2023 CPL Regular Season — Match #18
Cavalry FC vs. Halifax Wanderers FC
May 13, 2023 at 5:00 pm MT/8:00 pm AT
ATCO Field in Calgary, Alberta
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In the second match of Saturday’s Canadian Premier League tripleheader, Cavalry FC host the Halifax Wanderers at ATCO Field.
Both teams will enter this weekend’s contest with some mixed emotions about how they’ve played to this point after solid, but not great, starts to the new season. The positive: both teams are unbeaten after four weeks. On the flip side, neither side has been able to win a match yet, both sitting on a 0-4-0 record after four consecutive draws.
Last weekend, Halifax drew 0-0 with Valour FC at IG Field, while Cavalry were again leading but ended up settling for a draw in Vancouver FC’s inaugural home game at Willoughby Community Park.
Saturday is a chance for both teams to make a statement and pick up that first win of the season. There will also be pressure on Cavalry in particular to pick up a first home victory — they are the best home team in CPL regular season history, but drew 1-1 in their first home game of the season after being up 1-0 at halftime. Halifax haven’t historically been very good away from home, winning just five times in 41 CPL road games in regular season action (not including the neutral site games in 2020 and 2021). This is a chance for them as well to pick up three big early season points and prove that they’re able to break old habits.
The Cavs have also dominated this matchup historically, and will be looking to continue that in front of their home fans. Cavalry have won eight of the twelve all-time meetings between these two sides, with Halifax winning just once and the remaining three matches ending in a draw. Last season Cavalry won both matches at ATCO Field, while both matches at Wanderers Grounds ended in draws — including the first meeting of the season in which a 94th minute equalizer from Daan Klomp spoiled what looked like it was going to be a home victory in front of another large Nova Scotian crowd.
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3 THINGS TO WATCH
- Yann Fillion establishing himself as one of the league’s top goalkeepers: This offseason the Halifax Wanderers said goodbye to Christian Oxner, their longtime starting goalkeeper, as well as fellow local talent Kieran Baskett — who established himself as a good option but never really ran away with the starting job, and has since joined Pacific FC. Looking to make a bit of a splash and sign a goalkeeper that would be their clear number one, the Wanderers turned to Yann Fillion, and brought the Canadian netminder back to home soil after the better part of a decade in Europe, apart from a brief stint with Toronto FC II in 2019. Fillion has started every match this season for Halifax, and shown exactly why the club put their faith in him — establishing himself already as a commanding presence in his box, a goalkeeper that is good with his feet, and a vocal leader from the back that is also capable of making some match-saving stops. “Yann is certainly growing more and more every game,” said head coach Patrice Gheisar on Friday. “We needed a different kind of goalie for our team, we needed someone with good feet because we try to play a lot. He’s been able to do that, and getting better every game, and more comfortable with the defenders.”
- Bradley Kamdem fitting in nicely at Cavalry FC already: Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. gave a club debut to defender Bradley Kamdem last weekend against Vancouver FC, with the 28-year-old playing all ninety minutes at centre-back alongside Daan Klomp. Kamdem, who grew up in Calgary after moving to Canada from France as a child, previously worked with Wheeldon Jr. at Calgary Foothills FC in the Premier Development League back in 2015, but has returned as a much more mature player with a lot of great experience under his belt in the United States and Europe, according to his head coach. “He’s terrific,” said Wheeldon Jr. on Friday. “Lefties are a shortage, and he’s got the ability to play at left centre-back, left of a back three, left back, and I’m sure if we gave him consent he’d play up in the front line as well. What he does bring is a calmness under pressure with the ball, he fit very nicely alongside Daan Klomp, and gives us great balance. With him there we know we have athleticism to cover the back line, but composure to give us the starting point of our attacks.”
- Both teams unbeaten, but also winless: After four weeks, there are still four team who are yet to lose in Canadian Premier League regular season action, and all four will be playing against each other on Saturday. After Forge FC and Valour FC square off at Tim Hortons Field in the first match of Saturday’s tripleheader, Cavalry FC and the Halifax Wanderers will go head-to-head at ATCO Field also looking to remain unbeaten. Unlike Forge and Valour, however, neither of these teams has picked up their first victory of the season — both sitting on a 0-4-0 record. They will both be looking to end one streak and start another, by picking up that first win of 2023 on Saturday afternoon. “You would hope so, if it’s a tie people are going to start booing us at the end of the game,” joked Wanderers boss Patrice Gheisar on Friday, before adding that both teams are perhaps unlucky to not have a victory yet. “Both teams are very good, so it will be a very good matchup.”
PROJECTED STARTING XIs
Cavalry FC: Carducci; Alarcon, Klomp, Kamdem, Escalante; Trafford, Daley; Musse, Camargo, Cantave; Bevan
Halifax Wanderers FC: Fillion; Fernandez, Omar, Campagna, James; Callegari, Watson, Rampersad, Daniels; Collomb, Nwafornso
Cavalry FC wins: 8 || Halifax Wanderers wins: 1 || Draws: 3
September 5, 2022 — Halifax Wanderers 0-0 Cavalry FC