CONCACAF League — Preliminary Round Forge FC vs. Antigua GFC August 1, 2019 — Tim Hortons Field (6 p.m. ET) Watch Live:

For the first time ever, a Canadian Premier League club will enter a continental competition on Thursday as Forge FC hosts Guatemalan side Antigua GFC in Leg 1 of their CONCACAF League preliminary round tie. The Hamilton-based club earned their spot in the tournament by beating out FC Edmonton and Valour FC in a CPL Spring season mini-table.

With Forge's recent form, there may be no CPL side better-suited to represent the league internationally right now. They're on top of the league table in the Fall competition, with three wins, a loss, and a draw (undefeated in their last four). Although they stumbled a little last weekend, giving up a late equalizer to FC Edmonton for a 1-1 draw, they've been an electric attacking side for much of the past month.

Antigua is an unknown quantity, especially since their 2019 season only started in the past couple weeks. Crowned Guatemalan league champions for the Clausura competition in late May, they've seen a fair bit of turnover in their squad to begin a new campaign. Still, they have some players to look out for, including Mexican international Edgar Pacheco and former Canada U-17 (and Montreal Impact academy product) Marco Dominguez.

Last week, they entered the Guatemalan Champions Cup against 2018-19 Apertura winners Guastatoya, and they fell 4-2 on aggregate despite winning their home leg.

Forge has no CPL action over the weekend, with their 905 Derby against York9 FC rescheduled from this Friday to Sunday, September 8. These two sides will meet in Guatemala for the second leg of the preliminary round tie, which will decide who goes through to the CONCACAF League round of 16, next Thursday, August 8.


  • Uncharted waters: This tie will be pretty much entirely new ground for everyone involved. Forge has never played an international opponent before, and they've only ever competed in one two-legged tie (their 3-2 aggregate loss to Cavalry FC in the CanChamp). Antigua has plenty of experience with such aggregate knockout matchups, but they've never played in Canada (save for Canadian midfielder Marco Dominguez) — the closest they've come to the 49th parallel recently was a 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League match with the New York Red Bulls. Who will react better to this great unknown?​
  • Make home field count: Although the opponent will be new to them, Forge has the luxury of opening this new competition at Tim Hortons Field. They're 5-2-2 in all competitions at home, with convincing two-goal wins in their last two games in the Hammer. Before heading down to Estadio Pensativo, they absolutely need to come out of Leg 1 with an advantage. Bobby Smyrniotis will likely be doing all in his power to stress the importance of a strong start, because putting a few goals on the board could be imperative. Speaking of which...​
  • The Borges effect: Forge is 5-1 this year in matches Tristan Borges has scored in, the only loss a last-minute heartbreaker against Cavalry FC in mid-May. The Forge attack has come alive in July, with 10 goals in five games, including three from Borges and two each from Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman. They'll need the big guns firing again against Antigua, especially Borges, who got a break over the weekend with a 22-minute appearance as a substitute.​


Forge FC: Triston Henry; Kwame Awuah, Dominic Samuel, Daniel Krutzen, Giuliano Frano; Kyle Bekker, Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, Elimane Cisse; Kadell Thomas, Emery Welshman, Tristan Borges

Antigua GFC: Luis Moran; Cristian Jimenez, Jose Pinto, Jose Mena, Juan Osorio; Marco Dominguez, Pablo Mingorance, Andres Lezcano, Jairo Arreola, Edgar Pacheco; Anllel Porras


First meeting between these clubs


Tristan Borges - 7 goals (Forge FC)









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