2021 CPL regular season — Match #72
Valour FC vs. Cavalry FC
September 17, 2021 at 4:00 pm ET/3:00 pm CT
IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
Cavalry FC: Marco Carducci; Mason Trafford, David Norman Jr., Karifa Yao; Jose Escalante, Joe Di Chiara, Victor Loturi, Nik Ledgerwood, Mo Farsi; Sergio Camargo, Joe Mason
Valour FC: Matt Silva; Arnold Bouka Mouto, Rodrigo Reyes, Stefan Cebara, Brett Levis; Daryl Fordyce, Raphael Ohin, Rafael Galhardo; Keven Aleman, William Akio, Sean Rea
Cavalry FC and Valour FC will be desperately looking to return to the win column Saturday in Winnipeg with the Albertans heading east for a crucial CanPL regular season match.
Valour switches back to league play after a 2-1 loss to Forge FC in their 2021 Canadian Championship quarterfinal Wednesday in Hamilton. Goalscorer Austin Ricci was injured, believe it or not, on his marker as the team dropped from CanChamp play on their fourth loss in a row. Coach Rob Gale and his group will be eager to get back on track as their descent has seen them drop out of the top four playoff spots for the first time this season – though a win would bring them to level with York United for fourth.
“There’s no other way about it now,” said Valour captain Daryl Fordyce before the match, speaking of his team’s run of form. “It’s either go down fighting or just give up. And if you’re going to give up you might as well go look for another career because professional soccer, professional sports in general, is a results-based business. That’s not us. Valour doesn’t give up. We won’t give up.”
Cavalry also returns to action after their own disappointing defeat: a 3-1 collapse to Pacific FC at Starlight Stadium last Friday. Sergio Camargo’s first half strike was undone by their fellow table-toppers in a match that Camargo himself called the club’s worst performance of the season. Saturday’s match marks the middle of a seven-match road league road trip for the Cavs – set to be broken up by a CanChamp quarterfinal of their own against Pacific on Wednesday.
“We were disappointed but that’s our standard,” Wheeldon Jr. said, addressing the loss to PFC. “A lot of people go there and lose and say, ‘Okay, it’s done.’ We don’t lose many so when we do, we hold our hands up and say we weren’t good enough.”
These two clubs last met at IG Field just two weeks ago, on Sept. 4, when Joe Mason’s 34th minute goal was all the Cavs needed to dispatch the home side in a yellow card-filled afair.
Valour has never beaten Cavalry across the CPL’s three seasons, losing six and drawing once.
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:
- Don’t give Cavalry too much respect: Rob Gale didn’t have answers to how Valour approached their CanChamp match with Forge Wednesday – specifically in the first half, as his side sat deep and looked helpless in the face of their opponent’s attack. A second-half change in shape gave the team a better footing, and more possession, though the timid nature of Valour’s opening low block was too much to overcome. Up next is another top-three team in Cavalry so will Valour find themselves lacking confidence again? “We maybe gave a little bit too much respect to Forge in the first half by sitting off a little bit too much,” said goalkeeper Matt Silva, who made 10 saves in the defeat to Forge. “A wasted half, a half of too much respect, and then a second half of what we really do bring and what we should have brought right from the off. We live and we learn and we move on to the league (play) and hopefully bring that second-half confidence into this game.”
- Cavs get healthier: Cavalry is healthy – or as healthy as any club could be at this stage of the season. They took a rare midweek off after the loss to Pacific Friday, rest that allowed Wheeldon Jr. to “work on a few more of the habits” expected from the former CPL finalists. “We’re feeling confident – we have no injury concerns at the minute. It’s a nice situation to be in as we can start picking players based on performance instead of condition,” Wheeldon Jr. said with a smile. Long-term injuries sustained by Oliver Minatel Ali Musse, Tom Field, Elijah Adekugbe are set “to be resolved near the end of this month, beginning of the next” according to Wheeldon who is thankful to have a healthier group in the middle of a major road trip.
- Valour approaching season defining do-or-die stretch: Considering Winnipeg’s tailspin in recent weeks, and the fact they’ve given up their fourth place advantage to York and HFX Wanderers, Gale’s group is facing a seasonal crossroads. As mentioned on the latest episode of the CanPL.ca Newsroom, Valour’s disadvantage lies in geography and CPL’s unbalanced schedule as they play out matches like Saturday’s against the league’s best in the Cavs and Pacific FC. But the Winnipeg club is coming up to a promising, yet do-or-die stretch. After Cavalry, they’ll travel to York to face The Nine Stripes next weekend in a massive playoff-implication six-pointer before returning to Manitoba for a four-match homestand. Saturday’s tilt is a chance to get started on the right foot and turn their season around.
Valour FC wins: 0 || Cavalry FC wins: 6 || Draws: 1
Sept. 4, 2021 — Valour FC 0-1 Cavalry FC
“You saw with the personnel out there in the second half against Forge. That’s the kind of football team we can be – we were aggressive, we played between them and when we defended it was higher up the field… And that’s the blueprint for us going forward.” — Valour FC head coach Rob Gale
“You can never underestimate them. They were top of the league for a reason. There’s a familiarity there – they’ve got some exciting weapons they’ve just had a big slump… They’re also a wounded animal after controversially losing to Forge after the handball goal.” — Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.