13th Man Sports’ CPL Team of the Week – Week 4

Week four in the Canadian Premier League was an exciting one, featuring four matches between Pacific FC, Cavalry FC, FC Edmonton, Atletico Ottawa, Halifax Wanderers FC, and York United FC. This week was scheduled for five games for the first time this season, but due to Covid protocol in the CPL, we saw the match between Forge FC and Valour FC cancelled and to be fixed at a later date. This left Pacific FC and FC Edmonton each playing two games, one of which was between each other in a thrilling 0-0 showdown. This week features four defencemen, four midfielders and three forwards in a 4-3-3 formation.

Goalkeeper

Marco Carducci (Cavalry FC)

Marco Carducci, Cavalry FC

Marco Carducci made his Season debut Sunday night in the CPL, and was made the 13th Man Sports’ Team of the Week. Carducci put in a solid performance against Pacific FC, stopping all four shots he faced, including the three he faced inside the box. Carducci was held to the sideline in the first three matches, this season, after spending his offseason doing treatments for testicular cancer. Healthy and strong, Carducci proved to the league in his debut he is still one of the elite keepers in the league.

Defenders

Luke Singh (FC Edmonton)

Luke Singh has started this season playing in all 450 minutes for the Eddies, and has earned every minute. Singh put in a solid performance in the match versus Pacific, and continues to show a dominant defensive ability in the league. The big body defenceman is one of many players on loan this season to FC Edmonton, and if he continues this early-season performance, he is one that FC Edmonton will for sure miss in the future. Singh’s loan ends at the end of the season, when he will return to his mother club, Toronto FC, in the MLS.

Amer Didic (Pacific FC)

FC Edmonton defender Amer Didic. (Nora Stankovic/OneSoccer)

Didic, like Luke Singh, played two games this week, with the first one taking place between each other. The 0-0 result saw excellent defence from both teams. Didic’s performance earned him the man of the match, and it was well deserved. The 27-year-old centre-back finished the game with six clearances and a 91 percent accuracy in his passing.

Karifa Yao (Cavalry FC)

Yao is the second defenceman in this team of the week that had to play Pacific FC, and lend a helping hand in giving Pacific another game this week with zero goals to their name. The 21-year-old centre-back on loan from Montreal shut out Pacific and gave them a real hard time to get any real scoring chances on net. Yao was dominant in his duels, winning all six of his ground, and all six of his aerial duels.

Zachary Fernandez (Halifax Wanderers FC)

This 20-year-old right-back had a great game in Halifax’s home opener, putting up one assist to help lift Halifax to their second win of the year in a 3-1 victory over FC Edmonton. Fernandez caused trouble all over the field for the Eddies, and seemed unstoppable at times when coming up against Terique Mohamed and Luke Singh.

Midfielders

Jean-Aneil Assi (Cavalry FC)

The third Cavalry player, and second player for Cavalry on loan from Montreal to make the team this week is Jean-Aniel Assi. The Ivory Coast-born player was part of a dominant midfield against Pacific FC. Assi registered an assist in the competition on a goal scored by Joe Mason in the 37th minute.

Ali Musse (Cavalry FC)

July 17, 2021. HFX Wanderers FC vs Cavalry FC. Second-Half. Ali Musse of Cavalry FC jumps in joy as he celebrates his goal against HFX Wanderers FC as teammate Anthony Novak looks on.

Ali Musse opened the scoring early on Sunday evening, scoring just two minutes into the game after amazing efforts from Joe Mason and Jose Escalante to keep the ball alive and in their possession inside the box. Ali only played 69 minutes, but while on the field, he remained a serious threat to the Pacific backline.

Jose Escalante (Cavalry FC)

Escalante fills the final spot in this week’s midfield. Though many may disagree with having an all Cavalry midfield, few can deny that they controlled the game against Pacific, and was able to shut down the number one team in the league. Escalante left the game with an assist, and an overall man of the match performance, even though that was awarded to Joe Mason.

Forwards

Ballou Tabla (Atletico Ottawa)

Ballou Tabla, Atletico Ottawa

Ballou Tabla continued his strong performance in the CPL versus York United on Friday evening, clinching his first goal of the year in the 86th minute. His goal looked like it was going to be the one to put Ottawa over the top and pull away with the three points, but York defenseman Zator was able to bang in a late one to bring the scoreline to 2-2. Through the first three games of the season, Tabla struggled to find his first goal in the CPL, but always showed tremendous skill and at times just came out unlucky. Tabla has a hard time finding space on the field and is often covered by multiple players, yet still has the ability to show his talent. Tabla stood out among Ottawa and York players in the 2-2 result.

Akeem Garcia (Halifax Wanderers FC)

This Trinbagonian striker took two games to put his first goal under his belt this season. The former CPL golden boot winner is expected to have a big bounce-back year this season after only scoring two goals last season. With Morelli going down for the remainder of the season all eyes are on Garcia to put the ball into the net. Akeem had a rough first start to the season last week, but had a great outing in the home opener for Halifax, and helped lift the Wanderers to a 3-1 Victory over the Eddies.

Cory Bent (Halifax Wanderers FC)

The only player making back-to-back appearances on this week’s team of the week is English striker Cory Bent. Bent managed to get his second goal in just as many games in the 3-1 win on Saturday afternoon at Wanderers Grounds. Bent started right where he left off and continues to be a solid fill-in for Morelli on the attacking side for Halifax. Bent only missed seven passes in the match, and took part on the defensive end with one block as well. Bent’s speed is proven hard to match which he used to create opportunities all around the box.

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