The fifth week of the Canadian Premier League wraps up with four more matches under its belt, which had impressive efforts from multiple teams. With only five goals being scored within the entire league, this weekend, we saw goalies standing on their heads and the backlines making it difficult to get real chances on goal. To showcase the defensive weekend, we have a 5-3-2 formation in this week’s Team of the Week, having five defencemen make an appearance after five of the eight teams hold on to a clean sheet.
Callum Irving (Pacific FC)
This shot-stopper had not just the best night among the goalies this weekend, but Irving put up probably the best game this season from a goalie on Saturday evening. Without having Callum in goal for Pacific, it’s hard to believe they come away with all three points. Irving managed to stop all 11 shots put on by Ottawa, all coming from within the box.
Jordan Haynes (Pacific FC)
Jordan joins his goalie as one of five defencemen in this week’s Team of the Week. The 26-year-old left-back put in a solid performance contributing to the back and front end of the game. Haynes played the full 90 minutes at TD Place on Saturday, and finished the game with 72 touches and an 80 percent pass success rate.
Dominik Zator (York United FC)
One of three center backs making their debut on the 13th Man Sports Team of the Week is Dominik Zator. Zator helped lift his team to an impressive 1-0 victory over Forge FC on Friday. Coming in as the underdogs, Zator gave Forge very few chances on goal, and finished the game with six clearances over the 90 minutes played.
Abdoulwahid Sissoko (Atletico Ottawa)
Normally playing in a midfielder position, Sissoko did a great job filling in at center back this weekend. Sissoko replaced Espeja on Saturday, and looked like a natural. Even though being part of a 1-0 loss, Sissoko could be thanked for the final score potentially not being higher. With one block, five clearances, and two interceptions, the French native proved that he can be relied on for future games in that role.
Peter Schaale (Halifax Wanderers FC)
In a 0-0 game there can possibly be an argument for multiple players to make this week’s team, but the 6’3 German center back stood out above the rest. With four interceptions, Schaale was able to keep the ball out of the Wanderers box while also being a menace in the box at the other end of the field for Valour FC, being a big body target on the corners.
Fraser Aird (Calvary FC)
This former Canadian international player had a tremendous game for Calvary on Friday evening. Playing in his first Al Classico match as a member of Calvary FC, Aird contributed an assist in the 3-0 victory over FC Edmonton. After his assist on the Joe Mason goal in the 30th minute, Fraser continued to be an annoyance for The Eddies. Being subbed off in the 74th minute Fraser Aird created two big chances and had one shot on goal as well.
Ballou Tabla (Atletico Ottawa)
The former CF Montreal forward is one of two players to appear on this week’s team that appeared last week as well. To every hero, there is a villain, and if you see Irving as the hero on Saturday night, then Tabla would be his villain. To all those shots I mentioned above about Irving saving, Tabla was either shooting them or helping create the opportunity that lead to a shot. Ballou had four of those 10 shots, while setting up at least three more of them. Tabla played a little bit further up the field for Atleti, and looked impressive in the role. Look out for Ballou to play a higher role in upcoming games.
Sebastian Gutierrez (York United FC)
Gutierrez scored his first goal of the season with a beautiful goal in the 79th minute at York Lions Stadium, on Friday evening. Following the trend this weekend, goals were hard to come by in this match as well, but that didn’t stop the Colombian native from trying. Having three shots in the match, Sebastian broke the scoreline after working his way into the box with the help of De Rosario, while making himself look like the CPL’s version of Lionel Messi.
Ali Musse (Calvary FC)
The second player to make his consecutive appearance in the team of the week, Ali Musse had another outstanding match against FC Edmonton. With a goal from a free-kick just outside the box, Musse scored to bring the game to 2-0. Musse can also be thanked for creating the opportunity that eventually lead to Joe Mason’s goal to open the scoring. Ali Musse put a lot of pressure on The Eddies, taking five shots with four of them making their way to the net.
Joe Mason (Calvary FC)
Mason unfortunately only played 45 minutes on Friday night in the 3-0 win, and that was enough to smash in the winner in the 30th minute. Joe was taken off at halftime, and fingers crossed Mason is okay, and is good to go next weekend, to take on Halifax Wanderers on the road. Joe Mason is a potential golden boot winner this season having scored three goals in just five games.
Alejandro Diaz (Pacific FC)
Diaz scored an impressive goal in the 72nd minute, banging in the goal with a header after the ball hit off the post from a shot outside the box from Manny Aparicio. Diaz leads the CPL in the scoring race so far, after scoring his fourth goal against Atletico Ottawa. The Mexcian striker was involved around the box all night and was a player Ottawa had to keep an eye on through the night.
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