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Discussion in 'VMSL' started by Regs, Aug 28, 2018.
I don't have any but hopefully others do.
Give a few more hours or maybe a day or so...
Completely Baseless Predictions:
Completely Baseless SEASON PREVIEW - Division 1
For those not familiar with my column, I am largely just pulling this stuff out of thin air. I try to find whatever information is readily available online, but, ultimately, I am just trying to generate some interest in local soccer in BC. If I have omitted or overlooked facts that you consider relevant to your team, it's not done intentionally...get over it...
An interesting twist in Division 1 this season as, for the first time, only eight of the twelve teams will be eligible for promotion. Thanks to new call-up rules instituted last season, teams are able to use other squads within the club to call up reserve players and this means that it is more likely for clubs to have "B" teams in Div. 1. Of course, those teams are not eligible for promotion unless their affiliated Premier teams suffers a concurrent relegation and in that boat this season are Metro Ford, Rino's, NorVan and Inter/Chile. It will be interesting to see how that might shape a potential promotion race come February. For now though, let's take a shot at outlining where teams stand heading into the season.
1) Burnaby Metro Athletic FC
Metro enjoyed the first half of last season making up part of a four-headed monster (along with promoted sides NorVan and Guildford, plus third place Columbus) that pulled away from the rest of the league. However, some crucial losses to their promotion rivals, coupled with points dropped to lower table teams during the second half of the season, meant that the Burnaby boys ultimately finished a distant fourth place. Led by former Whitcaps prospect and UBC standout Navid Mashinchi, this team has worked its way up together over the past handful of seasons from Division 3 and are now close to taking that next step to the top tier. Assuming they have learned their lessons about the amount of focus required throughout the entire season, whether playing a top team or one fighting to stay in the league, this is likely this group's best chance at promotion. Only one of the two demoted teams is eligible for an immediate return to the top flight which means at least one new face will be joining the big boys after this year and it would behoove Metro to grab this chance with both hands.
2) Burnaby Selects White Eagles
Perhaps a surprise pick at number two, but the former Serbian White Eagles had a very strong finish to their season going 6-1-2 down the stretch. More impressively though, they boasted the league's second highest goals for, bested only by league champions NorVan Lions. The Burnaby boys tallied 68 goals in 22 game with Vuk Erbez netting 18 of those. Goals win games and, despite this only being their second season back at this level, if they can clean up the defensive lapses that led to them dropping points over the first half of the season, there is no reason to think they won't be in the conversation at the top of the table come February. A return to the top flight would no doubt be a well received achievement among the club's ethnic fan base who have been forced to watch their old nemesis, Croatia SC, thrive while they have been mired as low as Division 2 in recent years.
3) ICSF Columbus FC
It came down to the final day last season, but Columbus missed out on an immediate return to the top flight by a narrow one point margin. The Italians looked to have taken control of the promotion race after they completed the double over Guildford on February 9; but just a few weeks later they threw it all away when they were held to a draw by White Eagles. Guildford just needed to win out and they did so, meaning Columbus will play another season in the small time. Their talisman, the seemingly ageless Steve Deblasio, led the league in scoring with 22 goals in 22 games during the previous campaign. That accounted for over one third of the clubs offensive output however, which would likely indicate that Columbus are going exactly as far as Deblas takes them. With no formal youth feeder affiliation, nor any other open or U21 teams within the club, there is not likely to be a sudden influx of youth into the side. Rumours also persist that pre-season preparations have been less than ideal within the Italian's camp and if they drop points early in the season, those may ultimately prove costly in any promotion race Columbus hope to be in come the New Year. If Deblasio performs at that MVP calibre again this year, they will be in the conversation at the top, but if he is off the pace or suffers an injury, it could be a tough season in East Van.
4) Rino's Fury
An atrocious start to the season had the Fury follow up their debut Division 1 campaign, that saw them finish in third, by spending the early part of the 2017/18 season mired in a relegation battle. They would ultimately rally for a top half finish, but will still likely be out to prove that last seasons 0-0-4 start was an aberration. Assuming that they do not repeat that woeful opening stretch this year, the Vancouver boys should be in a strong position to challenge higher up the table. This group is an experienced bunch at this level, though they are, theoretically, capped here due to the fact that Rino's Tigers play in Premier. That being said, perhaps, should they wind up in a promotion spot at the end of the season, there could be some shady, back room, disassociation deal (we all know the Rino's boys love their collusion). In the meantime they need to focus on making sure they surround leading goal scorer Pablo Zubiria with whatever Premier castoffs that they can convince to stay in order to start the season with a bang.
5) NorVan Storm
The Storm got into Division 1 one way or another last season and, after taking a few weeks to find their legs, asserted themselves well enough at this level. A respectable seventh place finish has established them in the league and now they will look to continue to grow. This is a winning group, having had good success at the Division 2 level as cup champions, one assumes the plan is to, ultimately, continue to grow the team and push higher up the table. Last season's promotion of fellow NorVan side, Lions, means that Storm are trapped in Division 1, but Premier may just prove a bridge too far for their clubmates, which would leave the door open for the Storm in coming years. Not likely to be a top side this year, if they can climb the table and improve over last year it should set them up well going forward.
6) Westside FC
The much rumored deterioration of the club's relationship with UBC varsity saw them limp to a last place finish in Premier along with the relegation that accompanies such a finish. While there are no doubt a few holdovers among the players that loyally fought to the death last season, this has all the hallmarks of a full rebuild. An alarming fall from grace once more for a club that has enjoyed the highest highs of the amateur game, winning four Provincial and two National titles, and seemed to be creeping back in that direction when they reached the Provincial semi-finals just a season before their relegation. Challenging for promotion this season seems like a very stretch goal, barring some sort of miracle recruiting drive. Look for this group to be in mid-table plus or minus a few positions.
7) Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi
The "forgotten" players in Coquitlam have put the VMSL on notice after they walked through both Division 3 and Division 2, picking up a pair of league titles, the Div. 2 Cup and a heartbreaking Provincial B silver medal along the way. The journey for this group of friends has seemingly reached its apex however, given that Metro Ford have a well established team already in the top flight. With organizational changes at the top in Coquitlam, these players, who once found themselves frozen out at the highest level of the club, may suddenly have a path to Premier. Will this group be able to hang on to their top players if the allure of Prem football comes along? I suppose only time will tell. What is more true, however, is that Division 1 has long seen many "all-star" Division 2 sides come in thinking that they can walk this league just the same as the lower levels, only to learn that Division 1 is not for the faint of heart. Their talent and camaraderie should see them safely survive at this level and, maybe, push higher up the table.
8) Bingers Army
Another year, another Division 1 campaign for the Army. Despite a 15+ year run at this level, it all looked to be potentially coming to an end last season. It took a great escape to avoid the trap door to Division 2 as Bingers went 4-1-1, after losing the first game of the New Year to last placed GN North Delta, and finished eight points clear of the drop. Known as the "old men" of the league, the Army has slowly brought new, more youthful faces into the fold. Expect Bingers to once more impact the promotion race, they always seem to take crucial points off at least one of the contenders, and to push for a finish closer to mid-table than relegation. Rumours that UBC may be referring players to the Army's camp rather than Westside, if true, can only further help to bolster their cause.
9) Club Inter EDC Burnaby "B"
The Inter/Chile merger has left this new entity with a team in Premier and a team in Division 1. Given that EDC were relegated and Inter have gone through a restructuring, it stands to reason that the best talent remaining between the two squads will, obviously, be playing in the top flight. What, if any, player pool that leaves for this team is uncertain. Rumours are that is will be comprised of mostly former EDC U21 players and with the new club not entering a team in the U21 division for the upcoming season, their actions would seem to support this rumour. Chile's U21s have been a top side at that level, winning the league two seasons ago and finishing just four points off the top last season. No doubt, however, that Division 1 will be a step up for this group. This team is a wildcard, but, until the "Evil Empire" can prove it belongs at this level, they would do well to just focus on staying in the league.
10) FC Romania
The Romanians rode a strong first half of the season to a place in the top half of the table and a very slight outside shot a promotion. They were also the first team to put a chink in the armour of the, then perfect, league champion NorVan Lions. However, once they were all but confirmed to be out of the promotion race and safe from relegation they checked out and coasted down to an eighth place finish, ending the season with nine straight losses. Romania does not boast significant star power; their leading scorer, Daniel Caraiman, and his 12 goals accounted for more than a quarter of their total offense. Their next highest goal scorer netted only four times, and the list gets smaller from there. It seems most likely that Romania will be either mired in a relegation battle, as they have been before, or follow a similar trajectory of reaching safely and taking their foot off the gas entirely.
11) Vancouver Greencaps
The division's other debutantes, Greencaps will bring their workmanlike approach and Irish influence up with them after a convincing league win in Division 2. Their league form last season was spurred by their somewhat unlikely Provincial B Championship the season prior and it has been a return to happy days for a club that seemed destined to compete at higher levels when they first arrived on the VMSL scene, but then faded from the limelight. Division 1 will be a challenge and the goal for any promoted side is always to survive and then build. While you certainly won't be able to fault the Vancouver boys efforts this season, the big question remains: will they have enough quality to find the goals and, ultimately, the points that they will need for safety?
12) GN Sporting Club
If ever a team seemed destined for relegation is has to be GN. The Surrey boys are rumoured to have lost the majority of their side to a new team taking up residence in the FVSL Premier division and they are also rumoured to have lost their coach to the recruitment drive over at CCB. Sporting have only just barley survived the drop the past two seasons and, if these rumours are true, it is very difficult to see how they are going to be able to dodge the trapdoor this season. Perhaps new management has opened the door to a new talent pool and we will see GN start to climb the table, rather than simply cling to life at this level. On the face of it though, it seems likely that this will be the end of their, I believe, seven year stay in Division 1.
What's happening here?
Les is out. Freddie Valente is now in charge.
The season is nearly upon us! Five games in Division 1 go this weekend with new boys Greencaps having to wait until Wednesday to make their debut. Not entirely sure why, it doesn't appear as though anyone else in the VMSL is occupying Romania's regular Saturday 6pm slot at Memorial (there's a Div. 2 game there at 4pm, but that seems to be it). Regardless, they will have to wait while everybody else begins there 22 week journey to discover who is going up and who is going down. Let's get to it...
Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 1:
Inter EDC v Binger's Army
This one is a toss up right off the bat. Inter are such a wild card with this team. Will they be mostly former Chile U21 players? The latest rumour I heard was that they had potentially poached some staff and players from NorVan Storm. It is going to take a few games to get a read on these guys for sure. Bingers on the other hand, will be desperate to avoid another poor start to the season and should be geared up for this one. They mustered draws to begin the season in back to back years, so they are always a tough out in Week 1. Certainly if rumours of UBC recruitment help are true then this squad should be well stocked to begin the campaign. Inter may well prove to be a group of all-stars, but until they prove it I am taking the Army here.
NorVan Storm v Burnaby Metro Athletic
If the above mentioned rumours are true regarding NorVan losing coaches and players to Inter, then that could well be a hammer blow to the organization. It would be doubly damaging if it happened late in pre-season and the remaining squad has not had a chance to recover a gel as a new unit. Not a great time then to be seeing promotion favourites Burnaby Metro on the schedule then. Metro should have learned from their failed promotion bid last season that there are no games off if you are planning to win Division 1 and that an excellent start is crucial. Navid and Co. did manage that good start last season, beginning 8-0-2, though their two losses were to eventual promoted sides NorVan Lions and Guildford, it was their sharp dip in form soon after that which was their undoing. I'll back them to get off to a flyer again this season.
Rino's Fury v Columbus
MOTW here as two teams that figure to be in the top half of the table clash to begin the season. Rino's will need no reminding of the terrible start they had to last season's campaign and it left them in a relegation battle. They will surely be hell bent not to repeat such a calamity this year. Rumours continue to swirl of a Columbus camp in turmoil as murmurs are beginning to surface that Deblasio, Poli, et al. may have finally been tempted to Masters. If these prove true then Columbus might well be out of the promotion race before it begins unless they have a way to replace Deblasio's league leading 22 goals. Interestingly, Deblas is no longer listed under team staff, as he was last year. Another wrinkle is that the Italians have moved their home kickoffs to Friday nights at Burnaby lake to coincide with their Masters team. Perhaps Stevie will be running back and forth between pitches! I suppose we will have an indication soon enough given whether or not he is in the squad for their opener. Assuming both squads are at their best, this one should be a cracker and could go either way. If Columbus is potentially weakened, then obviously the balance tips towards the Fury. I'll get off the fence and pick Rino's to put their nightmare start from a year ago well in their rear view.
Burnaby White Eagles v GN Sporting
White Eagles would be favourites in this one if all things were equal. As it stands though GN are rumoured to be in all sorts of upheaval with players potentially leaving for the FVSL and coaches possibly joining CCB in Premier. The former Serbians were not ones to show mercy last season, often running up the scoreline en route to their league best goals for tally. Ironically, GN were somewhat of a bogie team for White Eagles last season, beating them once in the league and knocking them out of the Imperial Cup. Sporting would go on to forfeit the next round match against Premier side Croatia and, honestly, I am not convinced they are going to show up for this game either. Assuming it does get played though, I make Burnaby massive favourites.
Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi v Westside
It's newly promoted against recently relegated in this one. In a somewhat cruel twist on the leagues part, Westside actually began last season against Metro Ford, only that was of course in Premier. They were 2-0 winners on that day though that was one of few high points from the campaign that would follow. Lupi meanwhile are not exactly used to losing given that they can count the number of time that they have done it over the last two seasons on one hand. They walked through Division 2 last year, but many have taken a similar path before them, only to discover that Division 1 is an entirely new ball game. Westside have no doubt continued to feel the effects of the breakdown in their relationship with UBC and it will be interesting to see what kind of effect this has had on their recruitment over the summer. This should be a good match up and measuring stick for both side to gauge their expectations for the season. I am very tempted to pick a draw in this one, but I will avoid it and tip the former Premier side instead.
Romania v Greencaps
Midweek we will witness the debut of the other newly promoted side, Greencaps. The former Provincial B Champions slogged their way to the top of their pool in Division 2 and now get to taste the new air of Division 1. Once upon a time Romania followed a similar path and there are more similarities that just that among the two sides. Both are physical, hardworking teams and you don't expect to see them played off the park on many occasions. That being said, they do lack somewhat in the skill and flair department which makes you wonder just how potent in front of goal they will be. Romania have found a way to make it work at this level and if Greencaps could have the same staying power I think they would be well chuffed with that. This game looks the definition of a saw off and, add the fact that it is a midweek tilt where statistically there just seem to be more draws, I am all but forced to predict a tie in this one.
No terrible start this yeas Rino’s Fury 4
Wonderful dive in our box by the flying waiter Adriano
Flew in air with our player backing away no contact
Refree was right there told him to get up
Good clean game with some good passing in patches by both teams
I am sure Columbus will improve on this performance
interesting result from gn over serbia
I heard Burnaby had a man sent off, which the discipline report on the Excellent Site would seem to verify; no idea when though or what the score was at the time.
Some questionable refereeing decesions last night but overall decent game.
There were some eye catching results for Div. 1 in Week 1 but, overall, still a lot of unknowns. Hopefully Week 2 can begin to fill in some of the edges around who is going to be spending the majority of the season fighting to go up versus stay up.
Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 2
Columbus v NorVan Storm
Not an ideal start for either of these sides, with rumours of preseason turmoil appearing to be true for at least the first week. The good news is, they have had another week to bed in together, so we will see if either side can show improvement. Columbus were well beaten, 4-1, by Rino's without talisman Steve Deblasio in the lineup and it remains to be seen if he will play any role for them at all this season or if he will be full time with their masters group. Without Stevie D, it would seem like goals may be hard to come by for the Italians. NorVan failed to score altogether in their opener, falling 1-0 to Burnaby Metro, but there might have been more for them to take heart from in that narrow loss to a promotion hopeful than Columbus can from getting beat down by Rino's. Both teams will be looking to bounce back and both will fancy their chances against an opponent they likely perceive as in a state of flux. I am worried for Columbus however. Maybe Week 1 was just a blip and they may not have had certain personnel available, but I'll take NorVan to pile on to their misery to start the season.
Greencaps v Binger's Army
Binger's always seem to tie on opening day; I think that is three years running now. Tough to get a read on their performance though, given that Inter/Chile are still a relative unknown. Greencaps had to wait until Wednesday to lift the curtain on their Division 1 existence and, evidently, it would seem that extra time paid off as they had little trouble seeing off a Romania side that it seems may not have been ready for the season to start. On the face of it this looks an even match with to prototypical Div. 1 sides that are physical and, often, direct in their approach. It could go either way. I think there will be a winner here, depending on who can wrestle control of the game away from the other side and dictate which team is spending more time in possession and attacking. That being said I am unsure of which team is more likely to assert themselves, so I will hedge and call it a draw.
GN Sporting v Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi
GN certainly shrugged off their doubters by seeing off a strong Burnaby White Eagles team to begin their season. Though playing with an extra man would have helped, credit to GN for making sure they got all three points. Having been involved in the relegation battle in back to back seasons, the Surrey side will be well aware that the points on the board count just the same at the beginning of the season as they do at the end. Playing a newly promoted side at home this week they will surely see an opportunity to earn some more invaluable points. Metro Ford should not be cast as an average promoted side given their dominance at the lower levels the past two seasons. They played relegated Westside to a 2-2 draw in their first ever Division 1 game and likely had chances to come away with all three points. Using that as a spring board, and knowing that GN have struggled in recent seasons, it seems equally likely that Coquitlam will be targeting this game as a strong chance to earn that first win. Lupi are hungry and want to prove they belong at this level and I think that might just carry them through in this one.
Romania v Burnaby Selects White Eagles
Romania certainly were not at the race when they were thumped 4-1 by new boys Greencaps in midweek. One wonders whether the would have fit in a training session, given that the game was played on a Wednesday, and, if not, can be reasonably expected to be any better prepared for this game. Burnaby will consider themselves the architects of their own demise after have a player sent off in their 3-2 loss to GN, a team they likely would have expected to beat. It is a chance for a reset this weekend against a team that looks like they may need another week or two to get up to speed. I don't expect White Eagles to be in a generous mood, so assuming they can steer clear of further discipline issues, I think they might take out some pent up frustration on Romania this weekend.
Westside v Rino's Fury
MOTW here as it is the classic Westside derby. Fury actually beat Westside last season when they met in the Imperial Cup and, given their opening week beat down of Columbus, they have carried on in that vein. Certainly Rino's look to have regained the form they showed two years ago when they finished in third place, as opposed to their dismal slog through the early part of last season. Westside earned a point in their opener following their relegation to this level, but surely would have been hoping for better against opposition that, at this time last season, were two divisions below them. Adding to the occasion, it would seem that Westside has scheduled all their teams to play Sunday at Hillcrest as part of their 40 Seasons Celebration, so the usually charged atmosphere between these two clubs should be extra spicy. The grass field conditions will probably make this game less about skill and more about strength of will, or just bounces. Should be a fun one with a good crowd and both teams holding nothing back. On the balance of it though, Rino's are coming in hot and I will tip them to stay as such.
Burnaby Metro Athletic v Club Inter EDC
Inter earned a good point for their efforts against Bingers in their first match as a new entity at this level. Despite the performance, they still remain somewhat of an enigma. We should be able to glean a better idea of where they stand after this weekend though, as they play promotion candidates, Burnaby Metro. Likely Metro would have hoped for a more convincing performance last week against NorVan, but a 1-0 ticks all the boxes required in terms of putting points on the board towards promotion. Chinter will have a chance to lay down a marker for the rest of the league with regards to their intentions for this season, based on their result in this match, so it is definitely one worth keeping an eye on. I'll tip the favourites but will be keen to see with what sort of score line this game will end up finishing.
Very questionable. Wouldn't give a yellow for some brutal tackles then was happy to hand them out over some minor comments. Not sure what his gameplan was there, that game couldn't have easily spilled over but luckily fizzled out in the end
Things are very bunched up through the first two weeks of Division 1 play, with only two undefeated teams remaining. If this is an indication of how things are going to play out this season, then it looks like this may be one of the tightest seasons we've seen for some time. Binger's are sticking with their Wednesday night home game routine which necessitates me bumping up these predictions, so even though most of the matches are still the better part of the week away, let's see if we can't suss out if anyone can get some separation at the top.
Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 3
Binger's Army v Burnaby Metro Athletic
Not the result the Army would have been hoping for, following an opening week draw, as they were smashed 4-1 by newly promoted Greencaps, though a red card to Aaron De Jong likely was less than helpful with their endeavors in that match. Hopefully the short week they have left themselves, given their mid-week home kickoffs, will prove to be the best way to get back on track. Binger's were one of the teams that Burnaby slipped up against last season during their promotion challenge as the Army took four points off of them. Having started well again this season as one of only a pair of teams with two wins from two matches, Metro will be keen to prove that they have learned from their mistakes. Burnaby have not been lighting the league on fire after a narrow 1-0 win over NorVan and a sloppy 4-2 goal fest against Inter/Chile, but substance is more important that style in Division 1 and Metro know they need to just find a way to put the points on the board. Mid-week games can often be wild cards, but I'll take Burnaby to keep their hot start going in this one.
Club Inter EDC v Columbus
Not sure how much of a traditional "Italian" derby this one will be given that I think it is most of the Latin side of the family, so to speak, that make up the Division 1 presence for "Chinter". It is too bad as well, because Inter/Columbus has thrown up some really heated battles in previous meetings. Regardless of who is in the Inter/EDC side, they will be looking for points in this one after being second best to Burnaby Metro last week. Columbus meanwhile got a much needed bounce back win over NorVan with Alexander Lazazzera, who has now got a pair of goals on the year, seeking to become the heir apparent to finally retired to Masters Steve Deblasio. Neither side appears particularly adept at defending, having given up five and six goals respectively through two games, so I would expect there to be goals in this one. It might come down to which side can get a save at the crucial moment. Columbus will be determined not to fall any further off the pace at the top and, after having bounced back with their first win last weekend, I think that will be able to build on it.
NorVan Storm v Westside
I have talked myself out of picking draws for Westside the past two weeks and they were not able to find a decisive goal against either Lupi or Rino's. It would appear that cutting edge and killer instinct may be an issue for the relegated side, though I suppose the flip side of that might be to say that they are finding ways not to lose. Those sorts of performances likely won't be good enough to see them bounce back up to the top flight, but it should at least ensure they are competitive. That being said, with the other teams in the league also dropping points, if they get themselves sorted out right quick, they could easily be in the conversation come the New Year. NorVan might seem the perfect side to target for points given their slow start as one of two teams with nothing to show for their efforts through the opening weeks of the season, but they have had a difficult schedule. They opened against preseason title favourites Burnaby Metro, before they were handed a date with a Columbus side who narrowly missed out on promotion last season and were ornery after a Week 1 drubbing. NorVan now have a chance to use some early season desperation to their advantage as they look to get away from the relegation race before it really kicks off. Look for a hearty performance from the Storm in this one, though, as mentioned, Westside have proven to be resilient if nothing else thus far. I was remiss not to pick draws in their recent matches, I will take one here.
Rino's Fury v GN Sporting
GN have shrugged off the doubters and roared out to an unbeaten start to the season. Rino's have posted the same record, a win and a draw, so this one sets up nicely. The teams split their two meetings last season with GN winning this fixture early in the year to add to Rino's miserable start and then Rino's winning the reverse tie in Surrey convincingly by a score of 7-1 when GN was involved in the relegation battle. Sporting have shown that they are capable of results during their time in Division 1, it is consistency that has been their problem. A stretch of three unbeaten might just be their best run of form since they got to this level. Given that inconsistency, it will take a bit more proving on GN's part before they can be included with the teams seriously expecting to challenge at the top end of the table. Rino's at home should be favourite here, but it is far from a sure thing.
Burnaby Selects White Eagles v Vancouver Greencaps
MOTW here as the scorching hot Greencaps take their show to Burnaby. So far, the 'Caps are yet to encounter any issues after their promotion to this level, currently sitting atop the table with two wins from two and a league best seven goals to their name. That being said, there are still plenty more teams to face before the Irish lads can start to think, just maybe, that they can be competing in the top half when the calendar flips to January. White Eagles will be a stiff test for the new boys as they bounced back last week with a 3-2 win over Romania after shooting themselves in the foot with a red card in their opener against GN. More importantly their two big goal threats from last season, Vuk Erbez and Matlash Vladyslav have picked up right where they left off last season, both with two goals in two games for the former Serbians. Burnaby's problem has never been scoring goals, but rather keeping them out, which is not great news for them given the goal scoring form Greencaps are in at the moment. Neither side is particular shy to get into a tackle either, so this one sets up as a really entertaining affair. Both teams are certainly in with a chance in this match, but I think the bubble has to burst for the promoted side sooner or later and will tip White Eagles to get all three points from this one.
Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi v Romania
The Romanians have begun the season in the same rut they ended the last campaign in. After securing safety and nibbling around the edges of the promotion campaign, the Europeans sank like a rock down the table. A pair of losses to begin the season means it has now been fully 10 months since they last won a game; November 18, 2017, 2-1 over GN Sporting. That being said, they started last season 0-2 before going 7-1-1, a run that ended with that GN win. It may well be that Romania will flip the switch again and go on a tear, before coasting to the finish line, but it sure seems a perilous gamble. Lupi have got their feet under themselves after their promotion with a pair of draws to begin their season and will be still hungry for that first win to really establish themselves. Sources tell me that the Tri-City boys have had the lead in each of their opening matches, so if they can keep up that level, it is surely only a matter of time until they can see one out for all three points.