Pride at stake for the Al Classico CPL party hosted by the ATCO Field Cavalry

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A lot of pride will be on the line when Cavalry FC host FC Edmonton for some football action on Sunday at Spruce Meadows.

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There is that Al Classico honor on the line for the winner of the season series between the two provincial rivals.

And then there’s that push for Edmonton to break their winless skid against their nemesis — now at 12 games and counting. The Cavalry, of course, would like to extend their 9-3-0 streak of dominance over their Canadian Premier League brethren with another positive result at Spruce Meadows (5 p.m., OneSoccer, OneSoccer.ca).

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“Listen…they’re on the back of their first win, so I think they’ll be quietly confident,” Cavalry general manager/head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. said of Edmonton’s first win of the campaign. CPL 2022 – a 1-0 blank from visiting Atletico Ottawa at Clarke Field last Sunday. “We felt after Pacific – when we beat them in our fourth game – that you need to get your first win under your belt and that lets you breathe a little more and be more relaxed. »

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That confidence showed in the weeks that followed for the Cavs, who, in league terms, have gone six more straight games undefeated since beating Pacific FC on May 1 at ATCO Field.

“We’re in great shape,” said Wheeldon Jr. “This weekend we have the chance to set a new record. We would be eight games unbeaten if we beat or tied Edmonton, so I think that would be good for that group of players. So we have confidence, and it should make for a very good game.

Another aspect of Sunday’s affair at ATCO Field is the Pride celebration.

The Cavs and the Spruce Meadows Leg Up Foundation are giving back to the LGBTQ+ community in honor of National Pride Month.

One dollar from each ticket purchased will be donated to the Center for Sexuality.

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Limited Edition Prize Patches will also be sold in the Cavalry Shop.

The first 3,000 fans will receive a Pride-themed rally towel provided by Volkswagen Canada.

And the first 2,500 fans will receive a Pride-themed wristband courtesy of Volkswagen Canada.

So there’s a lot more pride on the Cavs field.

“Because we’re a young league — and I think that’s one of the beauties of Canada — we make everyone feel welcome,” Wheeldon Jr. said. religion, sexual orientation, I think everyone is welcome because the only colors that really matter are the shirts or scarves you wear from the team you support. We were in Valor recently, then in Halifax before that, and every fan group has all their flags…and the rainbow flag prevailed from day one. So, we always felt that it was part of us. It’s good to celebrate inclusivity. I think we are setting an example for the rest of the world to follow.

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On top of all this, the Cavs are also celebrating Calgary minor football, with a portion of the proceeds from tickets sold through CMSA being donated to support youth football in Calgary.

Additionally, 50/50 tickets will be sold by the Spruce Meadows Leg Up Foundation to benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

“It’s great to raise awareness,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “And it’s great to bring the community together. »

Around 5,000 tickets have already been sold for the contest, which bodes well for one of the busiest games to see the Cavs.

Of course, the fact that this is an Al Classico event helps draw fans to the pitch.

“We know we’ve never beaten them before, and those are the things that keep us going,” Edmonton head coach Alan Koch said. “(The Cavalry) inspires us. I said at the start of the year, ‘We have to dream big.’ And we always dream big. We are going to dream big on Sunday and hopefully we can do something very, very special for the club and for our supporters.

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A win could see the Eddies 1-4-7 no longer alone in last place depending on the result of Sunday’s previous CPL fixture between York United FC (2-5-4) and hosts Valor FC (2-4-4) at York Lions Stadium in Toronto (10 a.m., OneSoccer, OneSoccer.ca).

Meanwhile, the 6-2-2 Cavs go into action on the weekend as the top team in the CPL, with 20 points.

Pacific (5-4-3) had 19 points heading into Saturday, when they hosted HFX Wanderers FC (4-2-5) in an afternoon affair.

So a second league win over the Eddies would keep the Cavs in first place next Monday. They won a League meeting 3-0 in May in Edmonton. And four days later, the Cavalry won a rematch – 2-1 – in Canadian Championship action.

“We’re not expecting an easy game, and it shouldn’t be – it’s an Alberta battle,” added Wheeldon Jr. put a trophy. So even though it’s part of the league, it gives us our own little competition, and we want to continue to keep that year after year. So we’ll be ready, and I’m sure they will be too.

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The Cavs transferred midfielder Victor Loturi to Ross County FC of the Scottish Premiership for an undisclosed fee earlier this week. The 21-year-old Calgary native has made 45 appearances in all competitions for the Cavalry after making his debut aged 17 in the club’s inaugural 2019 season. “Victor has been a terrific player for us,” Wheeldon Jr. said. “He has exceptional technical ability and game intelligence that allowed us to use him as a key part of our possession game. He also has an incredible engine which gave us great energy throughout our matches. Through hard work, patience and perseverance, he took a chance and never looked back. Victor will be missed. … Cavs defenseman Karifa Yao is coming back from a one-game yellow card suspension for Sunday’s tilt. Forward Myer Bevan (hamstring) has a pre-game fitness test to see if he’s eligible for Cavs game selection… Of the club’s long-term injuries, Joe Di Chiara is the closest , as he is back in full training and likely to return to the roster in two weeks. Tyson Farago (back), defender Tom Field (knee) and forwards Anthony Novak (ACL) and Fraser Aird (ACL) are also still out for the Cavalry… And thereYoung striker Jean Aniel-Assi remains absent from the Canadian club’s Under-20 squad for their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying session.

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