CPL Regular Season 2021 (The Kickoff) – Game # 23
Atlético Ottawa versus Valor FC
July 15, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. ET / 4:00 p.m. CT
IG field in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Watch live: OneSoccer.ch
The midweek in the Canadian Premier League ends on Thursday with a game between Atlético Ottawa and the outstanding FC Valor.
Both returned to the Victory Column at the weekend, Ottawa defeating Cavalry 2-0 and Valor defeating Forge FC for the second time this season, this time 1-0. With the win, Ottawa ended a losing streak and jumped to fifth place, while Valor took first place and became the first team to reach double-digit points this year with their fourth win over five games.
These teams have already met once in 2021 – a 2-0 win for Valor on July 3rd. In this game, a goal from Raphael Ohin at the end of the first half would be the match winner, a formidable effort that Dylon Powley couldn’t prevent.
– CanPL (@CPLsoccer) 4th July 2021
Moses Dyer would double the lead from the point in the second half of stoppage time and seal all three points for the hosts.
Mista has stressed several times lately that he would like his team to improve defensively to keep more goals away, while also trying to bring more cohesion into an attack that has been lacking at times this season.
It won’t be an easy task – Valor is currently tied in the league with the most goals scored – tied with Pacific FC on eight goals, despite Valor having a game in hand after Pacific’s 0-0 draw with HFX Wanderers on Tuesday. They have also conceded the fewest goals in the league and only conceded twice – both in a 2-1 loss to York United on July 7th.
This matchup has not been friendly to Ottawa so far, as the club have not scored a point against Valor in two games. Valor beat them 4-0 at the Island Games last season and the aforementioned 2-0 defeat less than two weeks ago on July 3rd.
Hit your match picks before kick-off canpl.ca/predictor to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2021 CPL finals!
3 THINGS TO SEE:
- Jonathan Sirois in sparkling form: 20-year-old Jonathan Sirois is on loan from MLS club CF Montreal and scored a brilliant goal for Valor FC. In four games Sirois has conceded four goals – a CPL record for the most goals conceded in a row – and made 13 saves. What’s even more impressive is that these were the first four appearances of his professional career. He has yet to appear for CF Montreal and he didn’t play on his emergency loan to Vancouver Whitecaps in the 2020 MLS is Back tournament. “We were happy with Jonny, he really did everything we could ask,” said Rob Gale this week. “It’s a team effort – if we keep a clean sheet of paper, it is an indication of the 10 men in front of him, as much as it is.” [of him]. He’s done well, he’s a mature boy – he promised us that with the presence and maturity he would come into play to be number one and fight for that place, and he did really well. “
- Atlético Ottawa’s versatility is essential to its success: After starting each of his club’s first four games as a center-back, Drew Beckie was transferred to the right-back in Ottawa’s 2-1 win against the Cavalry on Sunday. The move allowed Mista to bring on Brandon John, which gave a player who was impressive as a center-back during the Island Games a first-time start to the season. Beckie didn’t seem out of place on right-back, and Mista said in his pre-game press conference that Beckie’s versatility – as well as the versatility of several players in Ottawa’s roster – is critical to what the team aims to achieve this season. “Sometimes when you have to make the first eleven you can make moves and [the opponent] don’t know, ”he said. Zach Verhoven is another player who can play multiple positions including on the right wing where he was very effective against the cavalry or as a right-back, as does young defender Keesean Ferdinand who can play anywhere on the defensive line.
- Ottawa has a tough challenge against the formally strong Jean-Baptiste: Andrew Jean-Baptiste got off to a brilliant start to the season, proving again that he is one of the best central defenders in the CPL. He was in the CPL’s Gatorade Team of the Week twice in three weeks after impressing on both ends of the pitch. He has helped the aforementioned Jonathan Sirois to save four goals so far and is second with two goals on the attacking side – both headers after set pieces. His off-field contributions are invaluable, as is any of the club’s co-captains. “He’s a leader, he knows how to run a game. It’s a great example of young defenders – if you look at Italy at the European Championship, Bonucci and Chiellini, and how they don’t have to be the fastest or the most intimidating. His one-on-one skills and collective decision-making are very good. “
Atlético Ottawa wins: 0 || Valor FC wins: 2 || Draw: 0
July 3, 2021 – Valor FC 2-0 Atlético Ottawa
“We had a great game against them, but we lost. We know what mistakes we made in this game and we will try to fix them for the next game. We know we are going to have a very difficult game but we are confident in ourselves. ”- Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista on Valor FC
“They come together, you can see that. They spent a lot of time together – their defense organization, their two groups of four. They get tight, they come across, they get tight. Once they’re in their low block, they’re most comfortable. ”- Valor FC head coach Rob Gale on Atlético Ottawa