Cavalry FC is playing a waiting game of sorts. Winners of the Spring season, with a spot in the 2019 CPL Championship booked, the Cavs will keep a close eye on who they will play in that two-legged final. Of course, Cavalry can still win the 18-match Fall session, but they can't play themselves. The six sides competing for that second berth will open the Fall this Saturday with a clean slate – and a Spring season "trial period" to draw from. Here's one big question each surrounding the six sides vying for a spot in the CPL Championship berth.
What is a full-strength HFX capable of?

Early-season injuries hampered nearly every CPL team. But as other teams got closer to a full bill of health, it seemed HFX Wanderers's situation got worse. No loss has been more detrimental than Luis Alberto Perea; two goals in three matches, all at Wanderers Grounds in Halifax. A lingering hand injury has kept Perea away, but his potential remains sky-high. Could Perea be the best striker signed to a CPL contract? Perhaps. Towering Chakib Hocine has been out, same with creative attacking midfielder Juan Diego Gutierrez – both potential starters on a middle-of-the-pack team looking to make the jump. Good news? All three players were back in training with Stephen Hart's side this week.
Who will score for York9 FC?

Yes, York9 did break an over 300-minute goalless run on Canada Day against Valour, snapped by screamers from Manny Aparicio and Morey Doner. Two low-percentage attempts, two goals. Impressive? For sure. But if you strip back a fortuitous Ryan McCurdy own goal and a couple of Rodrigo Gattas penalties, that poor attacking stretch goes for over 30 days in May & June. Doner won't score goals like that every week. So who will? Gattas has yet to score in open play in the league but has recorded more shots than any other CPLer. Simon Adjei has struggled at times. Ryan Telfer and Emilio Estevez have been inspiring.
How far can FC Edmonton's Marcus Velado-Tsegaye go?

For the uninitiated tuning in to CPL's Canada Day spectacle, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye's 18th-birthday goal was a one-of-a-kind, fun story. An Edmonton kid scoring for his hometown team on this coming-of-age birthday? Cute! The thing is, Velado-Tsegaye's first pro goal was no out-of-the-blue fluke. A spirited run-out in the first Al Classico was our first hint at his ability. Speedy, aggressive and attentive, Edmonton's teenage attacking talent looked even more threatening after that first goal on Canada Day, nearly scoring another in a funky back-post play, possibly showing what a bit of confidence can do for the now-18-year-old In FC Edmonton's new direct, hit-'em-hard 4-4-2 system, and with support from his head coach Jeff Paulus, could this youngster be set for a breakout Fall?
Will Pacific FC add reinforcements?

Pacific FC's biggest obstacle is finding the right obstacles at the back. CPL's West Coasters have gone eight matches without a clean sheet; impressive considering they finished the Spring on 11 points with a joint-highest 15 goals against. You could start with the injuries – Hendrik Starostzik, Lukas MacNaughton and Marcel De Jong, with just eight combined appearances, are three-quarters of an impressive backline – but it comes down to personnel. Simply put, PFC has been shorthanded; with just 21 players signed, Michael Silberbauer has been forced to get creative. Good news for Silberbauer? Summer transfer time. He's already shown some late-season signing creativity with defensive midfielder Alexander Gonzalez who, oh, yeah, is set to miss two matches due to suspension.
How far can Cavalry go in the CanChamp?

With a spot in the 2019 CPL Championship booked, Cavalry FC doesn't need to win the Fall season, although it would be nice. Actually, you know what would be nice? A Cup run. Cavalry will open their Qualifying Round 3 tie with MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps next week. You'd have to think Tommy Wheeldon Jr. and co. will have a very keen eye on this tie: CPL's best against an MLS club. Who knows how these teams will stack up? Could Cavalry give the Whitecaps a run for their money? If so, maybe a Voyageurs Cup triumph isn't that far away...
How does Valour bounce back?

Valour's biggest hurdle is a mental one. Head coach Rob Gale cited "confidence" as an issue with his team following their 2-0 loss away to Halifax last week. At that point, Gale was calling for the group to attack with confidence – have the belief they won't be caught in transition, countered, etc. Makes sense. Now six matches without a victory, confidence is as important as ever, as the side dropped to bottom of the Spring standings with a finale loss at the hands of York9. Can they put the Spring behind them, focusing on the fresh start the Fall affords, or will recent failures distract and disrupt?
Will Forge be found out?

An early favourite to win the Spring and join Cavalry in the 2019 CPL Championship, Forge FC won't be short on confidence. Forge's identity has been set in stone over their 10 league matches; ball on the floor, tiki-taka, "Forgealona" football. It's effective in theory, but is it too predictable? Bobby Smyrniotis' side exactly didn't end the Spring with a great offensive thump, recording four shots on target over their final two matches, losing the second to FC Edmonton, who they will open the Fall campaign against on Saturday. The Eddies could be their greatest threat, too, with a well-organized 4-4-2 crushing space between the lines for possession-influenced sides like Forge. Are CPL clubs learning how to deal with Forge? Will their brand of football become less and less effective? The CPL's Fall season will get underway Saturday when Forge hosts FC Edmonton (1 p.m. ET/OneSoccer, & CBC Gem), HFX Wanderers take on York9 FC (4:30 p.m. AT, 3:30 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) and Cavalry visits Pacific FC (3 p.m. PT, 6 p.m. ET/OneSoccer).

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