2021 CPL regular season — Match #45 FC Edmonton vs. Valour FC August 12, 2021 at 7 pm MT/ 9 pm ET Clarke Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here

FC Edmonton and Valour FC meet at Clarke Stadium on Thursday night, playing each other in Alberta's capital for the second time in two weeks.

The two sides last met at this same venue on July 31st -- a match that FC Edmonton comfortably won, taking advantage of their opportunities for a 3-1 victory. It was their first match at home since the 2019 season, and The Eddies put on a show for the home crowd.

Easton Ongaro gave Edmonton the lead early in the first half, taking a few touches in the Valour penalty area and placing a low shot past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0. Tobias Warschewski and Amer Didic scored less than 10 minutes apart in the second half as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead, and would only concede an 88th minute strike from Valour's Andy Baquero that took a deflection and found its way into the back of the net for a 3-1 final score.

After hosting The Kickoff at IG Field to begin the 2021 Canadian Premier League season, Valour have played their last three matches on the road, and will play this fourth one before they finally head back home to Winnipeg. The roadtrip hasn't been very kind to them, as they've lost all three matches thus far. Six of their next eight matches after Thursday's trip to Edmonton will be at home, with a Canadian Championship match away to Atlético Ottawa and a league match at Starlight Stadium against Pacific FC also on the schedule. One of those matches at IG Field is against FC Edmonton on August 24th. The Eddies play Cavalry FC in three of their next four matches -- a Canadian Championship AL Classico this weekend, followed by that trip to IG Field, and then a pair of league games against the Cavs.
With the current top three all teams in the western portion of the Canadian Premier League season, positions in the standings can change very quickly if a team goes on a good -- or bad -- run of form against the others in this regional format. Valour have learned that the hard way, falling from first to third in a couple of weeks as the race for top spot heats up. They currently sit three points back of Cavalry for second spot, and four back of Pacific after the top two sides drew with each other on Wednesday night.

The Winnipeg-based team are currently in a four-game losing skid overall, while their opponents on Thursday have picked up a win and a draw over their last four matches. FC Edmonton sit in sixth place with 12 points -- three back of York United in fifth, and six back of Forge FC for the fourth and final playoff spot.

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!


  • FC Edmonton strikers in good form: Whether you call them the Twin Towers, the Eddie Kruegers, or something else, FC Edmonton's forward duo of Easton Ongaro and Tobias Warschewski have been playing very well alongside each other in recent weeks. Earning their team a win over this same Valour team and a 2-2 draw with Pacific FC, on either side of a 2-1 loss to Cavalry FC, Ongaro has scored in three straight matches, while Warschewski scored against both Valour and Pacific. Both strong in the air thanks to their height (Ongaro is 6'6 and Warschewski is 6'2), and clinical finishers, it's hard to stop one of them, let alone both. They'll especially be a handful for a Valour FC backline that is missing Andrew Jean-Baptiste, who was arguably the best defender in the league this year before suffering a season-ending injury.​
  • Mistakes costing Valour valuable points: After starting the season with six wins from seven matches, Valour have since lost four matches in a row -- but the losses don't necessarily reflect some good performances, according to Rob Gale. Individual errors in the leadup to the goals they concede are continuing to cause them problems. "It’s not been a case of not trying to play the way we want to play, the problem is conceding goals. Against Edmonton it was so soft and Pacific as well they were bad, bad goals," Gale said -- also acknowledging that the goal they conceded against Cavalry came from a mistake. He believes that his side were the better team for large parts of those matches -- and that they just need to reduce individual errors in order to try and snap this losing streak.​
  • Eddies have made a pair of signings since last meeting: FC Edmonton made two signings this week, and could look different from the team that they fielded when these sides last met on July 31. On Monday they announced the signing of midfielder Adam Najem -- who has played most of his career in the USL Championship, but also played in the second tier of Poland with Wigry Suwalki in 2019 and 2020. The Afghanistan international will be joined in midfield by another new recruit -- Azriel Gonzalez, who the Eddies brought in on loan from USL Championship side Tacoma Defiance on Wednesday. The 20-year-old is a former Seattle Sounders academy prospect, and has impressed with Tacoma and the United States youth national teams over the past few years. Both are expected to be available for Thursday's match.​


FC Edmonton wins: 2 || Valour FC wins: 4 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

July 31, 2021 — FC Edmonton 3-1 Valour FC


“Azriel is an excellent young player who has shown significant growth within the Seattle Sounders organisation. We are excited to expose him to a new environment and to help him in his development to push him to even higher levels, and we expect him to have a significant impact as an Eddie this season.” -- FC Edmonton head coach Alan Koch on new signing Azriel Gonzalez

"On the whole it’s not like we’ve been back on our heels and the other team is just continually peppering us. First half against Pacific we were the better team. Second half and most of the first half against Cavalry we were toe to toe or the better team. So, we’ve just got to turn the screw there." -- Valour FC head coach Rob Gale

Continue reading...