Forge FC entered the unknown last summer when they travelled to Central America as the Canadian Premier League’s first representative in international competition.
Forge competed in the 2o19 Concacaf League, the qualifying tournament for the bigger Concacaf Champions League, by finishing above FC Edmonton and Valour FC in the first half of the 2019 CPL season.
This year, the Concacaf League will be familiar territory for the CPL Champions, who return to international competition when they face Club Deportivo Municipal Limeño of El Salvador on Thursday (8:00 p.m. ET/TSN3) in the preliminary round of the competition.
Here’s a look back at Forge’s run on the 2o19 Concacaf League.
Honduran giants Olimpia waltzed into Tim Hortons Field for the round of 16 to a much different tune than Antigua. Former Concacaf League winners – and Champions League runners-up – Olimpia was a formidable opponent, though they were shorthanded.
Paperwork issues and a Honduran under-23 training camp sent a reduced 17-player team to the Steel City, leaving Forge with a chance to capitalize.
Chris Nanco’s inauspicious opener for Forge put the Hondurans on the back foot. Several Forge chances, including a ping off the post by captain Kyle Bekker, put the hometown crowd on their feet.
Perhaps the best moment of the match and Forge’s entire Concacaf League campaign came when goalkeeper Triston Henry denied Olimpia’s Ever Alvarado from the penalty spot.
Triston Henry keeps Forge ahead with a penalty save. The CPL side leads Olimpia 1-0 at the half.
Forge battled a bout of food poisoning in Honduras, and, facing a now-full-strength Olimpia, succumbed via a 4-1 defeat in San Pedro Sula.
Olimpia went on to the Concacaf League semifinals and, thus qualifying for for Concacaf Champions League. Olimpia flexed their muscles in the Champions League, beating MLS side Seattle Sounders in the round of 16, and going up 2-1 on Montreal Impact in the first leg of the quarter-finals before the tournament was shut down due to COVID-19 concerns.