• CanPL Roster Turnover


    The fan communities surrounding the Canadian Premier League (CanPL) and its teams are starting to rumble again as offseason player movements are starting to happen again. A common thing I've read is that people think the number of players that leave teams in the offseason is absurdly high. The feeling seems to be that a CanPL roster should be quite stable from year-to-year.

  • Pasquotti's Long Throw-Ins


    Early in the 2019 season Nico Pasquotti demonstrated his long throw-in skills and Cavalry showed that it was going to be a big part of their game. Whenever he felt like he was able to get the throw-in into the 18 yard box, Pasquotti was going to be taking the throw.

  • The Effects of Schedule Congestion


    One of the things that people have discussed endlessly about the 2019 CPL season is schedule. The league had an odd number of teams and because of that it took more weeks to get all the teams to play the same number of games. One thing we don't have many of in Canada, is weeks that are good for football. The result? A really compressed and congested schedule for all the teams. Throw the Canadian Championship and CONCACAF play into the mix and the teams were really, really, busy.

  • 2019 CPL Championship Leg 1 -- Defensive Pressure


    In my last post I concluded that Cavalry had an abysmal offensive game, specifically in their passing. I wondered if that was in any way because of Forge's defensive pressure. Watching the match, my eyes didn't think that Forge applied a lot of up-field pressure. When Cavalry did have the ball near midfield, Forge closed them down very quickly and effectively.

  • 2019 CPL Championship Leg 1


    The first game of the inaugural CPL Championship tie gave a lot of the things that the league wanted and needed it to have. It was well attended (just under 11,000), it had drama (2 red cards, a penalty and a penalty saved), and it gave all of the pundits something to talk about while we wait the week until Leg 2. I think what wasn't expected was how imbalanced the game was on the field, even if it wasn't on the scoreboard.

  • Set Pieces


    When I first started this stats thing, the first set of data I investigated was around set pieces. I was curious to see how efficient the teams were both attacking and defending. Was the CPL different from other leagues around the world? Were some teams clearly better than others? Did the top teams in the league convert and/or defend better than the worst teams?

  • Squad Age Profiles


    The CPL has a rule that requires teams to play U21 players for at least a combined 1000 minutes each season. The idea is that this will help to re-inforce the idea that the league exists, in part, to develop young talent for the national team. Prior to the kick off of the season none of us fans had any idea how much of an impact this would have on teams and their roster/lineup choices. It turns out that every team in the league pushed past that minimum requirement with about ten games left in their schedules. Some, looking at you Pacific FC, have done over 5 times the required U21 minutes.

  • Schaale and the Long Ball


    Peter Schaale was a rock at centerback for HFX. His head was a magnet for the ball, he was rarely caught out of position, and just when you though he might be too slow he would find another gear and recover to snuff out an attacking play.

    One thing we always commented on in the stands was how he played the ball long out of defense. Our little area of the bleachers was never overly impressed with the results. Every so often he'd pull one off and we'd forget that our reservations to the play. When I started looking at the league stats one of the first questions I wanted to answer was "How effective was Schaale's long ball play?"

  • In the beginning

    The spring of 2018 was an exciting time. The Canadian Premier League had been announced and teams were taking names for season ticket commitments. I was number 711 for the HFX Wanderers. Time wound to a crawl as I longed for kickoff.