The Forward Press: CarGo’s comments ahead of superteam season-opener

The Forward Press: CarGo’s comments ahead of superteam season-opener

Massive news from the Nation's Capital, where after 190 days of agony, the Forward Press is back! For the CCSG newcomers, the Forward Press is a way for the CCSG to have a presence within every presser, both before and after every game! That’s at least two per week for your enjoyment. Coach Carlos Gonzalez kicked the year off as he sat down with the press for a discussion on plethora of pre-home opener topics, from his Avengers-esque superteam, to expectations for the year ahead, and a tricky opening fixture against York in the season-opener, a fixture in which Atlético Ottawa has only claimed victory on one occasion. Without further ado, here are all the quotes from the first presser of the year!

Source: Atlético Ottawa via Twitter

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On opening-day feelings: “We are excited to start the league, the new season, to start to compete again. And at the same time, we're realistic because we know that although we had a pretty long preseason, it's a completely new team, and we're trying to blend them into a great team together.”

On getting results against York: “I think that York is a team that they don't need much to punish you. They've done that in the past against us. Although you feel that maybe you are being better than them in the game, they have this capacity to create chances and capitalize them. So, yeah, we have to be on top of every single detail. It's not going to be an easy game. As I say, always the start of the season is an emotional game here at home in which we have to be calm. We have to play the game that we want to try to play.”

On balancing a stacked left-flank: “The field, the day by day and the training session will give me the solutions each week. I think Abou Sacko is a player who can play as a winger, he can play as a fullback, so he's a versatile winger. But also this type of player is Matteo de Brienne – he can play as a winger, he can play as a fullback. He has played in the past on the right side of the field. So at the end of the day, we were looking for versatile players that make us have the possibility to change their positions and to look for certain spots in different moments.”

On lessons learned from pre-season and last weekend: “I hope that what we saw last weekend stays like last weekend. At the end of the day, it was against a different opponent. It was against St. Laurent. And yeah, it's true that it was a good game in which we grabbed good feelings here in our home with the fan base. We started to feel that electric atmosphere that is always here in the TD Place…During the preseason, we've tried several things. It's true that the last game, we tried another thing. I think that this is one of the strengths of the team, that we can play with a similar identity, but in different ways, depending a little bit on the structure of the opponent and depending a little bit on the players that are going to play in our starting 11. So let's see what happens on Saturday.”

On having more CPL starters than starting places: “Well, from the start, it's creating a structure in which they can play the most – find the structure and the picture in which [we] can get the most players possible into the team. And secondly, at the end of the day, it's being honest with [the players]. In nearly every single position of our roster, there are double positions of good talent. So they know perfectly that the rule in football is 11 players. They have to acknowledge that you have to be an important player from the bench. And you have to accept a different role…And during the week, you have to work so that you change your role.”

Source: Atlético Ottawa via Twitter

Gonzalez assured all of his players besides Jonathan Grant will be in contention on opening day, though he also shared that Liberman Torres is yet to join the team and did not participate in the preseason after experiencing “some issues.” He said he hopes the Ecuadorian, who will wear the number six (an indication of the position he will play?) will join the team. Elsewhere in the presser, Gonzalez stated his intentions for getting off on the right foot, though he admitted with a team still very much in a state of building that the results can’t be expected to be positive every week. Gonzalez said starting the season with a win is “important, but not mandatory”. He said Atlético Ottawa needs to be prepared to bounce back from poor performances, something it struggled to do last season. Taking a look around the league, Gonzalez pointed to a few other movers and shakers who will be contenders come the business end of the season, including Cavalry and Forge, which he felt made some big-name acquisitions while retaining a solid core.

While Carlos was very much on expectation-tempering duty at the presser after a slow start in preseason, the expectations will be ramped right back up to a 10 come Saturday afternoon. Kickoff against York is 1 pm at TD Place, but feel free to join us at the Glebe Central Pub ahead of the match for our first March to the Stadium of the year, which will be leaving promptly at Noon. As this is also the first Forward Press of the year, you can also get involved yourself by sending me your burning questions or chatting with me, Ben Ralph, anytime! See you on Saturday!

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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