Has there ever been a better time to be a Canadian soccer fan in Victoria?
The women’s national team is the defending gold medalists at the Olympics (and are currently in BC for a celebration tour), the men’s national team just qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1986, and your very own Pacific FC are the defending champions of the Canadian Premier League (CPL).
It’s a good time to be a soccer fan – and an even better time to become one.
Hop aboard the bandwagon, there’s plenty of room.
Pacific FC’s title defense begins Sunday, April 10th
Pacific FC became the second team in CPL history to win the championship last fall, thanks to a well aimed header from Alessandro Hojabrpour. Pacific dispatched of Forge FC in a nail biting 1-0 final, dethroning the two-time defending champions and capturing their first title.
This season, Pacific will play the season with a big red target upon those pretty purple jerseys as every team looks to prove they can defeat the defending champs.
Bring it on.
Game one of their title defense should be a doozy as it’s a rematch of last year’s finals against Forge FC.
Kickoff is set for 4:00pm on Sunday, April 10th at Starlight Stadium in Langford.
Bittersweet success leads to roster turnover
A league championship is bound to raise the profile of your team and gather a few extra eyeballs from scouts around the continent.
It’s always sad to see fan favourites go, but ultimately the Canadian Premier League was designed in part to stop 16 year old Canadian teenagers from having to uproot their lives to pursue a professional career in Europe.
Which is what makes Kadin Chung’s departure to the Toronto FC in the MLS such a great story. Chung, from Vancouver, BC, was Pacific FC’s first ever signing back in November of 2018, and was a staple on the backline.
An agile, rock solid right back who formed a formidable duo with Marco Bustos up the right wing last season, Chung joined the team as a 20 year old and was able to pursue his professional soccer dreams just a ferry away from his hometown.
Prior to 2019 that was nearly impossible, and it’s great to see early success for some of PFC’s youngsters.
Lukas MacNaughton, meanwhile, also signed with PFC for their inaugural season. A no-nonsense centerback (who has the distinction of being the first player sent off in PFC history) that was also capable of leading the buildup play into the middle of the pitch, has also made the move to Toronto FC and has earned regular playing time thus far, starting in 3 of their 5 matches.
PFC will have two huge holes to fill in their backline this season, but we wish both Chung and MacNaughton the best at the next level.
Lethal PFC attacking trio looks to continue their success
PFC will also miss the departure of Terran Campbell to rival Forge FC over the summer, and will have work to do replacing his 23 career CPL goals – good for 2nd all time.
The attack is still in good hands, however.
Marco Bustos leads that charge – a left footer who plays on the right side – and is widely considered one of the best attackers in the league. A creative, shifty playmaker who can also finish, he is generally the focal point of the attack.
Alejandro Diaz should assume the central creative duties, and will look to build upon his 10 goals last season – good for 5th in the league. Diaz is always hungry to shoot, and with Campbell’s departure, that will prove invaluable.
Josh Heard is an attacking midfielder/winger who we can all get behind – he’s a Vancouver Island native. After forcing his way into the lineup last season, he featured regularly en route to PFC’s Championship run with marauding runs up the left and pin-point crosses.
Bustos was ranked the best attacker in a top-10 ranking the CPL released recently, while both Diaz and Heard also made the cut at 5th and 9th, respectively.
By our math, having 3 of the top 10 attackers in an 8 team league is a good thing.
Can PFC defend their title?
Pacific FC vs. Forge FC (Home Opener)
- Where: Starlight Stadium, 1089 Langford Parkway
- When: 4 p.m. Sunday, April 10th
- Tickets: Available online