Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC — 2022 Game #110 – Canadian Premier League
2022 CPL Regular Season — Game #110
Cavalry FC vs. Pacific FC
October 8, 2022 at 6 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. MT
Tim Hortons land in Hamilton, Ontario
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There is perhaps no better dress rehearsal of the playoffs for Cavalry FC than the one awaiting them on Saturday at Spruce Meadows.
They’ll be stepping onto the same field, against the same Pacific FC team that heartbreakingly eliminated them in last year’s playoffs. If there was a perfect opportunity to try and mend some of the wounds of the past heading into the playoffs, it’s getting closer.
“For our fans coming in, for the players who will be involved tomorrow, it’s a very good precursor for two teams that will be in the playoffs and will try to fight to lift the trophy,” said the head coach of the Cavalry FC, Tommy Wheeldon Jr.
The Cavalry enter the game in high spirits after a thrilling 2-1 playoff win over Valor last weekend. The win later also secured a playoff berth for Pacific and eliminated the Winnipeg team.
They will be looking to avenge a 3-0 loss when the two sides last met in July. Cavalry however won the only meeting with Pacific at Spruce Meadows this season, which came back on May 1 in their home opener. A win could see the Cavalry finish second, should Forge drop points, while a loss or even a draw makes fourth place likely.
After being below the playoff line as recently as Sept. 27, Pacific entered this game in great shape. Wednesday’s win over Forge FC in Hamilton was their third straight win and clean sheet, as well as their fifth straight game unbeaten.
The defending playoff champions could also add a 2022 regular-season championship to their cabinet if they win on Saturday. If they manage to collect the three points, they will need Atlético Ottawa to drop points at home to York on Sunday in order to finish top of the standings.
It all boils down to this 🏆
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) October 7, 2022
After a year in which his team suffered several serious injuries, Wheeldon Jr. enters this game with a wealth of options at his disposal. Sergio Camargo remains the only missing player for his team, but even he could be back for the semi-finals.
“Going back to our plan at the start of the season, we knew being in the playoffs was the most important thing, but being healthy in the playoffs was even more important,” Wheeldon Jr. said. very well managed our risk of injury by managing our rotations and freshness.
On the Pacific side, Djenairo Daniels and Gianni Dos Santos remain out of the roster with minor injuries. However, both will be back and fully available for the semi-finals.
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All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSocceror on TELUS Télé Optik channel 980.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
- An important game for potential home field advantage in the playoffs: Home court has been instrumental in the success of both teams this season, which means trying to get as high a seed as possible before the playoffs has added importance. Regardless of what happens on Saturday, Cavalry will finish with the best home record in the league. The Pacific, meanwhile, have the second-most points of any team at home in 2022 and have lost just twice at Starlight Stadium in CPL action this year. As the semi-finals are home and away, both teams will get a home playoff regardless, but a better chance of hosting the final if they win should give both teams motivation to improve on their totals. points in their season finale.
- The Pacific turns into defensive form at the right time of year: Of the four teams that qualified for the 2022 playoffs, only the Cavalry (33) allowed more goals against than the Pacific’s 32. Lately, however, they have been much harder to break, scoring just two goals in their last five games, including three clean sheets in a row ahead of Saturday’s game. That included moving into Tim Hortons Field on Wednesday and holding the league’s top offensive team, Forge, to just one shot on target and 0.47 goals expected. That kind of greed was key to the Pacific North Star Shield’s victory last year, as they allowed just one goal in the playoffs. This year, it starts with a backline that has a lot of quality and depth, according to Merriman, but really comes down to how hard the whole team has gone to cover for each other in recent games. “You see this work that Marco Bustos does off the ball, Josh Heard does off the ball, Jordan Brown, Daniels. Everyone is working with the ball, everyone is ready to do this job because we know how important these matches are, and that’s the result, three clean sheets.
- New faces are proving to be key differentiators for cavalry: As the calendar shifts to October, the most important month of the CPL season, a pair of signings in July had a major impact on Cavalry. Mikaël Cantave and Roberto Alarcón were both heavily involved in the build-up to Cavalry’s two goals against Valor last weekend, and have been in great form lately. Wheeldon Jr. called Cantave an important attacking option alongside him. “He’s entertaining, he can take on people, he can create or score goals himself. He’s in top form when we need him most.” Alarcón, he said, offers flexibility because he can be effective in any position down the right flank, both defensively and offensively.” His IQ football is brilliant, his energy, his work rate and you’ve seen his quality. That was the key, the center he put, a bit magical, against Edmonton. Improv and that’s exactly what it was from that pitch [against] Courage to bring this to Musse. His work rate around that has been great. Here’s that second play Wheeldon Jr. describes against Valour, on which Alarcón hits an incredible half-volley cross to set up Musse’s game winner.
Magic of Musse 🪄🪄
This breathtaking strike could well have confirmed @CPLCavalryFCplace in the 2022 playoffs
— Canadian Premier League (@CPLsoccer) October 2, 2022
ALL TIME SERIES
Cavalry FC wins: 9 || Pacific wins: 7 || Draws: 3
July 21, 2022 – Pacific 3-0 Cavalry FC
“We enjoy the games against them because it’s our rivalry on the west coast, to be honest, because we’ve had some great games against them. Just like it’s never a dull game against Forge, it’s never a dull game against Forge. never a boring match against Pacific. Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.
“We want to finish with maximum points, we want to finish as high as possible, and that’s our mentality going into tomorrow’s game.” — Pacific FC head coach James Merriman