Preseason Match Recap: Four CPL Clubs In Action
With four preseason friendlies involving Canadian Premier League sides over the last few days, we wanted to provide a brief recap of everything that unfolded.
Details are always a bit sparse as clubs experiment with new faces and trialists, so some recaps have more info than others.
Without further ado, here’s how CPL clubs have fared on the pitch this week:
Atletico Ottawa 2-2 UD Sanse
Atletico Ottawa are currently in Spain, kicking off the preseason tests with a match against third division Spanish side UD Sanse.
Featuring a lineup that included trialist Tyr Walker, the club came out strong and quickly went one-nil up with Malcom Shaw putting the ball in the back of the net, with CPL MVP Ollie Bassett collecting the assist.
The first half would finish 1-1, with Carlos Gonzalez making changes aplenty for the second. In came several new faces like Luke Singh, Samuel Salter, Gianni Dos Santos, and Gabriel Antinoro, with trialist Omar Darwish also coming on, among others.
A last-gasp equalizer was procured through Tyr Walker, who notched the ball home after a bit of ping-pong from both sides. All-told, a 2-2 result is a fine start for Atletico Ottawa’s Spanish camp.
Pacific FC 3 – 0 University of Victoria
Pacific’s public preseason match got a hot start, with all three goals coming in the first half: Manny Aparicio slotted on under the goalkeeper early on to set the tone, with Josh Heard both winning and converting a penalty not long after.
Former Nine Stripe Cedric Toussaint added a third with an out-of-the-box effort which parsed through some bodies to find the back of the net and hand the Tridents their third goal.
Pacific will now embark on some behind-closed-doors matches against WFC2, Valour, and the University of Washington.
Vancouver FC 2-0 BB5 United
Afshin Ghotbi’s side has rallied back-to-back preseason wins after a hearty two-nil win over top VMSL side BB5 United.
Both goals came from Ameer Kinani, the ProStars FC phenom selected by the team in the CPL-U SPORTS Draft.
The team had mounted a 3-1 comeback over Whitecaps FC 2 last week, with Kinani converting a penalty in that match. Suffice to say, he’s making a strong case for himself.
It’s worth noting that teenage prospect TJ Tahid featured in the friendly, having been trialing with VFC for weeks now. There’s a long preseason still ahead of the club, though.
York United 0-0 Penn State University
The Nine Stripes secured a nil-nil draw stateside after bussing down to Penn State University, a trip made to somewhat mirror an away day in Ottawa.
The match saw York concede a penalty just two minutes in, but Niko Giantsopoulos – ever the penalty kick hero – came up big with the save to keep all things equal.
While Dos Santos and new club additions Faye and Voytsekhovskyy tested the opposition goalkeeper, the match would finish a draw.
The Nine Stripes had enjoyed a four-nil thumping of the CF Montreal Academy to open camp back at home, and are now in Houston to play the Dynamo 2 later on today.
We’ll soon see Cavalry, Valour, Forge, and the Halifax Wanderers embark on their own preseason trips, and the minutes on the pitch will start tallying up as clubs move to get match-ready and sort out their last roster spots.
With the fixtures already starting to come in thick and fast, it’s wild to think that the 2023 Canadian Premier League season is barely over a month away. We’re getting there!