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Discussion in 'VMSL' started by Canucks4Ever, Jan 28, 2019.
All aboard the NK train
That's the magic of Cup season!
Watcher excellent team this season
Round 16 Predictions
7 home team win
1 away win coming from GFC over snipers
The schedule is becoming compressed as the league tries to make up for the weeks lost to the snow. The remaining teams will run the gauntlet with three games beginning this weekend with the Round of 16, followed by Quarter Finals that are scheduled for mid-week and Semi Finals next weekend. This should see the cream rise to the top, though there were a decent amount of upsets in the Round of 32 (as there often is given the sheer number of games) so perhaps that theme will continue. We are reaching the business end of things now and the Provincial Cup implications are in full focus with several teams capable of punching their ticket through reaching the final at the expense of those who finished above them in league play.
Round of 32: 12/16
Completely Baseless Predictions - Round of 16
HK Hrvat (2B) v NorVan Lions (3C)
There is just something about Cup season that turns Hrvat's crank. The Eastern Europeans once more delivered a Cup-set in bouncing presumptive 2A Champions Strikers after falling a goal behind. While Strikers were the favourites given their league standing, Hrvat are the cup masters and that certainly had the effect of leveling the playing field somewhat. HK now go from their first match in a pick 'em and then their second match as underdogs to being the favourites as they take on Division 3 NorVan for a place in the Quarter Finals. NorVan had the benefit of drawing Formwerks, who were last place in 3C, and handled them accordingly, winning 6-0. This followed their opener against another lower mid-table Div. 3 side, Vancouver Brothers United. It would be an understatement to say that this will be by far their toughest test yet. It has been a decent season for NorVan after a couple of cup wins; no doubt they will be hoping to add one or two pieces and get a good draw in order to try and compete for promotion next season. I am sure they will give it a good go, but all signs point to their season ending here as the HK train rolls on.
Snipers (2A) v GFC Lions (3C)
As expected the newly promoted Division 3 C champions GFC were able to get past relegation threatened Division 2 side Gastown in what was there opener following a first round bye. The Lions had the lead almost throughout the match and turned in an accomplished performance that will give them confidence that they can survive at the next level. The next challenge for this group will be a side that is closer to mid-table in Div. 2 in Snipers, and should give the GFC crew a sense of whether they can do more than just survive. Another win here would give them hope of perhaps, in fact, being able to compete for a mid-table finish of their own next season. Snipers could well be ripe for an upset here as they have looked less than convincing so far in this competition. A narrow 1-0 victory of Div. 3 Regent College was followed up with a crazy 6-5 survival against Richmond. The Div. 2 boys seem like complete wild cards, this one looks prime for another shock. I'll hang the Upset Special tag on GFC two weeks in a row and say a Div. 3 team makes the Quarter Finals.
Twin Arrows (2A) v Euro FC (3A)
A bit of a shock with Euro slipping past Astro in the last round, turns out I predicted that upset one round too soon. Like most of the match ups in this round it appears to be rather straightforward. Twin Arrows are set for a top half finish in Div. 2 and we're in the title conversation down the stretch. Euro still have an outside shot at bouncing back to Div. 2 this year but their promotion hopes have just about been a snuffed out. Could they pull of another upset? Sure. Realistically though, they are the underdogs here.
Shaheen (2B) v Bowen Falconetti (3B)
Another lopsided set up between an upper Div. 2 team and a Div. 3 team that managed an upset. Shaheen's losses to Serbia and Sierra mean that there will be no return to Div. 1 for them this season. That being said they are still a force to be reckoned with and will certainly be gunning for this trophy. Congrats to Bowen on beating Greencaps B but another upset would be beyond stunning.
FC Serbia (2B) v Unicorns (3A)
Unicorns were in fact the lucky Div. 3 side to earn the chance to take on promotion contenders Serbia. Again, a solid theme this round, not much to analyze in this one. Serbia are in form after beating Shaheen as they hope their promotion chances make it to their final showdown with rivals Sierra. While they wait for that the Cup is certainly the goal. An upset in this one would be a stunner; Serbia to advance.
13th Legion (2B) v West Coast Celts (3C)
Like a broken record, the theme repeats. Upper league Legion are clear favourites here. Decent result for Celts against club mates Saints in a spicy tie last round. Unfortunately hat trick hero Billy Lane was also sent off in that match which will not help their cause here. Reaching the finals and qualifying for the Provincial Cup is most definitely the goal for the Legion though, so expect them well motivated. Should be one or two solid challenges in this one, but ultimately I expect the Div. 2 boys to get the job done.
Westside Sierra (2B) v Metropolitan A (2A)
Without question this is the MOTR. Two top Division 2 sides from opposite pools clashing is precisely what this competition is designed to deliver. Sierra are in the driver's seat for promotion from 2B while Metro are clinging to fading title hopes in 2A. Both will realistically have their sights set on lifting this trophy as well. It sets up as a cracker and, parricuparti with the way this draw has played out, really sits apart from the rest of the fixtures. Both teams have quality across the lineup and players who can put the ball in the net. Brian Stewart is the principle threat for Sierra, with 17 goals to his name, while Students counter with Masumi Turnbull, who has scored 14 on the year. It stands to reason that whichever side can neutralize the others big threat should come out on top in this one. Still both sides are more than capable of scoring "team" goals as well, so this one is a tough one to predict. Hopefully it is a quality show piece that can light up what otherwise appears to be a rather drab round. Toss a coin here, I'll give Sierra the edge based on their slightly better form this season, but who knows!
Meralomas (2A) v Siaron (3B)
Stop me if you have heard this one before, but this time looks to be relatively straightforward. Siaron seemed to take some of their frustration from missing out on promotion for the second year running out on CMF United in their first match of the Cup, cruising to a 7-0 win. This is a different ball game however, as Lomas have put together a heck of a season this year and surely have Provincial Cup qualification on their mind. The easiest way for them to guarantee a berth would be by reaching the finals, so once again, this should be a motivated side. They also have quite the impressive record on the grass at Connaught. All signs point to them keeping it going.
Boners have had a tough year after the team's starting CB and two best attacking players from last year decided to play up a couple of divisions for Norvan, as well as the loss of a few other of the usual starters.
The Bowen/Falconetti affiliation has partially solved Bowen's chronic inability to get more than 10 or 11 guys to games, but with a largely new team last fall it has taken time to sort out the guys who are solid and keen, from the tourists and hangers on. There is evidence from recent games though that the team is finally starting to gel.
In this regard, Boners gave a good account of themselves against Shaheen yesterday, defending well in a closely fought game where Shaheen were frustrated early on, but took the lead a few minutes from the end of the half after a disappointingly soft goal. the Shaheen guys came out strong early in the second half and got a second goal. But, Boners had good chances too and should have had at least one goal in a goal mouth scramble finally saved by the Shaheen keeper, and another on a strong shot denied by an amazing save by Shaheen's small but very athletic net minder.
Shaheen had more chances as well and had two hit crossbars that could easily have been goals if they were an inch or two lower. Boners never really threatened to win the match despite a few exciting moments, but provided a respectable test for the Shaheen guys. A score of 4-2 would have better reflected the to and fro of the game. I've been phasing myself out of team this year to focus on other things, and haven't been out to many games, but based on my observation of the play yesterday this newish island team looks to be rebuilding into a more competitive div 3 side again.
Is the league expecting the remaining teams to play 3 cup games in a 6 days? Twin arrows played on Sunday, now playing on Wednesday and possibly semi's again on Saturday?
So it would seem. Not ideal but blame the weather I guess. The league needs to get these games in ahead of Cup final day plus there are still a handful of league games left to be played and they need to leave time for potential Provincial Cup playoffs.
Three games in a week is not ideal, but it is hardly unheard of. Plus it is the same for all the teams left in the competition plus or minus a day. Best of a bad situation I suppose...
Does anyone know if the league books the fields for those cup games or clubs?
The league has VanTech, Memorial and PG on Wednesdays. They sublet PG to teams to train; Memorial and Van Tech are used by teams for home games. This time of year though they will bump teams training etc. if they need to play games.
Livingston I assume is available for a 2 hour game slot now that youth teams are done for the season, but that is just a guess.
No idea about the Queens Park slot, but, again, I would assume, especially based on the time, that it is now available because youth season is finished.
Anyone know how yellow card situation works and if they get cancelled out before semis?
They do not get cancelled out
Mid-week madness for Div. 2 Cup participants as the league scrambles to get everything back on schedule. I managed to sniff out an upset in the Round of 16 but got blindsided by Siaron's win and lost out on the toss up between Metropolitan and Sierra. Still though, with only seven games remaining in the tournament, I am guaranteed a record of better than 50% this season, so it is all gravy from here on out! As for the remaining teams, only Sierra is already guaranteed a place in the Provincial Cup already, though Shaheen will have at least a chance to playoff for a place. For the other six sides, taking care of business Wednesday and Saturday might well be their only chance to qualify.
Round of 16: 6/8
Completely Baseless Predictions - Quarter Finals
HK Hrvat (2B) v GFC Lions (3C)
Another Division 2 scalp for GFC as they saw off Snipers on penalties after finishing up 90 minutes tied 1-1. Certainly this must be giving them confidence ahead of next season when they will be at that level. They should have their tails up going into this weekend as well against another mid-table Div. 2 side. However, the HK train is well and truly on a roll now and they must have the cup final and spot in the Provincial Cup on their minds. They had little trouble shifting into the roll of favourites, cruising past Division 3 NorVan Lions 4-1 and will once again be the team expected to advance as they face another "Lions" side from Division 3. Whichever team does emerge victorious from this one will be playing for a Provincial Cup berth on Saturday in the semi-final with an appearance in the Div. 2 Cup final the only path to the post season tournament for GFC and Hrvat having only an infinitesimally small chance of qualifying through the league standings. So plenty on the line in this one and as much fun as it is to back a Cinderella, you have to like the form HK are in at the moment. There is just something about these guys and the cup!
Twin Arrows (2A) v Shaheen (2B)
This one is the MOTR with the two third place sides from the Div. 2 pools crossing over to play each other. Both had spectacular seasons and made late charges at promotion, falling just short. Both will be hoping for success in this competition as well as in the Provincial Cup that follows it. However, there is an outside chance that only one of them will take part in that tournament as these two sides could meet again in a playoff for the final Provincial Cup berth if the two teams that reach the final of the Cup are from outside the top three in each pool. That could well add a bit of spice to this one. Both side saw off lower league opposition in the previous round 2-0, with Twin Arrows beating Euro and Shaheen seeing off Bowen Falconetti. A tough mid-week kick off in New West at 7pm is not likely to do either side any favours, but there has to be a winner. The teams are led by top scorers that both boast 11 goals, Jasmin Ajanovic for Twin Arrows and Meysam Soltani for Shaheen, and while Twin Arrows have the edge in goals for, Shaheen hold a much better defensive record. As a result theirs is the superior goal difference and perhaps that is enough to tip the scales in their favour. However, Twin Arrows have had the better season in terms of coming through as a dark horse. After pulling away from the relegation battle last year they spent this campaign, instead, in the upper echelons of the table and picking up wins against every team in their group, save for Harps. This one is tough to call but I am going with a gut feeling that Twin Arrows still have at least one more trick left up their sleeves!
FC Serbia (2B) v 13th Legion (2B)
Everything points to Serbia winning this one. They sit atop 2B, patiently waiting to see if rivals Sierra will drop any points and give them a chance at promotion after the latter were ousted from this competition in the previous round. Serbia also have the top two strikers in the group among their ranks with Ramsey Alfantazi and Pedro Vega who have 21 and 19 goals respectively. They have the best offense in the league, having scored 65 goals, and the 40 goals between Alfantazi and Vega are more than 13th Legion have as a team. However, the Legion did hand Serbia one of their five losses on the season when the side last met in the first match for both clubs of the New Year. Not to mention that 13th Legion battled back from 2-0 down to win that match 3-2; as holding leads has proven an issue for Serbia on a couple of occasions this season, the most famous of which was blowing a 3-0 half time lead in the final 22 minute to lose to the now relegated BCT Tigers Hurricanes. If Serbia do fail to go up at the end of this season, and currently, as mentioned, their fate is out of their hands, then they need not look any further than those results for the reason they will be playing another season in Division 2. The Legion boys certainly know the feeling of agonizingly missing out on promotion as they have been bridesmaids the past two seasons, though particularly devastating was when they controlled their own destiny two years ago. The snow also turned that season on its head and a lengthy cup run lead to fixture congestion and they ultimately failed to put up the points they needed. Perhaps Serbia too will be telling a story of season that almost was, but we shall have to wait and see on that front. In the meantime, I think the Legion boys will know they have it in them to beat the top of the table boys, who might just be distracted by thoughts of their promotion battle. Certainly Serbia were less than rampant, irrespective of their vaunted attack, in their win last round, settling for a 2-0 over mid-table Division 3 outfit Unicorns. The Legion had a Div. 3 side on their hands as well and looked confident in a 3-0 win over West Coast Celts. Make this one my Upset Special of the round as I smell a shock on the cards here.
Metropolitan A (2A) v Siaron (3B)
Hats off to Siaron for beating in for upper league competition, and Provincial Cup hopefuls, Meralomas 2-0 on their own patch. That loss was Lomas first in the grass at Connaught this season and they will now have to hope that they can qualify for the post season tournament via the final league placings. Siaron have been trying to battle their way into Division 2 for a few seasons now, but came up short once more this year. On the evidence of one game, though, they would not appear to be out of place at that level. They will have a club of a similar calibre, if not higher, in former Division 1 side Metropolitan. Although, disappointingly for Students, they were condemned to another season at this level last weekend. While they were occupied seeing off 2B promotion candidates Sierra by an impressive 3-0 scoreline, already eliminated Strikers were polishing of Sierra's "clubmates" Westside Juniors 5-1 in the league to clinch the 2A title. So this is all that is left to play for in terms of VMSL glory for Metro this season, however, they will no doubt be looking to have a solid Provincial Cup campaign as well. The past two Provincial B Champions, Greencaps and Strikers, have gone on to win promotion in their next season. Students will be hoping they can continue that trend going forward. In their immediate path though stand a Division 3 side who, while plucky, should surely be no match for a top Div. 2 side that just waxed the floor with a fellow Division 1 hopeful, right? I suppose that is why we play the games though!
Yeah this is absolutely ridiculous by the league. They released the time/field for the quarter finals late Monday night, and last night they changed the field and time once again. Like how do people supposed to change work/school schedules in 24-48 hour notice? I know were behind due to snow but this is ridiculous. And the league has also messed up with the sierra situation in 2B. They have played 3-4 games less then all the teams when some other teams only have 1 game left. So they might get a easy route to promotion cause some teams are not gonna care in April if they win or lose. Assuming they are not in relegation/promotion. The final for the league cup is scheduled for the end of this month (30th), so I dont see the reason why they have to push teams to play 3 games in 1 week? The least they can do is schedule the field and time one week before so people can try to change there schedule so they can make the game.
so they swapped fields for the NK/GFC & Twin Arrows/Shaheen games? I assume the respective team managers were consulted before making that change...
I get that mid-week games are not the most convenient but this is hardly unheard of. It has been happening for years. Again, both teams are in the same boat, you find a way to make it work.
It is the same in other leagues (a look at the FVSL site shows their schedule littered with changes and midweek games as well).
The sooner the league gets cup games done, the quicker teams become available to play out the rest of their league schedule which affects Provincial Cup spots, which the league is on a deadline to submit entrants for. Plus with the way the VMSL operates they need to leave time for potential playoff games.
Getting the cup on schedule means that everybody outside of the semi finalists is able to play league games on the weekend when there are many more fields available. Plus next weekend will allow for a full slate of make up games. I would assume there are likely to be more midweek games for teams with multiple league games still to be played especially if they are still in the cup as well.
Personally playing these quarter-finals midweek seems like an obvious call.
Vmsl is a joke for scheluding the quarterfinal game at QP when there’s snow/ice on the field.
Excellent Site seems to have a 2-1 Hrvat win listed so it would appear the that match went ahead??
Other results have Metro over Siaron 2-1 and 13th Legion living up to my upset prediction with a 2-1 over Serbia. Shaheen deny me a perfect round though by beating Twin Arrows 1-0.
NK game got changed to 9pm at Burnaby lake but you would think somebody would of known that there was quite bit snow on field to schelude a game. NK wins in last 30 seconds with GFC player heading it into his own goal.
The semis :
NK vs Shaheen
13th Legion vs Metropolitan
A couple of tasty fixtures for the semis! Games could go either way to be honest. Shaheen's experience have them edging out NK imo but I'm sure the kids will be aiming to prove me wrong.
I'm going for the underdog in the other fixture. No real reason. Or maybe I just feel bad for ending 13th Legions title aspirations last year . Haha
I've said in previous years that if the winner of the div.2 cup is neither the group A or B winners then they should play against the 10th place div.1 side(EDC this year) in a playoff game for that spot in div.1.
This year is a perfect example where the div.2 Cup winner will not be a group winner. This would make the tournament that much more special and sought after to win!