2021 CPL regular season (The Kickoff) — Match #4 Cavalry FC vs. York United FC — ComeOn! Match of the Week June 27, 2021 at 5:00 pm ET/ 4:00 pm CT IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca

The York United era officially gets underway on Sunday afternoon, as the new-look side take on Cavalry FC in both sides' first match of the 2021 Canadian Premier League season. Taking place at IG Field in Winnipeg, the site of The Kickoff -- the league’s single-site beginning to the season -- the match will be the final one of the opening weekend, and is the first ComeOn! Match of the Week of the season. It’s a fixture that hasn’t been very kind to the Nine Stripes -- in six previous matches between York and Cavalry, the Albertan side have won five and the other match ended as a draw. The last time they met was in the final match of the first stage at the Island Games. Both could’ve moved on with a win, but it would be Cavalry to take all three points, as a 69th-minute Marcus Haber goal propelled his side to the top of the table. With the 1-0 defeat, York were sent back home after just seven matches. Several players have switched sides since the last time they met. Joe Di Chiara heads west to strengthen the Cavalry midfield, while Dominick Zator and Niko Giantsopoulos move to Ontario. All will be important players for their new clubs, and will want to kick off 2020 with a bang. "We've been away from football, we've been starved of it for very, very long," Cavs manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said on Friday. "As professional sports athletes, no matter what sport you're involved in, we tend to be adrenaline junkies. The opportunity to play, compete, chase those emotions that we've missed and yearn for in these strange times, I can honestly say there's a great energy about the group." After minimal preseason and with a lengthy season ahead, Sunday’s match is a great chance for both to get off to a good start, and try to pick up some much-needed points. York’s young, but talented squad versus Cavalry’s consistent core of CPL veterans should make for great viewing.

  • Cavs changing of the guard: No team (save for expansion side Atlético Ottawa) has conceded fewer goals than Cavalry in CPL action since the league began back in 2019. Finishing atop the table in the First Stage of the Island Games and both the Spring and Fall competitions of the inaugural season, Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s team had a reputation for being tough to break down and very defensively sound. One of the key pillars of that backline in Dominick Zator has since left Cavalry (to join their opponents in this match) and instead of filling that void, many of Wheeldon Jr.’s offseason recruits were brought in to bolster the attack. With acquisitions like Anthony Novak, Joe Mason and Ali Musse up front, could we see a Cavalry team set up to outscore the opposition with less reliance on keeping the other team at bay?
  • A new era for the Nine Stripes: Apart from the obvious changes York have undergone since last season — a rebranded ‘United’ name, featuring fresh kits and a new crest to boot — Jimmy Brennan and his staff have also overhauled much of the on-field personnel from 2020. 13 of York’s 23 players this year are new to the club and among the newcomers is plenty of pace and youthful exuberance for the attack. Also adding proven CPL talent like Dominick Zator and Chrisnovic N’sa to the backline, Brennan has assembled a team set to turn a new page in their third season — an opening date with Cavalry should serve as a worthy measuring stick.
  • Familiar foes: This fixture has produced plenty of entertaining affairs in the past two seasons albeit Cavalry has enjoyed a much bigger share of the points to date. If the chance to collect their first-ever win against the Cavs in their season opener wasn’t enough incentive for York, getting a positive result for former Cavalry players Dominick Zator and Niko Giantsopoulos should provide that little bit of added motivation. The matchup between Zator and the influx of new attacking options Wheeldon Jr. possesses could be one of the decisive battles in this one.


Cavalry FC wins: 5 || York United FC wins: 0 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

September 5, 2020 – Cavalry FC 1-0 York United FC


“They’ve had their changes, I think they're probably similar to us where we’ve got 12 or 13 new faces in the building, so it'll be about getting some chemistry and I think this is what’s great about this kickoff here in Winnipeg is it’s a chance for all teams to do that.” — Tommy Wheeldon Jr., Cavalry FC coach

It’s always a good game when we play Cavalry, they’re going to be up for it... it’s their first game of the season and it’s our first game of the season and we’ve got two players that played for them last year that want to have a good start and want to get one up on them.” — Jimmy Brennan, York United FC 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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