It may be midway through the Fall portion of the 2019 Canadian Premier League season, but Cavalry FC celebrated their first piece of silverware on Wednesday evening, capturing the supporters-created Wildrose Cup to signify victory over Albertan opposites FC Edmonton over the course of five matches in the Al Classico rivalry series.
The Cavs defeated the Eddies 1-0 at Clarke Field on Wednesday evening, going 3-0-1 over four tilts, with one last meeting scheduled for the final day of the season, Oct. 19. However, having won three of the five total fixtures – shutting out FC Edmonton in every single encounter so far – the trophy is heading southbound on QE2.
“It’s important for the fans,” Cavalry head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said of capturing the Wildrose Cup, after the match. “What’s great about it is, I was there in the beginning when the fans, tongue in cheek, called it ‘Al Classico’ and then everyone around the country started mocking it, so they kept it. That’s credit to the fandom; that’s how the Voyageurs Cup was created, this is how the Wildrose Cup was created, and it’s the fans that are taking pride in this. That’s who we play for.
“I’m happy that our fans get to celebrate it this year.”
The Wildrose Cup was created by both sets of supporters in Edmonton and Calgary, financed 50-50 by the two supporters groups and commissioned in Edmonton, to be delivered to the winner of “Al Classico” over the course of a regular season.
Like many rivalry cups in North American soccer, the Wildrose Cup adds an extra layer to an already competitive fixture.
“That’s what you’d want in a derby: A battle,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “Sometimes they’re not the prettiest. You think of Celtic and Rangers, and Liverpool-Everton, the Milan derby, people are wearing their heart on their sleeve. I think what you saw today was the other side of derbies. It was a feisty one. Edmonton wanted to beat us; we refused to lose.”
With that resolve in mind, Wheeldon Jr. was quick to point out that this is just the first bit of silverware his club is chasing in 2019. Having secured a berth in the 2019 CPL Championship by topping the Spring table, Wheeldon Jr.’s side is now looking to close out this inaugural CPL campaign with a perfect slate.
“We’re treating this like the treble; Spring season, Fall season, Championship final,” Wheeldon Jr. offered. “Also, I think what the boys are playing for is to be the undisputed champions. We’ll put that there in the universe, because, add the points together, and that’s a regular season in most countries. That’s how we’re approaching it. We love to play the next opponent and try to get three points, in a tough place to come, and we’ll keep going.”