|Full name||Forge Football Club|
|Founded||May 6, 2017|
|Stadium||Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario|
|Owner||Hamilton Sports Group|
|League||Canadian Premier League|
|2022||Canadian Premier League: 2nd|
CPL Final: Champions
Forge FC is a Canadian professional soccer club based in Hamilton, Ontario, that competes in the Canadian Premier League, the top tier of Canadian soccer. The club plays its home matches at Tim Hortons Field. Forge FC joined the CPL in 2019 as one of the league's seven inaugural teams.
The club won the first two championships of the Canadian Premier League, winning back-to-back league titles in 2019 and 2020 before winning a third title in 2022. Forge was the first CPL side to compete in a continental competition when it qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF League, and the first to compete in the highest tier of continental competition in the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League. Forge became the first Canadian Premier League club to reach the final of the Canadian Championship, which they did in 2020.
Hamilton was linked to a professional soccer team as early as June 2013, when reports first emerged of a professional soccer league launching in Canada. Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young was part of a group of investors, predominantly from the Canadian Football League, working with the Canadian Soccer Association and president Victor Montagliani.
In February 2016, the ownership group sought permission from Hamilton City Council to erect a dome over the Tim Hortons Field playing surface to allow for year-long activity, including soccer. When the Canadian Premier League was officially announced, it was revealed that Hamilton's club would be the flagship franchise.
On May 6, 2017, Hamilton was one of two cities accepted by the Canadian Soccer Association for professional club membership when the Canadian Premier League was unanimously approved.
Forge FC was officially unveiled as the league's sixth team on July 12, 2018. The club revealed its crest, colours and branding, as well as its place in the league for the 2019 launch season. The name was chosen to represent city's industrial heritage and forging ahead building its future.
Bobby Smyrniotis era
On October 1, 2018, Forge FC announced that Bobby Smyrniotis would be its first head coach and technical director. On November 29, 2018, Kyle Bekker and Chris Nanco were announced by the club as its first signings, coinciding with event that consisted where each team unveiled its initial player signings.
The club played its first ever game on April 27, 2019, in the CPL's inaugural match against York9 FC. As one of the league's 'inaugural teams', the club competed against FC Edmonton and Valour FC for a spot in the 2019 CONCACAF League, qualifying after defeating Valour FC 2–0 on June 16, 2019. In their debut international match, Forge defeated Antigua GFC 2–1 on aggregate in the two-leg preliminary round series to advance to the round of 16. There, Forge FC was eliminated 4–2 on aggregate by Honduran club Olimpia.
Forge FC won the league championship in their inaugural season after defeating Cavalry FC 2–0 on aggregate in the 2019 CPL Finals. Golden Boot winner Tristan Borges scored the opening goal during the first leg on October 26 in Hamilton. David Choinière scored the final goal late in stoppage time during the second leg, held on November 2 in Calgary.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CPL delayed the 2020 Canadian Premier League season and played it as a shortened bubble tournament at the University of Prince Edward Island. There, Forge defended their title, defeating HFX Wanderers FC 2–0 in the CPL Final with goals from Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson and Maxim Tissot.
In the CONCACAF League, Forge defeated Municipal Limeño and Tauro in single-leg away matches before falling to Haitian club Arcahaie on penalties in the quarter-finals. The club had one final chance to qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League in a play-in match, but were defeated by Honduran club Marathón.
In the club's 2021 season, Forge competed in the CONCACAF League for a third consecutive season. This year, the club advanced to the semi-finals for the first time, coming from behind in the quarter-finals to defeat Santos de Guápiles 4–3 on aggregate to qualify for the 2022 CONCACAF Champions League. Domestically, Forge finished first in the CPL and qualified for the CPL Final, but were defeated 1–0 by Pacific FC, ending the club's quest for a third consecutive title.
On January 2, 2022, the club reorganized its ownership under the newly announced Hamilton Sports Group, an entity that will also own the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the master licence for Tim Hortons Field. Bob Young continues to serve as chairman and the largest shareholder while also welcoming new investment from Hamilton-based steel company Stelco (represented by its chairman and CEO Alan Kestenbaum), club CEO Scott Mitchell, and Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson. On February 16, 2022, Forge FC became the first Canadian Premier League team to participate in the CONCACAF Champions League, hosting Cruz Azul in a 1–0 loss, and eliminated by them in the first round, 4–1 on aggregate.
During the CPL season, captain Kyle Bekker and four other players recorded their 100th match with the club. Each of these players was presented with a commemorative Forge jersey with the kit number 100 at a home match.
On October 30, Forge FC defeated Atlético Ottawa 2–0 in the 2022 Canadian Premier League Final to claim their third CPL title.
The club plays its home games at Tim Hortons Field, a 23,218-seat multi-purpose stadium which had primarily been used for Canadian football. In the inaugural season, capacity was reduced to only allow spectators in the lower decks and club and suite facilities to provide an intimate setting for supporters. More recently, capacity has been reduced further with tickets now available only in the east side lower deck and the club and suite levels except for matches with a high demand.
The stadium opened in 2014 as the home venue for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, and was used as a soccer venue during the 2015 Pan American Games.
Crest and colours
The crest is designed to represent both an "H" for Hamilton and "F" for Forge. The open space in the lettering represents a waterfall, and the three orange sparks represent Forge FC's city, community and club.
The club's secondary crest is a hammer with the 'H' of the primary crest at the head, with six stripes on the handle to represent the six municipalities amalgamated in 2001 to form the new City of Hamilton: Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Flamborough, Glanbrook, and of course, Hamilton.
The official club colours "spark orange", "platinum steel" grey, and "waterfall white", symbolizing the sparks that come from the strike of a hammer, the local manufacturing industry, and the area's many waterfalls.
To celebrate Hamilton's founding date of June 9, 1846, Forge FC announced it would wear a black and gold uniform for the first home game in June, matching the city's traditional sporting colours worn by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Hamilton Bulldogs, and the Hamilton Tigers. The club did so for its June 15, 2019 home game against Valour FC but has not followed through in subsequent seasons.[a]
The Barton St. Battalion is Forge FC's only recognized supporters' group. Located in section 112 of Tim Hortons Field, the group was founded in February 2016 after details of the Canadian Premier League and a Hamilton club emerged. At the club's official launch, supporters of the group sat behind the stage and were revealed as the club's first 75 founding members.
The club mascot is Sparx, a large orange hammer-wielding dragon. He was unveiled to the public on April 18, 2019, before his debut at Forge FC's inaugural match on April 27, 2019.
Starting in the 2022 season, the club began celebrating home victories by having a prominent player from the match strike an anvil before the Barton St. Battalion.
Forge has a rivalry with Toronto-based York United FC, with matches between the two club referred to as 905 derbies. As two of the founding members of the Canadian Premier League, the clubs contested the league's inaugural league match on April 27, 2019 at Tim Hortons Field which ended in a 1–1 draw.
A competitive rivalry with Calgary-based Cavalry FC developed during the 2019 season, as the clubs broke out as the league's top teams and faced off nine times, including meetings in the Canadian Championship and the CPL Finals. The natural rivalry has been described as the best in the league.
- Canadian Premier League
- Canadian Championship
- Runners-up: 2020
Canadian Premier League Awards
|2019||Tristan Borges||Golden Boot||Won|
|Canadian U-21 Player of the Year||Won|
|Player of the Year||Won|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
|2020||Kyle Bekker||Player of the Year||Won|
|Triston Henry||Golden Glove||Won|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
|2021||Kyle Bekker||Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Triston Henry||Golden Glove||Nominated|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
|2022||Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson||Defender of the Year||Won|
|Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Players' Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Canadian U-21 Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
CONCACAF League Awards
|2021||Molham Babouli||Team of the Tournament|
Players and staff
|Chief executive officer||Scott Mitchell|
|Director of football||Costa Smyrniotis|
|Head coach||Bobby Smyrniotis|
|Assistant coach||David Edgar|
|Assistant coach||Kyt Selaidopoulos|
|Goalkeeping coach||Johan Albert|
|Team manager||Jelani Smith|
- As of October 30, 2022
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Canada||October 1, 2018 – present||127||67||26||34||52.76|
Key to colours and symbols:
Key to league record:
Key to cup record:
|2019||1||CPL||28||17||5||6||45||26||+19||56||2.00||2nd||W||R2||CONCACAF League||R16||6,872 †||Tristan Borges||13 ♦|
|2020||CPL||10||5||4||1||17||10||+7||19||1.90||–||W||RU[c]||CONCACAF League||QF||N/A||Daniel Krutzen||4|
|2021||CPL||28||16||2||10||39||24||+15||50||1.79||1st||RU||SF||CONCACAF League||SF||4,335||Molham Babouli||10|
|2022||CPL||28||14||5||9||47||25||+22||47||1.68||2nd||W||QF||CONCACAF Champions League||R16||3,456||Woobens Pacius||13|
- ^ Average attendance includes attendance from league matches only.
- ^ Top goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in league season, league playoffs, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF League, and CONCACAF Champions League matches.
- ^ The 2020 Canadian Championship Final was played in June 2022 due to delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Scores and results list Forge FC's goal tally first.
|Preliminary round||Antigua GFC||2–1||0–0||2–1|
|Round of 16||Olimpia||1–0||1–4||2–4|
|2020||Preliminary round||Municipal Limeño||—||2–1||—|
|Round of 16||Tauro||—||2–1||—|
|Quarter-finals||Arcahaie||—||1–1 (2–4 p)||—|
|Round of 16||Independiente||0–0||2–0||2–0|
|Quarter-finals||Santos de Guápiles||3–0||1–3||4–3|
|Round of 16||Cruz Azul||0–1||1–3||1–4|
- ^ "Forge FC unveiled as Hamilton's Canadian Premier League club for 2019". The Globe and Mail. The Canadian Press. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ a b Milton, Steve (June 6, 2013). "Ticats involved in early days of new vision for Canadian soccer". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ Milton, Steve (February 4, 2016). "Pro soccer team for city sees dome at Ticat field". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (May 6, 2017). "Canadian Premier League unanimously ratified by CSA". Waking the Red. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
- ^ McIsaac, Greg; Gogishvili, Aaron (July 12, 2018). "Forge FC unveiled as Hamilton's Canadian Premier League Club". canpl.ca. Canadian Premier League. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ W. Larson, Kurtis (July 13, 2018). "CPL forges ahead, adding team in Hamilton". Toronto Sun. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
- ^ Milton, Steve (October 1, 2018). "Opinion | Bobby Smyrniotis named first Forge FC coach". TheSpec.com. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
- ^ "Kyle Bekker, Chris Nanco reunite with Bobby Smyrniotis at Forge FC". Canadian Premier League. November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
- ^ a b "Canadian Premier League kicks off, marking new era for soccer in Canada". sportsnet.ca. April 27, 2019.
- ^ "Canada Soccer continues to provide expanded international opportunities with two spots on the path to Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League". Canada Soccer. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
- ^ Veenstra, Michael (June 16, 2019). "Forge FC get turnaround win; Qualify for CONCACAF League". Retrieved June 24, 2019.
- ^ a b "Forge FC advances to CONCACAF League Round of 16 after win over Antigua". www.sportsnet.ca. Canadian Press. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- ^ a b Rhodes, Benedict. "Recap: Forge FC knocked out of CONCACAF League by C.D. Olimpia". Waking the Red. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- ^ O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (November 2, 2019). "HIGHLIGHTS: Forge FC crowned CPL champions in win over Cavalry". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- ^ "Canadian Premier League's Island Games: Everything you need to know". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ Molinaro, John (September 19, 2020). "Forge FC beats HFX Wanderers FC in Island Games final to repeat as CPL champions". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
- ^ a b "Forge FC falls on penalties to Haitian club Arcahaie FC in CONCACAF League quarters". CBC. December 1, 2020. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
- ^ a b "Forge FC's CONCACAF League run ends with ill-tempered loss to Honduras side". CBC. December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
- ^ a b "Forge FC advance to SF, qualify for Concacaf Champions League with resounding Leg 2 win vs. Santos". Forge FC. November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 5, 2021.
- ^ "Pacific FC crowned Canadian Premier League champions with 1-0 win vs. Forge". canpl.ca. December 5, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
- ^ Naylor, Dave (January 2, 2022). "Tiger-Cats to announce new ownership structure". tsn.ca. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
- ^ "Forge become first CPL team to play in the Concacaf Champions League: How did they get here?". canpl.ca. February 14, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- ^ "RECAP: Forge FC fall 1-0 to Cruz Azul in first leg of Concacaf Champions League round of 16". canpl.ca. February 16, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- ^ "RECAP: Forge FC eliminated from Concacaf Champions League with 3-1 loss to Cruz Azul". canpl.ca. February 24, 2022. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
- ^ Tierney, Mitchell (October 26, 2022). "3 reasons why Forge FC will win the 2022 CPL Final". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
- ^ Anderson, Kevin (August 9, 2022). "Forge FC Drop the Hammer On HFX Wanderers In 1-0 Victory". 13th Man Sports. Retrieved October 29, 2022.
- ^ Jacques, John (October 30, 2022). "Dynasty Win: Forge FC Claims Third North Star Shield". Northern Tribune. Retrieved October 30, 2022.
- ^ Milton, Steve (July 12, 2018). "Forge FC's name a nod to city's past and future". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
- ^ "Forge FC Tickets". Ticketmaster. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
- ^ Jacques, John (May 18, 2022). "In Demand: Forge Opens Up New Seats For Belated Cup Final". Northern Tribune. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
- ^ a b c "Emblem Inspiration". forgefc.canpl.ca. Forge FC. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ O'Connor-Clarke, Charlie (July 12, 2018). "Canadian Premier League unveils Forge FC in Hamilton". Waking The Red. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- ^ "Black & Gold: Forge honours Hamilton sports history with Macron third kit". Canadian Premier League. May 30, 2019. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
- ^ Nef, Thomas (June 7, 2022). "'A matter of time': Forge's king of clutch David Choinière eyeing MLS return". OneSoccer. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
- ^ "Sights & Sounds: Forge FC 3-0 Pacific FC". Canadian Premier League. June 12, 2022. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
- ^ "Recognized Supporters". forgefc.canpl.ca. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
- ^ "About Us". bartonbattalion.ca. Barton St Battalion. Retrieved May 17, 2022.
- ^ "Hamilton Event: Watch Live". canpl.ca. Canadian Premier League. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- ^ "Hamilton's Forge FC unveils its mascot — Sparx, an orange dragon who can't play soccer". Global News. April 18, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2021.
- ^ Forge FC [@ForgeFCHamilton] (April 23, 2022). "A new tradition in #HamOnt" (Tweet). Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario – via Twitter.
- ^ Thompson, Marty (October 21, 2019). "Match-by-match: How Forge-Cavalry became the CPL's defining matchup". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- ^ Jacques, John (June 5, 2019). "In Forge and Cavalry Lies The League's Best Rivalry". Northern Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- ^ "RUNDOWN: Analyzing & comparing the 2019 CPL Awards nominees". Canadian Premier League. November 12, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
- ^ Molinaro, John (November 26, 2019). "Forge FC's Tristan Borges wins CPL's Player of the Year award". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
- ^ Molinaro, John (September 18, 2020). "Bustos, Bekker and Garcia finalists for CPL Player of the Year award". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- ^ "Canadian Premier League announces 2020 Award winners". Canadian Premier League. November 26, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
- ^ Thompson, Marty (December 4, 2021). "CPL Awards 2021: Nominees unveiled, ceremony set for December 14". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved December 14, 2021.
- ^ Jacques, John (December 14, 2020). "2021 Canadian Premier League Awards Roundup". Northern Tribune. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
- ^ "Awards". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
- ^ "Kevin Lopez, Anangono highlight 2021 SCL Team Of The Tournament". CONCACAF. December 17, 2021. Retrieved January 2, 2022.
- ^ "Roster". Forge FC. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
- ^ Jacques, John (January 19, 2023). "Forge Kicks Of Re-Signings With David Choiniere". Northern Tribune. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
- ^ Jacques, John (March 7, 2023). "Forge FC Re-Signs Captain Kyle Bekker". Northern Tribune. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
- ^ "Business Operations Staff List". Forge FC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
- ^ "Soccer Operations". Forge FC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
- ^ Davidson, Neil (October 22, 2020). "Forging a big shadow on Canadian soccer". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
director of football
- ^ "Forge FC adds Edgar to coaching staff". Forge FC. April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- ^ "Forge FC assistant Peter Reynders not returning for 2021 CPL season". Canadian Premier League. March 26, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
- ^ "Smyrniotis adds Kyriakos Selaidopoulos to coaching staff at Forge FC". Canadian Premier League. March 15, 2021. Retrieved April 30, 2021.
- ^ "2020 Canadian Championship Final set for June 4". Toronto FC. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
- ^ "Forge FC beats Antigua GFC in first leg of CONCACAF League match". TSN. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- ^ "Forge FC vs. Olimpia". concacafleague.com. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- ^ "Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary-round game in El Salvador". The Toronto Star. Retrieved October 23, 2020.
- ^ "Forge FC converts late penalty to beat Panama's Tauro FC in CONCACAF League play". The Toronto Star. November 5, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
- ^ "Forge FC takes commanding 3-1 aggregate lead in Concacaf League opener". Forge FC. December 12, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- ^ "Forge weathers storm to advance in Concacaf League". Forge FC. December 17, 2020. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- ^ "Forge holds clean sheet in 0-0 draw to open Concacaf League QF tie". Forge FC. September 21, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
- ^ "10-player Forge FC advance to Concacaf League quarterfinals with 2-0 away win over Independiente". Forge FC. September 28, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
- ^ "Forge score early but fall behind in Concacaf League QF opener". Forge FC. October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
- ^ "Pair of late goals earn Forge FC 2-2 draw with Motagua in first leg of CONCACAF League semifinal". Forge FC. November 24, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
- ^ "Forge FC eliminated from 2021 Concacaf League on away goals after 0-0 draw with Motagua". Forge FC. December 1, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2021.
- ^ Rhodes, Benedict (February 16, 2022). "Forge FC fall 1-0 to Cruz Azul in first leg of Concacaf Champions League round of 16". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
- ^ Rhodes, Benedict (February 24, 2022). "Forge FC eliminated from CONCACAF Champions League with 3-1 loss to Cruz Azul". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved February 24, 2022.