| vs Pacific | vs York | vs CF Montreal | vs Forge | vs CF Montreal |

We huffed and puffed and tried our hardest to get to the end of the season, but, eventually, it has petered out, leaving a bit of  sad taste in my mouth. However, that cannot discredit from the wonderful half season we’ve had, particularly noticeable when comparing the first half to second half of the season. Even against Pacific we started to look tired – particularly in our attacking play – as we peppered their goal with shots, but, sadly, all from long range barely working their keeper. Pleasingly, though, they were unable to break through our defences and I am happy that, if one area falls apart, the other can maintain its intensity.


With that, the league was wrapped up and a foregone conclusion. Until I looked at the table. Cavalry ignored the rules whereby domestic U21 players must play 2,000 minutes, with Strickland being born in 2015, not after the 1st January 2016 deadline thus becoming the first team I think I’ve ever seen to be kicked out of a competition and fined over ten thousand Canadian dollars. My original expectations to play Valour were then thrown into disarray as our fixture was changed to face York, who can consider themselves very lucky to have made it! The first phase of the playoffs was pretty easily navigated thanks to a Zamarripa double. But, again, the fatigue was so clear to see throughout. What followed was three very, very tired performances. We were barely able to hold onto the ball vs Montreal – 29% and 25% possession and just lacked all of the spark to press and disrupt their play. A deserved loss to Forge ended our league campaign, with the final won by table topping Ottawa – probably, just about, giving the league to the team that deserved it the most. Our reliance on key players – with that graphic ignoring any injuries – shows just how much depth we will need next season if we want to push on.

– – –

As I’ve delved quite deeply into xG chains, percentage increases and general playing style as the (half) season has progressed, I feel that deep analysis now isn’t really going to provide me anything that I don’t already know. However, the in-game scatter graphs are always a useful base. Firstly, our pressing intensity makes us very dissimilar from a lot of the clubs at this level but, surely, something that teams will react to as we go into next season. It’s also a huge part of our end of season downfall as tired legs just fell apart and we were unable to maintain the level of intensity. Whilst our offensive set pieces appear to be decent – I now have a measurable metric to compare them to and hope to build on as we move into the off season. Defensively, we have recovered from a stumbling start but do really need to focus offensively on being more clinical in front of goal. That expected goal output is being fuelled by my attacking midfielders but, honestly, Paprocki should’ve created more, with only his scoring output keeping him in the eleven. Sadly, his personality and media handling have meant that he’s quite a hard character to work with! I also need to look at the tackling disparity between Hutchinson and Osborn, although both – despite being poor at heading – have recorded pretty decent aerial outputs.

Statistically, we’re definitely moving in the right direction and I look forward to an off-season to really work with the players I have and those that are added by the club.            You’ll notice that both Cavalry and Pacific will start the next season with new managers as Rory Webb – a man favouring a 3421, the shape I’ve struggled a bit with – and Alan Marcina take over. Alan is, by far, the best and most decorated manager in CPL history having managed in the USL as well as the MLS in two different stints. I reckon that this move might make them favourites next year!



My first taste of a draft has been interesting! This, given that I control this, despite having handed over all transfer business elsewhere, gives me my only control over incoming players and I can bring in up to two. The inbox message, above, lists the top players out of the thirty-five 18-year olds that can join the club and I’m then asked if I want to scout them. However, that happens on the day of the draft – rendering those reports utterly useless. It means that I get a mixture of information, such as the unknown Arthur Manning to the slightly more well known Mikey Mitchell. With that, I can then use statistical outputs – baring in mind that these are from unloaded leagues below the quality of ours, or just ask my assistant – but, in this case, he didn’t seem too keen.

As far as I’m aware, the draft runs on last season’s finish, so we (in the non-modelled league) came sixth and, as such, were rewarded with third pick in each round. Unlike the MLS, there is no trading these draft picks and each team has the same number. I made two additions:

image.png.a0a1f17142304d6d3df436b575f37bcb.png image.png.fd451c70f43ced681427a6bb585df770.png

Fabio Hughes and Mikey Mitchell were both chosen because they provide cover in areas where we don’t currently have it. My recruitment team may choose to strengthen these over the off-season but, with the little control I do have, wanted to ensure numbers. The quality of these players, overall, isn’t amazing but I do see them as project players for the club. Only ourselves and Cavalry were active, with them picking Nathan Ord as the eighth pick of round 1 and then Carlo Panarello in the last pick of the draft.

– – –

With no games now until April 2038, the long off season will be used to fine tune a lot of things behind the scenes as well as deal with whatever squad we enter next season with. I’ve played a lot of late, and I expect that to slow down somewhat now but I’ve really enjoyed this dive into what has been – for me – a completely unknown country. If there any questions, screenshot requests or otherwise, please let me know! I’m loving it here


  • Ben

    Ben has been a long time contributor to the FM community previously on The Dugout and the SI Forums. He is known for his great in-depth tactical analysis and an increasing level of understanding of data led recruitment. His FM saves are always in-depth and he delivers both his knowledge of the game and great storytelling including a talent for squad building, progressing youth players and finding diamonds in the rough. His saves are really popular within the blogging community. He is also the creator of the popular skin “Statman”

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *