|Full name||Forge Football Club|
|Founded||May 6, 2017|
|Stadium||Tim Hortons Field, Hamilton, Ontario|
|League||Canadian Premier League|
|2020||Canadian Premier League, 1st (group stage)|
Forge Football Club 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 was the first and second champions of the Canadian Premier League, winning back-to-back league titles in 2019 and 2020. Forge was also the first CPL side to compete in a continental competition when it qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF League.
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.
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. This announcement coincided with a much larger unveiling event that consisted of each team announcing its initial player signings.
The club qualified for the 2019 CONCACAF League after defeating Valour FC 2–0 on June 16, 2019. In their debut, Forge defeated Antigua GFC 2–1 on aggregate in the two-leg series to advance to the Round of 16. Forge FC was eliminated with a 4–2 aggregate score, against Honduran club Olimpia, in the round of 16.
Forge FC were league champions 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.
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. The capacity is reduced to 10,000 spectators to provide an intimate setting for supporters.
Crest and colours
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Forge FC kits.|
The crest is designed to represent both an 'H' for Hamilton and an '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 are orange, grey, and white (branded by the club as "spark orange," "platinum steel," and "waterfall white"). These colours symbolize 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 will wear a black and gold uniform for the first home game in June. The city's traditional sporting colours have been worn by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Hamilton Bulldogs, and the Hamilton Tigers.
The Barton St. Battalion supporters 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 first 75 founding members.
Forge FC has a rivalry with York9 FC, the only other southern Ontario-based team in the league. On January 29, 2019, the Canadian Premier League announced that the inaugural match of the league would be Forge hosting York9 in the 905 Derby on April 27, 2019. The match ended in a 1–1 draw.
Canadian Premier League Awards
|2019||Tristan Borges||Golden Boot||Winner|
|Kyle Bekker||Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Tristan Borges||Under 21 Canadian Player of the Year||Nominated|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
|2020||Kyle Bekker||Player of the Year||Winner|
|Triston Henry||Golden Glove||Winner|
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Coach of the Year||Nominated|
Players and staff
|Chief executive officer||Scott Mitchell|
|Head coach||Bobby Smyrniotis|
|Assistant coach||Peter Reynders|
- As of November 3, 2020
|Bobby Smyrniotis||Canada||October 1, 2018 – present||49||29||11||9||59.18|
|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||1st||W||F||CONCACAF League||QF||N/A||4 players tied||3|
1. Average attendance include statistics from league matches only.
2. Top goalscorer(s) includes all goals scored in league season, league playoffs, Canadian Championship, CONCACAF League, and other competitive continental matches.
- 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||N/A||2–1||N/A|
|Round of 16||Tauro||N/A||2–1||N/A|
- expandable to 23,218
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- "Kyle Bekker, Chris Nanco reunite with Bobby Smyrniotis at Forge FC". Canadian Premier League. November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
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- 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.
- Milton, Steve (July 12, 2018). "Forge FC's name a nod to city's past and future". The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "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.
- "About Us". bartonbattalion.ca. Barton St Battalion. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "Hamilton Event: Watch Live". canpl.ca. Canadian Premier League. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Bedakian, Armen. "CPL inaugural match: Forge FC hosts York9 FC". canpl.ca. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
- "Canadian Premier League kicks off, marking new era for soccer in Canada". sportsnet.ca. April 27, 2019.
- "RUNDOWN: Analyzing & comparing the 2019 CPL Awards nominees". Canadian Premier League. November 12, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2020.
- Molinaro, John (September 18, 2020). "Bustos, Bekker and Garcia finalists for CPL Player of the Year award". Canadian Premier League. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- "Roster". Forge FC. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
- "Forge FC inks promising Belgian attacker Paolo Sabak – Forge FC". forgefc.canpl.ca. April 23, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "Business Operations Staff List". Forge FC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
- "Soccer Operations". Forge FC. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
- "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.
- "SOCCER 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.