In just five short years, the Canadian Premier League (CPL) has witnessed the rise of a true powerhouse – Forge FC. With four out of five league titles under their belt, the Hamilton-based club has established itself as a dominant force in the young league. But what exactly is the secret sauce behind Forge’s success?

In this article, we will take you through what has made Forge FC so good for so long, as well as give some insights into the season ahead

Building a Cohesive Team Unit

One key ingredient in Forge FC’s success lies in their commitment to building a cohesive unit rather than relying solely on any individual players. 

Head coach Bobby Smyrniotis has instilled a strong tactical philosophy emphasizing possession-based play, fluid movement, and an organized pressing game.

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This team playstyle really lets players showcase their strengths while creating a dynamic and unpredictable attacking style.

In a league as new as the CPL, having a solid system in place alongside strong players can offer you outsized success compared to other soccer leagues.

Key Players and Their Impact

Although soccer is definitely a team sport, individual talent still plays an important role in any team’s success, and Forge boasts several key players who consistently deliver on the field. 

Canadian internationals Kyle Bekker and Tristan Borges anchor the midfield, providing a strong defensive foundation while also contributing offensively with intelligent passing and timely runs.

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Up front, the attacking duo of Woobens Pacius and Terran Campbell has been a nightmare for opposing defences. Pacius, known for his physical presence and aerial prowess, provides a constant threat in the box, while Campbell, the league’s all-time leading scorer, brings pace, skill, and a knack for scoring goals.

A strong defensive line, adaptable midfielders, and potent strikers – what more can you ask for in a squad?

Forge FC Beyond Individuals

While these players deserve individual recognition, their success is also directly linked to the team structure and playing style implemented by coach Smyrniotis. 

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The system allows players to thrive in their roles, creating a sense of collective responsibility and making sure transitions are smooth even when key individuals are rotated or out injured.

Adaptability and Innovation

Forge hasn’t become complacent with their existing formula, even with all of their success. The club demonstrates a willingness to adapt and innovate, as evidenced by its recent emphasis on developing young Canadian talent through its academy system and partnerships with local youth clubs.

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This commitment to homegrown talent provides a sustainable future for the team and helps maintain a strong Canadian core, vital in a league with specific roster requirements. 

Moreover, it’s quite nice as a Canadian to see our homegrown talent succeed within our own country.

Challenges and Looking Ahead

Despite their dominance in the CPL, Forge FC faces challenges on the continental stage. They have yet to replicate their domestic success in competitions like the CONCACAF Champions League, where they haven’t advanced past the semifinals. However, their experience in these competitions should provide them with valuable lessons and prepare them for future challenges.

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However, in the coming CPL season, there’s a great chance we will see Forge FC sitting atop the league again. They haven’t given us any reason to think their reign over the CPL will end any time soon.


Forge FC’s success in the Canadian Premier League shows their commitment to building a well-rounded team, fostering a strong tactical identity, and developing young talent. 

While challenges lie ahead, Forge seems well-positioned to continue their reign as the league’s dominant force and potentially leave a lasting legacy in Canadian football history.

For now, it seems like Ontario-based teams have been dominating the CPL, but who knows, maybe one day, a team like Calgary’s Cavalry FC may even take the top spot.

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