Forge FC midfielder David Choiniere (7) and Cavalry FC attacker Nico Pasquotti (17) battle for the ball in the second half during a Canadian Premier League soccer final match at Spruce Meadows. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports for CPL
CPL debate: Which team from 2019 season should get the ‘Last Dance’ treatment?
As this period of self-isolation rolls on unabated, people continue to try to find ways to occupy themselves and pass the time, and many have relied on Netflix.
Whether it’s binging a series or watching a movie, people have turned in droves to Netflix to help them – in some small way – get through this difficult time.
One of the most popular series on Netflix at the moment is “The Last Dance,” an epic documentary on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls when they won the NBA championship during the 1997-98 campaign.
The 10-part miniseries, produced in conjunction with ESPN, is earning raving reviews for its in-depth interviews with an exhaustive list of people surrounding that Bulls team, its intimate portraits of those involved, for thoroughly delving into the subject matter, and for showing another side of Jordan and his former teammates.
It’s a remarkable piece of filmmaking, and it made us wonder out loud: If Netflix was to do a “Last Dance” type of documentary on any team from the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural 2019 season, which one would it be?
The CanPL.ca editorial crew of John Molinaro, Marty Thompson, and Charlie O’Connor-Clarke weigh in with their thoughts.
Much of what makes the Jordan documentary so compelling is seeing how those Bulls teams managed to win with so many polar-opposite characters just by collectively buying into something. They had nose-to-the-grindstone types like MJ, and the more… uh… outgoing types like Dennis Rodman.
Forge had a little of that in their DNA last year, I think. With all sorts of personalities, from Kyle Bekker to Kwame Awuah to Tristan Borges to Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, they were still all brought together by coach Bobby Smyrniotis. Just like “The Last Dance,” Forge showed us that athletes from all sorts of backgrounds can be successful together.
Plus, an inside look at some championship celebrations would’ve made for a pretty good documentary.
THOMPSON: Cavalry FC
Cavalry FC’s 2019 season offers the best narrative arc of any CPL club, and a nice twist on the “Last Dance” and its eventual happy ending – however torturous the path to get there was for them.
Don’t agree? How about I give you a rough summary to illustrate my point.
Ahead of Finals 2019 Leg 1, the Cavs are confident. Coming off a fun Fall-clinching win, they’re favourites, and taking the second leg at home. Instead, the wild scenes of this apex game go against Wheeldon Jr. From there, a sense of dread and worry – the kind of anxiety-inducing video editing that makes you stick around. Finally, David Choinière’s late winner on that Fall day puts Cavalry’s “team of destiny” story on ice… for now.
This story has everything: a massive build-up to an early peak, stunning late-story disappointment, and a beautiful setting at Spruce Meadows.
MOLINARO: HFX Wanderers FC
Did the Wanderers win the North Star Shield? No. Did they play in Finals 2019? No. Were they even competitive in the CPL’s first season? Not really.
So, why would anybody consider doing a “Last Dance” series on a team that won just once away from home all of last season, and finished dead last in the overall standings?
The Wanderers didn’t win many games in 2019, but for me, they were one of the most interesting stories in the CPL. Routinely drawing 6,000 fans for their home games at Wanderers Grounds, HFX became the talk of the CPL for the way the city of Halifax wholeheartedly embraced the team, showing the rest of the league how it’s done.
Wanderers Grounds became the life of the CPL party in 2019, with local fans jammed into “The Kitchen” and making the entire stadium heave with excitement. HFX Wanderers FC weren’t the most successful team last year. But they were the most likeable, as their fans brought the fun – and then some – at every home game.