York United FC vs Edmonton FC – 2022 Match #92 – Canadian Premier League

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2022 CPL Regular Season – Game #92
York United vs Edmonton FC
Sept. 9, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET
York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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This weekend’s Canadian Premier League action gets underway at York Lions Stadium on Friday night when York United host Edmonton FC.

After a rough patch midseason, the Nine Stripes have been in fine form lately, winning five of their last eight games, including three of their last four. That stretch, which includes victories over Cavalry FC, Forge FC, Pacific FC, HFX Wanderers and Friday FC Edmonton opponents, accounts for 15 of their 26 points this season.

Last time out, on September 3, they beat reigning CPL champions Pacific FC 3-1 at Starlight Stadium thanks to a superb second-half performance. After a Kunle Dada-Luke goal gave the Tridents a 1-0 lead before half-time, York United scored a trio of goals in the second half and probably could or should have scored a few more.

Mo Babouli equalized for York in the 48th minute before Osaze De Rosario and Sebastian Gutierrez hit the net to secure three points on the road.

Edmonton FC are also in good form and are unbeaten in three games.

After a narrow 3-2 loss to York United on August 14, the Eddies traveled to Winnipeg and drew 1-1 at top-flight Valor FC. From there, they returned to Edmonton and picked up their third win of the season, beating HFX Wanderers 3-2 before suffering a 0-0 draw with Atlético Ottawa in the nation’s capital.

As mentioned, these teams met at the same venue just a few weeks ago – a game York United won 3-2.

Ronan Kratt put the home side ahead after ten minutes, but Edmonton’s Gabriel Bitar leveled just after the hour mark. Azriel Gonzalez gave Edmonton the lead with a 78th-minute header, but his goal was canceled out by Lisandro Cabrera’s equalizer just two minutes later. York then completed the comeback, taking all three points in a 3-1 win after Jordan Wilson headed the ball into goal from a corner.

While York isn’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but faces an uphill battle, they are ten points behind fourth-placed Valor FC in sixth place this weekend. Pacific FC is also in between, just a point behind Valor. Meanwhile, Edmonton FC is eliminated and sits at the bottom of the table.


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3 THINGS TO SEE

  • Mo Babouli on a strong start in life with York: There was understandably excitement when York United announced the signing of former Forge FC and Toronto FC forward Mo Babouli. Goal scoring has been a problem for the Nine Stripes this season and having already proven himself in the CPL with Forge, there were high expectations for Babouli and it’s fair to say he lived up to them. Although Babouli has only played four games for York, one of which was a guest appearance, Babouli is already second with two goals. He has already scored against his former club Forge and scored a second against Pacific FC last weekend. His head coach, Martin Nash, has been impressed with what he’s seen of his new star attacker so far. “He came in and was able to take off immediately,” Nash said on Thursday. “He’s been fantastic off the pitch, great with the lads, he fits in seamlessly with the group. He was massive for us on and off the pitch, he was a breath of fresh air and someone we needed to connect our attack and also another experienced player off the pitch helping the other players.”
  • Youthfulness a key factor in both teams: York United and Edmonton FC are two of the youngest sides in the Canadian Premier League and it has shown at times. Both are in the top three in Canada’s U21 minute division, with Edmonton FC 2,707 so far this season and York United a staggering 5,671 – by far the most in the CPL, nearly 3,000 more than second-placed HFX Wanderer. Maturity and the ability to do certain things mentally – namely to finish games or get yourself back into games – have been lacking at times in both sides, but over the course of the season both Martin Nash and Alan Koch have felt their sides have done so have made progress in this department. “We’re growing every week I think, we’re in good shape right now. We have worked hard as employees and as a team to keep improving. These young players are growing up, they’re learning and we’re not making the mistakes we made earlier in the season that cost us points.” His Edmonton FC counterpart Alan Koch has a roster full of youngsters and professionals of his own the first year and also says that the group has grown together and taken on new challenges, but has also matured. “I think our biggest flaws as a group are immaturity and inexperience,” Koch said on Wednesday. “Both things are youth based and because our players have never been in an environment like this before. In both terms I think the players have grown. They didn’t go from baby to old adult in a matter of months, but there’s definitely a maturity that’s grown on and off the pitch.”
  • Will Gabriel Bitar return to Edmonton FC?: One of the most promising players coming out of FC Opportunity this season is midfielder Gabriel Bitar. The 24-year-old from Ottawa has been one of The Eddies’ best players this season, recording four goals and one assist in 19 games this season. He has been on the touchline for the last few games but most recently at York Lions Stadium in Edmonton FC’s 3-2 loss to York United – a game in which he scored one goal. Eddie’s head coach Alan Koch told the media on Wednesday that Bitar “is about to” return and as of this press conference some medical tests should be carried out to determine if he is fit to travel to Ontario. “Having seen Gaby have had a fantastic season neither he nor any of us has enjoyed letting him sit out over the past few weeks but we are optimistic that we will see him on the pitch very, very soon. ‘ said Cook. Cale Loughrey, meanwhile, is definitely off the team as he has been suspended for one game for a pile of yellow cards.

ALL TIME SERIES

York United wins: 6 || Edmonton FC wins: 2 || Draw: 5

Previous game:

August 14, 2022 – York United – Edmonton FC 3-2

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