Cavalry FC beat Pacific FC 3-1 in the first match of the second round of the Canadian Premier League Island Games to top the four-team table Wednesday. The Cavs face HFX Wanderers Saturday. HFX drew 1-1 with defending CPL champions Forge FC in their first match match of the round Wednesday.
Here are some talking points heading into Saturday’s match.
Cavalry FC will advance to Island Games final with a win
Thanks to Cavalry FC convincing victory over Pacific FC Wednesday and the draw between HFX Wanderers and Forge FC, the Cavs know a win against HFX Saturday will guarantee them a spot in the Island Games final, to be played Saturday, Sept. 19. They’d be assured a top-two finish no matter the results of other games, even if tie-breakers were needed.
Cavalry would still have one game remaining in the second round. But Tommy Wheeldon Jr. would likely be happy to use that match against Forge as an opportunity to rest his tiring squad and perhaps heal some of the wounded.
Injuries continue to mount for Cavalry FC
Attacking midfielder/winger Nico Pasquotti and central midfielder Nik Ledgerwood were substituted early against Pacific FC, both having picked up injuries in the first half. Striker Marcus Haber also appeared to pick up a knock later in the second half too.
Cavs fans will be hoping the these injuries aren’t too serious as Calgary’s club already has a long list of wounded.
Brazilian Oliver Minatel suffered a broken leg against York9 FC Sunday and will not return. Sergio Camargo picked up a quad injury early in the tournament and has yet to get back on the pitch. Promising new signings Jose Hernandez and Jair Cordova suffered injuries just prior to the tournament and haven’t been able to contribute much. Though, Cordova has made a couple late substitute appearances.
Before the tournament Cavalry boasted a deep squad. That depth is definitely being tested.
Cavalry FC sharing the goal scoring load
The victory over Pacific FC saw three new goal scorers for Cavalry FC. Nik Ledgerwood, Elijah Adekugbe and Mohamed Farsi scored their first goals of the tournament Wednesday. Eight different players have now tallied for the Cavs at the Island Games.
There were questions of where Cavalry might find their goals given last season’s top goal scorers absent – Dominique Malonga (13 goals) and Julian Buscher (6 goals) left the club in the off-season and Sergio Camargo (8 goals) and Oliver Minatel (8 goals) are injured.
But Cavalry FC has still managed to score 13 goals in eight matches this season. And Wheeldon Jr. won’t much care who scores the goals, so long as they keep scoring.
Mohamed Farsi continues to impress
Mohamed Farsi earned another man-of-the-match award against Pacific FC. The 20-year-old is having a breakout tournament having previously played in the Première Ligue de soccer du Québec for Blainville.
The tricky and pacey full back/winger even scored a highlight-reel goal of his own creation to help secure the three points for the Cavs Wednesday.
If Farsi continues to put in these kind of performances, Cavalry may have difficulty holding on to him. He’s likely starting to garner the attention of higher level clubs – specifically Canadian Major League Soccer clubs like Vancouver Whitecaps.
Much like defender Joel Waterman, who moved on to Montreal Impact after Cavalry FC’s inaugural season, much of Farsi’s appeal is his versatility. He’s capable of playing on the right or the left.
Cavs fans might be well advised to enjoy him while they have him, even if it turns out they never get to see him play in the flesh should he move on before 2021. Though, most suiters would likely want to see a full season at this level before making a move.
Garcia delivering big for HFX Wanderers
HFX Wanderers striker Akeem Garcia has been enjoying his time on P.E.I. and tops the 2020 CPL goal scoring table with five goals so far. And the Trinidad and Tobago international will be looking forward to challenging himself against a Cavalry FC defence that held Pacific FC’s forwards in check so well Saturday.