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This article was published 1/7/2019 (842 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Not even a perfect start was enough for Valour FC to end the team's dreadful losing streak.
Valour's nightmare spring season concluded on Monday afternoon at IG Field, as York9 FC, who entered the game with the worst record in the league, came away with a 3-1 victory. With the loss, Valour dropped six consecutive contests and finishes the inaugural Canadian Premier League spring season with a disappointing 3-7-0 record. The three points puts York9 FC ahead of the Winnipeg club in the standings as they finish at 2-3-5.
"If I had an answer, I don't think we'd be losing," said Valour attacking midfielder Marco Bustos on the reason for the team's struggles. "It's not one thing. But, we'll get through it as a group and up and onwards."
The hometown kid, Tyler Attardo, who's only 17, and recently graduated from River East Collegiate, scored 42 seconds into the game to give the 6,678 fans in attendance something to cheer about. But there wasn't much to cheer for in the next 90 minutes, as for the 11th straight match, Valour was unable to score more than a single goal in a game. The only time they've done so is in their season opening 2-1 victory over Pacific FC on May 1.
"I don't think (anyone) in our camp would call it a crisis," said Valour head coach Rob Gale on the frustrating spring.
"Obviously, we want to stop the losing streak and we've had chances to do that in those two or three games despite getting the young minutes and despite getting the rotations. We know there's talent. We got a lot of ability that's unavailable at the moment. So, we know what we need to do and how to regroup and then come out all together all firing. We can't do it individually."
York9 didn't waste time in tying the game, as Morey Doner drilled a shot past Tyson Farago in the seventh minute. Manuel Aparicio gave York9 the lead in the 57th minute off a free kick. The ball deflected off of Valour's defence wall and took a lucky bounce into the back of the net. Simon Adjei Karlsson scored in extra time to make it a 3-1 game. York9 entered Monday afternoon with only one goal in their past five matches. York9 finished the game with 53 per cent possession and outshot Valour 14-13, with seven landing on target compared to Valour's five.
Valour can put the spring season behind them. They have about two weeks to regroup to open the 18-game fall season, which will start on the road against FC Edmonton on July 17. All seven CPL teams start fresh with blank records. The winner of the fall campaign will take on Cavalry FC, the spring champion, for the CPL title.
"I mean, it’s obviously great," said Attardo, the team’s lone two-goal scorer in CPL play, on being able to press the reset button for the fall. "But we can’t go in there thinking we can be first place playing the same. We've got to use these two weeks to regroup, focus, work hard and hopefully create more of those chances going in so we can finish higher and hopefully, first place."
Bustos was asked why people should believe Valour's fall season will be different.
"Passion. Heart. I hate losing. I don't want to lose. And there are a lot of guys in there who hate losing as well. But, we just got to take it to another level and be confident," said the 23-year-old from Winnipeg. "When we mean that we don't want to lose, do we really mean it that we don't want to lose? We need every guy in there to really believe in it."
Valour needs the time off so players — including midfielder Michael Petrasso and attacker Ali Musse — get back to full health. Midfielder Dylan Sacramento and defender Adam Mitter also left Monday's match with injuries.
"We've got seven or eight consistent performers," Gale said. "Others have come in and they have to step up their game. They're used to the level now. They know what they need to do so we won't do the same things… But tough times don't last, tough people do. So, we need to come out, puff our chest up, show our character that we know we got here and get it right for the fall season."
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.