By Ben Ralph
Photo Credits: Atlético Ottawa via Twitter
Atlético Ottawa faces Cavalry FC in a Tricera-top of the table clash, and the playoff vibe is slowly creeping into TD Place, according to coach Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo’s men can’t jump into first in the CPL this weekend, but a win would make things really cozy at the top with only seven games to go. Gonzalez had a lot of topics to cover this week, so here are all the details from a press conference that covered all corners of the country, from Calgary to Pacific to the Mesozoic Era:
The Quotes: Carlos Gonzalez
On game expectations: “[I said last week] we played like a playoff game, and this week is going to be the same… Probably it's going to be a new type of game [to previous matches against Cavalry]. I don't expect similar games than in the past. I think that we are in a moment of the season that teams are going to take care of more things, and we are going to see maybe a chess match in the field tomorrow.”
On Wally the dinosaur: “Well, I haven't met him yet, but my thoughts are that great news that we have one addition to our family. I think that we are making bigger that bond between the club and the fans, and this is a great thing so that the people start to feel that sense of belonging to the club.”
On Zakaria Bahous signing for Pacific: “Happy for him that he found a good team in which he can continue his development and grow as a player. I think that fits really well to the Pacific team. He's a mixed midfielder that can play in different spots on the midfield. And I think that James Merriman is going to take advantage of him. So yeah, happy for him.”
On preparing players for inconsistent officiating: “I think that we live in a young league that is growing every single year. Everybody is given steps forward. And the players is a similar thing. It's about having patience. It's about embracing the things that we have to all improve because I don't think that there is nobody perfect here. And the reality is that you acknowledge what you can improve and be self demanding.”
Coach Gonzalez will be confident about his squad's history against Cavalry FC, though he was quick to downplay expectations throughout the presser. Gonzalez’s home record remains unblemished since May, and his cohort is almost back to full fitness, with the only remaining injuries being Sacko and Espejo. Cavalry, meanwhile, are fresh off the transfer of Goteh Ntignee, who left on Thursday to join French side Annecy in a record transfer for the league.
Moving to arrivals now, the most important name in the stadium come kickoff will be Wally the T-Rex, who will be making his debut with ATO. Here’s hoping Wally, Ollie, and the rest of Los Roujiblancos are on top form when the game kicks off at 7 pm tonight. Join the CCSG before and after the game for drinks at the Glebe Central Pub. See you there!
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.