Canadian Premier League — Match #69 Forge FC vs. York9 FC September 8, 2019 — Tim Hortons Field (1:00 p.m. ET) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
For the first time in Fall competition, the 905 Derby is back!
York9 FC will hit the road on Sunday to play their Golden Horseshoe rivals Forge FC as they visit the Hammer for the first time since April’s inaugural Canadian Premier League match.
Forge, mercifully returning to Tim Hortons Field after a road swing that saw them play in Honduras and then out west on Vancouver Island, sits second in the Fall table, two points off the pace behind Cavalry FC. They’ll make up one of their two games in hand on Sunday, so it’d be a huge boon to their title aspirations if they can reclaim first place. Bobby Smyrniotis’ side picked up a road point on Wednesday with a 1-1 draw at Pacific FC, where they called on depth players like Monti Mohsen as the club battled a bout of flu.
The Nine Stripes have had two weeks’ time to rest after their somewhat ill-fated Alberta road trip in late August. They picked up one point total from matches against Cavalry FC and FC Edmonton, extending their winless streak to four, which means they’re now sixth in the league standings — nine points off the top. They, too, have a game in hand on most of their foes, so a win in Hamilton could make the picture look a little rosier.
Next up for Jimmy Brennan’s York9 is a trip to play Pacific FC on Wednesday, September 11, when they’ll hope to avenge a home loss to the Tridents in August (10:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. PT, on OneSoccer). Forge’s September gauntlet, meanwhile, continues with a road game against Valour FC this Thursday (8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer).
KEYS TO THE MATCH
Resume normal service: Forge’s lineup on Wednesday was a little makeshift, especially with Kyle Bekker kept to a bench role. With a few more days’ rest, the illness that ravaged Forge’s locker room should be on the way out, so it’s likely that they’ll be able to return to something more typical. It’s still unclear when midfielders like Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson and Elimane Cisse might return, but Bekker starting again is, in itself, a huge boost.
Get on the same page: In their last two games, York9’s defencewas far too easily pulled out of position by both Cavalry and FCE. Admittedly, the setups were a little different than normal, with three centre-backs deployed on the wider pitches (differing from the traditional four-man backline the Nine Stripes often use at home). That could be a factor in poor communication between defenders, but regardless, the over-committing and failing to track players in the box is something that must be addressed by a team that defended quite well in the Spring season.
Element of surprise: For a pair of local rivals, Forge and York9 aren’t overly familiar with each other. They’ve met twice, with their last clash coming in a strange, weather-delayed match back in May. Both teams have changed and developed a lot since then, though, as the two clubs have settled more into their systems and become more comfortable with their lineups. Of course, they still don’t like each other — they won’t soon forget that inaugural game in April, which saw York9 skipper Manny Aparicio sent off, and his opposite number Kyle Bekker catching Joe Di Chiara with an errant elbow.
Forge FC: Triston Henry; Kwame Awuah, Dominic Samuel, David Edgar, Jonathan Grant; Kyle Bekker, Giuliano Frano, Daniel Krutzen; Kadell Thomas, Anthony Novak, Tristan Borges
York9 FC: Nathan Ingham; Diyaeddine Abzi, Roger Thompson, Luca Gasparotto, Morey Doner; Joe Di Chiara, Wataru Murofushi, Manuel Aparicio; Kyle Porter, Simon Adjei Karlsson, Rodrigo Gattas