Calgary’s Cavalry FC won their second Canadian Premier League regular season title last weekend, with a 3-0 victory over Pacific FC. Finishing with 16 wins and 55 points, the squad won the CPL Shield — given to the regular season champs — by the largest margin in league history.
The team hopes to continue their run of form on Saturday in the playoffs, when they take on defending champs Hamilton’s Forge FC.
All season long, the Cavalry found success at home, ending their campaign with only one loss in 14 games at ATCO Field. Craig MacTavish, member of the Cavalry fan group known as the Footsoldiers, attributes their home field success to having natural grass, a higher elevation but more than anything else the support from the supporters.
“You have a good boisterous crowd behind the team that always shows up, and it’s a louder stadium than the size may indicate,” MacTavish says.
MacTavish pointed out that watching winger Ali Musse’s development this season was exceptional. Musse netted five goals and got five assists throughout his 25 games this season.
“He did phenomenal throughout the season. He’s always been a great player, but he has been consistently great all year,” MacTavish says. “His presence on the field has been great and has really helped dictate offensive play with all that goalscoring.”
The Cavalry’s success so far this year has truly been a team effort. They were led by joint golden boot winner Myer Bevan, who scored 11 goals and defender Daan Klomp who played every minute of every game this season.
Klomp made the Gatorade Team of the Week a league-high 11 times, and with five goal contributions on top of his impressive defensive statistics, MacTavish believes he is due for a big move.
“He’s a player that has always wanted to go to the MLS, so I’m really hoping that he gets recognition from the league by the league this season,” says MacTavish. “So hopefully after winning a championship here, he gets some looks by some MLS teams.”
With the playoffs already underway, the Cavalry have a tough first matchup on Saturday as they face off against the three time North Star Cup winners for playoff champions, Forge FC.
Calgary hasn’t made it to the playoff final since the inaugural season, but with an all new five-team playoff format and a red hot team, MacTavish is feeling very confident about the team’s chances.
“They really have a lot of momentum going into the playoffs which in previous seasons they didn’t necessarily have,” MacTavish says. “I have high hopes for them actually getting it done and getting all the way this season.”