Match of the Week Biases Yet Again

Match of the Week Biases Yet Again

Another season is upon which means another in-depth look at how biased the Match of the Week (MOTW) is for/against certain teams. The league’s favourite team Forge, yet again leads the league in appearances with a grand total of nine. What is surprising is who comes in second place for most appearances. Both Halifax Wanderers and Valour are tied for seven appearances each. 


Last year’s MOTW appearances which can be found here tell a similar story. Forge leads the league in appearances, while on the other end of the spectrum York and Atletico Ottawa are dead last. With a measly four and five appearances each. While I’m not saying that the league office has favourites and least favourites (I am), it is surprising just how constant the number of appearances is compared to last year, with only a few exceptions. 

York and Ottawa have both appeared in a disproportionately low number of Match of the Week games (Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography)

The league average for appearances for the MOTW is 6.25. With a grand total of fifty MOTW games being played throughout the season (according to the current schedule). 

Some interesting tidbits about MOTW appearances are as follows:

  • Cavalry is the last team to play a MOTW, not appearing until May 28th.
  • Pacific is the last team to play an away MOTW, not playing until July 29th.
  • Vancouver FC is the last team to play a home MOTW, not appearing until August 19th. 

What was surprising digging into the numbers for this article was just how many MOTW are between the same teams. Forge-Valour is the game that is repeated most often for the MOTW with three games featuring these teams being named the MOTW. The other games that are repeated often as a home and away are as follows. Pacific-Vancouver, Halifax-Vancouver, Cavalry-Forge, Cavalry-Vancouver, Halifax-Forge, Pacific-Valour. 

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Who would have thought that Forge-Valour would have been deemed by the league the most exciting matchup that they need Garthe Wheeler and co to talk about it on air three times? 

Another fact to note is that Atletico Ottawa and York do not play multiple MOTW games against an opponent more than once. 

MatchTimes Played
Halifax Forge2

There are a couple of games that should be featured more for the MOTW:

  • Atletico-Forge seeing as they were in the final last year
  • Atletico-York is always a feisty match
  • Halifax-Pacific is one of the longest domestic league journeys in the world
  • Forge-York the two closest CPL teams
  • Cavalary-Valour the battle for the prairies 

While this league is still young and we as fans do have some complaints against it, we do still have to support it, if we want soccer to succeed in Canada in the long term. But this doesn’t mean that perceived mistakes shouldn’t be pointed out. For example, why are York and Atletico Ottawa getting the short end of the stick for the second year in a row in regard to the MOTW? Atletico Ottawa won the league last year and featured in the final, it would be thought that that would mean more people would want to watch the team play. Why is Forge getting featured in the most MOTW for a second year in a row? These are the questions that should be asked and should frankly be answered.

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