2021 CPL regular season — Match #62 – ComeOn! Match of the Week
FC Edmonton vs Pacific FC
September 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm MT/ 6:00 pm PT
Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
FC Edmonton: Darlington Murasiranwa, Allan Zebie, Ramón Soria, Adam Najem, Mélé Temguia, Easton Ongaro, Kyle Porter, Tobias Warschewski, Antony Caceres, Fraser Aird, Amer Didić
Pacific FC: Callum Irving, Kadin Chung, Abdou Samake, Alejandro Diaz, Josh Heard, Kunle Dada-Luke, Terran Campbell, Alessandro Hojabrpour, Jamar Dixon, Thomas Meilleur-Giguère, Manny Aparicio
FC Edmonton and Pacific square off on Saturday night in the second half of a Western Canada double-header in the ComeOn! Match of the Week. After Valour hosts Cavalry FC earlier in the day at IG Field, Clarke Stadium will be the site of the second match.
The Eddies are coming off a pair of close matches against Cavalry FC, including a 1-0 loss in their midweek clash in Edmonton. A goal from Anthony Novak in the first half ended up being the difference, days after an 89th-minute strike from Joe Mason stole a point for the Cavs at ATCO Field. FC Edmonton looked like the better side for parts of both Al Classico matches, but were unable to pick up their first win in that derby.
Pacific FC, meanwhile, beat Valour FC last weekend in their first CPL match since their victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship. At home at Starlight Stadium, Pacific scored three first-half goals in a 3-2 victory over Valour. Keven Aleman scored a late penalty for the away side to make it 3-2, adding to Austin Ricci’s first half goal for the visitors, but they were unable to find an equalizer.
These two sides have met seven times in CPL action, and the all-time series is pretty much even. The Eddies have come away with the victory in three of those matches, Pacific has won twice, and the other two have finished in a draw.
One of those two draws came the last time these teams met at the start of August. Matteo Polisi scored for Pacific with moments left in the first half, while Terran Campbell doubled the home side’s lead a few minutes into the second period of play. Easton Ongaro scored for Edmonton in the 58th minute, and Tobias Warschewski equalized 18 minutes later, as the Eddies came back to earn a point on the road.
They’ll play each other three more times after Saturday’s match — once again in Edmonton later in September, another at Clarke Stadium in early October, and a final regular-season matchup with one another at Starlight Stadium on October 26th.
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!
To learn more about ComeOn!, click here.
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- Alessandro Hojabrpour rounding into form: Pacific FC midfielder Alessandro Hojabrpour has been an important player for Pacific FC over their first few seasons, and has seemingly continued to improve as his career has progressed. He has played the entirety of the past two Pacific matches, including their famous 4-3 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship, a team that he played for at the youth level. He has played 14 of their 15 CPL matches season, starting 10 of them, as the 21-year-old also racks up important U21 minutes. “He’s been great, he’s been fantastic, and he’s taking on the responsibility that we wanted him to take in the role that he’s playing,” said head coach Pa-Modou Kah. “He’s finding himself and when he does he’s one of the best players in this league in his position, so he’s just got to continue pushing himself and getting better every day, and he has. In the last game, you can tell after the game against Whitecaps, and the hard work he’s put through, he’s actually taken a step and shown a lot of growth, which is what we want for the team.”
- Both sides looking to build on previous meeting: Having played each other just under a month ago, a match at Starlight Stadium that ended in a 2-2 draw, FC Edmonton and Pacific FC are both aiming to pick up all three points this time around. The Eddies came back from a 2-0 deficit in the second half to leave with a point, but head coach Alan Koch says that both teams are different now than they were on August 7. “We’ve gone back and watched the game — I think we’re different now than we were then, and I think they’re different than they were then, too. They’ve [played] the biggest fixture in their club’s history in the cup, and you can see the energy and the enthusiasm and how they feel about themselves.” Koch added that Pacific will be confident and fresh on Saturday, and that his team have a big challenge ahead of them, but that they’re up for it and will give everything they can. Pacific FC boss Pa-Modou Kah believes that his side should have won that match, and that while there are lessons to be learned from it “that game is in the past and we need to focus on the future, and the future is the next game.”
- FC Edmonton celebrating women in soccer on Saturday night: FC Edmonton will be celebrating women in soccer during Saturday night’s match at Clarke Stadium. Fans are being encouraged to bring deflated footballs to donate to the Grenada Women’s National Team program, and there will be other contests and giveaways at the stadium as well. Eddies head coach Alan Koch, who coached several Canadian Olympic medalists during his time as the head coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps’ women’s team in 2009, said that the importance of an event like this is “colossal”. “Steph Labbé is from this community so we don’t have to look very far to see one of the heroes of the gold medal team,” Koch said on Friday. “I have massive appreciation and massive respect for our Canadian Women’s National Team program, and all females playing all sports, and we’re excited to embrace a very important day here as a club.”
FC Edmonton wins: 3 || Pacific FC wins: 2 || Draws: 2
August 7, 2021 — Pacific FC 2-2 FC Edmonton
“By the time it comes to Saturday night, we’re going to give everything we can, that’s who we are, that’s a part of our identity, and we’re going to fight and scrap, and hopefully put in a good performance. If we don’t put in a good performance, hang in there and see what we can get out of the game.” — FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch
“It’s a team in transition. With a new head coach as Alan Koch, he’s trying to establish his identity with the team and we always know as a new coach that it will take a little bit of time to work in the identity you want to create. In some of the games they have been very unfortunate, in the ending of the last game as well where they have a double-chance to score and tie the game but it didn’t happen. In this league you cannot take any games for granted, you have to be ready to grind every single game, and this game is no different.” — Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah