2021 CPL regular season — Match #57
Pacific FC vs. Valour FC
August 29, 2021 at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT
Starlight Stadium, Langford, British Columbia
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
Top-of-the-table Pacific FC will try to put their feet back on the ground this Sunday when they host Valour FC at Starlight Stadium.
The Tridents pulled off a magnificent upset over their British Columbia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship Thursday – a 4-3 thriller that was one of the most exhilarating Canadian soccer matches in recent history. Goals from Terran Campbell, Manny Aparicio, Josh Heard, and Alejandro Diaz provided truly surreal entertainment as the CanPL side upset their provincial rival in their first-ever meeting to face Cavalry FC in the quarterfinal.
Valour FC, meanwhile, is riding a high of their own having scored six goals in back-to-back wins – first in the Canadian Championship against Atlético Ottawa (3-2) and the second over FC Edmonton (3-0) at home on Wednesday. Winnipeg’s attacking unit has been thriving with strikers Austin Ricci and William Akio trading braces between matches.
PFC’s Gianni Dos Santos is suspended for Sunday’s match and the following two after Canada Soccer handed him a three-game suspension for a red card offence vs. Cavalry FC. Valour, who was without midfielder Raphael Ohin for their midweek game due to accumulation, sees no suspensions of note.
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:
- Pacific riding high: In the Tridents’ greatest-ever match, Pacific FC achieved their greatest-ever achievement – a cupset win over British Columbian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps. It was an all-out energetic affair with the Tridents running ragged for a record, sold-out crowd at Starlight Stadium. The team gained plaudits from across the continent, and handed Marc Dos Santos’ his final ‘Caps result before getting the sack. Whether such a match creates fatigue, or reinvigorates the team, could be seen on Sunday – though coach Pa-Modou Kah expects the latter.
- Valour receives attacking boost: While Valour will be without the services of Amir Soto, Jose Galan, Brett Levis, and Andy Baquero due to injury, they are set to welcome Keven Aleman back into a bigger role following a weeks-long layoff. The attacking midfielder – who leads the team with 11 key passes and is second in passing completion (88 per cent) according to Centre Circle Data – made a substitute appearance against FC Edmonton, with Gale fortunate to add “another dimension” in Valour’s attack: “He’s top quality, he showed that at the bubble before going down in our first road trip. He’s back, he’s firing and ready to pick up where he left off.”
- Marco Bustos injury update: CanPL Player of the Year candidate Marco Bustos was absent from Thursday’s CanChamp tilt with a lower-body injury, as reported by CanPL.ca & OneSoccer’s Kristian Jack. The former Valour winger is being eased back into the side, according to Kah. “I can’t tell you all the details because the opposition will know,” Kah quipped. “We have training tomorrow so we’ll see… We just want to be cautious – just like TMG (Thomas Meilleur-Giguère) we don’t want to rush back injuries. He’s fit, we know he’s fit.”
Valour FC wins: 1 || Pacific FC wins: 6 || Draws: 1
August 16, 2021 – Valour FC 2-0 Pacific FC
“The biggest test is on Sunday, really. How do you uphold the standard shown against the Whitecaps? We are capable of it because they understand the expectations they have for themselves… Hopefully this spurs them to another level.” – Pacific coach Pa-Modou Kah
“It’s a great time to play them, why not? We’ve had two good games and we haven’t got what we want out of Pacific yet so, again, why not play them now when they’re on a high?” – Valour coach Rob Gale