PREVIEW: Atlético Ottawa vs. Halifax Wanderers FC
Canadian Premier League

2024 CPL Regular Season — Match #30
Atlético Ottawa vs. Halifax Wanderers FC
June 2, 2024 at 2 p.m. ET/3 p.m. AT
TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario
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A couple of Canadian Premier League records could fall in the nation’s capital on Sunday, when Atlético Ottawa host Halifax Wanderers FC at TD Place.

The hosts, who have five wins and two draws through a quarter of the season, can break the league record for most consecutive games unbeaten to begin a regular season. If they pick up a point or more, it would extend their streak to eight. Red-hot striker Ruben Del Campo has been a big part of the team’s success so far, scoring in his last five games, including at Wanderers Grounds against this same Halifax side at the end of April to begin that streak. One more goal for Del Campo will extend his streak to six in a row — which would give him sole possession of the CPL record.

The club did lose midweek, however, in the second leg of their Canadian Championship quarter-final against Pacific FC. After a scoreless draw at TD Place in the first leg, the Tridents won 2-1 in the second leg on Wednesday night to book their spot in the final four. Sam Salter scored his first of the year for Ottawa, a strike on the hour mark that former Atléti goalkeeper Sean Melvin made contact with, but couldn’t keep out of the back of the net. It is up to the squad to put that match behind them and focus on continuing their great start in the league, rather than let it ruin their confidence.

In their most recent CPL match, last weekend at TD Place, Ottawa beat Forge FC 3-0, their first-ever win at home against the Hammers. Del Campo scored the third goal of that match, after Manny Aparicio opened the scoring with a rocket of a shot from distance, and Alberto Zapater headed the second home from a set piece.

The season has not started as well for the visiting Halifax Wanderers, who remain winless through their first six matches of the season for the second year in a row. Last year’s streak ended up reaching eight games, and the Wanderers had to wait until June 10 for their first victory. They ended up making the playoffs, however, so a slow start may not be the end of the world, but they need to start picking up points soon if they are to close the growing gap between them and the teams pulling away in front of them.

Almost exactly a year prior to Sunday’s match, in fact — on June 3, 2023 — a 2-0 loss at TD Place was the final match of the Wanderers’ winless streak to begin the year. This time around, they’ll be hoping to take advantage of a potentially tired Ottawa side that played midweek in British Columbia and get three points on the board.

If that is going to happen on Sunday, they’ll need to stop the attack of Ottawa galácticos, something nobody has been able to do in CPL action in 2024. The Wanderers forwards also need to show signs of improvement, scoring just four times in six matches so far, one of which was a penalty from Dan Nimick in a losing effort two weeks ago. Last weekend at York Lions Stadium Ryan Telfer became the first attacker on the team to score in league action this season, a late goal that sparked some life into the Wanderers but wouldn’t lead to a late comeback in a 2-1 defeat to his former club.

The Wanderers could receive an offensive boost from new addition Clément Bayiha, who was acquired on loan from York this week, with Tomas Giraldo going on loan in the other direction.

Halifax Wanderers FC huddle before last week’s match against York United. (Photo: York United/David Chant)

The Wanderers could be without striker Christian Volesky again, after the American striker missed last week’s match in Toronto. The reason for his absence was not shared by head coach Patrice Gheisar, who said there’s “unfortunately nothing I can add any further” to him being out last weekend. Other than Volesky, Gheisar shared that he might be considering some rotation for the squad, while the availability of talented youngster Tavio Ciccarelli — who was signed to a contract through 2026 with an option for 2027 on Friday — is pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate in July.

Maxim Tissot will miss out on this match for Ottawa after being helped off the pitch in the aforementioned cup game midweek against Pacific. Kris Twardek needs to be on his best behaviour, as one more yellow card will be his fifth of the year and result in a one-match suspension.

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  • Ottawa could set CPL record if they pick up a result: Through seven Canadian Premier League matches, Ottawa have five wins and two losses, and are the only team in the CPL to remain undefeated. They can make history on Sunday if they pick up at least one point, as they would become the first team in league history to go eight games unbeaten to start the year. They are currently tied on seven games with 2019 Cavalry FC (who actually won all of their first seven games, the longest winning streak in league history), and 2023 Forge FC. They have a long way to go to tie the CPL record for longest unbeaten streak at any point in a season, as Forge FC went 14 games unbeaten from July 13 to October 6 in 2019. Atletico Ottawa’s club record is nine games, from August 17 to October 9, 2022 in a CPL Shield-winning campaign.
  • Wanderers looking for goals, first win of 2024: The season isn’t off to such a hot start for the Halifax Wanderers, who sit bottom of the table with just one point through six matches to start the year. The Wanderers’ lone point came in a 1-1 draw at home against Cavalry FC on May 11, and since then they have lost twice — 2-1 at home to Valour FC and 2-1 on the road against York United. The Wanderers lost 3-1 to Atlético Ottawa at home in late April, a match perhaps best remembered for an early red card for Wanderers midfielder Lorenzo Callegari after he caught Manny Aparicio with a high boot. They will be keen to come flying out of the gates and get some revenge, as well as a first win of the season against an Ottawa side that played, and lost, on the other side of the country midweek.
  • Del Campo chasing record of his own after blistering start: As Ottawa chase a team record, their striker Rubén Del Campo is chasing an individual record of his own — the most consecutive matches with a goal in league history. Del Campo has found the back of the net in five consecutive games, including the aforementioned 3-1 win over Halifax at Wanderers Grounds, and could become the first player to score in six in a row if he does so in this match. He is currently tied with former Cavalry FC forward Aribim Pepple, who scored six goals in five matches in 2022 before being sold to Luton Town.


Atlético Ottawa: Yesli; Twardek, Didic, Singh, de Brienne; Tabla, Zapater, Aparicio, Morer; Bassett, Del Campo

Halifax Wanderers FC: Fillion; Fernandez, Nimick, Dunn, Timoteo; Callegari, Rampersad; Daniels, Dias, Telfer; Ferrin


Atlético Ottawa wins: 8 || Halifax Wanderers FC wins: 6 || Draws: 3

Last meeting:

April 27, 2024 — Halifax Wanderers FC 1-3 Atlético Ottawa


“I think that we’re gonna face a Halifax that is going to be motivated. Although they are last in the standings, I think that they are progressing little by little, and they are going to bring a lot of energy here and try to grab a good result. We have to to match them or increase the energy that they are gonna put in the field, and at the end of the day trust ourselves, our players, trust our collective, because we’re doing things really well.”  — Atlético Ottawa head coach Carlos Gonzalez

“At the end of the day we’re part of this game because we love it, and if our players fall out of love with this because of the situation, we’re in trouble, and that’s never been the case.”  — Halifax Wanderers FC head coach Patrice Gheisar