The Forward Press: Euro Fever Hits Ottawa as ATO face York

The Forward Press: Euro Fever Hits Ottawa as ATO face York

With the Euros kicking off half a world away in Germany, it’s fair to say that the soccer bug is about to sweep the nation's capital, with the first weekend of Euro action coinciding with Atlético Ottawa’s match against York United. ATO come into the match with past success over York after a come-from-behind victory on opening day, though York have undergone a massive overhaul since then, including a change in mentality following the dismissal of head coach Martin Nash in May and subsequent appointment of Benjamín Mora. York hasn't fared much better since the appointment, having struggled since the start of the campaign against teams that aren’t in and around them in the league, and González will be hoping to capitalize on this form later today. González joined the media on Friday ahead of the match. Here are all the details:

Photo © CPL Photos

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On philosophies of Benjamín Mora: “It's true that the identity of the new coach is there. It's true that I feel that they are going to give somehow continuity to what they did on the last game. But as I say, we focus mainly on us, on the things that we can control, and on being a better version of ourselves every single day, because at the end of the day, we don't have many references at the moment of the opponent.”

On controlling games in attack and defense: “I really think that we are the most offensive team of the CPL at the moment. We've been that team that has scored more goals in the two competitions. We are also a team that is not [conceding]…This is our main target to be a team that manages well different phases of the game that is good in vertical play where it's needed, is good in positional play where it's needed…I think that this is a critical aspect to give us success at the end of the day.”

On maintaining the 10-match undefeated streak: "We've never focused on a streak. We focus on performances. We focus on the growth of the team and we focus on what at the end of the day is going to give us the result, that is the work every single day and the process. So the idea is the same. The idea that we speak in the locker room is the same. To keep going."

On Sam Salters influence off the bench: "I told Sam, I'm very happy that he could take advantage of 5, 10 minutes that he had in the last game. And he went out with the correct energy and mentality, and not only with Sam, with every single player that stems from the bench and is capable to make a positive impact to the team. I think that we can be thankful and we can be grateful for that."

Photo © CPL Photos

Coach Gonzalez said ATO will have the same players available as in Winnipeg last weekend. Against Valour Nathan Ingham reentered the net for the first time since he sustained an injury in early May, and in discussing the goalkeeper selection headache González faces with the cup run over and two starting goalkeepers in his squad, the coach said he plans to “use the same formula” as the rest of his squad to choose his starting keeper. 

“Depending on the opponent, depending on the game plan, and depending on the level that they are showing in every training session, we are going to make decisions. We do it with every single player. I don't think that the goalkeeper should be a different situation,” Gonzalez said.

Photo © CPL Photos

The club will be looking for its a tenth straight match without a loss in the league this season, though González is not eager to let this be a factor in the motivations of his team. The Spaniard, who has already publicized that he will be cheering on Spain in European football, shared that Euro fever has hit the Atleti camp in full force. 

"The players were in the locker room speaking about Euros and selecting a national team each for the rest of the tournament. At the end of the day, it’s very important that we have these quality games now in summer,” González said. “(It’s) a reference for us…We’re going to see very high quality football, not only in the Euro Cup, also in the Copa America and also the Olympic Games.” 

Come Saturday afternoon, González will be hoping his squad can streak to a comfortable win in the same way that Germany did Friday afternoon, rather than falling to a defeat akin to poor Scotland. Kickoff is at 1 pm at TD Place, and CCSG will be having drinks before and after (as always!) at the Glebe Central Pub! 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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