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CCSG by the Numbers: ATO Attackers in 2023

By Alexander Brazier Rymek

One of the most disappointing aspects of the 2023 CPL season for ATO was their attack. Even though they scored more goals than in 2022, almost a third of them came from Bassett, and the starting options every week could not produce consistently. The following article, and the last of this short series, will dissect each member of said attack by using my statistics model (detailed here), and rank them by WPA grade. For the final time, I will evaluate ATO’s players by strengths and weaknesses, and make a fan decision as to whether I would like to see them return for the 2024 season. A summary of each player's grades, ranking, and contract status will be available at the end of the article.

#8: Gabriel Antinoro

Even though Antinoro played 23 games, he only started eight and averaged half an hour each outing, and thus did not have enough time to properly make a name for himself. He did post an impressive 62.3 Key Passes ranking however, and managed an 80.6 Tackles mark. Antinoro also played multiple positions during the course of his first professional season, and was perhaps not bedded in as ideally as possible.

CONTRACT STATUS: Under contract through 2024

Antinoro will still only be 20 next season, and he did show signs of promise when he was given enough leash. As he grows and matures he should make fewer mistakes and win a few more individual battles. I would also like to see his passing improve, and for him to not commit as many fouls. He is an exciting prospect that can blossom under the right circumstances.

#7: Malcolm Shaw

Unfortunately for Malcolm Shaw, he did not impress in 2023. He seemed all over the place on the field, and his statistics reflect that. He posted slightly above average Goals and Assists rankings, however his 32.8 Passing grade and a 13.2 Duel mark brought his grade down significantly. It should be noted he was played at Left-Wing Back for a few starts later in the year, which brought his statistical impact down from where it should have been. In 2022 he posted a WPA grade of 64.2, this being his second straight season of decline since his high-water mark of 74.4 in 2021.


As much as Shaw is undoubtedly a club legend for ATO, I have to think his best days are behind him, and he will be 29 for the 2024 season. As noted above, he has been declining dramatically when it comes to his statistical impact, and hasn’t recaptured the magic of his 2021 season. Unfortunately, I think there are better options available on the market at Striker.

#6: Ruben del Campo

Ruben del Campo was another Striker who posted a low WPA grade in 2023, however for slightly different reasons. As enumerated upon in past articles, small sample sizes make for extreme rankings, and del Campo is no exception. As such, it is hard to draw an accurate conclusion from his statistics, however I think on the field he was a positive impact plater, and his 83.8 Key Passes ranking bodes well for future chance creation.

CONTRACT STATUS: Under contract through 2024

Although he didn’t score any goals in 2023, I think he showed enough on the field to make his return in 2024 a beneficial one. With a more structured system and better service from his wings, I think he could be a decent option off the bench for ATO.

#5: Jean-Aniel Assi

Out of all the additions coming into the 2023 season, Assi was among the most hyped. He was young, Canadian, and showed bags of promise with Cavalry in the previous season. Unfortunately, he did not live up to that billing. Even though he showed lightning speed down the wings, which admittedly does not show up on his statistical profile, he posted a 32.1 1v1%, a 32.2 Cross%, and a 29.5 Pass% ranking from the positions he gained using said quickness. Without his assists, which weigh heavily into a Wide-Midfielders WPA rating, his 2023 season would have had a much, much lower grade. Considering this, it is no wonder he regressed from his 67.9 WPA rating in 2022.


As much as Assi was an asset when fulfilling the U21 minute requirement in 2023, of which he accrued 1000 by himself (50% of the needed total being the limit for a loan player), he could not make a significant and consistent impact on the field. As such, I do think he can easily be upgraded upon for the 2024 season.

#4: Gianni dos Santos

The 2023 season was an unbalanced one for dos Santos, beginning with an 86.2 Key Passes and an 86.8 Assists ranking. Conversely, he provided almost nothing besides that, with an 8.4 Pass% ranking, a 3.9 Strength grade, and a 22.4 1v1% rating. Admittedly he only played 850 minutes, but even when watching him play he looked lost. He operated as an offence-only, direct-to-goal winger, however it wasn’t enough to compensate for his lacklustre play everywhere else. Like Assi, he regressed from his 2022 performance, when he graded at a 65.6 WPA with Pacific FC.

CONTRACT STATUS: Under contract through 2024

As touched on above, he needs to work on his all-round play for next season. His Pass% is dire for a winger, and his Strength grade is abysmal. If he can bring those attributes to even league average, and add them to his offensive impact, he could be a useful tool for ATO off the bench in 2024.

#3: Zach Verhoven

Used primarily as a super-sub in 2023, Verhoven’s statistical profile reflects that with a lot of inflated and deflated rankings. His 90.4 G/A grade was among the best in the league, and his chance creation is good for someone given only half an hour per game. Like dos Santos, his Passing and Strength grades were lower than average, however unlike him, Verhoven provided above-average Dribbling (53.2) and Tackles/Interception (69.7) ratings. He recorded a 73.6 WPA rating in 2022, however he achieved that grade in half the minutes.


It should be a no-brainer to activate Verhoven’s option. Even though he struggles when he does start, his value as a super-sub is unmatched in the CPL, and he never fails to create chances when the club needs them. I would like him to improve his passing, however when he is providing chances like that it is hard to argue with his efficiency.

#2: Samuel Salter

When Salter became the first ever intra-CPL paid transfer during the offseason, he was scouted as a prototypical number 9, with an ability to score goals and not much else. That is pretty much exactly what he provided in 2023, with only his offence creation metrics being anywhere above average. There is one surprisingly glaring weakness in his statistical impact however, that being his 37.8 Strength grade. For a man who is 6’1 and well over 200lbs, he seemed to lose an awful amount of duels both in the air and on the ground, and the statistics reflect that. Like everyone on this list so far, he regressed from his 2022 form, when he recorded a 78 WPA grade with HFX Wanderers.

CONTRACT STATUS: Under contract through 2024 + 2025 Option

I think Salter’s sometimes frustrating tendencies on the field overshadowed his finishing in 2023. Considering the wingers who were playing alongside him, seven goals is nothing to sneeze at, however I think he could have been so much more. If he used his size to his advantage, and played a little smarter, he could be an excellent 1b Striker next season.

#1: Carl Haworth

Another player with a limited sample size, however one with enough statistical impact to rank as ATO’s best attacker in 2023. His 96.4 G/A grade ranked among the highest in the CPL, along with an 89.2 Key Passes and a 90.4 Foul Differencial ranking. The only statistic that is noticeably below average and relevant was his 24.6 Passing grade, but like Verhoven before him, it is hard to argue with that considering his impact everywhere else. Haworth actually improved from his 2022 WPA grading, when he accrued a 66.1, although he did so in half the minutes.


It seems to be a trend that the best players for ATO in 2023 will most likely not return for 2024. Espejo’s loan most likely expiring, Bassett’s looming transfer move, and, of course, Haworth’s retirement. Even though some may see that as a positive for a developmental league, it is unfortunate from an Ottawa perspective, who will have to replace their talent for next season.


It would have been hard to compete with the offensive efficiency masterclass that was ATO in 2022, and unfortunately they could not keep up that standard in 2023. Their average WPA grade decreased from an outstanding 70 to a below-average 57.5, and this was caused notably by the overwhelming amount of below-average talent that replaced the 2022 attacking roster. Five of the eight players ranked on this list graded below a 57, and only one of three remaining players that graded above 66 played even more than 800 minutes. In 2024 the club’s front office needs to add more depth players who can make a positive impact, everywhere across the front three. The gulf between the five far below-average players and the three best players being mostly bench options cannot be repeated next season.

Also of note is our Striker corps, which has historically been bad, averaging a 50.4 WPA grade. With Malcolm Shaw regressing and potentially not returning, and the one-season players who struggle to score goals (Uche, Moragrega, etc), there has been a massive lack of talent at the top of the field, and that continued in 2023 (even Salter, though he managed seven). Hopefully, when overhauling the attacking options in 2024, the front office can add a talented striker who can stick with the club for multiple seasons.

That concludes the ATO ranking series! The next article will be one grading the top players out of contract for next season, again by 2023 WPA grade. See you then!



Player (Position)

WPA Rating

2024 Contract?


Carl Haworth (RW)




Samuel Salter (ST)


Under Contract


Zach Verhoven (LW)




Gianni dos Santos (LW)


Under Contract


Jean-Aniel Assi (RW)


Loan Expired


Ruben del Campo (ST)


Under Contract


Malcolm Shaw (ST)




Gabriel Antinoro (RM)


Under Contract


About Alexander:

When he isn't busy playing or watching sports (or going to school at uOttawa), Alexander is busy managing his Atlético Ottawa database, which he started in 2020, and tracks everything you can think of about the club and its players. He also runs a Twitter account dedicated to analyzing and rating CPL players using statistics, CPL by the Numbers.

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