out. Cavalry struck first in the 51st minute, and a few minutes later, Babouli equalized the game for York. It took a magical Free Kick goal from Musse in the 83rd minute to win all 3 points for Cavalry.

Cavalry moves up a spot in these rankings more due to Forge moving down than this Cavalry result. Cavalry are the pinnacle of inconsistency this season, and based on their season so far, I am fully expecting them to lose next week.

Until Cavalry can start putting a good stretch of games together, they won’t be climbing up these Power Rankings.

York United Brian Wright
Photo Credit: Tony Lewis

4th Place – York United

From second place to fourth – Forge aren’t the only surprise on this list! After winning four out of five games, York have a record of 0-1-2 from their past three games. Their first match against Halifax was quite entertaining. Both teams finished with 13 shots, and York were four minutes away from grabbing all three points. While a win would have been better, you can’t go wrong with a draw, and York had to turn their focus to Cavalry, which they ended up dropping 2-1. This was another game where York finished with 13 shots yet couldn’t score more than one goal.

York’s recent run was unsustainable, and while going 0-1-2 in their past three games isn’t room for concern yet, with games against Vancouver, Forge and Pacific coming up, York will have to have a couple of strong performances if they want to stay in the top 4 of these power rankings.

Halifax York Coimbra Mourdoukatas
Photo Credit: John Jacques

3rd Place – Halifax Wanderers

I debated dropping Halifax to fourth, but then decided a road point is always good for any team. Halifax was in this game for all 90 minutes. Even when Babouli took the lead for York, Halifax kept to their game plan and responded ten minutes before half-time. When Santos scored a potential goal of the season, Halifax kept pushing and were rewarded in the 86th minute with a goal by Aidan Daniels.

Halifax looked impressive. This team is not easy to beat and will fight to the very end. Offensively, Halifax moved the ball with precision and were able to create multiple scoring chances. While York had 13 shots, only two hit the target (both goals, including the Santos screamer). Draws on the road are completely fine – if you can win at home, and lately, Halifax has been winning at home, with wins over Valour and Cavalry.

The biggest test comes next week when Halifax takes on a struggling but dangerous Forge side at Wanderers ground. Halifax are undefeated in three games. Can they keep the streak going, or will Forge humble them?

Valour FC Diego Gutierrez Goal
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

2nd Place – Valour FC

I promise this is my last surprise of this week’s article. Yes, Valour are in second place in the Power Rankings. Despite losing 1-0 to Pacific and only beating Vancouver FC 1-0, I’ve been very impressed with Valour lately. In the match against Pacific, Valour dominated possession 56% to 44% and outshot Pacific 12 to 7. Valour then played a near-perfect road match and almost came away with a point before Pacific grabbed a late winner – something they have been doing to many teams this season. Valour kept Pacific at bay for most of the game – a strategy they’ve used against other teams this season.

Although they come away with nothing, Valour looks like a dangerous team. The game against Vancouver was a classic game where Vancouver got dominated in all categories yet only conceded once. If I’m a Valour fan, I won’t focus too much on the scoreline but instead be pleased about the 17 shots and 66% possession.

It seems things at Valour are finally clicking. You can sense it with the players and even the fans as over 4000 people attended the Valour – Vancouver FC Match. With their next two matches being against Cavalry and ATO, Valour have a solid chance of not only staying up in these rankings but possibly even finding themselves in second place in the CPL Standings.

Pacific FC Celebrate
Photo Credit: Canadian Premier League

1st Place – Pacific FC

Pacific are just finding ways to win. It’s what champions do. This was another game which required some late heroics for Pacific, but not a fan or player will care as Pacific extends their win streak to four matches and their clean sheet streak to three matches.

There isn’t much to say about this team: others clubs aren’t scoring against Pacific, and Pacific don’t look in the mood to drop points anytime soon. With a five point gap at the top of the table, there will need to be a stretch of horrid performances to drag Pacific down these rankings.

Conclusion

This might have been my spiciest article yet. There are a handful of surprises, but I hope I was able to explain my thought process with all of them. One thing is for certain, you need to be checking these articles every week because it’s the only way you’ll be able to keep up with this fast-paced league. See you next week!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *