PREVIEW: Halifax Wanderers FC vs. Cavalry FC
Canadian Premier League

2024 CPL Regular Season — Match #17
Halifax Wanderers FC vs. Cavalry FC
May 11, 2024 at 3 p.m. AT/12 p.m. MT
Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Watch Live: & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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The Halifax Wanderers will be eager for better fortunes at home this Saturday, as the Maritime club hosts Cavalry FC in hopes of banking their first points of the 2024 Canadian Premier League season.

After three CPL matches, Halifax find themselves 0-0-3 after losing to Vancouver FC, Pacific FC and Atlético Ottawa, having scored just one goal in the process. Perhaps even more frustratingly, last time they were on the pitch was their Canadian Championship match against Ligue1 Québec side CS Saint-Laurent, where the Wanderers found themselves eliminated in a penalty shootout.

However, the Wanderers will have had about 10 days to regroup after their disappointing start to the season, and Patrice Gheisar’s side should be champing at the bit to turn things around at this early stage and come out strong with a statement win.

It’d be no small feat though, against a Cavalry FC side that’s beginning to find its own footing in 2024. They’re 1-2-1 to begin the CPL campaign, having picked up their first win last Friday night against Vancouver FC. They sat fifth in the table heading into the weekend, and they’ll be looking to push on and get themselves back to the top where they spent most of last year.

The last time we saw Cavalry they were taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps in their Canadian Championship quarter-final tie, losing 2-1 in the first leg but nonetheless optimistic about their chances of turning it around back at BC Place.

From a fitness perspective, Cavalry are getting a few players back with Eryk Kobza and Callum Montgomery back in full training, although they remain without Ali Musse and Tom Field, both of whom might be ready for the following week. Fraser Aird, meanwhile, suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Whitecaps, although there was no cartilage damage and he may still be available for selection. Halifax, on the other hand, are “short a few bodies” according to Gheisar, who didn’t specify who might be unavailable but suggested a few players have picked up knocks in training at the last minute.

Historically, Cavalry have the upper hand in fixtures against Halifax, winning 10 out of 18 meetings while the Wanderers have taken just two. Last year, the Cavs had an edge in the season series as they won two games — including the most recent, a 2-1 victory at the Wanderers Grounds — while Halifax beat them once in mid-June.

So, it’s a Halifax team looking to get back on the horse at home and get into the win column for the first time this year, up against a Cavalry side hungry for their first road win of the season. This has typically been a high-scoring matchup, and it’s shaping up to be another entertaining one.

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  • Wanderers missing Callegari in midfield: One of the biggest challenges for Patrice Gheisar in this match is how he will try to make up for the absence of Lorenzo Callegari. The Frenchman is one of the best central midfielders in the whole CPL, but after his red card against Ottawa he’s suspended for the Wanderers’ next two games. There’s no like-for-like replacement for Callegari’s passing ability, but Halifax will likely turn to a double pivot of Andre Rampersad and Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé to provide cover centrally. Their game plan might have to change somewhat, such is the nature of Callegari’s importance to the Wanderers’ possession play; they might not be able to dominate the ball against Cavalry as much as they might like, so it’s possible they opt for a more direct approach. “There’s no direct replacement for Lorenzo in this league, let alone within our team,” Patrice Gheisar said. “He’s a special player, he does a lot of good stuff and our team is really focused around him, but we’re not going to change our principles and planning; we’re going to try to do the same thing, the only difference there will really be is that it gives an opportunity for someone else.”


  • Cavalry starting to click in final third: The Cavs’ attack finally came alive last week against Vancouver, as Tobias Warschewski scored twice and they generated 16 shots. The more fluid play was a welcome change from the prior week, when Cavalry and Pacific played to a scoreless draw that saw little in the way of dynamic attacking play. Getting Warschewski scoring consistently would be a huge boost for Cavalry, considering how many goals they had from Myer Bevan last year; they need that production from the centre-forward spot, and it looks like Warschewski is beginning to provide it. “Warschewski, he’s a bit of an enigma, because where is he best?” Wheeldon said about the German forward. “Through the middle, out wide, allowing him to drift, but he’s got such high game intelligence. He’s like our version of Daan Klomp in the front line, in the way that he just reads the game situation so well.”


  • Halifax seek more attacking bravery: The Wanderers have scored just one goal in CPL play this year, after being a fairly high-scoring team last season. The year hasn’t started how they envisioned, but of course it’s still very early; a few key attackers have had to ease into the campaign after preseason injuries hurt their progress. Most notably, Massimo Ferrin was the Wanderers’ best attacker in 2024 but has only started one match this season, and Tiago Coimbra has just one appearance off the bench after being a key contributor in 2023. With the extra few days off Halifax have had, Ferrin might finally be fit enough to play a bigger role and lead the attack. Meanwhile, it was positive that Ryan Telfer got on the scoresheet against Saint-Laurent; he’s got the talent to be an impactful forward for the Wanderers, but they’re still working out how best to use him in the lineup.


Halifax Wanderers: Fillion; Fernandez, Nimick, Dunn, Loughrey, Ferrazzo; Gagnon-Laparé, Rampersad; Probo, Ferrin, Telfer

Cavalry FC: Carducci; Aird, Klomp, Montgomery, Kamdem; Shome, Trafford, Gutiérrez; Camargo, Shaw, Akio


Halifax Wanderers wins: 2 || Cavalry FC wins: 10 || Draws: 6

Last meeting:

Sept. 13, 2023 — Halifax Wanderers 1-2 Cavalry FC


“Just like in the real world away from football, when something happens, it’s how do you make the best of it? We just have to come in hungry; personally I would’ve preferred to play a game three days after [Saint-Laurent]. We’re not going to change or rewrite the script. We’re continuing to play well and just need to manage moments, so for us the focus is having grit and concentration.— Halifax Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar

“We’re well aware that they’ll be hungry for something, they’ve had a lot of time to prepare for us. But we’re a good side ourselves. It’s nothing new, they didn’t win in the first six games but ended up being level on points for second place last year. We didn’t win in the first five and ended up winning the league by 13. Context is key, they’re a good side at home, they had a bad result in the cup; we’ve got to take them seriously because it’s a really good place to come and play football.” — Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr.