Canadian Premier League — Match #12
Valour FC vs. Forge FC
May 16, 2019 — IG Field (8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Valour FC welcomes Forge FC to IG Field on Thursday in their first meeting in the Canadian Premier League and the first of two matches between in the sides in CONCACAF League qualifying.
Forge and Valour are joined by FC Edmonton in the running to represent Canada in the intercontinental tournament that starts in July. Results between the “founding” CPL teams in the Spring Season, which includes the Eddies’ 2-1 win over Valour on May 4, will be used to determine a representative.
All three teams received a bye from this week’s opening round of the Canadian Championship.
Forge travel to Winnipeg off a stunning 2-1 loss to Cavalry FC back home at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. A late goal stole points from Bobby Smyrniotis’ side, which has failed to impress in the early goings of the Spring Season. Captian Kyle Bekker is available for selection having served his two-match suspension from an incident in the CPL’s inaugural game.
Valour will look at Thursday’s home tilt as a chance to keep pace with league-leading Cavalry FC, who are sitting on nine points from three matches in the 10-match Spring Season stanza. Rob Gale’s side is in second place with six points from four — two points ahead of Forge in third.
Valour will enter a lengthy break post-Forge match, not taking on another CPL team until June 1 when they travel to face FC Edmonton (6:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. MT/OneSoccer) at Clarke Stadium in another CONCACAF League qualifier. Forge will have the weekend off following Thursday’s match, eventually shifting to face 905 Derby opponent York9 FC (4 p.m. ET/OneSoccer) on Saturday, May 25 in the first CPL match at York Lions Stadium.
KEYS TO THE MATCH
- Necessary adjustments: Rob Gale’s Valour side is set to wrap up a gruelling stretch on Thursday, playing the fifth match in 16 days before an extended break. Fitness has been a concern for Gale during this run of games. Stephen Hoyle and Michael Petrasso sat out last match while Josip Golubar and Adam Mitter are injured. Gale already shifted away from his three-at-the-back system on the weekend as injuries and fitness issues stacked up. There could be more changes needed for Thursday, too.
- Bekker’s inclusion: Captain Kyle Bekker is set to return to the Forge FC lineup after serving his two-match suspension. It’ll be interesting to see how, or if, the former Canadian national team midfielder lines up alongside in-form midfielders Tristan Borges, Alexander Achinioti Jonsson and Elimane Cisse. They’ve performed well in his absence.
- Valour’s defending: The focus will be on Valour’s defensive unit once again, especially coming off a clean sheet at IG Field on the weekend. Skylar Thomas, Jordan Murrell and midfielder Louis Beland-Goyette have been part of one of the strongest spines in the league. Watch to see how they handle Forge’s fluid front three.
Valour FC: Mathias Janssen; Jordan Murrell, Skylar Thomas, Martín Arguiñarena; Nicolás Galvis, Louis Béland-Goyette, Marco Bustos, Dylan Sacramento; Calum Ferguson, Michael Petrasso, Ali Musse
Forge FC: Quillian Roberts; Kwame Awuah, Dominic Samuel, Daniel Krutzen, Giuliano Frano; Kyle Bekker, Alexander Achinioti Jonsson, Elimane Oumar Cisse; David Choinière, Emery Welshman, Kadell Thomas
First meeting between these clubs
Michael Petrasso, Stephen Hoyle, Calum Ferguson, Dylan Carreiro – 1 goal (Valour FC)
Kadell Thomas – 2 goals (Forge FC)
Jonathan Grant (Forge FC) – Questionable
Adam Mitter (Valour FC) — Questionable
Josip Golubar (Valour FC) – Questionable
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Peter Manastyrsky & Sabrina Ferraz
4th Official: Nicolas Joubert