2021 CPL regular season (The Kickoff) — Match #27
FC Edmonton vs. Atlético Ottawa
July 18, 2021 at 10:30 pm ET/9:30 pm CT
IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Atlético Ottawa: Powley, Kapor, Martinez, Mannella, McKendry, Wright, Verhoven, Acosta, Shaw, Nuñez, Ferdinand
FC Edmonton: James, Esua, Soria, Shome, Temguia, Ongaro, Mabussi, Warschewski, Gorskie, Gardner, Didic
FC Edmonton (1-1-3, 5pts) and Atletico Ottawa (2-0-4, 6pts) will lock horns Sunday in a rematch of the 2021 CanPL season opener at The Kickoff in Winnipeg, Man. last month.
A lot has changed from that first matchday – which Ottawa won 1-0 – as players, coaches, and fans learn more about each team emerging from a long off-season and set to return to their home stadiums in over a week.
What have we learned about these two teams? Well, they are two teams trying to find themselves – and their coaches agree.
Ottawa and Edmonton suffered losses at the midweek via unfortunate penalty decisions and, while they’ve managed some notable late 2-0 wins over Cavalry FC and Forge FC respectively, their attacking output has been less than stellar which is a prevailing theme for most teams at the “pre-season with points” in Winnipeg.
Just like that first game between these two teams – a nip-and-tuck affair decided by a late goal from Viti Martinez – the margins are slim, something Ottawa coach Mista notes considering their 1-0 loss to Valour FC at midweek.
“At this point, we see everyone at a similar level with just a few very small details that determine if you won or lost,” Ottawa coach Mista said. “Edmonton is one of those teams and we have a lot of respect for them.”
Mista added in a pre-match conference call that knocks to attackers Shawn-Claud Lawson and Brian Wright could keep them out, while winger Ryan Telfer remains at the Gold Cup with Trinidad and Tobago and the highly-rated Alberto Soto is ineligible due to paperwork issues.
Edmonton, meanwhile, return to IG Field on the heels of back-to-back losses to HFX Wanderers and Forge. Alan Koch’s side managed 11 shots on target between the two games and looked promising in the second half vs. Forge with oversized strikers Easton Ongaro and Tobias Warschewski seeing the pitch simultaneously.
“At the end of the day, we’re only able to play exactly who we have available,” Koch said when asked if the tandem could play again Sunday. “So we’ve gotta get through training and see who’s fit and healthy.”
Make your match picks prior to kickoff at canpl.ca/predictor for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL Final!
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- Centre forward battle: Easton Ongaro of Edmonton and Ottawa’s Malcolm Shaw have been bright spots on their respective teams despite the attacking troubles. Both sit in the top 15 players in non-penalty expected goals, according to Centre Circle Data, with Shaw sitting third on that list (1.41). While often isolated, watch for these players to get better service and, ultimately, score more goals as attacking kinks are ironed out.
- M&M&M Boys: Ottawa’s midfield three of Ben McKendry, Chris Mannella, and Viti Martinez have given teams plenty of pause in Winnipeg – and forced the nickname “M&M&M Boys” from our own Kristian Jack. Koch was quick to highlight the industrious midfield trio ahead of Sunday’s tilt; “Ottawa is a good footballing team – McKendry, Mannella, Martinez are all very good and if you allow them to play, that can hurt you – just like when Viti scored on us at the death in our first game. “Like every team here there are strengths and weaknesses – we have our strengths, we have our weaknesses.”
- Last meeting until Oct 12: That’s right – Ottleti and the Eddies will face each other just once more this season three months from now at Clarke Field in Edmonton. Those wishing to reprise the historic rivalry between the two cities, dating back to last decade with the Ottawa Fury and Eddies battling it out in NASL and Canadian Championship, will have to enjoy Sunday’s tilt.
Atlético Ottawa wins: 1 || FC Edmonton wins: 0 || Draws: 1
June 26, 2021 – Atlético Ottawa 1-0 FC Edmonton
“I’m a bit frustrated because we did a very good job against Valour – we had possession, we created chances to score goals. It’s frustrating to see when they don’t get the reward – the reward being the goal. If you compare the first game like the game yesterday, we improved a lot and we see everything more clearly.” — Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista
“Sure, we’re going to use Ongaro-Warschewski again at some stage this season. But right now, at the tail end of this bowl, this is more about just hanging on… It’s really about picking the fit and healthy at this time.” — FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch