Pacific FC head coach Kah suspended for game against Ottawa

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Pacific FC head coach Pa-Modou Kah will not be on the bench for tonight’s Canadian Premier League game against Atlético Ottawa after receiving a one-game suspension for receiving two yellow cards in the previous 2-1 loss to Forge FC on Saturday in the Bulle Winnipeg. The island club will be guided by assistant coach James Merriman.

“We have talked a lot about resilience [after the loss to Forge]”Merriman said.

“Losses hurt. If anything, that motivates us more.

Merrriman will have to deal with the PFC injury situation. Defenseman Thomas Meilleur-Giguère and midfielder Manny Aparicio, key Pacific FC players, have spent most of the Winnipeg bubble game of the CPL season on the sidelines due to injury. It’s one thing to be in a bubble when you have games to break up the monotony, another when you don’t. Neither player is expected to return tonight when the PFC (3-2-2) wrap up their eight-game bubble campaign at IG Stadium against Atlético Ottawa (2-4-1) at 7 p.m. PT.

“They’ve been great on recovery and are very close, but we don’t want to risk anything,” said Merriman.

Meilleur-Giguère was expected to spearhead Canada U-23 in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament in March in Guadalajara, Mexico for the Tokyo Olympics before sustaining an ACL injury during the last training session before qualifying. He recovered and started the season with the PFC but came out after three games and 205 minutes of play.

Former MLS Toronto FC prospect Mercuriel Aparicio who made 39 appearances for Canada from Under-18 to Under-23, was the award for the PFC’s off-season free agent signing, but so was he. came out after just two games and 147 minutes of play for the PFC. . Marco Bustos and Josh Heard, tied for second in the league with three goals apiece, stepped up the PFC’s attacking pace in Aparicio’s absence.

Atletico Ottawa were also deprived of a key player recently with Ryan Telfer away from the Trinidad and Tobago national team this month for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Ottawa squad belong to big Spanish La Liga club Atlético Madrid and are coached by Mista, a former La Liga veteran player with Valencia, who has been twice selected for Spain. The Ottawa squad will receive a boost tonight with Spain midfielder Alberto Soto, Atlético Madrid’s 20-year-old prospect, cleared to play after several delays.

The PFC won this season’s first meeting between the clubs 1-0 on July 7 on a goal from Heard that was shrewdly assisted by Bustos between the wickets of an Ottawa defender.

Merriman said the team would be happy to finally catch a plane on Thursday and leave the Winnipeg bubble.

“It’s been a long run stuck in a hotel,” he said.

The regular game of the CPL season begins July 30 when PFC faces Calgary Cavalry FC at Starlight Stadium.

CORNERSTONE: Merriman coached for seven years in the academy and residency programs of the Vancouver Whitecaps, from which many of the PFC players have come. “There is so much connection between the two teams,” he said of this week’s announcement that the PFC were drawn against the Whitecaps in the first round of the Canadian Championship tournament on August 26 at Starlight Stadium. . “Our guys are excited about the game and a lot of them feel like they have something to prove.”

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