In the grand Socratic tradition of living a worthwhile and examined life, may I present another selection of questions arising from the past week of Canadian Premier League action.
This burgeoning midweek tradition entails your humble observer wondering about what’s gone on around the league since you last heard from me, as well as what’s to come in the next seven days.
Last week I wondered, among other things, whether York9 FC had turned a corner — and although they did scrape past A.S. Blainville in Canadian Championship action, a 2-0 loss to Forge FC in their CPL home opener means Jim Brennan’s side still has work left to do if the Spring season is to be salvaged.
I also wondered, for the second week running, who was going to surge in the race for the CPL’s Golden Boot. And though Dominique Malonga of Cavalry FC stood up on the weekend, scoring the first brace in league history, it’s Forge’s Tristan Borges (say that five times fast) who’s staking his claim to the crown.
But as Game of Thrones taught us, the throne can be a very dangerous place to be.
(I have no clue if that’s topical or not, I haven’t watched since Season 2. Yes, I’m one of those people. Don’t @ me.)
Anyway, a new week means new wonders. Here we go.
Is a sleeping giant about to emerge?
With both picking up wins over the weekend, Cavalry and Forge have seemingly cemented themselves as the teams to beat with just about a month to go in the Spring season. But just under the radar is a team that, by the time we next convene for our communal wondering, could have thrown that all into disarray.
And though for poetic purposes it would be ideal if we were wondering about Wanderers, I’m in fact referring to FC Edmonton.
The Eddies sit in the middle of the pack not due to lack of potential, but lack of games, having played just four so far. Coming off a restful bye week, however, they clashed with Forge on Wednesday, falling 2-0. Now, they’ll be welcoming Valour FC to Clarke Stadium on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. MT/OneSoccer).
While both will be challenging tests, I wonder whether a difference-maker catching fire for FCE (yes, I’m thinking of Randy Edwini-Bonsu, he’s gonna catch fire at some point, you’ll see) could have us looking at the league standings in a week’s time and seeing a pair of Alberta teams near the top.
Will Pacific FC stay the course?
Even in a league devoted to developing young Canadian players, the roster and lineup choices made thus far by Pacific have stood out for just how many opportunities young Canadians have been getting.
It hasn’t fully paid dividends yet, based on results — but then, that’s the nature of development: it takes time.
Still, head coach Michael Silberbauer told CanPL.ca that his young players “cannot hide behind their talent; they have to step up.”
Will Silberbauer stick with the likes of Matthew Baldisimo, Terran Campbell, Jose Hernandez and Noah Verhoeven, all under-21 players? Or will a shift in focus also bring a shift in personnel? We’ll get some answers when the team travels to Halifax for a league match on Saturday (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT/OneSoccer).
Just what kind of time traveller is Yorky?
Ahead of their home opener last week, York9 unveiled official mascot Yorky, who is, we are told, “a star soccer droid from the 23rd century”. This leaves me wondering many things. Among them:
- Has Yorky been sent back in time by the 23rd-century version of York9, or by another entity who knows something about how the CPL season ends that we don’t yet?
- In Yorky’s time, is all soccer played by droids? Does human soccer still exist? Do humans ever play against droids?
- Having recently watched Avengers: Endgame (spoiler alert), I’m particularly curious about the specific type of time travel used. Are we operating under the assumption of a multiverse? If so, given we find ourselves in the York9/Yorky timeline, what are the names of the other droids sent back for the other teams in other timelines? Cavvy? Forgey?
How do folks like these new Laws?
The new FIFA Laws of the Game officially go into effect worldwide on Saturday, but we here in Canada have been getting a sneak preview in CPL play.
The most notable changes include amendments to goal kicks (defending players can receive them inside the penalty area), substitutions (players can leave the field anywhere), and penalty kicks (the goalkeeper must only have one foot on the line when the kick is taken).
There are other, more subtle changes in the 2019/2020 Laws that haven’t yet erupted into controversial flashpoints, but very well could as the competition gets more heated (figuratively and literally) in the ongoing CPL season.
As a long-time referee myself, I wonder what other folks think about the spirit behind this most recent round of alterations to the game’s rules. Check them out and let me know what you think over on the Twitter machine: @DanielSquizzato.
And yes, I know I said “don’t @ me” before, but consider that rescinded.