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The Forward Press: Espejo injury details emerge ahead of Forge match

By Ben Ralph

Photo Credits: Phil Larivière

Despite an egregious record of 1-2-11 against Forge, including no home wins and no goals scored at home (yeesh), Atlético Ottawa approaches Friday's clash against Forge with title aspirations and a league-leading run of form. Carlos Gonzalez said these factors are all motivation to improve, confidently saying that Atleti have entered into their “best moment of the season.” A win would push ATO back to first in the league… at least for the time being. Carlos Gonzalez joined the pregame presser to share his thoughts before the game, and here are all the details:

The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez

On Forge's recent struggles: Even though I think that Forge is a team that although they are having a little bit of up and downs in the last months, they are always a team that they don't need too much to win a game. We saw it in the last game that we played against them here at home, that we dominated them in a lot of parts of the game. We create more chances, we create clear chances, and in the last minute they won the game.

On the depth of his squad: I'm really happy with the squad that we have at the moment… I think that the trend of football nowadays is to be adaptive; to understand the game – playing inside, playing outside, using different type of systems during a game. So we try to approach those type of players, smart players, intelligent players that can work in different positions and can give different solutions for the team.

On Espejo not traveling to Winnipeg: Espejo is injured. He had a knock in a training session and he's injured so that's why he didn't came into the last 18 list. Too early [to tell a timeframe of the injury]. We are going little by little with him.

On ATO having not scored or won against Forge at home: I think that if you want to win the game, the first thing that you should do is score a goal. So of course tomorrow we are going to try to find the ways to create damage in their defense and to create situations of goal and to try to score our first goal and from that grow in the game and of course fight for the first victory.

On it being ‘Soccer for Everyone’ night: I think that diversity is the main strength of the human being. So every time that we do this type of promotion or initiatives, I think it's great to open the eyes of everyone and to tell them that football is part of everyone, and everybody is welcome to see games, to practice the sport, and to grow with it.

The news of the Espejo injury may be disheartening, but Atléti fans can take heart in the fact that Max Tissot will be a match day decision as he looks closer to a return. Tyr Walker also proved himself against Valour and could reprise his role, with Acosta also likely to feature. As Coach Gonzalez said, Forge is the first of “eight finals” as ATO looks to stay in the running for a title finish. With top scorers Ollie Bassett and Terran Campbell at ten league goals each, a healthy dose of feisty history between the sides, and given the playoff context, all signs point to it being a cracking game of football.

Kickoff is at 7pm at TD Place, but don’t hesitate to join us for pre and post-game drinks at the Glebe Central Pub. 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 James Richardson and Charlie Eccleshare from The Football Cliches Podcast.

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