2021 CPL regular season — Match #47 Valour FC vs. Pacific FC August 16, 2021 at 7 pm CT/ 8 pm ET IG Field, Winnipeg, Manitoba Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca // Tickets available here

For the first time since The Kickoff ended at the end of July, the Canadian Premier League is back at IG Field in Winnipeg. The stadium hosted 32 CPL games in June and July, as each team played eight times to get their season underway in a bubble environment, but since then is yet to host a game before Monday's match between Valour FC and Pacific FC. Valour have played four games on the road since hosting the other seven clubs, losing the first three before a 0-0 draw with FC Edmonton at Clarke Stadium on Thursday. A brilliant performance from backup goalkeeper Matt Silva earned his side a much-needed point on the road against an Eddies team that looked dangerous all night. Connor James made several saves at the other end of the pitch as well in what was a fair result considering the performance of the two goalkeepers. Pacific FC are returning to Winnipeg after picking up eight points in their four matches post-bubble. A 2-0 win over Cavalry, followed by a 2-1 victory over this Valour side saw them come flying out of the gates, and have since drawn 2-2 with FC Edmonton and 0-0 in their second fixture with Cavalry. As mentioned, these two sides last played each other recently, on August 4th. Rocco Romeo, playing in just his second CPL match on loan from Toronto FC, gave Valour the lead in the first half with a header off a corner kick, but Pacific FC made a second-half comeback to steal all three points in front of their home crowd. Lukas MacNaughton equalized with a long shot into the bottom corner in the 66th minute, before Pacific goalkeeper Callum Irving was sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area about ten minutes later. Down a player, Pacific completed the comeback in the 87th minute, as Marco Bustos was left alone at the back post and headed home a cross from Terran Campbell. Pacific have dominated this fixture since the CPL's inception, winning five of the seven meetings between the two teams. Valour won the first-ever meeting between the two in 2019, but have lost five of the next six, drawing once at IG Field in July 2019. Pacific won the only match between the two at the Island Games in 2020.


  • Valour head back home to IG Field after difficult road trip: After hosting the other seven CPL clubs at IG Field for The Kickoff to get the 2021 season underway, Valour had a tough four-game road trip. After losing their final match in the bubble to HFX Wanderers, they lost on the road to FC Edmonton (3-1 final score), Pacific (2-1) and Cavalry (1-0), before drawing 0-0 with The Eddies at Clarke Stadium on Thursday. "Sloppy" goals were the problem according to head coach Rob Gale, as his side came away with just a single point over that span. A return home in front of their own fans may be the spark they need to get going again, as it was for Atlético Ottawa on Saturday.​
  • Pacific look to pressure on Cavalry and Valour: With second-place Cavalry FC not playing a CPL game this weekend -- they were in Canadian Championship action instead -- first-place Pacific can put some pressure on their western rivals. Pacific currently have a one point lead over Cavalry, and play them at Starlight Stadium on Friday, so a win on Monday against Valour could give them a four-point gap and a win on Friday a seven-point gap. If Valour pick up all three points on Monday, however, they'd tie Pacific at the top of the table on points and depending on the result, could pass them on goal difference as well. The top of the table is getting exciting in the CPL, and with so many matches between these western sides still to come, expect the standings to change on a regular basis.​
  • Two highest-scoring teams in the league go head-to-head: Monday's match will feature two of the best attacks in the league this season. Pacific FC currently lead the league in goals scored with 19 goals in 12 games, while Valour have scored the second-most -- finding the back of the net 14 times. They're also the top two sides in goal difference, with +7 and +5, respectively. Of the ten players this season to have scored at least three goals, this match will feature five of them -- Marco Bustos of Pacific (and formerly of Valour) is tied atop the Golden Boot race with five goals, and Valour's Austin Ricci is in a three-way tie with four. Moses Dyer (Valour), Alejandro Díaz and Josh Heard (both Pacific) are among four players tied with three goals. There should be goals in this match, but it's up to two of the best defences -- Pacific's Callum Irving and Valour's Jonathan Sirois also lead the league with six clean sheets -- to decide how many.​


Valour FC wins: 1 || Pacific FC wins: 5 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

August 4, 2021 — Pacific FC 2-1 Valour FC


"Cannot wait to spend some time with my kids — it’s been eight weeks pretty much outside of home for all of us. It’s absolutely mentally grueling, playing games every three or four days is physically demanding, and games where you lost by the odd mistake or the odd goal. It challenges the group, but they stayed together, their confidence has never waned, their willingness to buy into the gameplan has never waned." -- Valour FC head coach Rob Gale on returning to Winnipeg

"I think it's going to be a good matchup. We played at home and they came, maybe they were looking for points from the game, and now they're playing at home so we should expect them maybe to try to attack, we don't know. The focus is about us, how we play and what our beliefs are, we always step on the pitch with the mindset of trying to win a football game." -- Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah on what he expects on Monday

Continue reading...