2021 CPL regular season — Match #51
Valour FC vs. FC Edmonton
August 24, 2021 at 7 pm CT/ 6 pm MT
IG Field, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here
After different outcomes in their recent Canadian Championship matches, Valour FC and FC Edmonton are back in Canadian Premier League action at IG Field on Tuesday.
Valour were in the nation’s capital on Saturday, beating Atlético Ottawa 3-2 in the Preliminary Round of that competition, setting up a quarterfinal matchup with Forge FC. After Ottawa took a first half lead through Brian Wright, Sean Rea equalized for Valour around the 30 minute mark. Two goals from Austin Ricci, three minutes apart, gave his side a 3-1 lead after 63 minutes — eventually winning the match 3-2. They’ll take on Forge FC in the quarterfinals at Tim Hortons Field on September 15.
The Eddies, meanwhile, have had a bit of time off since their last match — last playing on August 15th. Also in the Canadian Championship, they fell 2-0 at home to Cavalry FC, who advanced to the quarterfinal stage thanks to goals from Joe Mason and Ben Fisk.
FC Edmonton and Valour have met a couple of times recently, facing off twice already post-bubble — both times at Clarke Stadium. They first met on July 31st, a game that FC Edmonton would win 3-1. Goals from Easton Ongaro, Tobias Warschewski and Amer Didic had FC Edmonton cruising to a win in their first home match since 2019, but the clean sheet was lost on an 88th minute goal from Valour’s Andy Baquero.
The most recent match between the two teams was on August 12th, and was FC Edmonton’s most recent CPL match. That match would end 0-0, thanks in part to big performances in goal from Connor James of FC Edmonton and Valour backup Matt Silva. Along with the Canadian Championship victory, Valour also took on Pacific FC in CPL action since they last played FC Edmonton, losing 2-0 to The Tridents at IG Field on August 16th.
Valour have slipped down the table a little bit in recent weeks, dropping from first place at the end of The Kickoff to third place. With a 6-1-6 record, they’re tied with fourth-placed Forge FC on 19 points, six points above The Eddies in sixth (3-4-5, 13 points). A win for Edmonton would see them move equal with fifth-placed York United, although York would have a match in hand.
The match will also be Valour’s 14th of the CPL season, as they become the second team after Pacific FC to reach the halfway point. For FC Edmonton it’s CPL game number 13.
Make your match picks prior to kickoff at canpl.ca/predictor for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL Final!
3 THINGS TO WATCH:
- FC Edmonton take advantage of nine-day break: With Tuesday’s contest coming nine days after their last match, FC Edmonton have had a bit of a chance to take a step back and have a few days off and recover after a very busy start to their season. The extended time off between matches also gave them a chance to get more training in, rather than just focusing primarily on matches and travel. “We gave the players a few days off, which they definitely needed,” said FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch in his pre-match press conference on Monday. “We were actually able to train, which we haven’t been able to do for a few weeks. It was a big positive to work on a few things, to try and progress. The guys came back with the right attitude, the right energy, and I think we got ourselves in a good place going into tomorrow.”
- Can Valour build off Canadian Championship win?: Valour ended a six-game winless run in all competitions on Saturday, beating Atlético Ottawa 3-2 in the Canadian Championship. It was a much needed win, not only to progress in Canada’s national cup competition, but to boost morale for a Valour side that needed a big response after falling 2-0 to Pacific FC at home earlier in the week. Club captain Daryl Fordyce spoke after the Pacific match about the need to “recover and go again”, and against Ottawa they looked back at their best. A more direct style of attack worked wonders for them, and helped Austin Ricci in particular get back on the scoresheet, scoring twice in quick succession. Rob Gale’s team will be looking to build off that performance and start picking up some points in the league again, after only earning a single point (against Edmonton) after The Kickoff ended in late-July.
- Back at IG Field, Eddies look to leave with all three points: With the home side on Tuesday coming off their victory on Saturday, and returning to IG Field with a morale boost, FC Edmonton are hoping to dampen their spirits again. Saying that his side are back in familiar surroundings, after starting their season in Winnipeg at The Kickoff, Eddies head coach Alan Koch believes that his side can pick up all three points. “It feels nice to be at home, we’re back at our home-away-from-home for 35 days,” Koch joked on Wednesday. “[Valour looked like] a team committed to the cause, playing for each other” against Ottawa on Saturday according to the Edmonton boss. “We know the positive energy you can get from a victory, and they’re going to come back into their home stadium feeling very, very positive. We’re equally as excited about the game and have a plan, but it’s up to us to come out and execute and hopefully get ourselves a victory.”
Valour FC wins: 4 || FC Edmonton wins: 2 || Draws: 2
August 12, 2021 — FC Edmonton 0-0 Valour FC
“The performances have been good, I’ve said that all along — there’s no panic in our dressing room. Individual errors and that collective effort to either keep the ball out of the net, or put the ball in the back of the net, needed to be addressed. We’re not even halfway through the season, we’re in a good position, and we felt this was a good opportunity to get back on the front foot collectively.” — Valour FC head coach Rob Gale, speaking after his side’s 3-2 win in the Canadian Championship on Saturday
“Having scouted and followed Valour, we’re playing against a team that’s very confident, feeling good about themselves after their win on the weekend.” — FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch