2020 CPL regular season (The Island Games) — Match #26 Cavalry FC vs. York9 FC September 5, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. AT
UPEI Artificial Turf Field in Charlottetown, PEI Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca& CBC
If there’s one CPL match that neutral fans should watch during this final weekend of the first round at The Island Games, then Cavalry FC vs. York9 FC on Saturday afternoon just might be it.
Both teams enter this contest with 10 points apiece, and are tied for second place in the table. A win by either side would see them clinch a second-round berth. A loss or draw wouldn’t eliminate the Cavs or Y9, but it would jeopardize their chances of advancing.
Cavalry is the more rested of the two teams, with its previous match coming last Sunday in a 2-1 loss to Pacific FC (the Cavs’ second consecutive defeat at The Island Games).
York, meanwhile, enters Saturday’s contest off a 1-0 win over FC Edmonton on Wednesday, a result that allowed the Nine Stripes to remain the only unbeaten club in PEI (with two wins and four draws).
Cavalry and York are currently tied for second place in the table with 10 points apiece.
A victory by either side would see them clinch a second-round berth. A draw or loss would not mean elimination, as both Cavalry and York could still advance to the second round if results on Sunday (HFX vs. Ottawa and Pacific vs. Edmonton) go their way.
Aparicio’s free kicks: Cavalry would be well-advised not to commit any fouls just outside its penalty area against York9 on Saturday. Y9 captain Manny Aparicio has scored from gorgeous free kicks in each of his team’s last two matches at The Island Games, including his match-winner against FC Edmonton. “He deserves these goals, this attention,” coach Jim Brennan said. “He practices those all the time.” Can Aparicio make it three in a row? The Cavs shouldn’t test fate by giving Aparicio the opportunity.
Desire from Cavalry: Tommy Wheeldon Jr. didn’t mince words after Cavalry’s loss to Pacific FC last weekend, boldly admitting his team lacked desire. “We were just very average in the first half, and I think the second half we showed that little bit of fire. … I thought we were very, very soft in the first half.” The Cavs can’t afford to be soft against York9, especially with the industrious Joseph Di Chiara in the midfield for the Nine Stripes.
More Mannella: After missing York’s first five games of the season, Chris Mannella finally made his CPL debut this week, coming on a substitute in the 68th minute against FC Edmonton. Despite his brief cameo, Mannella linked up well with Aparicio, his former teammate at Toronto FC. “It’s so much fun playing with Manny, we’ve been apart of the past couple years,” Mannella said. “He brings such good energy, such an infectious energy. Didn’t miss a beat playing with him, either.”
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“It’s down to us. Our fate’s still in our hands and it just comes down to which guys are gonna roll up their sleeves with us and get back at it.” – Cavalry coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr., after the Pacific game.
“I thought our movement was good tonight. We were breaking the lines and found ourselves some nice little pockets. But, look, it is just about getting three points but we touched upon a few things in training and it seemed to work for us tonight.” – York9 coach Jim Brennan, after the Edmonton game.