2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #35
Valour FC vs. FC Edmonton
June 5, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. CT /4:00 p.m. ET
IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba
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The final Canadian Premier League match of the weekend takes place at IG Field in Winnipeg on Sunday, with Valour FC hosting FC Edmonton in the ComeOn! Match of the Week.
Valour currently sit in fifth place in the CPL table, in a tight pack in the standings that sees them within three points of three other clubs. Depending on how results go this weekend, Valour could finish as high as fourth or as low as seventh. Currently at the bottom of the table are The Eddies, who have picked up three points through their first nine matches.
Despite what the table may suggest, FC Edmonton have put up a fight every single week, but are yet to take that next step and take home their first win of the campaign. Most recently, they hosted Forge FC at Clarke Stadium on Tuesday, and managed to put three goals past the two-time champions. Unfortunately for them, however, Tristan Borges picked a great time to show why he has the talent to be one of the best players in this league, scoring the third hat trick in CPL history en route to a 4-3 victory for the visitors.
It was a rare offensive outburst for an Eddies team that had only scored five times total in their previous eight matches. Despite photos of him training with the club surfacing online, Edmonton head coach Alan Koch was adamant in his press conference on Friday that former star striker Easton Ongaro is simply training with them, with no plan in place at the moment to re-sign the CPL’s record goalscorer.
Valour, meanwhile, were also at home last time out on Wednesday, falling 1-0 to Atlético Ottawa. The two sides were evenly matched for long stretches of the match, but a moment of quality from Ottawa unlocked the Valour defence to create the game’s only goal late in the second half.
These two sides have drawn each of their last three matches against each other, and have drawn four of their last six meetings. They also traded 3-0 scores in the other two matches. Most recently they played each other in their first match of the 2022 season, a game that included Tobias Warschewski’s famous bicycle kick to steal a point for The Eddies in stoppage time.
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! To learn more about ComeOn!, click here.
All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- Sean Rea enjoying his football, taking his game to a new level: In his first season at Valour in 2021, CF Montreal loanee Sean Rea looked like a promising young talent. He had a goal and four assists in 23 appearances, and showed flashes of why he’s highly rated as a top prospect, but he sometimes lacked consistency. Through eight matches in 2022, Rea has played seven times, and already produced two goals and three assists, including a lob from distance over Callum Irving’s head last weekend. He looks like a better all-around player this season as well, he’s dropping back to defend more at times, and according to his head coach Phil Dos Santos, is enjoying his football more than he did a year ago. “He’s enjoying the game, he’s playing it with a great spirit, he’s enjoying defending the same way he’s enjoying the moments that we are on the ball,” Dos Santos told CanPL.ca on Friday. “When it’s like that you’ll always be rewarded. I think that he’s maturing in his game, and I still think that he has a margin to progress.” Dos Santos pointed out that sometimes Rea is prone to trying to dribble past an extra man instead of opting for a pass, which can sometimes lead to giveaways if it doesn’t go to plan. With an extra year under his belt, and the eyes of his parent club again watching him closely, Rea is having a better 2022 season, and will continue to be important for Valour for the remaining large chunk of the season.
- Koch looking for his side to maintain their strong intensity: FC Edmonton have often challenged their opponents in games, but “I thought we played very well in the first 45 minutes, I think the players’ concentration was very, very good,” said head coach Alan Koch on Friday. “I think the hard part for us is to sustain the level of intensity and the concentration for 90 minutes. With a young group that are still learning how to develop and how to play, you’re going to have difficult moments in the game. I think we lost concentration, and when you lose concentration against a good team like Forge, they will punish you.” Koch also said that the team is treating every match at the moment like it’s the biggest match of the season, needing a win to get the momentum going. “Even if you know you’re in a difficult situation, we’re going to go into every game and fight and try to win. This is our approach, the next game is our Champions League final, and that now is in Winnipeg,” he added.
- Valour set for international player boost over the next few weeks: After starting the season with only a handful of international players, Valour are getting an influx of them over the coming weeks. Chilean forward Walter Ponce has made a trio of appearances after finally joining the club a few weeks ago, transferring in from Barnechea along with Canadian midfielder Diego Gutierrez. The club also have two more players on the way, including Colombian midfielder Daniel Ascanio on loan from Real Santander, and another recently-announced Colombian midfielder, Kevin Rendón. Rendón joins from Deportivo Pasto in the Colombian top flight, where he scored four goals and added an assist in 23 appearances. Ascanio is already training with the club, and Rendón is due to join up with the team next week. Centre-back Andrew Jean-Baptiste is also on the mend after another injury setback, but has begun training again and is cleared to play in this match should Phil Dos Santos select him. New Zealand international Moses Dyer won’t play on Sunday, however, as he nurses a hamstring issue.
Valour FC wins: 5 || FC Edmonton wins: 3 || Draws: 4
April 10, 2022 – FC Edmonton 1-1 Valour FC
“The day after a loss, the spirits are never high. I gave the guys a day off, I think they needed a break. We went back at it today (Friday) and we worked well. We know what we need to be better at, and we move on.” — Valour FC head coach Phil Dos Santos
“They’re going to be hungry, they’re going to be frustrated. They played well in their last few games and didn’t get rewarded for it. They’re a little bit wounded just like we are, that we haven’t been able to turn what we think have been some decent performances into points.” — FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch