CPL Power Rankings – Halfway Point

It has been a fast-paced and exciting CPL season, and it’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the regular season already. There has been plenty of twists and turns, with teams who look comfortable at the top stumbling, teams from the outside looking in gaining momentum, and after looking like we may have a runaway leader, we now have a potential three-team title race. Before we go into the second half of the season where the stakes rise, let’s take a look at where every team stands in the power rankings.

8. York United (2-5-7)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 3rd

Goals For: 7

Goals Against: 15

Clean Sheets: 5

Leading Scorer: Osaze De Rosario (4)

Who saw this coming at the quarter-season mark? Since beating local rivals Forge 1-0 in week six, the Nine Stripes have been on an utterly dismal run of form, losing six of their last nine, scoring just one goal and being winless ever since. Osaze De Rosario is their top scorer with four goals and has often been their best-attacking option up front, but he can’t do it on his own. Only two other forwards, Oliver Minatel and Sebastián Gutiérrez, have managed to score this season (one goal each) and York just haven’t gotten anywhere near enough production up front. At the back, York has been defensively solid for most of the season, but the departure of their star player Diyaeddine Abzi has coincided with more goals being conceded, with York having conceded eight in their last three, just after having conceded just seven goals in the league beforehand. If they want to salvage their season, Martin Nash’s men will need an almost historic turnaround at this point.

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7. FC Edmonton (2-4-9)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 8th

Goals For: 17

Goals Against: 28

Clean Sheets: 3

Leading Scorer: Mamadi Camara (4)

Things are looking up for the Eddies. Having been predicted to have been routed at the bottom of the table and an easy three points, Edmonton has been very competitive as of late. In their last six games, Edmonton has picked up seven points including their first win of the season against high-flying Ottawa. For the first time in a while, Edmonton looks to have momentum going, and with plenty of sponsorships having been announced lately, it’s looking ever more likely Edmonton will (hopefully) be here to stay.

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6. HFX Wanderers (5-2-7)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 7th

Goals For: 13

Goals Against: 18

Clean Sheets: 4

Leading Scorer: Samuel Salter (5)

There’s not much in this. HFX and Pacific could easily be switched here, but the league table is the tie breaker, and right now, HFX finds themselves on the outside looking in. Its been a consistent season of inconsistency in Halifax. While they have won emphatically 3-0 away to Pacific and have taken maximum points against the teams below them, the Wanderers have struggled against better opponents, most notably losing twice at home to Forge by scores of 3-0 and 4-0. Perhaps what is most concerning is the manner in which they concede, with many goals coming from crosses out wide or dead ball situations. The next two games for HFX are against Edmonton and York, and they’ll need to once again take maximum points against those sides in order to put pressure on those above them, and give themselves a chance of extending their season, and with the midfield duo of Andre Rampersad and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé, they will at least have a chance.

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5. Pacific FC (6-5-4)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 1st

Goals For: 19

Goals Against: 22

Clean Sheets: 4

Leading Scorer: Alejandro Díaz (7)

It doesn’t seem long ago that Pacific was the runaway leaders at the top of the league and were looking unstoppable. Now, they have been dramatically dropping points, are no longer top and based on their form, could be in danger of missing the playoffs. Before a 3-2 win against Edmonton, Pacific went eight games without a win, conceding thirteen goals and only scoring six (three coming in one game) and emphatically losing games to playoff rivals Forge, HFX, and Ottawa. Manny Aparicio and Marco Bustos have dropped off from their earlier form, and Alejandro Díaz has scored just two goals in eight games. If Pacific wants to turn their season around, these three players recapturing their early season form will be key in seeing where the defending champs go from here.


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4. Valour FC (5-4-4)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 6th

Goals For: 21

Goals Against: 16

Clean Sheets: 4

Leading Scorer: Moses Dyer (5)

After failing to capitalize on their 6-1 win against Ottawa early on, the Winnipeg side looks to have turned a corner in the right way heading into the second half of the season. Despite losing 4-2 at home to league leaders Cavalry, Valour played better than the scoreline suggested, and has backed that up with three consecutive wins, and just one defeat in their last five. Notably, they won away at Forge, and defeated fellow playoff rivals HFX 1-0 at home. Valour has some dangerous attackers in Sean Rea, Moses Dyer, and William Akio, and at the back, they have some good players they can also rely on. Goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois continues to be amongst the CPL goalkeeping elite, and the return of defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste has given Valour more solidity at the back. With just one point separating Valour and Forge, and Valour having played two fewer games than Pacific (who are only four points ahead of Valour), Phillip Dos Santos will be quietly confident his side can be in the mix come the business end of the season.

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3. Forge FC (6-2-4)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 4th

Goals For: 23

Goals Against: 11

Clean Sheets: 5

Leading Scorer: Tristan Borges (5)

Having played just twelve games, three less than Pacific and Edmonton and less than any other team in the league (tied with Valour), it still feels like there’s more to know about this team. Forge made an uncharacteristically slow start for them, but in recent weeks has been making up for lost time. At their best, Forge has looked unstoppable, beating HFX in Halifax twice by a combined score of 7-0, beating Pacific 3-0, and despite two hiccups at home to Ottawa and Valour, they rebounded to beat local rivals York 2-0 in Toronto. Tristian Borges, who disappointed from a goalscoring perspective in 2021, has put that behind him, and has six goals this season in all competitions. Alongside him, the usual suspects of Kyle Becker, David Choinière, and Woobens Pacius have all committed to impress in steel town. New singings such as Terran Campbell, Rezart Rama, and Aboubacar Sissoko have all been good additions to Bobby Smyrniotis’s side, and as long as he’s in charge, you can never count out the most successful team in the young history of the CPL.

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2. Atlético Ottawa (7-4-3)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 5th

Goals For: 15

Goals Against: 14

Clean Sheets: 6

Leading Scorer: Ollie Bassett (4)

Ottawa started the season bright, looked a little rocky afterwards, and since snapping a four-game winless streak against Edmonton, Atlético has been very consistent and solid. Buoyed on by talent such as Ollie Bassett and Ballou Tabla, Ottawa has since lost just one of their last eight games, including picking up wins against fellow playoff contenders Pacific, Forge, and HFX. Bassett and Tabla are complimented by Brian Wright, Malcolm Shaw, Abdoul Sissoko, and Miguel Acosta. They have a very good team, and will be confident of making the CPL playoffs for the first time in their history.

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1. Cavalry FC (7-4-2)

Quarter-Season Ranking: 2nd

Goals For: 24

Goals Against: 15

Clean Sheets: 4

Leading Scorer: Aribim Pepple (6)

Perhaps the easiest choice when making this list was to put Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s men at the top spot, and it’s almost impossible to argue anything else. Having initially started the season slowly, the Calgary-based side has been a machine at the back, in midfield, and upfront. Despite losing Victor Loturi to the Scottish side Ross County, Cavalry may have unearthed another gem in Aribim Pepple. Still just a teenager, the striker has scored six goals in just 419 minutes, easily the best goal-to-minutes ratio amongst the league’s top scorers. Even if Pepple is sold to England as reports may suggest, they still have talent up front in Ali Musse, Myer Bevan, and Joe Mason. Cavalry have looked almost unstoppable for most of the season, and barring a collapse, Cavalry will certainly be amongst the top contenders to be CPL champions, maybe even favourites.


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