Cavalry FC will be the first club to lift the brand-new Canadian Premier League Shield, having mathematically clinched the 2023 regular season title on Saturday night.
With their 1-0 win at York United FC on Saturday, Cavalry only needed Pacific FC to lose or draw against Forge FC later in the evening, which ended with the Hamilton side emerging 3-1 victors.
So, with 49 points and just two matches left to play for every team, no other side in the CPL can catch them, meaning they’ve officially guaranteed themselves the title. After 26 games, Cavalry have a 14-7-5 record, having scored 41 goals and conceded 26. This is the second time they’ve topped the table over a full 28-game season, having done so in the CPL’s inaugural campaign in 2019, putting up a league-record 62 points combined across the Spring and Fall seasons that year.
The Calgary, Alta.-based club will claim the regular season crown from last season’s winners Atlético Ottawa, who were the first club to be officially recognized as regular season champions in the CPL.
Cavalry will be awarded the CPL Shield on the final day of the regular season — Saturday, Oct. 7 — when they host Pacific FC at ATCO Field, kicking off at 5 p.m. MT/7 p.m. ET, with a trophy ceremony to follow the match.
Along with the silverware that’s now presented to clubs for regular season success, the CPL’s regular season champion will receive one of two places in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup, where Cavalry will have a chance to test themselves against the region’s elite, including sides from Liga MX and Major League Soccer.
The Cavs are the 12th side to officially qualify for that 27-team tournament, joining the likes of Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami CF, Mexican giants Club América and Chivas Guadalajara, and Canadian Championship winners Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The CPL’s regular season title is of course a major achievement on its own after a full season of success, but it also gives Cavalry an advantage heading into the playoffs as they vie to win a second trophy this year. As the top seed, they’ll host the second-place team in their first playoff match at ATCO Field, with a chance to host the CPL Final two weeks later if they win.
For a full reminder of how the CPL’s five-team playoff format works, click here.