The CPL kicked off its sixth season of existence over the weekend and it is safe to say it did not disappoint. All four teams playing at home won and there were 12 total goals scored. All but one club scored a goal.

So this might become a new series here at the Area 51 Sports Network. No promises, but I will try to write this kind of column every week where we go over the week in the CPL. This is a league that brings entertaining soccer and is growing. It feels right for a little sports website like us to cover it.

#1: Atletico Ottawa took time to get going but showed why they are contenders

As mentioned in my reasons to watch the CPL article, Atletico Ottawa bulked up in the offseason and looked like a title contender.

However, it took them time to get going against York United. York got the bulk of the chances in the first half and spent the majority of it in Ottawa’s half. But York struck the back of the net in the 48th minute thanks to Austin Ricci’s strike. Nathan Ingham probably should’ve had that one.

After this goal, York led the shot total with 10. Atletico Ottawa only had two. York’s lack of capitalizing, especially in the first half became their downfall. Atletico Ottawa had a fire lit under them after Ricci’s goal. Their ball movement on the transitions was much better than in the first half. The fullbacks Matteo de Brienne and Kris Twardek lead the charge with their runs and crosses.

The former Pacific and York midfielder Manny Aparicio got Atletico Ottawa on the board with a header on a loose ball in the 63rd minute.

Aparicio was also instrumental in Kris Twardek’s game-winning goal. This is why Atletico signed him. What an assist.

#2: Forge score twice in six minutes in the CPL final rematch

Forge and Cavalry met in week one and the last time they met was last year’s CPL final, which ended with a Forge 2-1 victory.

Both teams couldn’t really generate many shots in the first half. But things opened up in the second half and Sergio Camargo opened the floodgates for Cavalry. This was a quality header off the corner kick.

But like Atletico Ottawa in the earlier game, Forge turned into the guy leaning forward in his chair while playing video games.

Tristan Forges scored the winner in the final last year. This one wasn’t a banger but it was still a well-taken goal as he managed to get around the Cavalry defenders.

Béni Badibanga scored the match-winner six minutes later as his shot deflected into the net. Cavalry looked fine defensively throughout the game but fell asleep here. Badibanga started the build-up, found himself in a pocket of space and finished.

It turns out, those were the only shots on target by Forge and Cavalry’s goal was the only shot on target for them. So there were three shots on target with a total of 18 in the game and all were goals. Go figure.

#3: Pacific win with good goalkeeping and defending

Speaking of the lack of shots on target, Pacific had to grind their way to a 1-0 win over the Halifax Wanderers.

Pacific goalkeeper Emil Gadzov only faced two shots from Halifax but came up big as he handled the Wanderer’s crosses with ease. Pacific’s backline was led by former Stade Reims defender/midfielder Aly Ndom as he was everywhere breaking up Halifax’s press and leading the transitions. Ndom signed in the offseason and it is safe to say he impressed in his debut for Pacific.

Pacific’s only goal was a penalty kick from Ayman Sellouf. That was Pacific’s only shot of the first half. They would go on to have three more in the second while continuing to stifle Halifax’s attack.

#4: BC boys help Vancouver FC soar

Vancouver FC and Valour finished as the bottom two teams of the CPL last season and both were looking to get off on the right foot.

It looked like Valour would be the team that would start the season strong. Themi Antonoglou made an excellent cross to find the head of Jordan Swibel.

But Valour’s goal woke up Vancouver FC. They started to turn up the heat offensively as they were really pressing from the left side led by Gabriel Bitar and Alejandro Díaz. They would find Moses Dyer for the equalizer.

In the second half, Vancouver FC continued to move the ball well and suffocate Valour in their own half. Burnaby native Paris Gee would score the first #BangersOnly goal of the CPL season. What a strike this was. This was just 61 seconds into the second half.

You have to give a lot of credit to Vancouver for keeping on pushing even though they had the lead. Bitar would grab a goal of his own after displaying some excellent ball control. Coquitlam native and Vancouver Whitecaps academy graduate David Norman Jr would also get in onto the fun with a solid volley past Valour goalkeeper Jonathan Viscosi.

It also helped that Valour midfielder Jordan Faria got his second yellow (for diving) after Bitar’s goal and that opened the floodgates even more.

It was the best start Vancouver FC could hope for and not the greatest for Valour.

Next week in the CPL

Starting Thursday, there will be four straight games of CPL action. Vancouver hosts Halifax Wanderers on Thursday at 7:00 pm Pacific. On Friday, Valour travels to Langford to take on Pacific and that match starts at 7:00 pm Pacific.

At 11:00 am Pacific on Saturday, (Insert 4/20 joke here) Atletico Ottawa hopes to again prove they are contenders as they host Cavalry. Finally, York United hosts Forge in their home opener on Sunday and that one kicks off at 1:00 pm Pacific.

You can catch all the CPL action on OneSoccer.