The Canadian Premier League is just a few weeks away from kicking off. The Mastermind Site kicked off its 2019 #CANPL Team Guides with Halifax Wanderers FC, Forge FC and York 9. Now it’s time to take a look at Winnipeg’s Valour FC, coached by former Canada U-20 coach Rob Gale. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for Winnipeg’s new club: Valour FC.
In May of 2017, Winnipeg began to be in the discussions for a professional club when the Canadian Premier League was unanimously approved. When discussions really got underway, the CEO of CFL team Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Wade Miller) was named as the club’s president. About a year later, the club was named as Valour FC, after Valour Road in Winnipeg, and joined the CPL as the fourth team. Soon afterward Rob Gale, who coached Canada’s MNT at nearly every youth level, was named as head coach and general manager. ￼
The club will play its home games as Investors Group Field, a 33,000-seat stadium at the University of Manitoba and used by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL. The club’s colours will be maroon, gold and black.
Here is the official roster for Rob Gale’s Valour FC, accompanied by links to their twitter profiles to keep the conversation going all season long and continue to raise awareness on Canada’s first ever top flight league. Player additions and numbers will be added as they come in.
|1||Goalkeeper||Tyson Farago||@Tysonjfarago |
|4||Defender||Jordan Murrell||@JMurrell4 |
|9||Midfielder||Michael Petrasso||@petrasso20 |
|10||Midfielder||Dylan Carreiro||@DylanCarreiroo |
|11||Midfielder||Glenn Muenkat||@glennmuenkat |
|16||Forward||Tyler Attardo||@AttardoTyler |
|17||Forward||Stephen Hoyle||@sghoyle92 |
|27||Midfielder||Raphael Ohin||@ohin_r |
|—||Midfielder||Louis Béland-Goyette||@louisbg27 |
|—||Midfielder||Federico Peña||@sxintrico |
|General Manager||Rob Gale||@galey77|
|Head coach||Rob Gale||@galey77|
|Assistant Coach||Damien Rocke|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Patrick di Stefani|
|Technical Consultant||John Peacock|
MANAGER: ROB GALE
After failing to really make it as a player, Rob Gale took up coaching in 2010 and remained a part of Canada’s National Team youth system until 2018 when he swapped international football for club football and took on Valour FC. Having played for Winnipeg Alliance and Winnipeg Lucania, Gale knows the area well and knows what it takes to develop talent in this country. Rob Gale has a pretty unique advantage of being able to recruit so many players from his past with the Canadian youth teams and as a result his side look set up to do very well. Although he’s never managed a club team and the oldest players he’s ever coached regularly were all under-20, his experiences coaching at the top level are evident and he’ll have learned a lot throughout his time with the Canadian set-up.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
There have been many indications that Rob Gale might be setting his side up in a back three and given the fact that his squad remains very midfield-heavy a week before the first game kicks off, this may prove to be correct. Dylan Carreiro, Josip Golubar look the likeliest midfield pairing, but Michael Petrasso and Dylan Sacramento could both play a different role if Gale wanted to go with a 3-5-2. Sacramento might be deployed on the left instead of his usual number 10 role, while Ali Musse looks another likely contender to challenge for the left-wing spot. Petrasso meanwhile can play as a right winger, central midfielder or right fullback. Speaking of fullbacks, Diego Gutierrez and the Uruguyan Martín Arguiñarena look like guaranteed starters and a back-four could be deployed instead of the back-three if Gale wanted to go with an extra man in midfield and drop the wing-backs lower. New signing Adam Mitter could round out the back-three alongside Jordan Murrell and Skylar Thomas, who are being tipped as one of the strongest central defense partnerships in the league. Finally, Tyson Farago looks the likeliest bet to start in goal with British forward Stephen Hoyle up top.
KEY PLAYER: MICHAEL PETRASSOEmbed from Getty Images
Michael Petrasso comes into this league as one of the more experienced players and recognizable faces. The 23-year old spent five years with Queens Park Rangers in the EFL Championship, although couldn’t ever really make his mark. Petrasso made just 11 league appearances in his time with QPR and between his four different loan spells only made 31 league appearances between Leyton Orient, Notts County, Coventry and Oldham. In 2018, the Toronto native made a return to Canada to play for Montreal Impact and had a decent time, making 14 MLS appearances. But it didn’t last long before he swapped the MLS for the Canadian Premier League. He’s never really made a massive impact wherever he’s been, but Michael Petrasso is a talented central midfielder who should be able to become a regular starter for Rob Gale in this league. Gale will know Petrasso well from the various Canada youth teams and at only 23-years old the best days of Petrasso’s career are certainly still to come.
PREDICTED FINISH: 5TH
Valour FC have developed one of the most interesting squads since the turn of the year and could be a force to be reckoned with in this initial CPL season. Rob Gale knows his players well and alongside the help of John Peacock, seems to be organizing them very well too. He also has one of the more crystal clear starting elevens in the league and this could be an advantage to Gale rather than a detriment. Their defense also looks like one of the strongest in the league and whether it’s in a back-four or back-three they might not concede a lot of goals. However, going forward they don’t appear quite as strong and although very experienced, Rob Gale might get outclassed by some of the other coaches in this league. Although they have a strong squad, Valour FC are not one of the favourites to win this inaugural CPL season and could struggle for goals as they finish in 5th place.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for Valour FC. What are your thoughts on Rob Gale’s work on this Winnipeg-based team so far? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Also be sure to check out the other team guides that have been posted so far below.
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @mastermindsite. See you soon!