Canadian Premier League — Match #67 Valour FC vs. Cavalry FC September 2, 2019 — IG Field (3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
The CPL’s Labour Day slate concludes with this Winnipeg showdown between Valour FC and Cavalry FC, as the march toward crowning a Fall champion enters its third month.
Cavalry recently lost its place atop the table as Forge FC overtook them last weekend, but their draw against Pacific FC on Wednesday night drew them level on points with 16. Unfortunately for the Cavs, they’ve played two more games than Forge, so they can’t really afford to let any of their remaining games slip. Of course, they’ve got the Spring title already in their back pocket, so they’ll be in the CPL Championship regardless, but Tommy Wheeldon Jr. is keen on taking the Fall as well.
There’s more optimism in the Valour camp right now than there has been in a while, with Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph over HFX Wanderers an impressive show of dominance. They took control of the match in a way they haven’t often been able to do, and as a result they jumped way up the table into fourth place. They’ve got 12 points, only four off the pace, but they’re the only club in the league to play 10 games in the Fall, which sets them back a little.
Valour will remain at home after this one, as they’ll host Forge FC next Thursday, September 12th (8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer). The Cavs will continue their Fall campaign the day before that (September 11th), when they’ll visit their provincial rivals FC Edmonton for a match with huge title implications (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).
KEYS TO THE MATCH
Frustrating defence: Last time these sides met, a worldbeating Cavalry team found their offence shut down almost completely by Valour. Rob Gale’s side held the Spring champions to just two shots on target back on July 27th, conceding one goal on a brief moment of defensive confusion. They scraped a point against a very tough team, driving Cavalry’s attackers nuts in the process. If they’re watching tape from that game, Valour needs to figure out how they can replicate that well-organized defending that worked last time.
Stay switched on: It’s rare for Cavalry to lose their heads, but on Wednesday they showed what happens if you lose focus for just a moment. Jay Wheeldon coughed up a routine ball to Pacific’s Terran Campbell to put Cavalry down 1-0 right from the seventh minute. Moments like those can ruin an otherwise dominant performance — it happened to Cavalry in that July 27th draw with Valour, too, when they conceded a late penalty. It can’t happen again.
Make better use of it: Valour was on the front foot all night against HFX Wanderers on Wednesday, but all their scoring was confined to a few minutes after halftime. Possession through the middle is great, but they need to find more ways to cut through a backline and earn more meaningful touches in the attacking third. Valour has shown an ability to control the ball, but they could stand to take more risks to try and create better chances.
Valour FC: Mathias Janssens; Raphael Ohin, Skylar Thomas, Adam Mitter, Diego Gutierrez; Jose Galan, Louis Béland-Goyette; Michael Petrasso, Dylan Carreiro, Marco Bustos; Michele Paolucci