13th Man Sports CPL Team Of The Week – Week 9

The ninth week in the CPL finished up on Sunday evening with a 1-1 draw in Winnipeg between Valour FC and FC Edmonton. That was the third match-up in this week’s game, giving two teams a break from the league. Forge FC was busy battling MLS side Toronto FC in their 2020 Canadian Championship match, and Calvary got to sit back and enjoy the league from their TVs. With only six teams out of the eight playing in this week’s games, we see some strong performances all around the pitch creating a 4-3-3 formation.

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Goalkeeper

Andreas Vaikla (FC Edmonton)

Andreas Vaikla in action against Valour. (FC Edmonton/CPL)

Arguably not just the best Eddie so far this season, but also the best goalie in the early season, Andreas Vaikla finished Sunday’s match giving his team the chance at three points. With a late goal from Valour’s Akio to tie the game, Vaikla’s performance was good enough for FC Edmonton’s fourth draw of the season. The Estonian keeper finished the match with four saves, with two of them coming inside the box.

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Defenders

Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Valour FC)

Playing in 81 minutes in his return to the team, Baptiste put on an excellent performance demonstrating why he is talked about as one of the best center backs in the league. The 29-year-old Haitian was involved in the game more than any other player having 114 touches and making 98 passes out of the 107 he attempted. Baptiste came off with another potential injury in the 81st-minute.

Thomas Meilleur-Giguere (Pacific FC)

Pacific FC had a hard time getting anything going on Sunday afternoon in Ottawa. Ottawa held their ball in their half and created constant pressure on Pacific’s defence. Meilleur-Giguere was a prime reason why Ottawa didn’t run away with the game. Playing in the full 90 minutes and having 87 touches, the 24-year-old defender had two blocks, and two clearances, helping keep the game 0-0 in the first half clearing the ball off the line where the ball was sure to find the back of the net.

Drew Beckie (Atletico Ottawa)

Drew Beckie, Atletico Ottawa

For the second time in two weeks, Ottawa’s captain finds himself on the team of the week. Drew Beckie had another solid match keeping the ball away from Nathan Ingham, and controlling the backline to help move Ottawa up to second in the league with a 2-1 win. Leaving the game with five clearances and two interceptions, it was unfortunate Pacific’s Josh Heard was able to find the back of the net in the 83rd minute.

Miguel Acosta (Atletico Ottawa)

The right side in Ottawa along with Bassett and Tabla wouldn’t be complete without Miguel Acosta. Possibly the unsung hero of the match, Acosta was seeing all over the right side having 103 touches in the game and completing 82 percent of his passes. Along with making 10 recoveries, Acosta won all six ground duels he was a part of, keeping a strong presence on the right side.


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Midfielders

Gabriel Bitar (FC Edmonton)

Plating in 89 minutes, Bitar came out of the gates hard to help FC Edmonton get a long-lasting lead in the game. Assisting Camara’s goal in the 32nd minute, Bitar continued the efforts to keep the Eddies in the match all match. Challenging for the ball 17 times, Bitar was all over Valour once they had the ball. Coming off on the 89th minute, Bitar wasn’t on the pitch for the equalizer by William Akio in the 90+4th minute. Bitar left the match with 75 percent successful passes, two interceptions, one block, and one shot on goal, as well as the assist on the Eddies loan goal.

Andrea Rampersad (Halifax Wanderers FC)

Andrea Rampersad, Halifax Wanderers FC

Probably Halifax’s best player this season, Andrea Rampersad put up another great performance, leading his team to a 1-0 victory over York United. With an impressive 13 recoveries in the match, Rampersad gave York very few options in moving the ball through the midfield. Having 77 touches in the 90 minutes of play, the Halifax captain made three clearances, and one interception, as well as winning seven out of nine aerial duels. As much as York wanted to avoid them, they simply couldn’t.

Ollie Bassett (Atletico Ottawa)

Ollie Basset is making a strong argument for player of the season, after another outstanding game on Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital. Teaming up often with Ballou Tabla, these two seem unstoppable at times. Picking up another assist in the game, on the game-winner by Zach Verhoven, Basset was seen as a threat all night. Making 35 passes out of the 44 he attempted, Basset also completed four out of the nine crosses.

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Forwards.

Zach Verhoven (Atletico Ottawa)

Zach Verhoven, Atletico Ottawa – Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography/CPL

Picking up his second straight game-winning goal as a sub on Sunday, Zach Verhoven finds his way into the team of the week. Playing in only 27 minutes of the match, coming on for Vladimir Moragrega in the 63rd minute, Verhoven was an immediate influence in the match. Taking two shots towards target and having 20 touches, the 23-year-old had a boost of speed as the super sub. Being a problem for Pacific the minute he stepped on, there was no surprise seeing him bang in the game-winner in the 83rd minute.

Mamadi Camara (FC Edmonton)

This may be the first time this season that FC Edmonton has three players that put on a performance to get themselves into the team of the week. Scoring his second goal in just as many games, Camara scored the game opener in the 32nd minute which looked like to be the game-winner right up till the end. Completing the 90 minutes that was asked of him, Camara was seeing in and around the box for the Eddies. Finishing 69 percent of his passes and making two interceptions, Camara and the rest of the Eddies looked like a huge improvement from previous weeks, adding on to their 4-3 loss to Forge FC the previous week.

Ballou Tabla (Atletico Ottawa)

The right side of this week’s team of the week wouldn’t be complete without Tabla. The highly intercepted signing for Ottawa in the off-season is living up to his name. If Bassett hasn’t been the best player for Ottawa, then it’s Tabla. Being subbed off for Carl Haworth in the 81st minute, Tabla left the game with an 86 percent success rate on his dribbles, an 87 percent success passing rate, as well as assisting Malcolm Shaw on the first goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Tabla is a constant threat for Ottawa on the right side and has the ability to find players in and around the box to create multiple scoring chances a game.


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