Pacific F.C were able to eke out a 1-0 win over Atletico Ottawa in CPL action. Pacific was a little bit slow to get going but a second-half goal by Alejandro Diaz and a man-of-the-match performance by Callum Irving in goal was enough to seal the victory. Pacific played in a 4-3-3 with the right side fullback pushing forward and the right-sided winger sitting narrower. Ottawa played in a 4-4-2, looking to hit Pacific on the counter. Ottawa’s tactic was pretty successful as they managed 23 shots with just 37% of the possession but they were frequently denied by Irving.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 22
- Date of Birth: 12/01/2000
- Current Club: Pacific FC
- Career: Toronto F.C (Y), Toronto F.C II, F.C Helsingor, Atletico Ottawa
- Position: Right-Back
- Preferred Foot: Right
In the match, Dada-Luke played as a very attacking right back. Marco Bustos often tucked in centrally, creating a channel for Dada-Luke to run into and either put in crosses or dribble into the box. In the first half, he struggled to get his attacking game going a bit, often getting stuck in situations where he had no choice but to just pass the ball backwards. But this was also a problem for the rest of the Pacific team. In the second half, he was looking more dangerous, leaving defenders in his wake with his pace and dribbling ability. He should have had an assist when he blasted past an Ottawa defender using a quick change of pace and cut the ball back from the byline. But, unfortunately, no Pacific player was there to cap the move. He also did some good work in the build-up to Pacific’s goal.
His dribbling ability did not only manifest in the final 3rd. He was also able to use it to dribble out of trouble in his own end, on one occasion beating three players in quick succession with some fabulous footwork before finally being brought down. He did a good job of positioning himself in wide areas to receive passes, which provided some good width to Pacific’s attack on the right flank. His cross delivery was a bit of a mixed bag. It sometimes felt like he was just lumping the ball into the box and hoping for the best. He looked much more dangerous when he tried to dribble into the box.
His tremendous pace helped him a lot defensively. Because he was asked to push forward so much he often had a long way to run back if Pacific lost the ball. But he was so fast that he made it back the vast majority of the time, even if the Ottawa player had a significant head start. When defending in 1v1 situations he did quite well, although he was beaten once or twice. I wouldn’t say his 1v1 defending is a weakness, it’s just not a strength. What was a weakness, however, was his ability to track runners. On two occasions Ottawa was able to get off fairly dangerous chances in part because Dada-Luke was slow to recognize a run that was being made in behind him. Also, Malcolm Shaw was able to backheel the ball between Dada-Luke’s legs to a teammate twice. That sort of skill happens so infrequently it’s hard to say that it is a specific weakness but it is a bit weird that it happened twice in one game. Also of note, he bent the rules quite a bit by holding and grappling with opposing players. It didn’t get him into trouble in this game but with some referees that might be an issue.
Dada-Luke’s contract expires in November and I think he should probably be looking for a move to a higher level. He has tremendous physical traits, fantastic dribbling skills, and is good enough at defending that it doesn’t undercut the strong parts of his game. He would be a good signing for any MLS team (particularly the Canadian ones as he would not occupy an international slot for them) or for any team in a league of a similar level around the world.
- Nationality: Canadian
- Age: 21
- Date of Birth: 20/04/2001
- Current Club: Pacific FC
- Career: Victoria Highlanders
- Position: Centre Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
Sean Young started this game as one of the more advanced central midfielders in a 4-3-3. He roamed around quite a bit, often dropping into the half-spaces in his own 3rd to receive the ball and often making runs forward to get in the opposition box. Young did quite a good job of harassing opposing players and recovering the ball. He was often pressing quite high up the pitch and did a decent job of slowing down Ottawa counterattacks. However, one thing that did hinder his defensive game is that he is not the strongest player. Young is very tall (6’1) but also very slight and sometimes he ends up getting pushed around a little bit. With the ball, he mostly kept things simple but he had a few pretty good progressive passes. Progressive passing is an area of his game he will probably have to improve if he is going to make the jump to MLS but I would say he is ahead of similar midfield prospects like Victor Loturi and Alessandro Hajabrpour in this regard.
I felt he was sometimes a little hesitant to push the ball forwards, although it should be said, Pacific’s off-the-ball movement was not the best in this game and he did still manage to rack up a couple of shot assists. One area of Young’s game that I find quite exciting is his penchant for making late runs into the box. It didn’t lead to any chances for him in this game but he was making good late runs and getting into dangerous areas in the box. His height could potentially be a big help to his runs into the box, especially if he can get a bit physically stronger because it can allow him to get on the end of crosses. There was one incident where I felt his touch in the box let him down. That will be something to watch for in future viewings. Young only has 1 career goal but I think that will change, perhaps this season.
I believe that Young has MLS potential. He is 21, young but not exactly a wonder kid, so I’m not sure how much further than that he can go. But I think MLS is very attainable. The departure of Alessandro Hojabrpour to Forge should open up a clear path to being a regular starter for him and I am very keen to see if he proves my prediction about him to be correct.