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PREVIEW: Cavalry FC vs. FC Edmonton – Match #97
Canadian Premier League

Canadian Premier League — Match #97
Cavalry FC vs. FC Edmonton
Oct. 19, 2019 — ATCO Field (4:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. MT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca and CBC Sports

The Wildrose Cup may already belong to Cavalry FC, but FC Edmonton can still play a role in maiming their Albertan opposites as the 2019 Canadian Premier League regular season draws to a close with this, one final Al Classico bout between two bitter foes.

Indeed, needing a win to claim the Fall crown, Cavalry hosts the Eddies with three points very much on the mind. Forge has no matches left to play; this is Cavalry’s last chance at making up the two-point gap the Hamiltonian outfit has on their stake to this second stanza of the season, and taking another step towards an inaugural season treble of Spring, Fall, and Finals crowns. It makes this final Al Classico the most intense meeting to date. It’s all on the line here for Cavalry FC – an 18-match Fall slog comes down to this one last match. For the Eddies? You can bet they’ll enjoy playing the role of spoiler and preventing their opposites from heading into Finals 2019 on a high.

No Julian Buscher for this one, as Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s midfield is further hampered by the likely absence of Nik Ledgerwood, who picked up a serious head knock in his last match against Forge FC. That Finals preview tilt saw the Hamiltonians walk away 1-0 victors, meaning that Cavalry heads into this particular bout needing to turn around their recent fortunes, too. No pressure, but this match leads into a return to Tim Hortons Field for Leg 1 of Finals 2019, so a swing in momentum will be of utmost importance to the Cavs, too.

For the Eddies, it’s simply a matter of frustrating their foes. With Prince Amanda emerging out of the shadows and onto the Canadian spotlight, all eyes will be on him as the 18-year-old will likely earn another start for Jeff Paulus’ side following a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over Pacific FC. It was an important win, too, ending a 10-match run without a victory for the Eddies.

Following this final Al Classico, Cavalry turns its attention to Finals 2019, with the first leg set for October 26th at Tim Hortons Field, 3:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. MT, available on OneSoccer. After that, it’s Leg 2 at ATCO Field, Spruce Meadows, with Cavalry hosting Forge on November 2nd, 1:30 p.m. MT/3:30 p.m. ET, also available on OneSoccer. As for Edmonton? That’s all for the year, as this is their final match of the 2019 season.

KEYS TO THE MATCH

  • Keep a calm head: Remember when Canada beat the United States 2-0 at BMO Field to end a 34-year run without a win? Yeah, that came down to a metric tonne of composure from the Canucks, and for good reason; a cool head is a more efficient one. Cavalry can take a lot of lessons out of that win; namely, keeping a cool head in the face of a one-and-down match like this. The Fall title is on the line. Cavalry can go into Finals 2019 with an enormous sentimental advantage as Spring and Fall winners. Keep it calm, level-headed, and the spoils are yours.
  • Prince? Prince who? Prince Amanda will be the name on everyone’s lips for the visiting section of supporters, and for good reason; the 18-year-old turned heads with a goal and assist in his last match, which was also his first match for the Eddies. But, for Cavalry, keeping tabs on the youngster isn’t necessarily the utmost priority in defence; there’s still Oumar Diouck and Easton Ongaro to contend with, after all. Cavalry’s best bet for neutralizing the Eddies? Treat Amanda just like any other player, and defend him, accordingly. One game does not a legend make.
  • Overload central midfield: Missing players like Buscher and Ledgerwood means there’s a definitive weakness in the Cavalry armour, one that Paulus may want to exploit. Those two central midfielders are a big anchoring point for Cavalry’s success, and without them, there’s an opportunity for Paulus to overwhelm in the middle of the park, which is exactly where his three attackers love getting their service from. If Paulus’ side can win that middle, playing spoilers won’t be impossible.
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PROJECTED LINEUPS

Cavalry FC: Marco Carducci; Malyk Hamilton, Dominick Zator, Mason Trafford, Nathan Mavila; Joel Waterman, Elijah Adekugbe; Jordan Brown, Sergio Camargo, Oliver Minatel; Dominique Malonga

FC Edmonton: Connor James; Allan Zebie, Mélé Temguia, Amer Didic, Bruno Zebie; Toni Tchani, Ajay Khabra, Edem Mortosi; Easton Ongaro, Oumar Diouck, Prince Amanda


HEAD TO HEAD

May 18 – Cavalry FC 1-0 FC Edmonton
June 15 – FC Edmonton 0-3 Cavalry FC

August 16 – Cavalry FC 0-0 FC Edmonton

Sept. 11 – FC Edmonton 0-1 Cavalry FC

STATS LEADERS

Dominique Malonga – 11 goals (Cavalry FC)
Easton Ongaro – 9 goals (FC Edmonton)

INJURIES

Chris Serban (Cavalry FC) – Out (Knee)
Dean Northover (Cavalry FC) – Out (ACL)
Jonathan Wheeldon (Cavalry FC) – Doubtful
Mauro Eustaquio (Cavalry FC) – Out
Nik Ledgerwood (Cavalry FC) – Head (Doubtful)
James Marcelin (FC Edmonton) – Doubtful

INTERNATIONAL DUTY

None

SUSPENSIONS

Julian Büscher (Cavalry FC) – Accumulation

ACCUMULATION
(Players are suspended for one match 14 days after accumulating a 4th Yellow Card)

Amer Didic (FC Edmonton) – 3
Tomi Ameobi (FC Edmonton) – 3
Ramon Soria (FC Edmonton) – 3
Mélé Temguia (FC Edmonton) – 3
Nathan Mavila (Cavalry FC) – 3
Oliver Minatel (Cavalry FC) – 3

REFEREES

Referee: David Barrie
ARs: Graham Forsyth & Jasmain Parr
4th Official: Michael Mund