2021 CPL regular season (The Kickoff) — Match #13 Atlético Ottawa vs. Pacific FC July 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm ET/6:00 pm CT IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca

Two sides who started their seasons with opening match victories both search for their second win at the Kickoff as Atlético Ottawa take on Pacific FC Wednesday evening at IG Field. Pa-Modou Kah and Pacific looked arguably the most impressive of any team on the opening weekend in a comfortable 2-0 decision against HFX Wanderers. Since then, the Tridents' form has dipped a little, following up a 2-2 draw against York United with a 3-0 loss to Forge FC this past Sunday. Rotation and injuries have played a role in recent results for Pacific while opposing defensive units have also upped the physicality on Marco Bustos and co. up front. While hype surrounding the Victoria-based outfit has died down of late — particularly given the manner in which Valour FC have played — Kah is happy with the way his group has performed through three matches played and the progress they’ve made toward playing the sort of style hopes to implement down the road: “Of course you want the short term to be as great as you can but for us, it’s about a long term vision and it’s a process, it’s not going to happen overnight,” the Pacific coach told media on Tuesday. Much was made of Atlético’s preseason trip to Madrid and how it might give them a leg up on the rest of the league in the early stages of the season. Following an impressive 1-0 win over FC Edmonton to open the year, Ottawa has lost twice in a row, first 4-1 to a strong Cavalry FC side before going down 2-0 to the current class of the league in Valour FC. Chance creation and shot attempts have dwindled significantly for Mista’s side in their past two outings and the injury to Viti Martinez helps explain why that might be, but the Ottleti coach had a simple message for his players ahead of Wednesday on how they might turn around their attacking challenges: “We need to be more aggressive when we are near the other box.” The two teams have played just once before when the aforementioned Martinez scored at the death for Ottawa to seal a 1-0 victory, similar enough to the heroics he displayed against the Eddies to start 2021. In a fixture featuring two teams hungry for a morale-boosting win, expect two teams looking to take all three points back to their hotel rooms at IG Field on Wednesday.

  • Reinforcements in Ottawa midfield: Ahead of the game against Pacific, Mista told reporters ‘everyone is okay’ when prompted on the fitness of Martinez who sat out the previous two matches — his overall presence and passing range dearly missed in that midfield unit. While it might be a stretch to expect him to be available for 90’, a cameo off the bench would be a positive sign he’ll be fully fit in the near future. With Ryan Telfer now on international duty with Trinidad and Tobago and Chirs Mannella playing a more advanced role than might have been expected, the group could use some added help in the attack which might come in the form of Alberto Soto as soon as Wednesday night with his international paperwork expected to be clear on the day of the match. An attack-minded midfielder from parent club Atlético Madrid, Soto could provide something very unique in the final third to help spark this Ottawa offence.
  • Bassett back for Pacific? The performance of Ollie Bassett in Pacific’s midfield in their first two matches showed just how important an addition he could be for this team, but his absence against Forge in the 3-0 loss might have been an even better advert for how valuable a player he is for Kah. Pacific kept Forge at bay for the opening half hour with some brave defending but failed to transition to the attack with any regularity as the breakdown seemed to come in the middle of the park. Completing more passes into the opposing half than any other Pacific player in his two appearances, Bassett should slot back into the Trident's midfield after a deserved rest on Sunday, a change his attacking teammates, namely Bustos, will embrace with open arms.
  • Extra day's rest for Atlético: Having played on Saturday while Pacific went to battle with Forge on Sunday afternoon, an extra day of rest could be an added bonus for an Ottawa team already boasting the longest preseason of any other CPL side. Playing conditions have been part of the storyline at The Kickoff as extreme heat and the artificial surface have forced many coaches hands with regards to rotation and using all available substitutes. While it may not be the decisive factor in the match, it will be interesting to see if Mista’s team has more in the tank than Pacific as the second half drags on.


Atlético Ottawa wins: 1 || Pacific FC wins: 0 || Draws: 0

Previous match:

September 2, 2020 – Atlético Ottawa 1-0 Pacific FC


“We will have a very competitive game with a very tough team and I hope we change the result we’ve had the last two games and we can get a victory, because we need it for the mentality of my players.” — Mista, Atlético Ottawa head coach

“Last year in the Island Games they were a team that had potential but are coming together as a squad now, so I think we are up for a good match.” — Pa-Modou Kah, Pacific FC head coach

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!

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