2021 CPL regular season — Match #49
Pacific FC vs. Cavalry FC
August 20, 2021 at 6:30 pm PT/ 7:30 pm MT
Starlight Stadium, Langford, British Columbia
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
Pacific FC: Callum Irving, Kadin Chung, Jordan Haynes, Abdoulaye Samake, Alejandro Diaz, Josh Heard, Terran Campbell, Robert Boskovic, Sean Young, Jamar Dixon, Manny Aparicio
Cavalry FC: Marco Carducci, Daan Klomp, Nik Ledgerwood, Sergio Camargo, Jose Escalante, Elliot Simmons, Ben Fisk, Joe Mason, Mohamed Farsi, David Norman, Karifa Yao
Nine days after their last matchup in Calgary, Pacific FC host Cavalry FC at Starlight Stadium for a top-of-the-table clash on Friday night.
The Tridents are coming off a comprehensive 2-0 win over Valour FC on Monday, where goals from Alejandro Diaz and Terran Campbell saw them leave IG Field in Winnipeg with all three points. A strong defensive showing and clinical passing in midfield from Manny Aparicio were among the things that saw them become the first team to hit the 25-point milestone this season.
Cavalry, meanwhile, were last in action in the Canadian Championship on Sunday. Away to FC Edmonton, the Cavs sealed their spot in the next round with a 2-0 victory over The Eddies thanks to a pair of newcomers — Joe Mason and Ben Fisk. They scored once in either half — the 31st and 62nd minutes, respectively — en route to the quarterfinals. If Pacific FC beat MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps in their Preliminary Round tie, they’ll take on Cavalry in mid-September. If the Whitecaps prevail, Cavalry will have a chance to face the team they famously knocked out of the 2019 edition of this tournament in their inaugural season.
This will be the third matchup of the season between the two sides, last playing to a 0-0 draw nine days ago at ATCO Field. They also met in their first match of the season in home markets, which Pacific FC won 2-0 at Starlight Stadium after goals from Marco Bustos and Gianni dos Santos on July 30th.
They’ll also meet at least three more times in CPL action, plus a possible Canadian Championship tie. These two sides also seem to be well on track to make the playoffs, and a match at the business-end of the season would be must-watch.
Friday’s match will be Pacific’s 14th of the season as they officially reach the midway point of the season. They sit in first place with a 7-4-2 record and 25 points, four points more than Cavalry in second place (6-3-3).
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- Josh Heard an underrated player in the CPL: Pacific FC winger Josh Heard is having a very strong season thus far. He’s picked up three goals in 2021, two back of the league-lead shared by teammate Marco Bustos, HFX Wanderers’ Joao Morelli, and Forge FC’s Mo Babouli. He also picked up his first assist of the season on Monday, making a brilliant run in behind the Valour FC backline before firing a low ball across the box to Alejandro Diaz for the game’s opening goal. Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah believes Heard is an underrated player in this league, and that most people don’t get to see how much work he puts in behind the scenes. “He’s from the Island and it means a lot for him, you can see it in his intensity. He keeps people honest, every single day he’s coming in to work hard. For somebody like Josh, from the Island, it means a lot to have a team in Pacific in his backyard, and he doesn’t take it for granted,” said Kah, adding that “non-vocal leaders” like Heard are underrated because it doesn’t always show up on the scoresheet, but the leadership is important to the team as a whole.
- Cavalry getting several players back from injury: After all missing the last few matches with various injuries, Joe Di Chiara, Ahinga Selemani and Richard Luca are all available for Tommy Wheeldon Jr’s side on Friday night. There have been times recently where Cavalry haven’t been able to name a full bench for CPL matches, but that will no longer be the case. Oliver Minatel will also be re-joining the team on September 6th, according to Wheeldon Jr, and is currently doing an injury rehabilitation process in Brazil. Ali Musse is also on track to return in mid-September, while Tom Field is still recovering from an injury as well and making progress in his recovery. “We just need to make sure they’re in good physical shape, because the games come thick and fast. There will be plenty of playing time for everyone before we hit the closing stage of the season,” Wheeldon Jr. said on Thursday.
- Pacific could go seven points clear at the top halfway through the season: Friday’s match at Starlight Stadium will be the 14th match of the season for Pacific FC — the halfway point of the season. Cavalry have a game in hand, but the result of the match could have big implications on the table for the rest of the season. A Pacific win would put them seven points clear at the top of the table — over second-place Cavalry — while a win for the visitors would bring them within one point. “We’re at the halfway line of the season, and we want to continue to push and create separation with the rest of the league,” said Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah. “We’re happy where we are, but I do believe that there’s more in this group and we always push ourselves to get more out of us.”
Pacific FC wins: 3 || Cavalry FC wins: 3 || Draws: 2
August 11, 2021 — Cavalry FC 0-0 Pacific FC
“When you talk about Cavalry, you talk about a team that has been a flagship — together with Forge — since the beginning of the league. It’s a team that I enjoy the matchups with, it’s two good teams that are fighting for points, and we are first and second. I’m anticipating a great game.” — Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah
“They’re the best team in the league right now, I always say ‘the league table never lies’. We’ve been in that position before, and it’s hard to maintain that top spot for a long duration. We’ve got six opportunities against them, and this is just another great game to pit our wit against them.” — Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr