May 20, 2024
  • May 20, 2024
Canadian Championship TSS Rovers Josh Heard

Preview: Canadian Championship Triple-Header

By on May 1, 2024 0 628 Views

It’ll be a busy Wednesday night of midweek cup action with no less than three games taking place, with five Canadian Premier League teams and one lone League1 BC entrant set for one-legged knockouts.

The preliminary round will then close out with a one last match on Thursday, but right now we want to focus on the three matches currently on MD-1:

Atletico Ottawa Ruben Del Campo
Photo Credit: Matt Zambonin

Atletico Ottawa vs Valour FC
Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00PM EST (6:00 PM CDT)

The nation’s capital will see two clubs in pole opposite league form duke it out at TD Place: host Atletico Ottawa has yet to lose a match, while Valour have lost all three of its opening bouts.

Having lost to semi-pro opposition in the cup last year, Winnipeg’s CPL team has a mighty big chip on their shoulder: thankfully, Phil Dos Santos’ team put in a much-improved showing against Forge last weekend, suggesting they’ll remained committed to attack in a cup they’d once reached the quarter-final stage of.

That might be exactly what Atletico Ottawa want, however, with the team’s counters having proven fruitful over the weekend against Halifax. Ottleti has assembled a star-studded roster expected to go far in league play, so those lofty expectations extend to Canada’s domestic up, too.

“Last season we were able to get into the second round, which was a milestone for th club,” said Gonzalez in the pre-game conference. “This season we’ll try to get over that ramp step-by-step and game-by-game. Our target is as to go as far as possible.”

It should also prove an interesting fixture for Matteo de Brienne and Rayane Yesli, who both made the move from Valour to Atletico Ottawa in the offseason.

The two teams have met in the competition before, with Atletico Ottawa hosting the bout between them in 2021. Valour took the result 3-2 on the night, but time looks to have been kinder to the nation’s capital.

York United Molham Babouli
Photo Credit: David Chant

Forge FC vs York United

Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00PM EST

The 905 Derby is back in full effect for the second time in just as many weeks.

Host side Forge will be full of confidence after besting York United three-nil at York Lions Stadium, with the reigning CPL playoff champions – who have proven capable of deep cup runs – still undefeated in domestic ball this year. With Tristan Borges proving a gem amidst a deep roster on both ends of the pitch, the hammers will be salivating for a cup game with their local rivals.

“We put in a good performance going back a couple of weeks at York Lions Stadium, and in many ways that needs to be our guiding light in this match – but we have to expect that there’s a team on the other side of the ball that is going to be a little bit more hungry,” said Smyrniotis, who downplayed the result of the earlier league game.

York United looked a team born anew last week against Vancouver, with strong debuts from Juan Cordova and Frank Sturing elevating a team that hadn’t quite got the hang of things in the two matches beforehand. The visit to Tim Hortons Field will be a good litmus test to what a more healthy York United really looks like.

“It should be quite easy to motivate them for the game after that performance,” says Nash looking back at the 905 Derby. “We need to put out best put forward, be more lively, be more competitive, and do the things we did against Vancouver that made us successful in that match.”

The winner of the bout moves on to face CF Montreal, a team both sides have tasted defeat against in cup tournaments past – so getting through this round presents a tantalizing opportunity of revenge for both CPL teams involved.

Canadian Championship TSS Rovers Josh Heard
Photo Credit: Sheldon Mack / Pacific FC

Pacific FC vs TSS Rovers
Wednesday, May 1 at 10:00PM EST (7:00PM PST)

What was supposed to be a Vancouver Isle derby was quicky reshuffled after the Victoria Highlanders pull out of the tournament, with the TSS Rovers stepping up to represent their provincial league. It’s an intriguing, fateful setup: the Rovers made history in the cup last year after soundly defeating Valour, but lost out in the next round against Pacific…through a dubious penalty, no less.

“We don’t want the moment to get to the players,” said new Rovers head coach Brendan Teeling. “We want them to be in charge of themselves and make sure that they are able to perform steadily, and the experience is going to be critical.”

The League1 BC regular season runners-up have secured the return of big guns like Matteo Polisi and Ivan Mejia ahead of tonight’s match, hoping to once again see David best Goliath.

Professional side Pacific won’t be felled so easily, however: they’ve yet to even concede a goal three games into the 2024 CPL season, with the new faces in their roster starting to gel. They enter as firm favourites who will be expected to keep the Isle labelled Trident Territory.

We’ve already seen two preliminary round fixtures take place last week: Cavalry managed a slim home win over Vancouver FC, though Shamit Shome now finds himself with a three-match cup ban after a studs-up challenge went awry in the bout. He’ll be a big miss in the quarter-final against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

See Also: VFC Boss Afshin Ghotbi Is ‘Very Disappointed’ In Cavalry Ball Switcheroo

Toronto FC comfortably beat semi-pro visitors Simcoe County Rovers that same day, and they’ll now face the winners of Thursday’s game between the Halifax Wanderers and CS Saint-Laurent.

Ahead of all that, however, is tonight’s triple threat of cup matches. Two of them will happen concurrently, so fans tuning in from fuboTV or TELUS Optik 980 won’t get to pick which one to watch. For full control over which simultaneous match to watch, a OneSoccer subscription will be required.

Header Image Photo Credit: Sheldon Mack / Pacific FC

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