2024 CCSG Player Rankings: Voyageur's Cup R1 vs. Valour FC

2024 CCSG Player Rankings: Voyageur's Cup R1 vs. Valour FC

So, how was everyone else’s Wednesday? 

To call this match the best performance Atlético Ottawa has put together in their 102-game history is somehow a wild understatement. No one in their right mind would have dreamed of such a dominant display, even if the home side were the clear favourites heading into the tie. Compound that with a poor historical record in their quest for the Voyageurs’ Cup, and there was a modicum of doubt in my mind that the boys in stripes would be able to see this through. Turns out I was nervous for absolutely no reason. This was the most professional performance in the history of the club. From minute one the team put their foot on the gas, and never let up. Even after scoring the 7th, the collective was still pushing forward, not wanting to let up. That we were also able to keep their first clean sheet of the season was the cherry on top of a perfect night in the nation’s capital. They came one shy of half their home goal total for the entirety of the 2023 season in one game, but I don’t think they’ll be losing sleep over that. 

A football team schedule on a green field

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There may be ratings next to everyone’s names as normal, but anyone who took in even a moment of the game would realize that now is not the time to nitpick. No one player reached a perfect 10, but the collective effort surpasses what a simple number can convey. It is instead my job to evoke the feeling we all shared standing in the dub on Wednesday, watching as our side put together a staggering collective effort that may prove impossible to replicate in terms of its sheer dominance. However, the individual qualities that contributed to that dominance are all ones that can clearly carry over through the rest of the season. The combination of Ollie Bassett and Manny Aparicio can run amok through the midfield, combining with one another to provide the necessary bridge between attack and defense. Matteo de Brienne is thriving when playing further up the pitch, Ruben del Campo has finally broken through and looks a completely different player with a couple of goals under his belt, and Ballou Tabla is working his way back into the form we know he can maintain by playing on the right rather than the left. It’s an attacking trio that is in sync with those behind them, something I can confidently say we’ve never had before.

Photo © Phil Larivière

This is the final form of this team, and it would be nice to see it every week, but it’d be foolish to expect that. We also must realize that Valour is going to be the weakest team in the CPL this season, and that there will be more resistance from other teams across the league. Tempering expectations is an unfortunate necessity after a performance like this, but we should also revel in it while we still can. Times like these aren’t going to happen everyday, and we need to treat it as the special result it is. The 6-1 from 2022 has finally been avenged, and now the mission is to do this all again tomorrow.

About Patrick

Having joined CCSG in 2022, Patrick started his footie career playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros around the same time. While the first pro team he supported was Manchester United, as soon as Atlético Ottawa came to town, he was immediately on board. His wealth of footie knowledge has been a constant asset, along with his role as caretaker for Atléti Wikipedia pages.

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