The Canadian Premier League is just one week away from kicking off. Five of the seven Mastermind Site #CANPL Team Guides have been posted and now its time to examine a team that many have as the favourites heading into the opening matches. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for Calgary’s newest club: Cavalry FC.
On May 5, 2018, Calgary was one of four cities accepted by the Canadian Soccer Association for membership as part of the new Canadian Premier League. Cavalry FC was then officially unveiled as its name and became the second club to join the CPL on May, 17, 2018. Shortly thereafter, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. was named as head coach after three years coaching with USL League Two side Calgary Foothills.
Cavalry FC will play their home games in a 6,000 seat stadium at Spruce Meadows. The team’s crest features a chevron, the Alberta Foothills & Rocky Mountains, and a soccer ball at the bottom. The club’s colours include red, green and black. Green for the nature and Spruce Meadows in Calgary and red and black to resemble similar sports teams in the area such as the Calgary Flames.
Here is the official roster for Cavalry FC, accompanied by links to the players’ 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.
|2||Defender||Chris Serban||@rserban95 |
|3||Defender||Nathan Mavila||@N_Mavila |
|4||Defender||Dominick Zator||@zator94 |
|7||Forward||Oliver Minatel||@OliverMinatel |
|8||Midfielder||Julian Büscher||@JulianBuescher |
|11||Midfielder||José Escalante||@joseescalante20 |
|12||Defender||Dean Northover||@DeanNorthover |
|14||Defender||Jonathan Wheeldon||@JWheelo |
|15||Midfielder||Joel Waterman||@16Waterman |
|16||Midfielder||Elijah Adekugbe||@elijahadekugbe |
|17||Forward||Nico Pasquotti||@nicopasquotti |
|18||Midfielder||Mauro Eustáquio||@EustaquioMauro |
|19||Forward||Dominique Malonga||@DomsMalonga |
|21||Forward||Malyk Hamilton||@malykhamilton |
|22||Goalkeeper||Niko Giantsopoulos||@NikolaosGiants |
|Owner/Chairman||Linda A. Southern-Heathcott|
|Manager||Tommy Wheeldon Jr.||@tommywheeldonjr|
|Head Coach||Tommy Wheeldon Jr.||@tommywheeldonjr|
|Assistant Coach||Martin Nash||@martin7nash|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Jordan Santiago||@jordansantiag0|
MANAGER: TOMMY WHEELDON JR.
Tommy Wheeldon Jr. never really made a massive impact in the world of football as a player. He had two spells in England with Swindon Town and Torquay United before moving to Calgary Storm in 2002. In his two years in Calgary, Wheeldon Jr. did a lot of coaching with the club’s academy, but didn’t do a whole lot of playing, making only 28 appearances. However, he found his calling in coaching and after a role as the assistant coach of Canada’s U-17 side, the Liverpool-born defender took on a role as head coach of the Calgary Foothills in 2015. He had a win percentage of 67% during his time with the Foothills and in his final season at the club, Wheeldon Jr. won the PDL championship; a fitting way to end his time at the club. The 41-year old now takes on his biggest task ever as a head coach and in all of his pre-season interviews he just looks so ready and so up for this inaugural CPL season.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
Cavalry FC have the biggest squad in the league so picking their starting 11 is a massive task for Tommy Wheeldon Jr. The former Calgary Foothills coach said earlier this week that he has a good idea of who his starters are going to be in their opening match next weekend. However, we have no idea who he is going to pick or what formation he is going to utilize. Dominque Malonga looks the likeliest to play up, while Marco Carducci appears to be a sure-bet in goal. A back-four featuring Nathan Mavila, Mason Trafford, Dominik Zator and Chris Serban might just be the strongest in the league, while a diamond midfield may be favoured. The diamond in midfield would allow for Nik Legerwood to play his preferred number 6 role, Sergio Camargo the number 10 role, while also fitting in players like Mauro Eustaquio and Julian Buscher – who played in the MLS for DC United. Jose Escalante will look to push Sergio Camargo for a place, while Elijah Adekugbe could also be one to watch in midfield. Jordan Brown will be hoping to partner Dominque Malonga up top, but the role could also go to Oliver Minatel or Malyk Hamilton. Agree or disagree? Make sure to share your thoughts!
KEY PLAYER: MASON TRAFFORDEmbed from Getty Images
About a month ago, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. came out publicly and said that Mason Trafford was the best centre-back in the league. Indications given in all of the pre-season matches, articles, videos, etc., suggest that might just be true. At 32-years old, Trafford has so much experience. He played for Vancouver Whitecaps, IFK Mariehamn in Finland, Guizhou Zhicheng in China, Ottawa Fury, Miami FC and now comes into Cavalry to finish off his career. Clean on the ball and very composed and patient when defending, Trafford might not make a whole lot of mistakes this season and that should be crucial to Cavalry as they look to lift the title. There’s an old saying that defence wins championships and Cavalry have one of the strongest in the league, led by Mason Trafford.
PREDICTED FINISH: WINNERS
Cavalry FC have a well-built squad and a very strong manager. They just might be the favourites to win this inaugural CPL season. They’ve had a strong pre-season, beating some of their CPL rivals and with the experience of players like Mason Trafford, Nik Legerwood and Dominque Malonga, the spine of their squad looks very solid. Everywhere you look on the field Cavalry FC have a certain amount of experience that can’t really be found anywhere else in this league and although young players might feature, they aren’t relying on them as heavily as some of the other teams. Wheeldon Jr. most recently won a title just last year and he’ll be looking to win another one after building such an impressive squad heading into the opening round of fixtures. Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s Cavalry FC are The Mastermind’s pick for the winners of this first ever CPL season.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for Cavalry FC. What are your thoughts on Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s work on this Calgary-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.
HALIFAX WANDERERS TEAM GUIDE FORGE FC TEAM GUIDE YORK 9 TEAM GUIDE VALOUR FC TEAM GUIDE PACIFIC FC TEAM GUIDE
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @mastermindsite. See you soon!