With a pseudo-Labour Day weekend break upon us, seven Canadian Premier League sides catch their breath – yes, including Forge FC – and take stock of the next seven matchweeks. No Canadian Championship or CONCACAF League to contend with – just a sprint to the Fall season’s end and completing the inaugural CPL campaign.
Before you get teary-eyed, let’s not forget the history to be made in these seven weeks.
Take individual awards, for example. Who will be the league’s first top goalscorer? Which name will go down in history?
With four players tied for third, and a 20-year-old leading the pack, it’s safe to say the CPL’s golden boot race is heating up.
Here’s a look at the top six contenders, how they got there and a few aesthetically-pleasing goals, too.
We start with the four-way tie for third and with the fastest riser on this list: FC Edmonton striker Easton Ongaro. The six-foot-six striker has scored six in six matches (sorry) as part of a breakout summer.
Quality header from FCE’s lengthy striker, who found space between two defenders to power home his second goal on the season.
5. Oumar Diouck (FC Edmonton) – 6 goals
FC Edmonton’s pacy forward has seen his goal production drop of late, shifting out wide to fit Ongaro into the starting XI, but he’s far from out of form. Running off Ongaro or Tomi Ameobi, the Belgian has provided cutting runs and explosive play in the final third all season.
Schoolyard stuff from Diouck. Onside, unmarked, Diouck took a devilishly-good first touch before finding the far post on any equally-good finish.
4. Dominique Malonga (Cavalry FC) – 6 goals
Malonga finds himself in contention powered by a pair of braces; against HFX Wanderers in May (the first two-goal performance in CPL history) and most recently against York9 FC. One of several final outlets for Cavalry’s offence, the 30-year-old has proven to have a knack for finding space in the box and finishing.
A blast past Nathan Ingham, top corner, Malonga’s June 26 goal at York Lions Stadium ended up the game-winner in their Spring-clinching win over York9.
3. Michael Petrasso (Valour FC) – 6 goals
CPL’s penalty master makes the list from four converted spot-kicks. There have been 13 penalty goals scored this season, and four have come from Petrasso – almost one-third of the entire league’s penalty-kick production. Let’s not forget he scored the first penalty in league history, too.
One of his two goals from open play in 2019, Petrasso buries York9 from half in injury time with a calm stroke of the ball.
2. Tristan Borges (Forge FC) – 7 goals
Arguably the top attacking prospect in the CPL, 21-year-old Borges sits in second with seven goals. Quick, undersized with a whipping left foot, Forge’s attacking maestro is a threat from just about anywhere in the attacking third (see below).
With Forge playing a league-fewest seven matches this Fall season, watch for Borges to close the gap at the top…