The match marks Forge FC’s second Concacaf League campaign after they fell in the Round of 16 in 2019.
After earning their a second consecutive Canadian Premier League title as the champions of the 2020 Island Games, Forge FC travel to El Salvador to face Club Deportivo Municipal Limeño in Concacaf League action on Thursday 22 October LIVE on TSN3 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The match marks Forge FC’s second Concacaf League campaign after they fell in the Round of 16 to Club Deportivo Olimpia in 2019.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Forge FC Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis believes that the Island Games bubble opportunity helped his team prepare for what they’ll face in Concacaf League. Speaking from San Salvador, Head Coach Bobby Smyrniotis said the 6-week tournament provided them an opportunity to come together as a group, something they’ll benefit from in Concacaf League.
“Our experience last year in this competition is going to help us for sure as any game in Concacaf is going to be a difficult endeavor having to deal with the environment and challenges they provide,” Smyrniotis said. “After the Island Games, we returned to Hamilton to train and prepare for this challenge and are ready.”
Forge will look to draw on the experience of their veterans including Canadian Internationals David Edgar and Kyle Bekker, who were both recently announced as participants on a unique combined Canada Soccer C/B Licence Coach Education Program.
“Both of those guys are field generals, for sure, David at the back and Kyle in the midfield,” Smyrniotis said. “They both had very different development pathways with David in England and Kyle in North America but I am always talking with them and look at things in different ways and I’m sure they’ll make excellent coaches once they finish their professional careers.”
Forge will look to benefit from the experience of the Island Games bubble even further if they advance beyond Municipal on Thursday, as they’ll travel directly to Panama to take on awaiting Tauro on 3 November.
“There’s just no planes in the sky, so we need to be sure that we’re ready and not unable to travel or train in self-isolation with the short window between games,” Smyrniotis said. “We know that Concacaf will be ready and have all the right protocols in place for us.”
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.