The Forward Press: Atlético Ottawa try to recapture “spark” on the road at Valour

The Forward Press: Atlético Ottawa try to recapture “spark” on the road at Valour

Atlético Ottawa travels to Winnipeg for a tangle with Valour FC, a team which has quietly been putting together a good run of form after three straight games without a loss. Valour FC find themselves seventh in the table, but look a much improved side to the start of their campaign, while Atleti was nearly pegged back to its first loss of the season last weekend but remained undefeated thanks to the cranium of Alberto Zapater. Coach Gonzalez said the Ottawa club will be hoping to rekindle the spark which saw the Rougiblancos triumph by an aggregate score of nine goals to nil against Valour in the early days of May. Carlos Gonzalez met with the media ahead of his trip out West for updates on the status of his squad. Here are all the details:

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On preparing for Valour FC: “We have a long week to prepare. We gave (the players) two days off to rest mentally a little bit. And now we are trying to grab the energy that we lacked maybe in the last few games. And this is the spark that the team is needing to perform in a better way because we acknowledge that the last two games haven't been our best games in terms of performance.”

On a quarter-season team assessment: “At the moment, we are doing just what we expected in terms of how we are doing things. That is what we're focusing on, on the process and not much on the result. It's true that the results are being really positive, but we are thinking only in the day by day, in how the team is growing, in how we are competing each day on the field.”

Atlético Ottawa vs Valour Football Club<br />
July 13, 2023<br />
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PHOTO: Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography
Photo © Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography

On how the loss of CEO Fernando Lopez will affect the team: “We all have a bittersweet feeling these days, but how it's going to affect is probably zero percent or one percent in that we're not going to see this face as usual as in other months. But the reality is that he has worked so hard so that the club is on rails at the moment. So the only thing that we have to do…is maintain this legacy and be more ambitious and continue the growth of the club.”

On Maxim Tissot: “(He) has a PCL injury, so it's much better than what we first thought about, that it could be an ACL. So this means that he's going to be only one month and a bit or a couple of months out. It's going to be a short-term recovery. So I hope that we see Max soon running the left wing.”

Atlético Ottawa vs HFX Wanderers FC<br />
June 2, 2024<br />
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PHOTO: Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography
Photo © Tim Austen/Freestyle Photography

As for other injuries, Gonzalez will be able to shuffle his pack from Halifax last weekend as Amer Didic will return to the squad and most likely the starting XI. Tyr Walker and Liberman Torres did a commendable job filling the gap left by Bosnian giant, but Didic will be an important element in stopping Valour striker Jordan Swibel, who looks to be finding his feet after a brace against Vancouver FC last weekend. Down the other end, Dani Morer may be set to secure his first start in the Canadian Premier League after an impressive assist off the bench last weekend. Coach Gonzalez indicated he had planned to start Morer the week before, but a slight knock kept the fullback-turned-winger off the pitch for 77 minutes. We can only imagine he will get the nod this weekend as a result.

Valour FC plays its second match of the season at home after an enforced road trip to start the season, but the CCSG will be in its familiar home of the Glebe Central Pub, so come have a drink with us as we cheer on the boys in stripes. Kickoff is at 1:30 pm and we hope to see you there!

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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