We’re officially on the business end. The season is seventy-five percent complete, and the race for playoffs and seeding is only heating up! A lot can happen in seven games, and we’ve seen teams form dramatically collapse, off-the-field moves shaking things up, and teams who are more than happy to play spoiler. So as we march towards the end of the season, here’s how each team is looking in our power rankings ahead of the final seven weeks!
8. FC Edmonton
Mid-Season Ranking: 7th
Goals For: 26
Goals Against: 44
Leading Scorer: Tobias Warschewski (6)
FC Edmonton was officially eliminated from playoff contention after a 1-1 draw with Valour FC, and ultimately, it was always just a matter of time. There have been bright spots this season, The Eddies have been more competitive than it was assumed they would be, and after having finally survived the gauntlet of playing six consecutive away games, Edmonton was finally back at home in their last game against HFX, a 3-2 win that actually now has them as having won three of their last four at home. No matter what happens for the rest of the season, Alan Koch’s side can hold their high this season given the unfortunate hand they’ve been dealt this season.
7. HFX Wanderers
Mid-Season Ranking: 6th
Goals For: 22
Goals Against: 33
Leading Scorer: Samuel Salter (9)
It’s been a disappointing season for HFX, who ultimately never recovered from João Morelli’s ACL injury in just the second week of the season. Samuel Salter has been a bright spot up front with nine goals, but their other forwards — Corey Bent, Akeem Garcia, Aidan Daniels, and Mour Samb — have collectively underperformed with just eight goals combined between the four of them. The once almost imperious home form has been shaky this season, and the Wanderers have won just four games at home all season so far, although two of those have been in their last two home games against playoff chasers Valour, and CPL title chasers Pacific. There is talent in Nova Scotia, Pierre Lamothe, Andre Rampersad, and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé make up one of the best midfield threes in the league. But for next season, HFX needs to go back to the drawing board, especially when it comes to their strike force and goalkeeping situation.
6. Valour FC
Mid-Season Ranking: 4th
Goals For: 30
Goals Against: 24
Leading Scorer: Moses Dyer (9)
I’m sure everyone in Winnipeg is glad that Valour only has one game against Edmonton left. Despite being in the thick of the playoff race, Valour has dropped six points to the league’s bottom side. Funnily, Valour is five points behind Pacific, and as such, the gap could easily be closer. If Valour is to overturn the deficit, they’ll need to rely on Moses Dyer and Sean Rea to maintain their form as they are more often than not Valour’s best-attacking options. At the back, the switch to young keeper Rayane Yesli hasn’t deterred them too much at the back, with the young shot-stopper registering three clean sheets in just five games. Valour has been the model for inconsistency this season, from beating Ottawa 6-0 away from home, to failing to beat Edmonton, from beating Cavalry and Pacific at home, to losing against an HFX side that was winless in six. If Valour can find some consistent form in the tail end of the season, then there’s still hope yet they can still sneak into that coveted fourth spot.
5. Pacific FC
Mid-Season Ranking: 5th
Goals For: 29
Goals Against: 27
Leading Scorer: Alejandro Díaz (13)
Pacific is in a very curious, and possibly perilous spot. On August 10th, Pacific sold top scorer Alejandro Díaz to Norwegian outfit Sognda, leaving Vancouver Island looking like a different proposition. Ever since scoring in the eighth minute against Ottawa on August 13th, Pacific have gone the equivalent of three league games without scoring, and have only ever managed one shot on target in their last two games. Díaz was often the out-ball for Dos Santos, Aparicio, and Bustos, now the team has to adjust to not having their Mexican poacher, and the jury is still out to see if they’ll be okay. Of course, it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention they have been dealing with CONCACAF League fixtures also, but from here on out, Pacific will be defined by solely their league form as they look to retain their crown.
4. York United
Mid-Season Ranking: 8th
Goals For: 20
Goals Against: 30
Leading Scorer: Osaze De Rosario (9)
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
Given the form York has shown at the start of the season and the form they’ve shown recently, it really is a case of “what might have been” for the Nine Stripes. Ever since a nightmare run of no wins in ten games came to an end with a 1-0 win away to Cavalry, York has embarked on a run of four wins in seven which has included tough away wins to Cavalry, HFX, and highflying 905 rivals Forge. While York may not be as defensively solid as they once were, they’ve suddenly become very entertaining up front, boasting thirteen goals in eight games, and scoring at least three goals in four matches. In contrast, the last time York had scored three goals in a game was September 6th, 2021. Osaze De Rosario has been leading the line with ten goals in all competitions, and with the return to the CPL of Molham Babouli, hopefully, York can continue to play entertaining high-scoring soccer.
3. Cavalry FC
Mid-Season Ranking: 1st
Goals For: 33
Goals Against: 27
Leading Scorer: Joe Mason, Aribim Pepple (6)
It’s amazing what six games in twenty-one days in the world’s second-largest country will do to a team. Cavalry went from cruising at the top, to being right into the CPL playoff mixer after a horrendous run of form saw them lose four of five and then shortly lose again at home to Ottawa. It looks like Cavalry has got things back on track though, they defeated their bitter rivals, a red hot Forge at home in a win that felt like more than just three points after having failed to beat Forge in their previous matchups this season. The likes of Joe Mason and Jose Escalante have stepped up for Cavalry since the sales of Victor Loturi and Aribim Pepple, with Escalante, in particular, proving himself to be a highly valuable piece of the Cavalry machine. Cavalry finishes the season with four of their last six against Ottawa, Valour, Forge, and Pacific, a schedule that will battle harden this side if they are indeed playoff bound.
2. Forge FC
Mid-Season Ranking: 3rd
Goals For: 40
Goals Against: 19
Leading Scorer: Woobens Pacius (10)
Remember back in May when Forge had won just one game from their first five and we were sitting near the bottom of the table? That seems like a lifetime ago now, as the Hamilton side went on a monster run of ten wins from twelve games to propel back up to where they see themselves as belonging. Stalwarts Tristan Borges, Kyle Becker, David Choinière, and Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson have all been their usual selves as Forge has arguably the best team chemistry in the league. Meanwhile, new additions like Terran Campbell Rezart Rama have slotted in nicely, and youngster Woobens Pacius might just be the next CPL star as he has ten goals so far to his name and looks like the favourite to become the Golden Boot winner after Díaz left Pacific. Hamilton may not be top (yet), but I doubt anyone would want to face them in the playoffs.
1. Atlético Ottawa
Mid-Season Ranking: 2nd
Goals For: 27
Goals Against: 23
Leading Scorer: Ollie Bassett (6)
It’s hard to argue with the team (at the time of writing) that is top of the league being top of the ranking, and rest assured they have earned it as of late. Ottawa has come up against Cavalry, Forge, and Pacific in three of their last four games, and has come away with four points, including a very impressive 3-0 win away in Calgary. Besides a freak 4-0 home defeat to Forge (their only defeat to Forge in four games this season), Atlético have been very competitive against the other sides currently in the playoffs, having won a respectable four games so far against top-four opponents and only losing by more than a one-goal margin just once, the aforementioned 4-0 Forge defeat. While they may be the new kids on the playoff block, they should have nothing to be afraid of going into postseason soccer. Especially with the likes of Ollie Bassett, Ballou Tabla, and passionate support on their side.
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