2020 CPL regular season (The Island Games) — Match #15 York9 FC vs. Forge FC August 26, 2020 at 1:00 p.m ET/2:00 p.m. AT
UPEI Artificial Turf Field in Charlottetown, PEI Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
Wednesday will mark another first for the Canadian Premier League when Forge FC and York9 FC tangle at The Island Games.
Instead of Tim Hortons Field or York Lions Stadium, UPEI Artificial Turf Field in Charlottetown will host the provincial rivals, as the 905 Derby takes place outside of Ontario for the first time in league history.
Forge is unbeaten in four games, having most recently earned a dramatic 2-1 win over Pacific FC last weekend courtesy of Kyle Bekker’s injury time goal. A victory against Y9 would allow Forge (8 points) to leapfrog Cavalry FC (10 points) for first place in the standings, although the Cavs would have a game in hand.
Like Forge, York9 is unbeaten in PEI but they’re still looking for their first win. The Nine Stripes have three draws to their credit, including a 0-0 stalemate against Valour FC their last time out.
These teams have had some pretty memorable battles in the past: a 1-1 draw in the Inaugural Game, and Y9’s surprising 4-0 win at home last October. What will Wednesday under the hot summer afternoon sun of Charlottetown bring?
Bekker not slowing down: Kyle Bekker is one of four Forge players who’s played all 360 minutes at The Island Games. But the Forge captain appears to be getting better with each game, rather than slowing down – against Pacific he ran himself ragged, delivered four key passes, and scored the late winner. “He’s a machine … Right now, he’s doing great. He’s ready to go, he’s ready to fight and he’s ready to lead that team on the field,” coach Bobby Smyrniotis said.
Y9’s lack of finishing: With three goals from three games, York9boasts the second-worst attack at The Island Games (FC Edmonton has only scored twice). It’s not for a lack of trying on Y9’s part – they registered 12 shots against Valour. But clearly, the finishing has to improve. “I’d be worried if we weren’t getting shots and we weren’t getting into the right areas,” coach Jim Brennan said. “We’re getting into the right areas, it just comes with sharpness. It’s just that final ball, because our runs were good.”
Forge’s under-21s: Per league rules, all CPL teams must give 25o minutes of combined playing time to their Canadian under-21 players at The Island Games. HFX Wanderers FC, Atlético Ottawa, Valour FC, FC Edmonton and Pacific FC have already met the threshold, while York9 FC and Cavalry FC are very close. Forge, however, only has three minutes. At some point, Smyrniotis has to give playing time to his domestic under-21s: Klaidi Cela, Monti Mohsen and Baj Maan.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
“(Forge players have) got the will and desire of champions, that’s exactly what it is.” – Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis, after the Pacific game.
“There has been a lot of draws, but by no means does this really change our mentality. We know we need a couple wins, that’s just how we’re gonna come at the next few games.” – York9 captain Manny Aparicio, after the Valour game