PREVIEW: Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC – Match #44

2021 CPL regular season — Match #44
Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC
August 11, 2021 at 7 pm MT/ 9 pm ET
ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Alberta
Watch Live: // Tickets available here


Cavalry FC: Marco Carducci; Daan Klomp, David Norman, Karifa Yao; Jose Hernandez, Nik Ledgerwood, Elliot Simmons, Victor Loturi, Mo Farsi; Sergio Camargo, Anthony Novak

Pacific FC: Callum Irving; Jordan Haynes, Abdou Samake, Lukas MacNaughton, Kadin Chung; Jamar Dixon, Alessandro Hojabrpour, Josh Heard; Terran Campbell, Alejandro Díaz, Marco Bustos

One of the most mouth-watering matchups in 2021 CanPL will return Wednesday when league-leaders Pacific FC visit second-place Cavalry FC at ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows.

These two sides met less than two weeks ago with the Tridents taking a 2-0 win over the Cavs at Starlight Stadium. Wednesday’s matchup promises to be much much different from the previous one-sided affair before (more on that later).

PFC is undefeated since leaving The Kickoff, CPL’s opening single-site start to the season, taking two wins and a draw against FC Edmonton on Saturday to close out a homestand. Cavalry, meanwhile, are on the heels of back-to-back home field wins over FC Edmonton and Valour FC.

“I think we’re seeing their absolute best right now,” Cavalry FC coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr said of his opponent.

There’s no debate these teams have burst out of the post-bubble gates like no others in CanPL and are quickly becoming North Star Shield favourites. Cavalry’s lone slip-up post-Winnipeg came in that loss to PFC – a result attributed to fatigue, injuries, and travel. Otherwise, they’ve won four from five.

“This is always a great contest,” Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah said before the match. “They’ve been the very best in this league for two years… Yes, we beat them last week but the past is the past. We just need to keep doing our business.”

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  • From one fortress to another: Just as Cavalry – and several other teams – had trouble playing at Starlight Stadium, the same can be said for Calgary’s fortress at ATCO Field. Pacific is also set to play their first game away from home against the Cavs who have cut a physical side with the home crowd behind them. “They like their turf on Vancouver Island – it’s sticky, they can move the ball well,” Wheeldon said. “Can they do that on the grass pitch here at Spruce Meadows? That will be a different thing. We want to make it as uncomfortable as possible forever – the way our fans are hanging over the field, the stadium, the grass – it’s a different environment.” Regardless of location, fans can expect more than a few cautions handed out. Pacific (32) and the Cavs (31) lead the league in yellow cards, which has gotten them in trouble with accumulations. When asked, Wheeldon Jr. considered the yellows a sign of a competitive team: “If you look at the number of yellow cards and cautions teams with the most happened to be Pacific… Whether the most competitive teams play on the most edge right now or something else is an interesting thought. I’m not sure we have to look at but we need to do better because tackles are one thing, dissent is another one that we need to improve.”
  • Robert Boskovic a late addition for PFC: Pacific announced the signing of former Cavalry FC centre-back Robert Boskovic a little over 24 hours before heading to Calgary, bringing the young defending prospect along as the team tops the table. Newsroom discussed PFC’s depth at length on this week’s episode, specifically at the back which, before The Kickoff, was deemed a weak point. Abdou Samake’s emergence from prospect to dependable centre-half has been an important part to Kah’s team set to be without Thomas Meilleur-Giguère as he returns to full fitness. “Left-footed defenders are hard to come by,” Kah said in pre-match media availability. “He can pass the ball and he’s young so so he’ll fit in for us – he is technically prepared. “He’s happy to come here and he has a bunch of untapped potential that we’re all wanting to unlock.”
  • Trafford, Selemani, Luca could be available for Cavs: At the other end, Cavalry’s injury situation is much more serious, with Tommy Wheeldon Jr. using that same media availability to list the many injuries they’re facing as Oliver Minatel (who has returned to Brazil) and Ali Musse remain out until September. Winger Richard Luca, attacker Ahinga Selemani, and Mason Trafford are listed as day-to-day, giving them a chance to feature Wednesday. Winger Jose Escalante will miss Wednesday due to yellow card accumulation. “We’ll have some fitness tests on them tomorrow to see if they can be close to being part of the action,” Wheeldon Jr. said of Trafford, Luca, and Selemani. “And if not, there’s another game Sunday.” Defender Dan Kaiser, who excelled at the weekend against Valour, suffered an ankle injury that may keep him out of a Cavs shirt for the rest of the year with Wheeldon Jr. explaining the UBC student was always planning on returning to school in the Fall. While their opponents add players, Wheeldon Jr. revealed the club has a few “irons in the fire” regarding some roster relief. “We’re getting very very close to our cap,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “One of us coaches may have to come out of retirement and I don’t think anyone wants to see that happen. We’ve got a few irons in the fire to see how we can just get through this next couple of games, and get some roster relief, but no updates to give you as a present.”


Cavalry FC wins: 5 || Pacific FC wins: 2 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

June 30, 2021 — Cavalry FC 2-0 Pacific FC


“I enjoy the battles against Calgary and I think our players do too – they like to mix it up, which is part of football. We’re not afraid to mix it up when its necessary as well.” – Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah

“We’re a bit like a Swiss Army Knife – we can play a very good defensive game, set low and counter, while also getting the chance to play a lot of possession and cut teams open. It depends on the fitness of our players, really.” – Cavalry FC coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.