Seven games. That’s all that remains of this 2022 CPL Season, and that’s how many games are left until Ottawa can possibly make their first ever appearance in the CPL Playoffs. However, Valour FC (5th place) are snapping at Ottawa’s heels in hopes to snatch that playoff spot from the roujiblancos. Ottawa fans are going to be looking over their shoulders for the remainder of the season and the biggest question from here on out will be “When can Atletico Ottawa clinch a playoff spot?”
The way to look at it is from the perspective of how many games will Valour need to catch up to ATO on points. Currently, ATO are 6 points ahead of Valour which means Valour would need 2 games to try and catch up to Ottawa (3 points x 2 games = 6 points). ATO being 15 points ahead of Valour means Valour would need 5 games to catch up to ATO. Once Ottawa is ahead of Valour by more games than are left in the season, they will clinch playoffs.
Now if this was confusing, I will try and break this next part down in the easiest way I can:
With Ottawa being 6 points ahead of Valour and with both teams having 9 games left in the season, if Ottawa can find themselves at least 16 points ahead of Valour by the end of September 4th, ATO will clinch playoffs then. Ottawa cannot clinch playoffs any sooner than September 4th.
For this to happen, Ottawa at minimum would have to earn 10 points from their next 4 games while Valour must lose their next 4 games. Here are both team’s schedules for the next 4 games.
ATO vs HFX, CAV, FOR, EDM
VAL vs EDM, PAC, FOR, FOR
Now, unfortunately it isn’t a far-off reach to guess that last placed Edmonton who only have 2 wins this season probably won’t beat Valour, therefore the more realistic date for Ottawa to clinch a playoff spot would be September 11. If Ottawa can find themselves at least 13 points ahead of Valour by the end of the day on Sep 11, they will find themselves in the CPL Postseason. Here are both team’s schedule for the next 5 games.
ATO vs HFX, CAV, FOR, EDM & PAC
VAL vs EDM, PAC, FOR, FOR & HFX
If Valour picks up 6 points from these 5 games, Ottawa will need 13 to clinch.
If Valour picks up 4 points from these 5 games, Ottawa will need 11 to clinch
If Valour picks up 3 points from these 5 games, Ottawa will need 10 to clinch
If Valour picks up 1 point from these 5 games, Ottawa will need 8 to clinch
If Valour picks up 9 points from these 5 games, Ottawa won’t be able to clinch yet.
Both Ottawa and Valour have tough schedules ahead of them and with the nature of the Canadian Premier League, I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams drop crucial games that will result in the ATO vs Valour match on September 18th deciding the playoff hopes of both clubs.
However, to summarize. The earliest possible date that Ottawa can clinch a playoff spot would be September 4th. After that, September 11th. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.