Going Deep into the Canadian Championship

Northern 90 Canadian Premier League Podcast

18-05-2019 • 34分


This is the Northern 90 Podcast with Pat Sweet, Episode 17.

Welcome to the Northern 90 Canadian Premier League Podcast, covering the beautiful game in the great white north. For more Canadian Premier League content, head over to Northern90.ca. That’s Northern Nine Zero dot ca.


Hello, Canada, and welcome to the Northern 90 Canadian Premier League Podcast!

I'm your host, Pat Sweet.

In this week's episode, we do deep into the 2019 edition of the Voyageur's cup, including some special attention on the CPL matchups in round 1.

First, of course, let's dig into this week's CPL news and results.

Top Stories


  • Wednesday, May 8
    • Pacific FC 0 @ Hamilton 3
    • Valour FC 0 @ Calvary FC 1
  • Sunday, May 11
    • Halifax 0 @ Valour FC 1
  • Sunday, May 12th,
    • Cavalry FC 2 @ Forge FC 1
    • Pacific FC 0 @ Edmonton 0
  • May 15 (Canadian Championship)
    • Halifax 3 @ Vaughn 2
    • York 9 0 @ AS Blainville 0
    • Cavalry 2 @ Pacific 0


  • Only Cavalry FC is undefeated in league play
  • Meanwhile, Pacific FC and Forge FC have dropped 8 points already
  • Average PPG for the league is 1.4
  • Home field advantage is real with the home team winning 6 of 11 competitions so far


  • Great article in the Edmonton Journal aboutt Commissioner Clanachan's plans for expansion.
    • 10 - 12k fans a game would be a top 10 league in Europe (Think Scotland, Sweeden, Turkey, Portugal)
    • Current average is 6,249 per game, according to @CPLKitDatabase on Twitter
  • Canada Soccer Announces two-game suspension and fine for Kyle Bekker
    • As you may have noticed, Mr. Bekker didn't play on May 8 or 12.
    • This is for the elbow he threw at Joseph Di Chiara
    • Glad something happened - it sets a precedent
    • Interesting that discipline is not a league function
    • Case closed
  • CPL Makes history with all-woman officiating crew
    • When Cavalry FC visited Forge FC on May 12, the head ref and crew were all women
    • The Northern Tribune is reporting that this may be the first time in history that a top-flight domestic league game has been reffed by all women.
    • Carol Anne Chenard was in charge of the match, and also happens to be the first woman to have ever reffed at Wembly.

Up next, a preview of the first round of the Canadian Championship.

Canadian Championship Preview

  • What: The top competition among Canadian teams from all professional leagues
  • Who: All Canadian MLS teams, Canadian Premier League teams, USL’s Ottawa Fury, and the champion from Ontario League 1 (Vaughan Azzuri) and the Premiere Ligue de Soccer du Quebec’s champion (AS Blainville).
  • Format
    • Three home and away qualifying rounds.
    • Semifinal round
    • Final round
    • Winner on aggregate moves on for each round
    • In the event of a tie, away goals wins
  • Schedule: First games are on May 15 and the final match is on September 25.
  • What’s new?
    • New format with several more teams than before: all the CanPL teams are new, other than FCE.
  • What’s interesting
    • The fact that CanPL teams are in this year is interesting
    • There’s a great deal of controversy over the seeding. Valour FC, FCE, and Forge FC all got buys into the second qualifying round by virtue of having signed up for the league first. Very strange.
    • CanCon: Each team needs to field at least three Canadian starters.
  • Why is this important
    • Hardware
    • The winner gets a birth in the CONCACAF Champions League – one of two ways to get in.

Round 1 Details

  • Round 1 started this week and featured 4 CPL teams:
    • HFX Wanderers (3) vs. Vaughn Azzurri (2)
    • Calvary FC (2) vs Pacific FC (0)
    • York 9 FC (0) vs A.S. Blainville (0)
  • The winner of each of these two-legged ties goes on to meet Valour FC, Forge FC, and FC Edmonton, respectively.
  • Those winners then move on to compete against Ottawa Fury, Vancouver Whitecaps, and Montreal Impact.
  • I'll add a graphic to the show notes for reference.

Game Reactions

  • Having watched the games between CPL and L1O/ PLSQ teams, I found it very interesting
  • CPL teams had to fight - it was a real competition
  • Wanderers blew their lead and were lucky to win on a penalty in the dying moments of the game
  • A.S. Blainville was happy to let York 9 have possession - nothing ever came of it.
  • Makes me think Pro/ Rel is closer than we think.
  • Have a listen to what the coaches had to say about the game. These clips courtesy of Robin Glover.
  • The first set is from before and after the first Halifax/ Vaughn match.
  • Before the match
    • May 5 clip (Patrice Gheisar) @1:00 - 2:30
  • After the match
    • May 15b (Stephen Hart) - @-3:40 is Robin's question
    • May 15b (Patrice)
  • Interesting to hear the respect that Stephen Hart has for the L1O team. He scouted, watched video. He already knew some of these players and wanted them for his squad.
  • Next up, I've got some audio related to the York 9 versus A.S. Blainville match.
  • I had a chance to interview Wandrille Lefevre, who prior to playing with A.S. Blainville was with the Montreal Impact. He's also a former Canadian International. Have a listen to his perspective on his first match against Wanderers FC.

Looking forward

  • I found it interesting to see just how tight the games were. There's real skill in both division 3 leagues. Heck, many of the CPL's players came from these leagues.
  • The cohesion and history of the semi-pro teams really showed. At the same time, however, the CPL teams definitely moved faster and had better individual skill.
  • My predictions for who goes through at this point:
    • Wanderers FC
    • Cavalry FC
    • A.S. Blainville
  • Why A.S. Blainville?
    • Didn't concede at home
    • Got their chances
    • Could contain York 9 and wait for their moments
    • Nothing to lose
  • Also, Kudos to One Soccer for doing a good job with the commentary and coverage. It wasn't perfect (there were technical glitches here and there), but all things considered, I was able to enjoy watching the broadcast.
  • Next leg of round one will be played on May 22, which you can watch at home through One Soccer dot ca.
  • Alternatively, go to the game! Season ticket holders - you've got tickets! Other people can get tickets on Ticketmaster.
  • Good luck to all the squads!

Next up, the mailbag:


You know how this works - you send me mail and messages and I read every single one of them. If what you send is extra good I read it on the podcast.

Thanks so much for your answers to the question last week. This week's question: What has surprised you the most so far about the league?

  • For the question of the week - lots of comments from people who are excited about the quality of play and officiating. Completely agree with all of that for sure.
  • Gordon from Winnipeg recently joined the Northern 90 Supporters' Group and wrote to say he's brand new to the game but got really interested in the sport when the league launched. Welcome, Gord!
  • Helen also joined the Northern 90 SG - so welcome to you, too! Very glad to have you along.

This week's question: How do you feel about L1O and PLSQ teams giving CPL teams a run for their money in the opening days of the Canadian Championship? What did you expect? What are your predictions?

  • Leave a comment at northern90.ca/episode17
  • Write to me at pat at northern90.ca
  • Fire me a note on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @northernninety

Of course, I love hearing from you on any topic - so whatever you want to share, just drop me a line.

The Week Ahead

There are a few games to look forward to over the next week or so:

Friday, May 17

  • Valour FC is home to Forge FC

Saturday, May 18

  • Pacific FC hosts York 9 FC, who are still looking for their first win.
  • Cavalry FC is home to FC Edmonton for the first Al Classico.

Wednesday, May 22 (Canadian Championship)

  • HFX Wanderers FC play Vaughan Azzurri
  • York 9 FC take on A.S. Blainville
  • Cavalry FC will be home to Pacific FC

All games will be broadcast on One Soccer, and the May 18 game between York 9 and Pacific will be streamed online on CBC Sports and CBC Gem as well.


That's all we've got for the show today.

If you liked the show, don't forget to subscribe to it, and when you do leave an honest review. That helps me make the show better and others find it.

Also, if you've been enjoying this show, you should join my supporters' group. When you join you get a weekly newsletter with curated CPL content, access to a members-only Facebook group, contests, giveaways, fantasy leagues, all sorts of good stuff. And it's free. Check it out at northern90.ca/join.

Thanks so much, Canada. Have a great week.


Featured Image

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash.

Intro music

Move Like This by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Texas Radio Fish, Alex Beroza, and Snowflake

CPL Headlines Music

Calm the F*** Down by Broke for Free (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Main Content Intro Music

260809 Funky Nurykabe by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2010 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.

Mailbag Music

I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: J Lang, Morusque

Outro music

Urbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Morusque, Jeris, CSoul, Alex Beroza