2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #12 Atlético Ottawa vs. Valour FC April 22, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. CT TD Place Stadium in Ottawa, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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Valour FC visit the nation's capital for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon, taking on Atlético Ottawa in the ComeOn! Match of the Week. Ottawa enter the third weekend of the season with a perfect record, having won both of their two matches thus far 1-0. Last time out against HFX Wanderers, an 81st minute header from Malcolm proved to be the winning goal, taking advantage of a fantastic cross into the box from Miguel Acosta. Shaw and Acosta were among five Atlético players in CanPL.ca's Team of the Week for week two, alongside teammates Diego Espejo, Nathan Ingham and Ollie Bassett -- who's the only CPL player to be included for both weeks thus far. Valour, meanwhile, are coming off a 3-2 defeat to Pacific FC last Sunday. Former Valour attacker Marco Bustos picked up a CPL single-game record three assists for Pacific FC -- two in the first half and one after the break. Goals from Manny Aparicio and Alejandro Diaz made it 2-0 for the home side, before a cross from William Akio was redirected by Pacific FC defender Kunle Dada-Luke into his own net to make it 2-1 going into halftime. Josh Heard made it 3-1 at the start of the second half, and a stoppage time penalty from Moses Dyer brought Valour within one again, but it was too little too late. Valour had a difficult spell in the middle of the first half, with two right backs leaving the pitch within a few minutes of each other. Diego Gutierrez reaggravated a hamstring injury that was troubling him in preseason, and was replaced by Tony Mikhael. Not even five minutes after coming onto the pitch, Mikhael kicked Nathan Mavila in the face when attempting to clear a lobbed pass, and was shown a straight red card, leaving Valour in a hole that they weren't able to climb out of. This is a tie that Valour have had the upper hand in thus far, winning four of their five meetings in CPL action. Ottawa won the most recent encounter, however, a 2-0 win at TD Place in late October after Valour won the two meetings earlier in the season, during the bubble at The Kickoff. The two sides also played each other in the 2021 Canadian Championship last August, with the Winnipeg side leaving Ottawa with a 3-2 victory. Brian Wright scored the opening goal in the 16th minute, before Sean Rea made tied it up 14 minutes later. A pair of goals from Austin Ricci, just three minutes apart, saw Valour jump out to a 3-1 lead, before Viti Martinez scored late to make it 3-2 in stoppage time, but Ottawa weren't able to complete the comeback.

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 2022 CPL Final! To learn more about ComeOn!, click here. All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.


  • Ollie Bassett in great form to start the season: After joining Atlético Ottawa from the champions Pacific FC in the offseason, midfielder Ollie Bassett has immediately become one of his side's best players. Fitting seamlessly into the Ottawa midfield, Bassett is playing a bit of a deeper role than he did with The Tridents, tasked with winning the ball back and launching counter attacks, whereas with Pacific he often played a bit higher up the pitch as more of an attack-minded threat. The decision to return him to the base of midfield alongside Ben McKendry has paid off, and Bassett is the only CPL player this season to earn himself a spot in the CanPL.ca Team Of The Week for both of the first two rounds. Bassett's performances have been turning heads, and his head coach Carlos Gonzalez is very happy with him thus far. "Ollie is doing a great job, it's true that we're looking to maybe modifying the role that he played last year with Pacific. Last year they played with three midfielders, so he had the position of a number eight constantly. This year we're playing with two midfielder, so he's going to be a more mixed midfielder -- coming like a six and going like an eight. I think he's understanding really well what we're asking for, he's improving like the rest of the players, and of course we have good players in that position. Not only Ollie, we've seen Ben (McKendry) have great performances in the last two games, and we have young players that can do a great job there, like José Cunha and also (Zakaria) Bahous -- and of course Chris Mannella is a very important player for this squad, and he's coming back from an injury and is going to give us good moments I'm sure."
  • Valour want positive result to finish road trip, as Ottawa look to stay perfect at home: Sunday's match in Ottawa will be the third and final match of Valour's season-opening road trip, after previous trips to Edmonton and Langford. After Sunday's match they'll return home to Winnipeg for a trio of home games at IG Field, interrupted by a trip to Vancouver to play the Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship. It has been a difficult start to the season in some ways for Valour, but they know that a win on Sunday would put them where they want to be -- in the playoff picture. "We said that after three road games back-to-back-to-back, we need to be in that mix, and for me that's trying to be above the line," head coach Phil Dos Santos said to CanPL.ca on Thursday. "This team has a mentality that we'll be there at the end of every round, that means that we'll be there every matchday, and if we're above the line it means at the end we'll be there too. Getting a result on the road at the weekend would mean that we probably put ourselves if not above that line, very close to it." Ottawa, meanwhile, will hit the road for an away game against York United on Friday, before returning home again to take on Pacific in league action and then that same York team in the Canadian Championship. With two wins from two so far at home, Ottawa are tied on points at the top of the table, and are looking to make it three on Sunday. "Winning is always good, and winning from the start is more than good," said Ottawa head coach Carlos Gonzalez on Saturday. "This means that the message starts to get inside the players, everything is more supported by the results and I think it's a great way to start. Two clean sheets with a compact team, and showing little by little that we're developing. This is a great start, but we've done nothing at the moment, the reality is that we've only won two games, and the season has 28, and after we hope the playoffs. It will be a long season, we have to go game by game, and it's true that we're feeling strong in our field, we are comfortable here with our fans, so we hope that we can continue with this winning situation and that we go to play against York with nine points."
  • Who will play right back for Valour?: With the injury to Diego Gutierrez and red card to his substitute Tony Mikhael last weekend, Valour need to shake things up a little bit to slot someone in at right back. After the Mikhael red against Pacific, William Akio was asked to play in that deeper role, but Valour head coach Phil Dos Santos insists that it was a one-time solution and that the priority is to play Akio further up the pitch. Dos Santos told CanPL.ca on Thursday that options to play on the right include utility man Brett Levis and Stefan Cebara, who has played a lot of centre-back, but can also be deployed on the right side. Regular starting right back Andy Baquero is also hurt, while Federico Pena, who has played right back in the past, has started the first two matches of the season at left back. "We have a good idea of what we're going to do," Dos Santos said. "I'm not going to change many things, I'm not the type of coach that likes to move too many things around, because we work according to a structure and principles, and I believe a lot in the training process. I don't think you can just go on a board or in a week's time try and change too much."


Atlético Ottawa wins: 1 || Valour FC wins: 3 || Draws: 0

Previous match:

October 20, 2021 – Atlético Ottawa 2-0 Valour FC


"The last game, having this red card so soon, changes a little bit of the game, but the reality is that we're going to find a tough team to play against. Although they only have one point, they're a team that are quite compact, are quite organized in defence, have certain patterns in attack. They have not only young talent, but good offensive players with speed, so I think it's going to be a tough team. Although with two rounds they only have one point, I think that they're going to be higher in the qualification of the league." -- Atlético Ottawa head coach Carlos Gonzalez

"I think that there's still things we can exploit there. Yes, it's a good team, they've added experience, they've added quality, a lot of respect for their coaching staff, but we can't go there thinking we're inferior, because that means we're starting the game already losing. There are things we can step in and try and take advantage of, and we're also aware of their threats and their strengths, and how they've been able to keep that goal intact and not allow the opposition too many good chances." -- Valour FC head coach Phil Dos Santos

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