The Spring portion of the 2019 Canadian Premier League season is now over, with Cavalry FC finishing atop the table and earning a berth in the 2019 CPL Championship, and after a trio of fixtures on Canada Day, we're ready to move onto the Fall half on July 6. This weekend, York9 FC, FC Edmonton, and Pacific FC each got their much-coveted three points, and head into the Fall feeling confident having overcome personal hurdles and obstacles along the way. As we refocus toward this second stanza, let's take a look back on the Canada Day weekend. Here’s what else we learned this week:
7. Canada Day is for the kids

It was a good weekend for young players in the CPL. A trio of teenage talents managed to find the back of the net in fine fashion, as 17-year-olds Tyler Attardo, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye, and Ahmed Alghamdi of Valour, Edmonton, and Pacific all scored sublime solo goals with skill beyond their years. Attardo's 48-second opener for Valour ultimately wasn't enough to keep the Nine Stripes at bay, but his effort was worthy of note as it was his second of the season, making him the top-scoring youngster in the Spring season. Meanwhile, Alghamdi of Pacific FC opened his account in the 48th minute with a beautifully hit curling shot that left Cavalry goalkeeper Niko Giantsopoulos reaching for air. The 17-year-old from Saudi Arabia was a relatively-unknown player before this match, but you can be sure he's one to watch on Vancouver Island now. Lastly, but certainly not least, Velado-Tsegaye's smart read on an attacking play paid dividends as he tapped home the first for the Eddies, who eventually defeated HFX Wanderers FC 2-0. It was a good day for Velado-Tsegaye, but for more than one reason, because ...
6. Birthday boys celebrate in style

... it was Velado-Tsegaye's birthday! The now-18-year-old was highly touted by Jeff Paulus in pre-season, and on his day of celebrations, the young Canadian produced the sort of overall showing that turned heads and left his onlookers more than impressed. We've spoken about Velado-Tsegaye in the past, but seeing him come into his own here has been one of the most feel-good stories out of Edmonton, and, as your photo of the week shows, his teammates are all-in on the man Eddies fans call "MVT". He wasn't the only birthday boy celebrating goals on Canada Day, though; salutations to Pacific's Victor Blasco, who scored yet another long-range rocket against Cavalry FC, the second of three goals in an eventual 3-1 win over the Spring champs. Meanwhile, York9 FC goalkeeper Nathan Ingham got to celebrate three points on the weekend, having previously gathered for birthday festivities on June 27. Happy birthday to the lot!
5. The "real" Edmonton finally stands up

All Spring season, we've been waiting to see Paulus' patented brand of 4-3-3 attacking football, the sort we were promised would be entertaining and effective. Instead, the Spring season was defined by resolute defensive showings, coupled with frustrations up top that led to over 500 minutes without a goal. But, with three matches remaining in the Spring, the Eddies turned things around magnificently, posting three consecutive wins and doing so by sticking to their brand of football – a sort of hybrid between counter-attacking and pressing. We're not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. It's not exactly the sort of run-and-gun play we maybe expected at the top of the season, but it's effective. It works. And Paulus has to be pleased with it, no? If this is the "real" FC Edmonton ... perhaps an Al Classico finale in the 2019 CPL Championship isn't too wild an idea to entertain. Because, as it stands, the Eddies have gotten hot at the right time, with the Fall season opening weeks providing Paulus with an opportunity to open a gap at the top that he can then use to mitigate any injury concerns that might develop throughout the year.
4. York9's Spring come full circle

Speaking of turnaround narratives, we here at CanPL editorial have had this theory about York9 FC. Due to the diminutive nature of many of its attacking pieces like Manny Aparicio, Emilio Estevez, and Kyle Porter – heck, even Ryan Telfer and Diyaeddine Abzi – coupled with Brennan's insistence on playing on the ground, smart, attacking pass-heavy football, the Nine Stripes' early goings were ... a bit rough around the edges. But, the makeup of this squad featured enough wiley, clinical talent that we figured line-breaking passes, dizzying runs, and sweet combination plays were weeks away, as York9 FC came together. The number one ingredient to pull off this formation and style is team chemistry, and that takes time, after all. Well, after 331 minutes with nothing to show for it, York9's attack finally roared to life against Valour FC. Now, you could point to last-placed Valour and say that York9 only scored because of the amount of space that Rob Gale's backline afforded them ... but then you'd be doing a disservice to the kind of combination play that the Nine Stripes managed to pull off. This performance, more than any, may indicate a changing of the tides come the Fall season – if this is what York9 is building toward, this team is a real threat. All it takes is time.
3. Pacific, Cavalry set for shorthanded rematch

Just a few days after Pacific hosted Cavalry at Westhills Stadium, these two teams meet at the same venue in a rematch to kick off the Fall portion of their respective 2019 campaigns. However, Cavalry will be without Dean Northover and Mauro Eustaquio, both of whom picked up red cards in their last meeting. Pacific, meanwhile, will be without defensive midfielder Alexander Gonzalez, who also saw red in this previous tilt, while Marcus Haber and Hendrik Starostzik likely remain out through injuries. Still, Pacific can feel confident in their chances, having gone toe-to-toe with the Spring champs and come out on top in resounding fashion; and, since Cavalry already has a spot booked in the 2019 CPL Championship, there's less pressure on the Cavs to really drive home for a win, allowing Wheeldon Jr. a chance to experiment with some of his depth pieces, filling in for red-carded players. So, could we see Pacific's first back-to-back win streak?
2. Can we talk about ...

... York9 FC right fullback Morey Doner? Wow! What an incredible goal. Doner, who was an unknown throughout the Spring season, has come into his own out wide in the Y9 backline, and has quietly gone about his business, making Jimmy Brennan's selection at right-back a pretty easy choice. This weekend, Doner burst onto the spotlight, scoring a screamer half-volley to end York9's goalless drought at 331 minutes. It left his gaffer all-smiles on the sidelines, and inspired a 3-1 win over Valour FC, so, Morey Doner, here's your moment. The Montreal Impact now awaits.
1. Your photo of the week

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