2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #29 (ComeOn! Match of the Week) Pacific FC vs. Valour FC May 28, 2022 at 4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. CT Starlight Stadium in Langford, British Columbia Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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Just over a month removed from an entertaining 3-2 game at Starlight Stadium, Pacific FC and Valour FC are getting set for the rematch this weekend, as they meet at Starlight once again in the ComeOn! Match of the Week. This time, they’ll look to avenge what they learned in that game, which looking back, stands out as one of the most memorable matches of the season, as despite a dominant Pacific performance, Valour almost surprised in a late comeback in a 90-minute sprint that nearly had it all. Because of that, both teams will have a lot to want to change from that game this time around. On Pacific’s side, they’ll want to be more efficient on Saturday, as despite a dominant performance in that April clash, one where they won the Expected Goals (xG) battle by a whopping 5.22 to 0.89, they were left to sweat right until the final whistle on the afternoon. So in this match, they’ll want to repeat a similar performance, but be more efficient at both ends, instead of risking throwing away valuable points at home. Yet, that’s been a common theme with Pacific this season. Sitting with a league-leading 13.53 xG for, and a solid 6.7 xG against, they’ve slightly underperformed both of those factors, showing that they could be far more ruthless than they’ve been. So while they might stand alone at the top of the table, they know that they can be even better than they’ve been so far, especially in terms of being clinical both offensively and defensively, allowing them to keep picking up the results. “We're still working on what we want to do with the ball, and how we want to defend,” Pacific head coach, James Merriman, noted this week. “We're still developing and progressing as a group and as a team.”

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Meanwhile, with Valour, they’ll want to be much better in all facets of their game from that day, other than maybe hustle and desire, as other than that, it wasn’t pretty for them in that game. The good news for them, however? They haven’t had many performances like that this season, with that one being a big outlier, so although they’ll be wary of repeating it, that’s unlikely to happen if their other games are to mean anything. At the same, Valour will want to clean up some of their performances on the whole, however. Despite having a solid run of results in six games this season, winning two, drawing two and losing two, all while scoring a league-leading 11 goals and conceding seven goals, their advanced numbers are less than kind to them. With an xG for of 7.89, and an xG against of 11.83, they’ve been massively overperforming those numbers, suggesting that they’re playing with fire a bit. So against a Pacific team who has made a habit out of making opponents pay in games, Valour will be eager to step up, picking up a key result on the road. If Valour are to do so, however, it’s worth noting that the numbers are significantly stacked up against them in that quest. In 12 previous meetings between these two teams, Pacific has won 10, making this a bit of a one-sided matchup, something that Valour will be eager to change when they take the pitch Saturday.

Make your match picks prior to kickoff at canpl.ca/predictor for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of a trip to the 2022 CPL Final! To learn more about ComeOn!, . All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.


  • Pacific eager to finish more chances: Despite having the leagues leading scorer in Alejandro Diaz, and the league’s leading assister in Marco Bustos, Pacific have taken a step back offensively as of late, slipping to fourth in the league in goals after starting the year as the league’s top offence. Yet, as seen by their xG numbers earlier, there’s a feeling among the Pacific ranks that they can be more ruthless in front of goal. Especially at the beginning of games, where they often come out strong but fail to convert a lot of their big chances, they believe that they could do a better job of putting away games that end up being closer than they’d like, with no better example of that than their most recent game, a cup clash against York. So as they get set to go out on a tough three-game Ontario road trip after this game, changing that is a big goal for Pacific, who feel that Diaz, Bustos, Josh Heard, Manny Aparicio and company have even more goals within their ranks. “We've done that a few times this season,” Merriman said. “We haven't pushed and had that killer instinct in those critical moments, and been more clinical in the final third. So it's something that we that we're working on.”
  • Valour looking to refind offensive touch: It feels strange to note about the team who currently leads the league in goals, but despite Valour’s impressive 11 goals in seven games, it’s worth pointing out that their offence has dried up significantly as of late. And in fact, for the most part, it’s been a struggle offensively for them all season, because if you remove the six goals that they famously scored in a blowout win over Ottawa a few weeks back, they have just five goals in their other five games. So as they get set for this game, getting their offence going once again has to be a priority, as a team with William Akio, Moses Dyer, Alessandro Riggi, Sean Rea and Brett Levis should not struggle to score goals, with that Ottawa game being a great example of what they can do when they’re feeling it. They know that more is still to come from them, and no better chance to prove that in this game, especially considering that they were able to nab two goals in their last meeting against Pacific, something they surely fancy being able to do again.
  • Could another chaotic game be on the cards? The last time these two teams met, it feels like anything that could’ve conceivably happened in a soccer match, happened. It had it all. Literally. A yellow card, a red card, an own goal, a saved penalty, a converted penalty, an early goal, a late goal - this game was filled with drama, and was close right until the last minute. Of course, had Pacific converted their chances, the story would’ve been different, but Valour proved to be a formidable opponent on the day, leading to one of the more memorable matches of the season. So as these two teams get set to do battle once again, it’ll be interesting to see if that chaotic nature can persist once again. For the most part, both of these teams' matches have been relatively tame, but considering that Pacific is fresh off of a chaotic cup tie against York, and that Valour is also coming off a wild end to their last game out against Cavalry, that chaotic nature is sitting within both teams, just waiting to burst free (And for what it's worth, the last meeting between these two teams before the 3-2 Pacific win? A 3-2 Pacific win in 2021) Of course, both managers would prefer to see anything but that, but if that were to happen again, watch out, making this a match to keep an eye on. “We want to play our football, we want to be in control from the start,” Merriman said of what he expects his team to change this time around.


Pacific FC wins: 10 || Valour FC wins: 1 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

April 17, 2022 – Pacific FC 3-2 Valour FC


“I think the mood and the spirit and the motivation of the group is high. (The cup loss) stings, and it burned for the 24 hours (after), and you're hurting as you suffered in a big match, one where the result didn't go our way. So we feel that, but you have to move forward fast, and we're still in a very good place in the league, and even now more motivated to focus on the league, continuing with this last game (of our homestand) at home. So we need to come out and have a big performance and a proud performance. We're not going to change the way that we play, or the way that we approach things based on who we play. We're going to try to play our way.” -- Pacific FC head coach James Merriman.

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