As It Stands: Cavalry back in a playoff spot, more frustration in Halifax
Canadian Premier League

Welcome to As It Stands. At the start of each week through the end of the season, we’ll bring you this easy-to-digest wrap-up of everything you need to know from the weekend that was in the Canadian Premier League, and keep tabs on how each team is progressing in its hunt for silverware.

What a weekend it was in Canadian soccer, both at home and abroad.

The ninth week in the Canadian Premier League season saw plenty of action and drama, even in a couple of lower-scoring games. Saturday began with Halifax Wanderers hosting Pacific FC, who went down to 10 men before the hour mark — but just about managed to hold firm for a 0-0 draw, despite the Wanderers’ 26 shots.

Later that afternoon, Cavalry finally got one over on Forge after beating them just once in the prior 10 meetings; Tobias Warschewski finished off a gorgeous team goal in Calgary as they won their second of the year and extended an unbeaten streak to eight.

Speaking of unbeaten streaks, Atlético Ottawa’s is now at nine as they still haven’t lost in 2024. They got two goals in the second half in Winnipeg on Sunday as they took down Valour FC 2-0 to extend their lead atop the table to seven points.

Finally, the Benjamín Mora era began at York United in a thrilling contest at York Lions Stadium, where the Nine Stripes played a fascinatingly different lineup and took the lead twice, but Vancouver FC hung in there and battled back both times for a 2-2 draw — although Juan Cordóva’s screamer for York remains the highlight of the weekend.

Elsewhere in Canadian football, we saw the men’s national team deliver one of its most impressive performances in recent memory on Sunday as they held the world’s second-ranked team, France, to a 0-0 draw in Bordeaux. That result was quite the recovery in Jesse Marsch’s second match in charge, as Canada picked up an excellent result after losing 4-0 to the Netherlands.

Up next for them is Lionel Messi and Argentina in the Copa América.

Elsewhere, CPL players have been impressing on the international stage in the past week. Trinidad and Tobago beat the Bahamas and drew with Grenada in World Cup Qualifying, and had goals from Halifax Wanderers’ Ryan Telfer, Cavalry’s Malcolm Shaw, and Pacific’s Reon Moore (twice). Meanwhile, York United’s Dennis Salanovic had the start for Liechtenstein in a friendly against Romania and helped them to a solid 0-0 draw — kind of a theme this week.

Multiple CPL players also got the call to represent Canada’s U-20 side last week, as Forge FC’s Khadim Kane, Vancouver FC’s James Cameron, Pacific’s Christian Greco-Taylor and Tavio Ciccarelli will all head to Chile to take part in friendlies against Chile, Ecuador and Paraguay later this month.

Monday Reading

MATCH ANALYSIS: Halifax Wanderers held scoreless against ten-man Pacific FC MATCH ANALYSIS: Cavalry return to form in style, shut out Forge for home win
MATCH ANALYSIS: Atlético Ottawa extend unbeaten streak in CPL play to 9 with 2-0 road win over Valour MATCH ANALYSIS: Dramatic debut draw for new York United boss Benjamín Mora against Vancouver FC

If the playoffs started today…

There’s a new badge in there this week.

Cavalry FC climbed into the top five for the first time since week four after they beat Forge and York added just one point. It would be quite a long road back to the CPL Final for them if they were to finish fifth… but of course, there’s plenty of time left for the Cavs to climb back up the ladder.

U-21 minutes watch

Welcome to the 1,000-minute club, York United. The Nine Stripes are the latest side to cross the halfway mark, picking up a whopping 280 on Sunday, thanks to starts from Noah Abatneh, Marki Voytsekhovskyy and Tomas Giraldo, plus a lengthy appearance off the bench for Christian Zeppieri and cameos by Jason Hartill and Shola Jimoh.

Meanwhile, Vancouver added 154 minutes with Grady McDonnell making his first professional start and James Cameron getting the nod at left-back.

For the full player-by-player breakdown on the Jones Deslauriers | Navacord U-21 Minute Leaderboard, click here.

Here’s how all eight teams are progressing toward the 2,000-minute threshold:

Club Total U-21 Minutes
Pacific FC 1,720
Valour FC 1,224
York United FC 1,159
Vancouver FC 664
Forge FC 600
Atlético Ottawa 404
Cavalry FC 400
Halifax Wanderers FC 287

Coming up next…

Friday, June 14

Valour FC vs. Pacific FC (7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT)

Saturday, June 15

Atlético Ottawa vs. York United FC (1 p.m. ET)
Halifax Wanderers FC vs. Forge FC (5 p.m. AT/4 p.m. ET)

Sunday, June 16

Vancouver FC vs. Cavalry FC (2 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT) (CPL On Tour: Kelowna)

(Watch all four games live on OneSoccer)

Photo of the Week

Brotherly love at York Lions Stadium…

There was a special guest spotted in the crowd on Sunday, as Canadian men’s national team veteran Sam Adekugbe was in attendance to watch his brother Elijah.

Elijah Adekugbe of York United greets his brother Sam. (Photo: York United)