Forge FC vs. Cavalry FC — 2022 Game #94 – Canadian Premier League


2022 CPL Regular Season — Game #94
Forge FC vs. Cavalry FC
September 10, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET
Tim Hortons land in Hamilton, Ontario
Watch live: and TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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The CPL playoff race will continue to heat up this weekend, as Cavalry FC make their final regular season visit to Hamilton on Saturday afternoon to take on Forge FC. Both teams enter this crucial weekend looking to improve on recent dwindling form, especially as the track gets shorter and the standings tighten with the end of the season rapidly approaching.

The hosts Forge find themselves in quite a difficult time at the moment, winless in their last four games with three defeats during that streak. They haven’t scored a goal for three consecutive matches – a club record, but not one they’ll be happy to set. Bobby Smyrniotis’ squad are now back home after a very difficult trip to Winnipeg, which saw them lose 1-0 to Valor FC twice in less than a week.

Still, the Hamilton club is far from panic positions. They still sit in third place in the league with an 11-3-8 record and 36 points, albeit just a single point clear of fifth-place Pacific who will be looking to hunt them down this weekend. The good news for Smyrniotis and Forge is that their league-best goal differential of +19 is 11 better than any other team in the league and unlikely to be matched. Plus, they have a game in hand over every other top four contender except Pacific, which should also help Forge control its own destiny.

“What you have to do is remind the guys what they are capable of,” Smyrniotis said. “This year, we are one penalty shot away from being Canadian champions. We play against Cruz Azul, we played a great streak of I think 15 CPL and Canadian Championship games included. So you just remind guys “this is who we are on our good days and this is who we are constantly on our good days”.

The Cavalry, meanwhile, have just five games left to play, but they have a bit more wiggle room in second place. Their 11-5-7 record puts them at 38 points – two behind Atlético Ottawa and, more importantly, three ahead of Pacific.

Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s side have also seen a slight dip in scoring form recently, with three goals in their last five games, although they have been able to get a few more results. They were held to a goalless draw away from home by HFX Wanderers on Monday, but they beat York United 1-0 the previous weekend to bounce back from a 3-0 home loss to Atlético Ottawa a week previously.

When these parties last met, the clash was a typically entertaining affair. Forge thought they had scratched a draw at the end thanks to Jordan Hamilton’s first goal for the club in the 82nd minute, but Mikaël Cantave had other ideas, as he kicked a loose ball into the box for the win for Host Cavalry in Downtime.

Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting in 2022 between these teams, and the season series between them is split: the two teams won one of the two games in Calgary, and they tied the last one 2-2 times the Cavs set foot in Hamilton. The familiar foes have had no shortage of high-octane battles over the years, dating back to 2019 when their heated matches in both the Canadian Championship and the first CPL Finals ignited a fire that didn’t last. not yet been extinguished.

Forge vs. Cavalry has long been a standout game in Canadian soccer, and with both teams desperate for points in this year’s playoff chase, Saturday is sure to produce another epic chapter in their shared history.

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  • Forge is still looking for the top three: In the past three games, seven different players have started on offense for Forge at least once. Woobens Pacius and Jordan Hamilton shared the duties up top, with Terran Campbell, David Choinière, Tristan Borges, Emery Welshman and even full-back Kwasi Poku taking wide reps – in addition, Borges played center as number 10 sunday. On paper, this team has an extraordinary wealth of attacking talent, with arguably two full front lines that could start for most teams in the league. Unfortunately for Bobby Smyrniotis, he can’t start two front lines. Although he has plenty of options on the bench if his team needs a late goal, only three or four of those players can start the game. Smyrniotis may be looking for a different look from his side with the attack struggling lately, so don’t be surprised if the form or structure is different again on Saturday. Still, with only six games left before the playoffs, Forge doesn’t have much time left to get players into shape and figure out which forwards can be trusted best to start a knockout game.
  • Selection headache at centre-back for the Cavalry? One of the hallmarks of a Cavalry FC team is their ball-playing centre-backs. Throughout this season, they have alternated between a back four and a back three at times, although with the emergence of fullbacks Bradley Vliet and Roberto Alarcón, the Cavs have settled into a defensive four-man setup. With the two wide defenders looking to get forward, the centre-backs need them even more as they try to play at the back and combine with Charlie Trafford or Elliot Simmons in midfield. Coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. gave reps to all Daan Klomp, Mason Trafford, David Norman Jr. and Karifa Yao, all of whom are excellent ball distributors. The main concern at the moment, however, is that Yao – arguably the best of the group on either side of the ball – has been out for two games in a row. Wheeldon Jr. confirmed before the game that Yao will miss again against Forge, but should be available to return for the following weekend’s game against FC Edmonton. Expect the Cavalry to always look to play from the back, even against a Forge side that like to press centre-backs but will certainly miss Yao’s ability in this area of ​​his game.
  • Equalizers, head changes abound in Forge-Cavalry games: Neither team can be too comfortable with a lead against this particular opponent. In all three Forge-Cavalry encounters in 2022, at least one side has scored an equalizer after conceding. The first draw saw an early Forge lead quickly turn into a 2-1 advantage for Cavalry, only for David Choinière to score in the 90th to equalise. Next time around, Joe Mason’s first-minute goal was eventually canceled out by a pair of Forge goals for the Hammers to secure a road win. And last time, Forge again thought they stole the win from the Cavs before Miki Cantave snatched all three points at the death. All that to say: with the stakes even higher in this encounter, don’t turn off the TV until the final whistle. We could be in a later drama. “Why I like the games against Forge is that it’s like two heavyweights coming into a ring and going against each other,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “Both teams are really, really good coaches and believe in their principles of play and want to impose it on the other team.


Forge wins: 8 || Cavalry wins: 6 || Draws: 3

Previous game:

August 13, 2022 — Cavalry 2-1 Forge


“Both teams want a positive result tomorrow. I think that’s what will make it a very good game for both teams and for those who are going to watch the game. With all the games going on right now in the league, it’s exciting for the fans and for the neutrals, and for us, we just have to go out there and do our thing and not get caught up in the importance of ‘a match. tomorrow, compared to all the others. — To forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis

“It’s a team that they haven’t done well in the last five games, in front of their fans they’re going to be chomping at the bit. We’ve ended their good run, now they’re on a bad run so it’s is the roles reversed. Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.


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