Hamilton, ON. (Editorial) – Forge FC played another entertaining game of soccer but lost out on the points with the last kick of the match. Though the inaugural Canadian Premier League season is still young, Forge FC are in danger of falling off the pace for spring season championship.
Picked by many as favorites for the title in the Spring competition, Forge have only scraped a single win out of their first four matches. The Hamilton outfit sit third of seven teams with four points.
With a shortened Spring season, Forge will need to take maximum points from their next few games in order to remain in touching distance of Cavalry. Forge sit level with FC Edmonton, who drew on Sunday, two points back of their next opponent in Valour FC.
Cavalry Ride On
The Calgary team got their third straight win to perch themselves atop the standings, eking out a 2-1 victory on a cold and rainy Mother’s Day. Like in Forge’s previous matches, the men in orange had the better of the play throughout, but Cavalry held well and used their talented midfield to transition quickly.
Cavalry captain Nik Ledgerwood scored the first goal for Cavalry, taking a well played pass from Elijah Adekugbe in the Forge FC box and slotting home. Ledgerwood, who has 50 caps for the Canadian Men’s National Team, had a solid game yet again for Cavalry. His experience has proved invaluable for Tommy Wheeldon’s team.
With Forge FC captain Kyle Bekker serving the second match of his retroactive ban, Tristan Borges wore the armband for the Hamilton club. Borges got on the score sheet in the 33rd minute to equalize. Forge didn’t struggle to create after the equalizing goal, but Marco Carducci in the Cavalry net made several good saves to keep things level.
Later in the match, Cavalry created a few chances of their own, but fell short of pulling ahead until the 94th minute. With only seconds remaining, a free kick into the box was headed back across goal, and the ball was fired home by Nico Pasquotti. Forge FC Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis was disappointed with the free kick and was sent from the touchline by the referee in the last moments of the game. It is unclear if there will be a touchline ban handed out.
🐎 @CPLCavalryFC get their third win in a row!
⚽️ GAME WINNING GOAL scored by @nicopasquotti
— OneSoccer (@onesoccer) May 12, 2019
A Clear Style
When Forge FC hired head coach and technical director Bobby Smyrniotis, the expectation was that a clear, attacking style would be established. Although results haven’t always gone Forge’s way, the club still is in an excellent spot and has served as a great advertisement for the quality on display in the Canadian Premier League. Smyrniotis has used 19 of his 20 signed players across four games, with only Monti Mohsen yet to feature.
Forge has played a methodical buildup game, keeping the passes short and the pieces on the field moving. They lead all CPL teams in possession metrics and have scored more goals than any other team. Their ability to play this way has a lot to do with the flexibility of their players.
Nearly all of Forge’s attacking pieces are comfortable in several different roles. Forge’s tidy victory over Pacific FC showed this perfectly. Left back Kwame Awuah slotted in as the attacking midfielder, and swiss-army knife player Daniel Krutzen filled in at fullback. Krutzen produced two assists playing in that position, then slotted in at centre back for the game against Cavalry.
Although Forge FC favor an intricate, passing game, the addition of Anthony Novak to the starting eleven has helped Forge be able to vary their style of play. The big man up front has provided an outlet for longer passes and helps connect the midfielders into the attack. Novak has yet to play a full 90, with Emery Welshman and Marcel Zajac taking time in the central striker role as well.
Rotation will continue to be important as Forge play their fourth game in thirteen days on Thursday, making the trip to Winnipeg to take on Valour FC.