2021 Canadian Championship — Preliminary Round
FC Edmonton vs. Cavalry FC
August 15, 2021 at 5 pm ET/ 3 pm MT
Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
At long last, the Canadian Championship has returned.
The 2021 road to the Voyageurs Cup begins in Alberta this Sunday, as FC Edmonton host Al Classico rivals Cavalry FC in the first round of this year’s competition, with a spot in the quarter-finals on the line.
In the last edition of the Canadian Championship, Cavalry made the strongest run of any CPL team, knocking off MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps before succumbing in the semifinals to the Montreal Impact (now CF Montreal). Edmonton, meanwhile, got no further than the second qualifying round, where they fell 3-2 on aggregate to York9 FC (now York United).
These two sides both find themselves in solid league form, with Cavalry sitting just one point out of first place in the CPL and the Eddies — in sixth right now — beginning to climb the table. The Cavs are undefeated in their last three, with two wins and a draw in their most recent contest, while Edmonton have split points in both of their previous two matches.
These sides have met just once in the league so far this year, with Cavalry overturning an early deficit on August 3 to triumph 2-1 over their provincial rivals at ATCO Field.
This time around, it’s not three points that are on the line. Instead, it’s a ticket to the next round of this single-knockout Canadian Championship. The winner of this game will move on to play either the Vancouver Whitecaps or Pacific FC.
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- Cavs’ depth being tested: Like most CPL teams, Cavalry have dealt with their fair share of injuries and fitness concerns this season. In their most recent outing, a 0-0 draw with Pacific, they had just four outfield players on the bench — two of which, Max Piepgrass and Dale Reas-Do — were signed earlier that week to development contracts. It’s unclear whether Tommy Wheeldon Jr. will be facing similar issues on Sunday, but no matter what, this side will almost certainly need to lean on their depth with players like José Hernández or Victor Loturi, who might be called upon again.
- Eddies attack rounding into form? Although they didn’t find the net in their last game against Valour FC, Edmonton coach Alan Koch has been very happy with the play of strikers Easton Ongaro and Tobias Warschewski in recent weeks. Ongaro has three goals since the Eddies left the Winnipeg bubble at The Kickoff, and Warschewski has two — and they both had a handful of strong chances against Valour as well. The two talented forwards are a real handful for opposing defenders with their intensity and aggressive pressing, so the Cavs will need to be very sharp playing out of the back because they will be punished severely for any mistakes.
- Slim margins in single-knockout tie: Unlike in previous editions of the Canadian Championship, this year’s competition does not feature home-and-away ties. Rather, the competition will be a single elimination format all the way through — which means, the loser of this match will go home. Knockout matches like this one can be extremely entertaining, particularly if one team scores early to open the floodgates, but they can also be a little cagey at times. Small moments — a mistake, a lucky bounce, or a piece of individual brilliance — can completely turn the tide, and neither side will want to be the one that blinks first in what’s sure to be a tactical chess match.
Cavalry FC wins: 6 || FC Edmonton wins: 0 || Draws: 1
August 3, 2021 — Cavalry FC 2-1 FC Edmonton