PREVIEW: FC Edmonton vs Forge FC — Match #110
Canadian Premier League

2021 CPL regular season — Match #110
FC Edmonton vs. Forge FC
November 13, 2021 at 12 pm MT/ 2:00 pm ET
Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta
Watch Live: // Tickets available here

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FC Edmonton’s 2021 season comes to an end on Saturday, as they host league leaders Forge FC at Clarke Stadium.

The home side sits at the bottom of the CPL table, with 25 points through 27 matches, just one point back of seventh-placed Atlético Ottawa. Forge are at the opposite end of the standings, locking down first place earlier this week with two more regular season games left to play still.

The Hammers beat York United at York Lions Stadium on Tuesday to secure top spot, beating The Nine Stripes 3-1 in a rainy 905 Derby. Tristan Borges and Daniel Krutzen gave the visitors a 2-0 lead in the first half, before Lowell Wright brought York back within one just after the break. Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson sealed the win with a 73rd-minute goal, confirming home field advantage throughout the CPL playoffs.

They’ll play York again in a semifinal at Tim Hortons Field on Sunday, November 21.

The Eddies, meanwhile, last played on November 6, an exciting encounter with Valour FC. They jumped out to a 3-0 lead, with goals from Tobias Warschewski, Amer Didic and Azriel Gonzalez. With just over 10 minutes left in the match, and needing a win to keep themselves in the playoff race, it seemed as though Valour’s season was over, but Moses Dyer had other ideas.

The New Zealand international scored in the 78th and 81st minutes, and set up the tying goal for Daryl Fordyce in the 88th minute. Despite the incredible ending for Valour, they were unable to find a fourth, and FC Edmonton’s early onslaught was enough to hold on for a 3-3 draw.

Forge and Edmonton have squared off twice in 2021, both times during the bubble in Winnipeg at the start of the season. In the first meeting on Canada Day, late goals from Ramon Soria and Jeannot Esua saw The Eddies pick up their first points of the season and a 2-0 victory over the back-to-back champions.

The rematch two weeks later went the opposite way, as a Mo Babouli penalty saw Forge avenge their early season defeat with a 1-0 win.

FC Edmonton have historically done well against The Hammers, beating them three times in their seven total meetings. Forge has won four times, and they played out a 1-1 draw in the inaugural 2019 season.

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  • Forge thrive under pressure at business end of the season: If trying to win a third-consecutive North Star Shield wasn’t already a tough task, Forge FC have the added pressure of preparing for the Concacaf League semifinals as well. After Saturday’s game in Edmonton, the club return to Hamilton to take on Cavalry FC in the final match of the regular season. They then stay at home for the semifinal of the CPL Playoffs against York United on Sunday, November 21. The first leg (and home leg) of the Concacaf League semifinal is set for Wednesday, November 24, and would be sandwiched between the CPL semifinal and final before the second leg against Montagua on December 1. It’s a hectic schedule for The Hammers, but head coach Bobby Smyrniotis believes that his team thrive on that pressure. “As we go into this final stretch of the season, one thing we’ve done in the past is when we have a busy schedule, we tend to do very well,” he said. “We look forward to keep on building on that, and just making sure that we’ve got everyone ready as we keep on going forward.”
  • FC Edmonton hope to take advantage of Canadian men’s national team excitement: The Canadian men’s national team is set to play two games at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium — on Friday night against Costa Rica and Tuesday night against Mexico — in front of 50,000 people. FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch is hopeful that some of those fans also attend Saturday’s CPL game at Clarke Stadium next door.  “If I was in the city watching my national team play, and there was a professional game the next day, I’d be at that game too,” he said. “We hope there’s going to be some new FC Edmonton fans here, and we hope there’s some Forge fans too. We’d love to see Canadian soccer fans trickle over.”
  • Smyrniotis expected to rotate the squad in final two CPL games: Forge FC has locked up first place in the CPL regular season, and qualified for the semifinals of the 2021 Concacaf League. With a busy schedule coming up to end the season, head coach Bobby Smyrniotis will rotate his squad a bit to keep the players’ legs fresh. Their final two CPL matches have no effect at all on the standings or anything, so it allows him to get a look at some players who maybe don’t eat up as many minutes as the others. One of those players could be defender Maxim Tissot, who has been limited to just 10 games this season while battling an injury. “For the players who have played a bit less, it’s a chance to prove that you can help the team for the playoff games and the Concacaf League games,” said Tissot ahead of Saturday’s contest. “I think this is a good opportunity for players who haven’t played a whole lot to get their rhythm. Obviously we want to get results, even if we’re guaranteed first place.”


FC Edmonton wins: 3 || Forge FC wins: 4 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

July 14, 2021 — Forge FC 1-0 FC Edmonton


“They’re the best team in the league, the table doesn’t lie. Bobby and his group have done a fantastic job of assembling the best team in the league, so we anticipate playing the best team in the league no matter who plays. When they rotate, there’s no change in how they play. It’s a fitting way for us to play our last game, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and we know that we’re playing the cream of the crop in our league right now.” — FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch

“This is their last game of the season, this is a team that the standings is not indicative of the quality of the team and what they’ve been able to do. They’ve had a lot of good matches, they’re a team that works very hard on the pitch in every single line. For them, their players, there’s a lot of motivation into tomorrow’s game… a team with players maybe who want to prove something a little more to their coaches going into the offseason.” — Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis