We are on the cusp of a major development in Canadian soccer history. When Pacific FC vs Halifax Wanderers FC kickoff at 4PM on Sunday, April 28th, we will be launching into a new era for Canadian soccer on the West Coast, with Vancouver Island based team Pacific FC kicking off their campaign in the Canadian Premier League. With 7 teams being represented from across the country, an entire new league will be starting off this weekend – a league exclusive to Canada.
Of course, as BTSVancity is based out of Vancouver, so we will be mostly focusing our coverage on Pacific FC. Pacific FC has come up with a competent looking squad, with a nice mix of older experienced players and young talent. No one has much to go off of when assessing how they will do this season, but we will certainly look forward to seeing what they have to offer.
2019 Pacific FC Roster
Forwards: Marcus Haber, Terran Campbell, Issey Nakajima-Farran
Midfielders: Ben Fisk, Victor Blasco, José Hernandez, Noah Verhoeven, Alessandro Hojabrpour
Defenders: Hendrik Starostzik, Lukas MacNaughton, Matthew Baldisimo, Kadin Chung, Blake Smith, Ryan McCurdy, Émile Legault
Goalkeepers: Mark Village, Nolan Wirth
Injured: Marcel De Jong
Looking at the start of this season from the business side of things, it will be very interesting to see how much interest Pacific FC gathers from people in and around Victoria. They seem to have done a great job of marketing the team, and have managed to sell out their season opener, but will this excitement wear off later on in the season? How dedicated will their supporters section be? We’ve got questions, and only time will dictate the answers.
What we do know is that Pacific FC has access to a 6000-seat stadium in Langford – Westhills Stadium, which seems like a good way to get this party started. They did a great job with their kits as well, with a purple colourway being the dominating home colour with a light blue colourway on the road. The kits look very attractive and clean.
Soccer Development in Canada
One of the certainties of the Canadian Premier League is the improvements it will foster in Canadian soccer development. Especially in cities without much professional soccer exposure such as Victoria, this new team will likely create more of a soccer culture in these cities, and thus inspire the next generations to get involved in the sport, and have a level they can strive for. I believe that the onset of these teams in smaller Canadian cities will improve soccer development in Canada, and eventually create a promising new pool of Canadian talent.
Season record predictions (out of 28 games):