Al Classico: How Cavalry won the 2019 Battle of Alberta

Cavalry FC were crowned victors of the first-ever Al Classico season series on Wednesday, slipping past FC Edmonton 1-0 and grabbing the inaugural Wildrose Cup.

The trophy, created by supporters from both Albertan clubs, is to be awarded to the winner of the season series between the two teams over the Canadian Premier League season, starting in 2019.

Wednesday’s result saw Cavalry go to 3-0-1 on the year against the Eddies and, with only one match to go, grab Al Classico bragging rights.

A particularly cagey affair marked a four-match run of tense matches between the Albertan neighbours, which has seen goals, epic saves, controversial calls and some tense moments lead to some exciting matches.

Here’s a look at 2019’s four Al Classico clashes so far, and how the Spring season champions came out on top.

Cavalry 1-0 FC Edmonton (May 18)

Cavalry FC celebrate a 1-0 win over Al Classico rivals FC Edmonton. (Mike Sturk/CPL).
Cavalry FC celebrate a 1-0 win over Al Classico rivals FC Edmonton. (Mike Sturk/CPL).

Rewind to a wet May day at Spruce Meadows and the opening Al Classico contest in Canadian Premier League play … before Cavalry’s Spring title, before their early-season winning streak, before the Canadian Championship run. It was a clean slate, of sorts, and a potential rivalry to be written.

Jordan Brown played the hero that day – two weeks removed from scoring the club’s first goal on the same upright at Spruce Meadows. The Englishman, intended or not, tipped the ball past Connor James in a flash and gave the home side a lead just before halftime.

At the other end, Cavs goalkeeper Marco Carducci would save his team late – heroics we’d see much more of from goalkeepers in this series – with a sprawling, bottom corner parry on Marcus Velado-Tsegaye.

FC Edmonton 0-3 Cavalry FC (June 15)

An unexpected result, both before the match and at halftime, with the Cavs exploding for three goals in 10 minutes and a second rivalry win in two weeks.

Sergio Camargo’s brace saw the flood gates open at the first CPL Al Classico held at Clarke Field. Jeff Paulus’ group held their own for much of the match, especially in the first half, poised to give the then-unbeaten Cavs a run for their money.

The Eddies would go on to watch their Albertan rivals win the Spring title with an 8-2-0 record, with six of Cavalry’s 24 points coming from Al Classico tilts.

Cavalry 0-0 FC Edmonton (August 16)

Cavalry FC's Niko Giantsopoulos. (Tony Lewis/CPL).
Cavalry FC’s Niko Giantsopoulos. (Tony Lewis/CPL).

Niko Giantsopolous offered arguably the greatest individual Al Classico performance in this stalemate, putting up an eight-save effort to blank a particularly threatening Eddies side.

It was closest FC Edmonton, tipped as an early Fall contender, has come to beating the Spring champions; keeping the Cavs to two shots on target while creating several decent chances themselves, with Easton Ongaro and Oumar Diouck leading the line.

Numerous penalty shouts littered the match, with both sides keen to be rewarded with a spot kick.

Cavalry could have clinched the trophy with a win, but it needed to wait …

FC Edmonton 0-1 Cavalry FC (September 11)

Back to Wednesday’s Wildrose-clinching victory for the Cavs, who pulled out another tight win against their Albertan rivals.

A Nik Legderwood penalty was all that separated the two sides in an exceptionally scrappy affair. Cavs players Jose Escalante and Oliver Minatel constantly being taken down, choice words said, and all sorts of difficult decisions to be made by the referee … none of which more controversial than Jeannot Esua’s sending off in the second half after shoving Jose Escalante.

It was contested to the end, however, with Al Classico veterans Giantsopoulos and James making big saves in the last ten minutes.

FC Edmonton and Cavalry FC will meet for the fifth and final time in CPL regular season play on Saturday, Oct. 19 (4:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. MT/OneSoccer) – the final day of Fall competition.

Visit for Cavalry FC jerseys, hats, and more.Visit for Cavalry FC jerseys, hats, and more.