2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #47 Forge FC vs. Valour FC June 29, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. ET Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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Valour FC's Ontario road trip continues on Wednesday night, as they head to Tim Hortons Field to kick off the CPL's midweek slate against Forge FC.

Phillip Dos Santos' Winnipeg-based club rolls into Hamilton in good spirits, having defeated York United 3-1 on Sunday to snap a five-game winless streak. They managed to push themselves up the table a little bit with those three points, improving to 3-4-4 with 13 points and leapfrogging York, although they do still remain four points back of the fourth and final playoff spot.

Valour have just one win away from home this season, although it was certainly a memorable one -- they trounced Atlético Ottawa 6-1 in late April. They haven't quite matched those highs since, but their win over York on the weekend was an excellent step in the right direction -- especially after a disappointing recent homestand.

"I mentioned how important it was to come now on the road and be able to get points, and not only a draw because at this stage you need to connect wins," Dos Santos said Monday on the CanPL.ca Newsroom show. "When you go three home games and there's nine points to be won and you just make one point, you know you need to compensate somewhere...

Forge, however, will be in similarly good spirits as they head into another home game. They've won four on the bounce, having outscored opponents 14-3 in that stretch (all three goal against coming in one game in Edmonton). By kickoff on Wednesday, it will have been 10 days since their 3-0 win over HFX Wanderers the previous Sunday, so Bobby Smyrniotis will have a more well-rested group to choose from for this one.

As it stands, the Hamiltonians are fourth in the league table with a 5-2-2 record for 17 points after nine games. However, a win on Wednesday could put them into second place, ahead of Pacific (19 points from 13 games) and Atlético Ottawa (18 from 11) -- and they'll still have games in hand.

Forge have also scored the most goals (21) and conceded the fewest (9) in the entire CPL so far, as they begin to look like a juggernaut after a slow start to the campaign.

With 10 days of rest, Forge will have a slightly healthier squad than in recent weeks, with Garven Metusala set to return, though the likes of Dominic Samuel, Johnny Grant, and Chris Nanco remain not quite ready.

These two sides have yet to meet in 2022. Their prior scheduled fixture, originally set for May 1 in Winnipeg, was postponed due to CPL Covid protocols, so this will be the first time they've seen each other this year -- as well as the first time Dos Santos has been to Hamilton as Valour 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 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.


  • Bekker set to become CPL's first Centurion: If Kyle Bekker steps on the pitch for Forge on Wednesday -- which feels a foregone conclusion considering how few games he's missed for this club -- he'll become the first player to make 100 appearances for a CPL team. Bekker has played 99 of the 105 matches in Forge's four-year history to date -- more games played than any CPL team, in fact -- including 15 in the Concacaf League, six in the Canadian Championship, and two in the Champions League. It's fitting that Bekker will be the first CPLer to join the Century Club, having been a face of the league since the very beginning; the Forge captain and 2020 Player of the Year has consistently been among the CPL's elite. Bobby Smyrniotis, in typical fashion, remained coy on whether Bekker will start on Wednesday, but it'd be a safe bet. "When that time comes, it's only fitting," Smyrniotis said. "He's the face of this league since we started in 2019, and he's been a constant presence ever since. His performances on the field are excellent, whether that's what he provides the team in attack, in balance, and what his engine provides and just being all over the pitch. Off the pitch he's been an absolute great leader in our locker room and a great ambassador for the club."
  • Valour seek momentum on short turnaround: Valour's win over York on Sunday is barely in the rearview mirror, but already they're focused on another tough matchup away from home. The disparity in preparation time for these clubs is vast; Valour will have had three days off between games, while Forge have had nine. Rest and short turnarounds can be a double-edged sword, of course; additional recovery and training time often come at the expense of regular match rhythm and sharpness. With Valour coming off a morale-boosting win, they're likely happy to keep rolling as quickly as possible. Forge, however, have had far more time to scout and prepare a specific game plan for beating Valour. Either way, both sides might feel they're coming into this game with a slight advantage based on the difference in schedule.
  • Return of Jean-Baptiste continues to boost Valour defence: Skipper Andrew Jean-Baptiste is, when healthy, an absolute rock in the centre of defence for Valour. He's struggled with injury to start the season, after missing most of 2021 with an ACL tear, but on Sunday he was at last able to play the full 90 minutes -- which is not unrelated to Valour's win, with his four interceptions, six clearances, and six duels won (of six attempts) against York. The Haitian international seems to be returning to the elite level he was at early in last year, which would be an unquantifiably massive boost to Valour going forward. "He's an important piece of this team, and when we penciled out squad at the beginning of this season it was always with AJB ready to go," Dos Santos said this week. "I always say it's the sum of the parts, but he's an important piece. He brings leadership, he brings quality, not only in the defensive side but he has an ability to help the team in the build-up phase, and he's so composed on the ball."


Forge FC wins: 6 || Valour FC wins: 3 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

October 11th, 2021 — Valour FC 3-1 Forge FC


“(Valour) are a good team, and that's why it's important not to get caught up in what's going on in the standings or so on because they've had some good matches... They're a team that can attack quick, attack in numbers, get players forward, likes to look into different intricate play in the final third, so they're a dangerous team.” -- Forge FC head coach Bobby Smyrniotis

“When we're able to play a game where we limit mistakes in critical times of the game, we'll always have a chance to win. We all know the qualities that we have in the roster, and we just need to be consistent. When we do that and the team plays together and the lines are connected, and there's not a lot of space for the opposition, we know that we can be a good team.” -- Valour FC head coach Phillip Dos Santos

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