Remember last season when it seemed like every single week left the Canadian Premier League with a new leader? It was a lot of fun, right? Well, are you up for a second round of that? So far this season – albeit only three weeks in – that’s what we’re getting, as you can’t really be sure who is going to win each week. Upsets galore, and more 1-1 draws than seem plausible have the CPL in an interesting spot. Here’s how things shake down right now.
8. Atlético Ottawa
Last Match: Vs York United – Loss (0-1)
Last Ranking: 6th
Average Vote: 7.71
Next Match: Vs. Pacific FC
In their three CPL games this season, Ottawa has had one of the easiest schedules, especially when you consider projections before the season. Draws against Halifax and Valour showed that so far, this isn’t the same team that made so many new fans a season ago, but a loss against York in their most recent match has some in a panic state. A team known for sitting back and defending, Ottawa has conceded the first goal in every single one of their contests, including their Canadian Championship win over the Wanderers. Struggling to score right now, Carlos Gonzalez needs to find a way to control that, and in particular, Sam Salter needs to start living up to the hype.
7. York United
Last Match: @ Atlético Ottawa – Win (1-0)
Last Ranking: 8th
Average Vote: 5.71
Next Match: Vs. Forge FC
Getting a win in the nation’s capital could be a turning point for York. Immediately following the sale of the club to the CSB, York figured things out a little bit, but getting Osaze De Rosario is absolutely critical for their success going forward. The sooner Martin Nash can get the kid firing balls behind keepers, the quicker the Nine Stripes will be able to find their form, and potentially move up the table. For now, though, let’s see if they can have another positive outing together, but against Forge, it’s going to be tough.
6. HFX Wanderers
Last Match: Vs Vancouver FC – Draw (1-1)
Last Ranking: 4th
Average Vote: 5.57
Next Match: @ Valour FC
For a group that didn’t have high expectations coming into the season, HFX Wanderers have suddenly become a frustrating bunch to watch. They have flashes of potential, looking like a cohesive unit that could actually compete for a playoff spot in a handful of months, but at other times, they look totally disconnected and young, kind of like people thought they would be all season. On the bright side, being upset as a Wanderers fan is a positive right now, considering there wasn’t much expected of them, and maybe they can start to get some wins out of the way soon. For now, Patrice Gheisar just needs his team to keep plugging away, and pushing to improve, because they have done alright – all things considered – in the league.
5. Vancouver FC
Last Match: @ HFX Wanderers – Draw (1-1)
Last Ranking: 7th
Average Vote: 5.29
Next Match: Vs. Cavalry FC
Vancouver FC is playing some decent football to start the season. A win and a draw from their first three league matches isn’t a bad result for an expansion side at all, especially when you consider that they haven’t yet stepped foot on their home turf. Callum Irving has so far proven to be an astute signing, often bailing out the rest of his young club when they have a breakdown. Irving’s presence has allowed Vancouver to stay close in games, and at the top, Shaan Hundal as been able to find the back of the goal a couple of times. Vancouver still has a lot of work to do before they are considered serious contenders in the CPL, but you can’t fault their start to the season.
S. 2 Ep. 21: Canada Doing What Canada Does – FC13 Podcast
4. Pacific FC
Last Match: Vs Forge FC – Loss (0-1)
Last Ranking: 2nd
Average Vote: 4.71
Next Match: @ Atlético Ottawa
Losing out to Forge in their most recent match was certainly disappointing, especially when they outshot the opposition 15-7. Of course, shots-on-target tell a different story, tied at a pair each. Woobens Pacius scored for Forge 17 minutes into the contest, and from there, Pacific could do no more than threaten the goal, leaving Tim Horton’s Field empty-handed. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, however, as Forge has a history of cleaning up the points, but they now find themselves in the middle of the standings, rather than clear at the top. Pacific has an away day in Ottawa this weekend, and should be looking at that as a great avenue to get back on the rails.
3. Cavalry FC
Last Match: Vs Valour FC – Draw (1-1)
Last Ranking: 1st
Average Vote: 3.86
Next Match: @ Vancouver FC
Cavalry is a tough case to dissect right now. They have the exact same record as Halifax, who are down further in these rankings, but at the same time, you expect that they will eventually figure things out. On top of that, they have played games against Pacific, Forge, and now Valour, so their schedule has been admitted pretty tough. That being said, there isn’t too much more of a grace period for them to start clicking, you wouldn’t think. We all know the potential they have, and how they should be competing for a title, not just a playoff spot, but the sooner they can get going the better, and against Vancouver this weekend, they have a chance to finally point themselves in the right direction.
2. Valour FC
Last Match: @ Cavlary FC – Draw (1-1)
Last Ranking: 5th
Average Vote: 1.86
Next Match: Vs HFX Wanderers
What the hell is going on in Winnipeg? This team wasn’t supposed to be this good, and after they lost to TSS Rovers, it felt almost certain they would start a long downfall, but yet, here we are. Valour top the CPL table as one of two remaining undefeated teams, and are owners of the CPL’s best goals differential. Maybe they are this good? It’s really hard to tell, honestly. A meeting with Forge next weekend should go a long way to actually telling us what the Winnipeg side is made of, but for now, you have to actually believe what they have shown us, until they give reason otherwise.
1. Forge FC
Last Match: @ Pacific FC – Win (1-0)
Last Ranking: 3rd
Average Vote: 1.43
Next Match: @ York United
Oh, look who’s back. After beating Pacific, Forge is back at the top of the rankings, and knocking on the door of reclaiming the top spot in the CPL table. Assuming they don’t stumble against lowly York this weekend, they’ll be setting up an interesting meeting with Valour that could decide who tops the table, at least for a week. Before then, of course, they have a Canadian Championship meeting with Ottawa, and could put themselves in a place to meet either Toronto FC or CF Montreal with a shot at the Voyageurs Cup on the line for the winner.
Subscribe to 13th Man Sports to get email notifications when we post!