Canadian Premier League — Match #23
Forge FC vs. Valour FC
June 15, 2019 — Tim Hortons Field (5:00 p.m. ET)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
An early evening match in the Hammer will cap off Saturday’s CPL triple-header as Forge FC, looking to extend their league winning streak to four, host Valour FC at Tim Hortons Field in another CONCACAF League qualifier.
Forge have won three straight CPL games by a score of 2-0 (the first of which was on the road against Valour). However, they may not quite be feeling like they’re on a roll after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Cavalry FC in the Canadian Championship since their last Spring season action. Still, their 4-1-2 record is good enough for second in the standings, just two points back of Cavalry (albeit with two more games played).
Their opponents from Manitoba are also recovering from a midweek defeat, as Valour crashed out of the CanChamp by losing 2-0 at home to HFX Wanderers on Wednesday. Their last CPL match was a disciplined 1-0 away win over FC Edmonton, though, and so Valour sit third in the league, four points back of Forge.
This match could have major implications in the CONCACAF League mini-table between these two clubs and FC Edmonton. Forge already lead the group with six points, beating both Valour and the Eddies already. Another win on Saturday would clinch it for Forge, and they’d punch their ticket to a matchup with Antigua GFC in July.
Valour return home to IG Field after this game, with a rare Thursday night game on June 20 against Pacific FC (8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer). Meanwhile, Forge are back at it next Saturday, June 22, when they’ll head back to Spruce Meadows for a heavily-anticipated clash with league-leaders Cavalry FC (6:00 p.m. ET, 4:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).
KEYS TO THE MATCH
- Scoring depth: Forge will be without a key offensive provider in Emery Welshman, who’s away on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with Guyana. Fortunately, Forge is not the highest-scoring team in the league for nothing: they’ve got a wealth of attacking players who have contributed this year, from Tristan Borges, to Kyle Bekker, to Anthony Novak, and so on. Bobby Smyrniotis’ team will need those players to step up on Saturday.
- Don’t waste possession: Valour seems to be developing a habit of dominating possession and having nothing to show for it. Rob Gale has his team playing with the ball at their feet a lot, but they’re struggling to generate chances (outside of Michael Petrasso, who seems to be the only Valour player who’s been able to create). They need more from midfielders like Marco Bustos in attempting to penetrate the Forge defence to find shots.
- Defend the fortress: After some lapses early in the season, Forge FC’s backline has grown into itself a lot. Although they surrendered three goals in the CanChamp, they’re still on a three-game clean sheet streak in league play. They’ve only won two of their four home games so far in the Spring season, although both wins were clean sheet performances. It’s important that Forge’s defence goes beyond the backline; Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson will be called upon in midfield to break up Valour’s possession.
Forge FC: Triston Henry; Daniel Krutzen, Bertrand Owundi, Dominic Samuel, Giuliano Frano; Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, Elimane Oumar Cissé; David Choinière, Kyle Bekker, Kwame Awuah; Tristan Borges
Valour FC: Mathias Janssens; Martin Arguinarena, Jordan Murrell, Adam Mitter, Raphael Garcia; Louis Béland-Goyette, Diego Gutierrez; Marco Bustos, Dylan Carreiro, Ali Musse; Calum Ferguson
HEAD TO HEAD
Tristan Borges – 4 goals (Forge FC)
Stephen Hoyle, Dylan Carreiro, Michael Petrasso, Calum Ferguson, Ali Musse – 1 goal (Valour FC)
Josip Golubar (Valour FC) – Out (ACL)
Skylar Thomas (Valour FC) – Out
Michael Petrasso (Valour FC) – Doubtful
Jonathan Grant (Forge FC) – Doubtful
Anthony Novak (Forge FC) – Doubtful
Emery Welshman (Forge FC) – Guyana
Quillian Roberts (Forge FC) – Guyana
Referee: Alain Ruch
Assistants: Peter Pendli & Jason Vaillancourt
4th Official: Yusri Rudolf