Round one of the Canadian Championship (The Voyager Cup), kicked off this weekend. We had 10 teams spread out over four leagues in the Canadian soccer pyramid playoff against each other to start off the tournament. Teams from the CPL ( Canadian Premier League), MLS (Major League Soccer), L1O (League One Ontario), and PLSQ (Première Ligue de soccer du Québec), played in exciting mid-week games, taking a break from their regular-season matches.
Svyatik Artemenko (Guelph United FC)
Protecting the goal in this special edition of Team of the Week is Guelph United’s keeper Artemenko. The Ukrainian goalie had a busy night taking on CPL’s Halifax Wanderers, stopping eight of the 10 shots he faced. Debatably the best player on the field for Guelph, Artemenko kept them in the game and kept hope in the team moving into the second half, after only letting in one goal in the first half after a 22nd-minute pen from Akeem Garcia.
Diyaeddine Abzi (York United FC )
Abzi was able to bring his excellent form from the CPL to the Canadian Championship. Abzi played all 90 minutes versus Ottawa on Tuesday evening, scoring the game’s opening goal. The game finished 1-1 thanks to the offence and defence from Abzi. Scoring the only goal for York in the 31st minute, and also had nine recoveries to help push penalties, where they go on to win and advance to the second round of the tournament.
Ranko Veselinovic (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Vancouver came into their match on Wednesday to play CPL side Valour FC having never beaten a CPL team. Losing twice in this competition over the last couple of years to teams in the CPL, this game was important for the Whitecaps, and they showed that in their starting 11. Veselinovic has appeared in all nine games for Vancouver in their MLS season. The Serbian defender played a big game, keeping Valour’s chances to a minimum, especially in the second half. With five recovers and three interceptions, Ranko stood tall in the backline for Vancouver.
Marko Maletić (Guelph United FC)
The second player to make an impressive performance against Halifax is centre-back Marko Maletic. The 22-year-old defender did a great job helping their keeper in keeping the scoreline low for Guelph. The Canadian defender proved to be a handful all night for the Wanderers’ attack, making their shots come from bad angles or outside the box.
Daan Klomp (Calvary FC)
Playing the full 90 minutes, Daan Klomp was an important player to Calvary in their win on Tuesday. Klomp finished the game with a 74 percent success pass rate making 42 out of 57 attempts. The 23-year-old right-back made 11 recoveries and three interceptions on the defensive end as well, giving The Eddies an excuse not to go down the right side.
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Ryan Raposo (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Making five shots on goal, Ryan Raposo was able to score his third goal as a Whitecap and lead the Whitecaps to a 2-0 over Valour FC. Ryan played a steady game in the midfield on Wednesday and continued to impact the game in just the 61 minutes he played. With 58 touches Ryan also completed 28 passes on 34 attempts.
Andre Rampersad (Halifax Wanderers FC)
The Wanderers captain made a big impact in their 2-0 win over L1O side Guelph United on Tuesday evening in Guelph, Ontario. The Trinidadian midfielder, played the full 90 minutes succeeding on 91 percent of passes, 10 recoveries on defence and made five interceptions. Rampersad was a dominant force in the midfield all game and was impactful while attacking and when needing to come back.
Russel Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
Scoring the first goal of the game, Russel Teibert put in a solid performance against Valour FC at home. Taking just 19 minutes to score Russel opened the scoring, and continued to put pressure on the Valour backline. Having a successful pass rate of 86 percent, he made all four long ball attempts in the full 90 minutes.
Aiden Daniels (Halifax Wanderers FC)
The former Toronto FC midfielder scored a screamer on Tuesday night versus Guelph United. Making just his third appearance for the Wanderers, the highly anticipated off-season signing played 81 minutes on Tuesday, creating two big chances for the wanderers, as well as making two interceptions, and six recoveries.
Myer Bevan (Calvary FC)
Being the only player to score two goals to start the tournament, Bevan leads the golden boot race. Coming to Calvary from New Zealand in the off-season, Myer is taking some time to adapt to the league, but after scoring his first two goals for Calvary on Tuesday, he seems to be getting the feel for the league. Look for Bevan to be a target in the box and be secondary scoring for the Cavs behind Joe Mason.
Ali Musse (Calvary FC)
For the third time in a row, Ali Musse will feature in our Team of the week. Like Abzi, Musse brought his impressive performance over from the CPL season into the tournament. Grabbing an assist on the first goal of the game, Musse continues to show no remorse when it comes to The Eddies.
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