Rivalry matches highlight Canadian Premier League schedule release

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FC Edmonton

Toronto, Ontario, Canada (February 27, 2019) — The Canadian Premier League released its full schedule today, revealing a two-competition format. The league’s seven founding teams will compete in a 10-match apiece spring competition and an 18-match summer competition.

The winners of the two facing off in a two-leg finale. There’s plenty more on the line throughout the season, especially for teams with natural rivalries.

Rivalry matches highlight Canadian Premier League schedule release

Cavalry FC and FC Edmonton will meet five times over the course of the season, in the derby dubbed the “Al Classico.” Cavalry will host three matches at Spruce Meadows, with the other two at FC Edmonton’s Clarke Stadium.

The most intriguing tilt will take place on the final day of the season: Saturday, Oct. 19. Not only might this matchup have implications for advancing to the championship, but it also holds the potential to be the rubber match for the Al Classico.

The league recently unveiled the moniker “905 Derby” to describe the nascent rivalry between the CPL’s two closest teams: York 9 and Forge FC. Expect to see busy away sections for these five games, given that the stadiums are only a few hours drive apart. This is particularly true for the April 27 match, the inaugural match of the Canadian Premier League.

The rivalry will be weighted by the historic nature of this match. Meanwhile, York 9 recently announced that they would be bussing their fans to the game, free of charge. All considered, expect an electric atmosphere for this one.

Finally, the spectacle of the third-longest road trip in professional soccer has birthed a rivalry between Pacific FC and HFC Wanderers FC. Though there isn’t yet a consensus moniker for this match-up, all eyes will be on these two teams to see how the coast-to-coast travel affects the squads.

Again, these two teams will clash five times. However, Pacific hosts three times and the Wanderers twice. Keep an eye on their meeting at Westhills Stadium on Saturday, July 20, as the Wanderers come into town for the second of four consecutive games on the road to see how much of a factor the travel will be.

Coaches give thoughts on the schedule

According to Tommy Wheeldon Jr., head coach of Cavalry, teams need to be brave and adventurous to win in this league. Other head coaches spoke with the Canadian Premier League about the schedule release.

“We’re all going to be challenged and stretched as coaches,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “I, for one, am willing to throw everything I have to keep the other teams guessing while believing in our strengths.”

Meanwhile, Bobby Smyrniotis, head coach of Forge FC, said having a 10-game spring season is “fantastic.”

“It gives an immediate perspective on how you’re doing things,” Smyrniotis said. “Every three points really counts. It’s not a matter of, ‘Hey, I can drop points or do a rotation.’… It’s going to be a tricky thing for all of us (coaches)… But, it’s a good challenge … and it pushes you as a coach to be better.”

Meanwhile, Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart said that playing in and out of the league will be the biggest difficultly.

“You’re playing Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday … it’s wear and tear on the body,” Hart said.

See the full schedule

To view the full schedule for the Canadian Premier League, click here.

PHOTO: Canadian Premier League official logo.

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