Pacific FC kept the good times rolling with a strong September in both the Canadian Premier League and the Canadian Championship. We look back at what went right for them the past few weeks in our Pacific September in review.
Something special is happening in Langford.
It didn’t start with the victory over the Whitecaps, or even the Kickoff bubble. Pacific FC have been rising since their first season, an unstoppable wave that still has yet to crest.
You might not have noticed it unless you’ve been paying attention, but Pa Modou Kah’s men have continued their run to the top of the CPL with a strong September. Even with key players missing substantial time, PFC have a date with Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship Semifinals and made a cushion at the top of the table with their strong run as of late.
Here’s how the month went for the purple-and-teal, as we head into the final seven games of their regular season.
Stringing Results Together
The mark of a contending team is one that can keep producing results. Getting points is key at this stage of the season, and the Tridents have done that in spades this month. They’ve picked up two wins, salvaged two draws at the death, and have only one loss in their 5 games this month.
It wasn’t pretty at times. Pacific struggled against bottom of the table sides like Atletico Ottawa and FC Edmonton, but the important part was being able to collect at least a single point out of those games.
Kah’s style still persisted throughout these matches as well. Pacific have done well at retaining possession well and certainly looked to score often when they could. In fact, the last time that they were held off the scoresheet was in a 0-0 draw against Cavalry FC on August 11th.
Their only loss of the month came against Forge FC, who made it through into the quarters of the CONCACAF League in very, very controversial fashion. The Hamilton side sits in third with 3 games in hand, trailing by 8 points. They’ve been the team that Pacific has had the most trouble with, losing all three times. In fact, the Tridents have never won against Forge, ever.
If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. Pacific FC needs to overcome whatever boogeyman it is with Forge FC, especially if they meet in the CPL Finals.
With the season rapidly coming to a close and the playoffs about to begin, the Tridents will want to continue with their winning ways. With a 4 point gap back to second place, they’ll want to build more of a lead to clinch the first seed with comfort.
Players Stepping Up
With Marco Bustos still MIA with an ankle injury since before the Ferryside Derby, the depth of Pacific has really been challenged. They’ve risen up marvellously in response though, showing that Kah’s men aren’t just a one-man show.
One of the biggest surprises this year was just how good striker Alejandro Diaz has been. Originally pencilled in as a depth option, the number nine in purple-and-teal has caught fire as of late.
Diaz has tallied three goals in the last two games and currently leads the Tridents with 9 goals on the year. The Mexican has thrown his name into the forward pool that might give Kah headaches. There are only so many minutes to go around, and every player has given a good audition of themselves.
Terran Campbell is another one that shone this month. Having really picked up his game halfway through August, the forward continued his good form into September. In fact, it was his marker that sent Pacific FC past Cavalry FC in their Canadian Championship match.
He’s been in form during a time that the Tridents sorely needed it, scoring late to draw against Atletico as well as the aforementioned winner against Cavalry. Campbell will be looked to for more of the same with the end-of-season grind about to begin.
It’s not just been the forwards that have stolen the spotlight for Pacific though. Kadin Chung has continued to shine at the back, the young right fullback currently leading the league in interceptions. Chung has also seen himself get involved on the scoresheet too, with some absolute bangers from his right foot.
His development into one of the premier defenders in the league has come at a very good time. Him, Lukas MacNaughton, and Callum Irving between the sticks have really given Pacific a calming presence at the back.
This is all supplementing the return of Ollie Bassett to the lineup and Manny Aparicio finding his footing in this lineup. Kah has a very deep squad that has stepped up when asked to, making his lineup decisions hard in a good way. No matter what starting eleven he puts out, he knows that they’ll get the job done.
The Final Climb
The Tridents will head into October with a lead in the standings, but some key matches coming up. They’ll face off against Cavalry FC twice more, the second-place side nipping at PFC’s heels. Getting wins will be critical against the Calgary-based side to really pull away at the top.
Other than that, Pacific will take on FC Edmonton twice before matching up against HFX Wanderers and York United once. They’ll be looking to collect all three points in these games to cement their status as title contenders.
Arguably the biggest match will take place against TFC away on November 3rd, with the Canadian Championship Semi-Final taking place at BMO Field. It’ll be interesting to see if Kah’s men can keep their dream run going, becoming giant-killers once again against yet another MLS side.
It’s a fun month, a fun time to be a PFC fan. The streets of Victoria will be painted purple-and-teal as Pacific FC continue their climb to the top. There’s something special going on on the isle, and they hope that the momentum doesn’t stop.
Up Next: Pacific FC vs FC Edmonton, Wednesday, October 6th, 2021, 18:00 PDT, 21:00 EDT (Clarke Stadium, Edmonton)