Div 1 [VMSL Div 1] Predictions, Results & Banter 2019/2020

Canucks4Ever

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With the Thanksgiving Weekend approaching, some teams have made it a short week with a couple of mid week matches. Last week produced some movement at the top of the table with the top six all fighting it out against each other while some of the teams in the bottom half were able to make up ground. It seems like we just got started, but already this week we will pass the quarter pole for the season, meaning the promotion race is already approaching its adolescence.

Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 6

Vancouver Greencaps v Rino's Fury
Things are headed straight towards panic stations rather quickly for the Green-men after their 2-1 loss to ten men Chinter last time out. At the top of their list of issues at the minute is the fact that they cannot seem to score goals at all, having netted just four times in five games. Their defense is not stellar, obviously, but it seems as though if they could put the ball in the net on any sort of regular basis that they should be able to start grinding out some results. The next issue, though, is their schedule. They have slumped their way through most of the upper and lower mid-table sides and come away with nothing to their name whatsoever. That is problematic given that leaders GN and Richmond are both still on the horizon. Before those encounters, however, they have two more dates with teams that stand to be mid-table outfits beginning this week against Rino's and then next week against Sierra. The desperation needs to show here for the 'Caps as striking out here could almost be a death sentence. After the heavy hitters they finally get the other struggling sides in NorVan and Santos, but they are already four points back of NorVan, who represent safety at the moment, and if they have another barren month they could well be farther back before that encounter. Rino's started slow themselves but have, as expected, clicked into gear. That being said, they were only able to scrape past the woeful Santos 1-0 last time out, so perhaps things are not quite as tickety-boo as they seem in the Fury's world. Mid-week games tend to produce draws and Greencaps should be willing to bite your hand off for a point if you offer it to them at the minute. Maybe their desperation gets them a result here, but the smart money is on Rino's.

Westside FC A v Richmond Hibernian
Up next in the UBC victory lap is Westside and there is some decent history here. Given the links between these sides, and the fact that they are both in the the top half, this has got to be the MOTW. In their glory days, Westside was a conduit for UBC's budding young stars to have a place to play outside of the college season and this also led to several of those former varsity players choosing to suit up full time for Westside after their college days came to a close. This was long the back bone of Westside's success through their Rino's days in the 90s and then in the early part of the new millennium. The relationship waned and Westside began to struggle, but a few seasons back the relationship with UBC was rekindled and it led to promotion from Div. 1 and then a trip to the Provincial Cup semi-finals the next season. It looked like the good times might well be back again for the Westsiders but somewhere it all crumbled once more, and this time it rather spectacularly led to their immediate relegation. There were talks of UBC wanting more control over the development of their players in the VMSL and to essentially "run their own show" and they finally found that fit when relegated Richmond were willing sellers. So here we now find ourselves as these two sides will meet with many a familiar face on both sides. For example, Zach Karmel, who has chipped in with three goals through "Richmond's" perfect start, was the talisman who led Westside to that run in the Provincial Cup. There are new faces though, such as UBC leading scorers Sebastian Dzikowski and James Graham, who know nothing of the UBC/Westside relationship, but how Westside would love to have them in their colours these days. Instead, these sides will clash in a fixture full on intrigue, if not true competition. "Richmond" look the class of the league and will be favourites every week barring a major reversal in form. That being said, I am sure Westside will give this game everything they have got, so expect a top effort, just maybe not a top result.

VAFC Santos v Westside FC Sierra
It is difficult to know what to read into Santos and their improved performance in only losing 1-0 to Rino's last week. Rumours are that the new partnership with Burnaby Metro on the managerial front has provided some reinforcements, but are these the types of players who can make Santos now competitive at this level week in and week out? Or was last week just a combination of a good day for Santos and a bad day for Rino's (that still produced another Santos loss mind you...)? This week should give us more clarity. Sierra spotted struggling NorVan a two goal lead before roaring back to take all three points. The former Burnaby leaguers are also still somewhat of an enigma at this level, but you would expect them to have more than enough to see off Santos in this one.

NorVan Storm v GN Sporting Club
The taste of defeat is no doubt not sitting well with GN after they were handed their first loss of the season by league leaders UBC last weekend. Fortunately for them NorVan are still stuck in first gear with just one win and four points so far this year, providing the perfect opportunity for a bounce back game. The North Shore boys are all over the board through five games of the campaign. They recovered from a two goal deficit, they have thrown away a two goal lead, they have kept a clean sheet and they have been shutout. Stability seems to be the thing that is really lacking in the Storm's camp, more than attacking or defending necessarily. It is a long trip across two bridges on a long weekend for a team that has a history of laying the occasional egg in GN, so perhaps NorVan can catch them short staffed. All things being equal, however, surely the Surrey/North Delta boys are the favourites here.

Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi v Club Inter EDC Burnaby B
A trip to the city got Lupi back to winning ways as they bested Strikers 2-1 in a match that saw the two sides come into it in a dead heat in the standings. Lupi are now tied for second place and while their ability to get promoted is still unlikely at best, with big brothers Wolves still rooted to the bottom of the Premier table maybe there is just a little bit of extra motivation in the camp for the Tri-Cities boys at the minute. Of course, Metro Ford got off to a similar barnstorming run during the first half of last season before dropping like a rock once winter hit and they are still to face the other top sides in GN and Richmond. You can only beat the teams in front of you though and, for the most part, Lupi are doing that at the minute. Inter come into this match on the back of two very important wins on the spin against bottom sides Santos and Greencaps. That has given them a six point cushion on relegation and they also got the chance to bang in a few goals. Perhaps this will give them some momentum to carry with them for their trip to Coquitlam but, realistically, those results do little to wallpaper over the serious crack that had shown during their first matches of the season. The man with four names, Andres Mauricio Rojas Rodriguez, has emerged as the talisman for Chinter B and they will need him to continue to produce if they are going to have any hope of getting a result this weekend.

Burnaby Metro Athletic v Vancouver Strikers
Disaster has struck for Burnaby Metro after back to back losses, the latest of which was a 4-2 reversal at the hands of Westside. This has seen the promotion hopefuls sink into a three-way tie for sixth place and the concern now is beginning to become less about the number of points between them and the promotion places and more about the sheer number of teams they are going to need to climb over, especially with games against GN and Richmond still to come. Now, presumably Metro could look at those fixtures as opportunities for "six-pointers" to try and make up some ground on the sides above them, but, given their current for, that does not seem entirely realistic at the minute. Newly promoted Strikers have made hay from a softer schedule to begin the season, though they are coming off a 2-1 loss to Lupi, but that should still buoy them somewhat as they begin to encounter the well-established sides at this level. Evidently Burnaby Lake is not available over the holiday weekend, so Metro have been relocated to Point Grey, which makes this more of a home game for Strikers than them. You would usually expect Burnaby to be the favourites against a newly promoted side but, given the current form of the two teams, I will saw this one is a saw off.
 
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Vancouver Crapcaps- Rino's Fury: Fury run over the crapcaps 3-0
Westside FC - Richmond Hibs UBC- Westside with the upset 2-1
VAFC Santos - Westside Sierra- Sierra drop a touchdown on the crapo 7-0 Westside
Norvan Storm - GN Sporting- more like Norvan rain shower not a storm at all. GN bounce back 4-0
Metro Ford Lupis vs Club Inter/Chilli - Lupis win 3-1
Burnaby Metro vs Vancouver Strikers- Burnaby under new management.... Strikers win 2-1

The league is starting to separate faster then Campo after 3 weeks of league play. Campo/Santos/VAFC and Greencaps go down next year.
Metro Ford and Richmond Hibs go up
 

Canucks4Ever

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Campo/Santos/VAFC and Greencaps go down next year.
Metro Ford and Richmond Hibs go up
You're predicting CMF Wolves to get relegated from Prem? That's the only way Lupi could go up...

what happens with greencaps if they get relegated? They already have a team in Div 2
That's fine from a league perspective. It's only Prem where you can't have more than one team per club. Functionally though, given their struggles at the minute I wouldn't be surprised to see Greencaps go to just one team again next season, potentially opening up a bonus promotion spot in Div. 2. Then again, their Div. 2 team is looking like potential relegation fodder as well currently which would make that moot.
 
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Macho Man

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Folding the two teams into one seems to make the most sense.

They look like they have enough players to field a high end Div 2/bottom third of Div 1 team, but not enough for two. Struggling as a result
 

SmartCoach

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Vancouver Crapcaps- Rino's Fury: Fury run over the crapcaps 3-0
Westside FC - Richmond Hibs UBC- Westside with the upset 2-1
VAFC Santos - Westside Sierra- Sierra drop a touchdown on the crapo 7-0 Westside
Norvan Storm - GN Sporting- more like Norvan rain shower not a storm at all. GN bounce back 4-0
Metro Ford Lupis vs Club Inter/Chilli - Lupis win 3-1
Burnaby Metro vs Vancouver Strikers- Burnaby under new management.... Strikers win 2-1

The league is starting to separate faster then Campo after 3 weeks of league play. Campo/Santos/VAFC and Greencaps go down next year.
Metro Ford and Richmond Hibs go up
only way you predict west side win is you know
Some of your key UBC are away for Thanksgiving
 

Dude

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God times have changed.

Back in the day, the first signs of cold would guarantee a win over GN Sport. Ironclad. Also, a run of sales on mittens at the local K-Mart counter.
 
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