At last, the Canadian Championship is back! Three CPL clubs are in action this week, hosting unfamiliar foes in the first leg of Qualifying Round 3 this Wednesday in a gargantuan tripleheader of Canadian soccer.
Cavalry FC hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps at Spruce Meadows, before a return trip to B.C. Place on July 24 for the second leg. Here’s what you need to know about this matchup:
Canadian Championship — Round 3 (Leg 1)
Cavalry FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
July 10 — Spruce Meadows (9:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. MT) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Tommy Wheeldon Jr. figures his Cavalry FC team is nowhere near its full potential; now, the full breadth of this dynamic attacking outfit will be tested against a Vancouver Whitecaps team that will be giving very little room for errors over two legs in Calgary and Vancouver.
The Whitecaps come into this tournament needing to keep pace with the Impact and Toronto FC – the Voyageurs Cup has eluded this club more than the rest, with just one win under their belts. But, Cavalry FC represents the CPL’s top team, having earned a berth in the CPL Championship by winning the Spring. Can the Cavs continue their dominant run against a team of this calibre?
KEYS TO THE MATCH
Batter them, early: This Whitecaps team comes into this first leg on the back of a brutal 6-1 loss to Los Angeles FC. Marc dos Santos’ side sits second-bottom in the Western Conference. Things aren’t exactly peachy for the ‘Caps, and while that might serve to doubly motivate the Vancouver players to perform in this tournament, it also gives Cavalry the platform to shake this team with an early goal or two.
The high press works: Another lesson to take out of the LAFC match? High pressing works against this team. LAFC were all over the Whitecaps with a combination of midfielders advancing forward to recover possession … with Canadian international Mark-Anthony Kaye dominating in this category. If Elijah Adekugbe can replicate those efforts … there’s a chance here.
Attack the left flank: So much of Iraqi international Ali Adnan’s praise has come for his ability to stem some of the bleeding that the Whitecaps have suffered on the left … but he alone can’t address the problem, which has seemingly plagued the ‘Caps all season. If Nico Pasquotti can combine with a drifting Sergio Camargo, opportunities can open up for Dominique Malonga.