The Forward Press: ATO Hope to be Back to Winning Ways in ‘Soccer for Everyone’ Match

The Forward Press: ATO Hope to be Back to Winning Ways in ‘Soccer for Everyone’ Match

It’s 'Soccer for Everyone' weekend in the nation's capital, and Carlos Gonzalez will be hoping the party-like atmosphere that will be in the stands will be replicated on the pitch against Halifax Wanderers. In the table, the Wanderers represent Atlético Ottawa’s antithesis, having lost in every match since the season began bar a draw to Cavalry, while Atlético Ottawa continue to be unbeaten in the league. Carlos Gonzalez met up with the media on Friday to discuss the weekend's match. Here are all the details from the pre-match presser:

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On where the team is confidence-wise: “Mentally, the team is stable. When we win, we are stable. When we lose this last game, we're stable. At the end of the day, this is what we have to do: take a game at a time and acknowledge that we've done a lot of things good and we have to maintain them. It's true that the opponents are also working hard and also they improve. So what we have to do is control what we can control that is ourself and try to be a better version that the last game…And at the of the day, trust ourself, our players, trust our collective, because we're doing things really well.”

On two keepers working to earn starts: “I think that Nate did a great off-season, pre-season, and Rayane also. So both of them are in a great level…I don't think that there is an easy solution for me. The two are in good conditions. The reality is that Nate has had some problems in the last few weeks. So when we think that he's back on the level that we expect on him, probably he will have also opportunities. But I don't think it's a big issue. I only think that we can be proud of having two great goalkeepers, and that position is really well covered.”

Photo © Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography

On a U-21 update: “They are in three different points. Gabby is now in a level as every single player. I'm not thinking on Gabby as a young player because he's own now the status of being a player that also have experience and he's given performances. Tyr is getting there, but at the end of the day, he fights against two big players that are doing a great job. And Roy is, well, he's having his ups and downs, and we are trying to put him in a good level of performance so that he can give great minutes to the team. So this is the resume of the three players.”

On squad rotation: “When things are working, you cannot get crazy and move the whole of the team. So probably we will continue with a similar dynamic that in the last month, a couple of new faces, because we think that they are players that are prepared and they will bring new energy. But I don't think that we're going to do very big changes, because at the end of the day, we acknowledge that we are doing things well.”

On last-place Halifax: “This league is a league that is so equal. At the end of the day, although they only have one point, I don't feel that they are so far of the rest of the opponents. So we cannot give for granted anything. We've seen it in the previous years that the moment that you relax, any team can take points from you.”

Photo © CanPL

“I don’t think that we’re going to do big changes, because at the end of the day, we acknowledge that we are doing things well,” Gonzalez said, indicating that it will be business as usual when ATO plays on Sunday afternoon. Though Gonzalez talked about Halifax being not far off the rest of the league, there is also no greater opportunity to prove that the cup ousting in BC midweek was merely a one-off than to face Halifax at home. Getting out on the front foot quickly will be important to putting Halifax in its place, with the Wanderers desperate for an improved performance. Halifax have made two new signings since their last loss, acquiring Clément Bayiha on loan and Tavio Ciccarelli. Given the recency of the signings however, it seems unlikely the former will play, and the latter will not join the team for at least another month.

Despite Nate Ingham returning to the ATO squad, all signs point to Rayane Yesli continuing his stint between the sticks, especially after a strong showing in the cup only a few days ago. Talking about Gabriel Antinoro, Carlos Gonzalez highlighted how he already sees the youngster as equal to every other player in the league despite his U-21 designation. It’s a glowing performance review of the youngster who has already had more than a few moments to write home about, and the expectation wil be that he starts against Halifax. Gonzalez will be able to call on almost every player from the bench, with players carrying “a lot of knocks, situations that are normal, but nothing very big.” Max Tissot remains in doubt as his tests are still ongoing, and Gonzalez said it is too early to tell the extent of the injury.

With it being Pride month, the CCSG is hosting its annual Prideraiser event! To learn more about that and to pledge money, click the link here. Halifax Wanderers and Atlético Ottawa will kick off the ‘Soccer for Everyone’ match at TD Place Stadium tomorrow at 2pm, but before that the CCSG will be doing its second official march to the stadium from the Glebe Central Pub. The march commences at 1pm, so we hope to see you at the GCP before for some drinks. Vamos Atleti!

About Ben

Ben Ralph is a die-hard football fan and a journalism student at Carleton. He has been supporting Everton through the ups and downs (but mostly the downs) and could not believe his luck when he stumbled across Atlético Ottawa in 2021. Now part of the Atleti faithful, his dream has always been to write football stories, and he is excited to join other fans as writers for CCSG. His football journalist idols are Adam Hurrey, James Richardson, and Charlie Eccleshare from The Football Cliches Podcast.

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