May 20, 2024
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York United Dennis Salanovic

Preview: York United And Valour Set For Serious Scrap

By on May 10, 2024 0 632 Views

The Canadian Premier League’s fifth matchweek will kick off with what is sure to be a feisty match between two teams with chips on their shoulders.

Host side York United FC will enter the game sixth in league standings, with its only win coming from their last home game against Vancouver FC. Visitors Valour FC are still rooted to bottom of the table on zero points, entering the match with a ravenous hunger to end their cold open to the campaign.

It’s the CPL’s 500th match, and here’s six things to watch out for tonight – including how to see the game for free:

York United Dennis Salanovic
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Nash Still Wants Urgency, Intensity

The York United gaffer has been beating this drum all season long: the Nine Stripes need to open with intensity and keep their foot on the gas. Lack of urgency has hurt the team stretching into seasons past, and it’s a mentality that Martin Nash wants firmly in the rearview.

“I think if we come with the right energy and urgency and play the way we’re capable of, we have every chance of winning. If we don’t come with that energy and urgency, it’s going to be a long night,” says Nash, who expects the visitors to come in looking for a fight. He says his team ‘should’ put itself in a good place if they can match and beat Valour’s intensity on the night.

Atletico Ottawa Ruben Del Campo Charalampos Chantzopoulos
Photo Credit: Tim Austen / Freestyle Photography

Valour Aims To Capitalize On ‘Growth Moment’

Ontario has not been kind to Valour this month: in the ten days preceding this match, the club narrowly lost out to Forge, had a total blowout cup match against Atletico Ottawa, and then a smaller league loss to Ottleti right afterwards. This will be their sixth of eight straight road games to open the season, with the club still on zero points.

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“It’s difficult, but I think it’s also a moment of growth,” reflects Dos Santos on the experience. The club he’s assembled has shown glimpses of what they could be, but they’re still coming into their feet. “The truth is that only competitive games will give you the true image and response, so for us the trip was difficult, but I think that it’s in moments like this that you can grow the most and figure out things in a way that is hard, but gives you a straight-up reality check.”

He’s urging the team to react and hoping they’ll be fired up heading into York Lions Stadium tonight. They enjoyed a strong 3-1 win here last season, though Dos Santos tries not to look into history – still, he admits there’s an energy and history that makes York United’s home ground a venue his team likes to play in. It all means naught tonight, though.

“Two different teams, two different contexts. It’s a brand new 90 minutes.”

York United Austin Ricci
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Parity Still Present

The league is celebrating its 500th match tonight, but it seems fitting that it also sparks a conversation that has existed since day one: this is a league with a lot of parity. While Valour succumbed to a record cup defeat against Atletico, back in 2022 they also bested that team 6-1. York got bounced out of the cup by Forge, but typically put up quite a showing at Tim Hortons Field. Tonight, anything can happen.

Flashback: More Than Half Of The CPL’s Teams Are Tied For Last

“In this league, I think any team can beat any team,” adds Nash. “I thought Valour were arguably the better team against Forge [earlier this month], and Forge were able to win it. On their day, they’re as good as anyone in the league. I think that’s the thing with thiss league: anyone can beat anyone, it’s just that the teams who get the most consistent performances out of their group tend to be higher up the table.”

York United Juan Cordova
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Some Key Players Out For Both Sides

The hosts will be without full-back Juan Cordova, who’s strong debut in the club’s three-nil dismantling of Valour was quite an introduction to fans. While Orlando Botello is back in training, it remains to be seen if he’ll feature.

Patreon subscribers already have access to an interview with Darlington Murasiranwa ahead of tonight’s match.

For the visitors, club captain Raphael Ohin has been back to full training, but there’s still uncertainty if he’ll play – and the club has been silent on Kian Williams, who didn’t travel for the Ontario road trip. With Jonathan Viscosi likely out for weeks, it’s time for goalkeeper Darlington Murasiranwa to step up.

York United Tass Mourdoukoutas
Photo Credit: John Jacques

A Reunion For Tass?

When Valour scooped up Aussie defender Tass Mourdoukoutas from York United, Dos Santos was quick to reveal that the big centre-back had been a primary target for the side. Injured at the start of the season, however, it was just last week when Moudoukoutas came off the bench late for his club debut.

It remains to be seen how he’ll be utilized in what could be his first match against his former side:

“He’s fit and ready,” said Dos Santos, who is still considering a slower integration for the defender. “We’re assessing all the scenarios, but Tass is a player that under normal circumstances will be on this team. We know his experience, we know his qualities, and we know what he brings to the table.”

York United Dennis Salanovic
Photo Credit: John Jacques

See The Game For Free

While the York United owners are certainly trying new things when it comes to getting butts in seats, this is a new one: it looks like Frequency 5 FM is giving away free tickets if you text them at 647-857-4454. We’re not sure if it’s an affiliated club initiative, but hey…free tickets are free tickets. Saves you money for a Yorkchelada, right?

Fans can also look directly to Ticketmaster to purchase tickets, of course, while though the club has a two-for-one deal on Fevo.

The Canadian Premier League’s 500th match will kick off at York Lions Stadium at 7:00PM EST tonight, with both York United and Valour coming in ready for a scrap. Fans tuning in can catch the game on OneSoccer, fuboTV, and Telus Optik Channel 980. If you missed the last week of action, we’ve got you covered.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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