2021 CPL regular season — Match #75 Atlético Ottawa vs. Cavalry FC September 25, 2021 at 4:30 pm ET/2:30pm MT TD Place in Ottawa, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available HERE



MATCH PREVIEW

Cavalry FC will travel to our Nation's Capital for the first time in club history Saturday when Atlético Ottawa welcomes their western opponents at TD Stadium. The Cavs stand second in the league with 32 points and a 9-5-4 record -- over double last-place Ottawa on 14 points and a 3-5-11 tally so far in 2021. Though it will be Ottleti that'll be looking to take advantage of a week off and an out-of-form Cavalry team to snap a nine-match losing streak. Mista's men last won back on August 14 against HFX Wanderers and have since racked up four losses and four draws – the last of which came away to league leaders Pacific FC last Sunday. Brian Wright found the net as Ottawa nearly completed the upset before CanPL.ca Player of the Week Terran Campbell found an equalizer after 86 minutes. Ottawa is set to welcome back Ryan Telfer (suspension) and Drew Beckie (injury) -- more on that later -- which could prove a big boon for a side looking for something new. "We're in a very good position -- it doesn't matter if we're last or wherever we are in the table," Ottawa coach Mista said before the Cavalry FC match. "We put our focus to create a philosophy and identity -- they understand perfectly and they trust it in every game." Cavalry arrives in Ottawa after bowing out of the Canadian Championship in a 1-0 loss to that aforementioned Pacific side on Wednesday at ATCO Field at Spruce Meadows. Coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.'s side was far from out of contention though they failed to find the scoresheet as PFC took them down for the third time on the season -- the only team to grab such a result against the Cavs since the Winnipeg bubble. Follow that up with a draw to Valour FC and a previous league defeat to the Tridents and Cavalry arrives in Ottawa winless in three matches. These two teams split their meetings in the Winnipeg bubble earlier this season – Cavalry took the opener 4-1 before Ottawa responded with a shock 2-0 return in the following weeks.

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3 THINGS TO WATCH:

  • Chance to right attacking ship: It's not exactly a slump for Cavalry at the moment – but after a draw away to Valour FC and dropping their CanChamp match to Pacific, Saturday presents a great opportunity to right the ship. The team's usual swashbuckling attack has been absent of late but they come to an Ottawa team that's conceded a league-worst 33 goals against in 19 matches. Coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.'s group can be rest assured that they've played well in recent matches – Mo Farsi has been sharp, Sergio Camargo looks lively in a second-striker role, and the central midfield has performed well, with Nik Ledgerwood and Elliott Simmons in particular posting some impressive performances. Saturday will be the fifth of a seven-game league road trip for the Cavs too, as they prepare for other bottom-four sides FC Edmonton and Valour FC away to close it out.
  • New-look Ottawa as suspension, injuries change makeup: Ottawa is set to look like a whole new team Saturday, welcoming back defenders Drew Beckie & Vashon Neufville from injury and winger Ryan Telfer from suspension… All while losing wide player Migel Acosta, midfielder Chris Mannella, and winger Zach Verhoven to yellow card accumulation. The club also revealed Shawn-Claud Lawson, Keesean Ferdinand, and Milovan Kapor are on "injury prevention" protocol. But the return of Beckie, following a complication resulting from a COVID-19 exposure, is the biggest news out of Ottawa camp for coach Mista: "He's ready to help everyone – Drew is our extra coach. On the field, he's a player that people trust – he's the heart and soul of this team." Telfer, meanwhile, makes a long-awaited return after receiving a lengthy suspension for a gesture shown in a match against Halifax last month. Mista says his star winger has learned from the incident, adding: "He made a mistake, and he recognized that so it doesn't matter. He's one of the most dangerous wingers in the league so we're excited to see where he can go in these last nine matches."
  • Will penalties be a factor in Saturday's match: Ottawa and Cavalry have been particularly unfortunate in the 18-yard box this season. Mista's team has conceded the most penalties at nine, while Cavalry has, somehow, yet to draw a spot-kick of their own. It's a strange run for both teams for different reasons as it's clearly changed their seasons. The Cavs had two decent penalty shouts in their previous matches to no avail. "We should have had another penalty Wednesday and for some reason, we're void of that this season," Wheeldon Jr. said between PFC and Ottawa matches. "Sometimes when you're on top you need to get those bounces and we're not getting them so we need to work harder for them." When asked what Mista wanted from his Ottawa team on Saturday and in their remaining nine leagie games, the coach said the effort of playing nine championship finals in a row and, of course: "Please, no more penalties!


ALL-TIME SERIES

Atlético Ottawa wins: 2 || Cavalry FC wins: 1 || Draws: 0

Previous match:

July 11, 2021 – Cavalry FC 0-2 Atlético Ottawa

KEY QUOTES

"The last game we drew (to Pacific FC) but I think we had one of the best games we’ve had – especially in defence. We’re taking it step by step. When you're a coach and you build a team like Atlético from the beginning, everything is more complicated but I think that the guys have done a great job and we are so happy." – Atlético Ottawa head coach Mista

"We're going to work hard to make it right – we've got a really good run of games to get a few things tidied up and we have the players to do so." – Cavalry FC coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.

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