2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #83
Cavalry FC vs. York United
August 27, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. MT/ 3:30 pm ET
ATCO Field in Calgary, Alberta
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Much as they did just over a month ago, York United are looking to surprise onlookers once again, as they get set for a visit to Calgary, where they’ll take on Cavalry FC at ATCO Field in CPL action this upcoming Saturday, August 27th.
Having last visited the stadium back on July 19th, they then famously snapped Cavalry’s 11-game unbeaten run in that game, bringing the then-league leaders down to earth with a shock 1-0 road win, just York’s second-ever win over Cavalry in 12 games against them.
Since then, Cavalry has lost a bit of the groove that had carried them through the early bits of summer, too, as they now sit in fourth in the standings, showing how much things have changed. To be fair, they’re also just four points removed from first place, so it isn’t as if they have sunk to the depths of oblivion, but after looking unbeatable, that York loss seemed to pierce the armour of invincibility that they were carrying at the time.
Just take a look at Cavalry’s last matchup, a home clash less than a week ago against Atlético Ottawa. A crucial clash given that just one point separated the pair heading in, Ottawa surprised Cavalry with a big 3-0 road win, leapfrogging their way to the top of the table in the process.
Because of that, look for Cavalry to try and refind that earlier form, of which a revenge victory against York would most certainly provide. As they try to reclaim their spot atop the CPL standings, a result like this could be huge to ensure that they don’t fall behind in the jam-packed race for seeding in the top four, while also maintaining a good gap between them and fifth-placed Valour, who are most certainly lurking right now.
Meanwhile, for York, they’ll just look to recapture that magic in a bottle from that 1-0 Cavalry win, as they try and prove their worth in this game.
It’s been an up-and-down season for the team to date, having sat near the bottom for most of it, but just one point off sixth place, and four points off of fifth, they’ve finally clawed their way back into the middle, while keeping their playoff hopes alive with a couple of big results.
A win here, those hopes will get an even further boost, giving them a shot of at least finishing the season with a competitive run, of which they’ll hope that they can translate over to 2023, no matter what happens the rest of this year.
Plus, considering that they’ve seemed to be up for these sorts of games, as that Cavalry win showed, as well as their big 3-1 road win over Forge last week, it isn’t as if it’s that unrealistic to imagine that happening, either.
Therefore, look for York to come out strong once again, as they continue to try and shift the tide in what has typically been a very Cavalry-dominated matchup, something that they’ll be eager to change on Saturday.
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3 THINGS TO WATCH
- Mo Babouli offering early promise for York in partnership with Osaze De Rosario: Signed in a surprise coup from York United, former Forge forward, Mo Babouli, has settled nicely on the other side of the 905 Derby, scoring one goal in two games already for his club, with the goal coming against (who else?) Forge last week. There, he offered a good glimpse of why the club looked to bring him back to the league from his stint in Qatar, as they looked to score more goals from sources other than just Osaze De Rosario, whose nine goals represent 45% of his team’s total output right now (20 goals). And playing underneath De Rosario in a sort of #10 role, Babouli looks to be both a good outlet for De Rosario, who can sometimes get isolated up front, while also profiting from the gravity that De Rosario has on the pitch, leaving space for players underneath him to thrive. As a result, it allowed the pair to both score in that Forge game last week, their first starts together, just giving a taste of what could be to come from them as they develop their partnership. Because of that, they’ll want to keep that good form going into this game, helping York continue their quest to put their early-season offensive woes behind them, showing why they were eager to bring in Babouli as a late-season addition, with an eye on the future.
- Cavalry looking to get back to scoring form after rare blank: Speaking of goals, however, Cavalry is in a similar boat to York, at least in the sense that they’re looking to score more of them right now. Of course, that feels weird to say of the team that is second in the league in goals, to be fair, but having been blanked the way that they were against Ottawa, they’ll be eager to get back to their usual high-flying offensive ways in this game. Especially given that they were also blanked in that last matchup against York, too, that will only add to that burning desire for them to breach the target, which knowing Cavalry, will likely lead them to come out strongly. Because of that, keep an eye out on the likes of Joe Mason, José Escalante and Ali Musse, who have usually been Cavalry’s key offensive outlets this season, to come out firing here. It’s hard to keep them quiet two games in a row, especially at home, so you have to imagine they’ll have eyes on scoring a few goals, minimum, showing that the Ottawa game was just a slip-up, not a growing trend for them to worry about.
- Will possession, or lack thereof, rule the day again? Interestingly, one similar theme from both of those Ottawa and York losses for Cavalry? The hosts held over 70% of possession, yet scored zero goals across both games, doing everything but score, left to rue as their opponents made the most of the little of the ball that they were able to see. Because of that, it’ll be interesting to see what happens in this game. Given that Cavalry will likely hold a lot of the ball again, they’ll want to ensure that they make the most of it this time, but that’ll be easier said than done, of course. Especially given that York will be comfortable off the ball, at least if they were to emulate what they showed in that win, that could very well benefit the visitors, if anything. At the same time, given how adaptable Cavalry have been this season, it also hasn’t been their MO to do the same thing on back-to-back games, so look for them to potentially throw a whole new wrinkle into this discussion, anyways, finding a way to avoid similar heartbreak to those aforementioned results. Either way, however, a chess match looms in the form of the possession battle, in which the key to the match could arguably lie.
Cavalry wins: 8 || York United wins: 2 || Draws: 2
July 19, 2022 — Cavalry FC 0-1 York United