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

SmartCoach

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My guess is a long ball from the back line in to goal as moser was a fantastic back in his prime
Anyone from Sierra care to say how they got
4 reds at the 94 minute
 

Canucks4Ever

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Three teams spent the winter break knowing that they were safe from relegation, while Santos and Greencaps were confirmed to be missing out on promotion. Depending on results this week, over half the table could be out of at least one of those races as we work our way towards the climax of the season. With teams in the middle of the table having less and less to play for it does tend to make results somewhat less predictable which can lead to some interesting matches down the stretch.

Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 16

Vancouver Greencaps v Club Inter EDC Burnaby B
Maybe Santa brought the Greencaps some reinforcements for Christmas, certainly they have done somewhat of a better job staying off the naughty list this season. The Irish lads spent the holidays propping up the Division 1 table and a return to Division 2 after just two seasons at a higher level is looking very much a possibility. Still, with a new year comes new optimism and after picking up a point in their final match before the break, a winning start to 2020 would really set them up to take a swing at the great escape. Given NorVan's sudden and abrupt uptick in form, Chinter look like the team Greencaps will need to catch if they are to survive. The flip side of that is that the "Italian"-Chileans have the chance to deal a solid body blow to Greencaps if they can take all the points for themselves this weekend. Inter closed out 2019 by losing to the other relegation side, Santos, and have not scored in their last three games. Far from inspiring form to say the least. Greencaps are not going to get many more chances to try and pull this out of the fire, so it is pretty much now or never. However, with the Irish lads, one can never quite be certain what kind of availability they will have especially coming off the holiday break and with lots of new snow on all the mountains, etc. Based on their results to this point of the season, it is all but impossible to make Greencaps a favourite, so I will say these two split the points in an unsatisfying draw.

NorVan Storm v Westside Sierra
The dust is evidently still settling from Sierra's tussle with Richmond in their final match of 2019. Sierra chalked up four red cards in that one and will be without all those players for their trip to the North Shore. The Storm, on the other hand, took an extra week off, postponing their last match before the break against Rino's. It was a slightly surprising decision given how blazing hot NorVan were and one would have thought they may have wanted to try and keep that momentum going. After a three months of tepid play that saw they embroiled in a relegation battle, the North Shore boys suddenly put all the pieces together and posted back to back clean sheet wins, scoring 11 goals in the process. Suddenly they looked like a team that should be duking it out at the top of the table, not the bottom, so with a mid-table Rino's side looking ripe for the taking, it was a bit counter intuitive to see them agree to rearrange the fixture. They will now try to pick up where they left off against a Sierra side that has been a tricky proposition for most this season. Late drama saw Sierra claim all three points off NorVan in their first meeting, but given how understaffed the former Burnaby-leaguers will be for this match, and given the way NorVan have been playing of late, revenge looks to be on the cards big time.

VAFC Santos v Rino's Fury
A big three points for Santos against Inter to wrap up their pre-holiday schedule has kept their survival ambitions on life support. They will need more wins like that though if they are to climb all the way out of trouble and Rino's present another chance to climb the table. It has be a rather indifferent season for the division's stalwarts, as the Fury have looked to be stuck in first gear for much of the campaign. A 3-4-7 record is hardly what we are used to seeing from Rino's and, if they are not careful, they too might be dragged into the relegation scrap. You would bet on them to have enough to avoid that fate, but, right now, it is tough to look at the fixture list and say with certainty that they are favourites against anybody. All the teams above, below and around them will fancy their chances against the Fury. It does not mean they will be easy to turn over, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it does mean that they are going to face a motivated opponent each an every week. These would be invaluable points for Santos, where as Rino's might still be in holiday mode after their extended break. I think there's good odds that Santos come away with all the spoils from this one, but last time Rino's traveled to Burnaby Lake on a Saturday they smashed Sierra 6-0. Such is the enigma that is Rino's. Call it a draw.

Westside FC A v Burnaby Metro Athletic
It was a Christmas wish fulfilled for Burnaby Metro as they spent the holidays comfortably in a promotion spot after closing our 2019 with a massive 3-1 win over Coquitlam. Westside, on the other hand, were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with GN. The left Burnaby with a five and six point cushion over GN and Westside respectively and with GN travelling to UBC to face Richmond this weekend, a win against Westside for Metro could all but assure them of promotion. This one is easily the biggest fixture on the docket making it the MOTW. It is pretty much now or never for Westside who, after climbing into second place and a promotion spot themselves, have picked up just two points from their last three matches. The league's second most potent offense has also dried up as well, with just a single goal in their previous two outings. The will need to get back to their free scoring ways right quick if they are going to stay in this promotion battle. For Burnaby, they are unbeaten in their last ten matches, since their loss to Westside in the reverse fixture. It might not have always been pretty for Metro, especially in edging out some one goal wins against the division's lesser-lights, but it has been effective and that is the mark of any true top side. If they are able to show that promotion pedigree again this week then they can likely put one foot in Premier. Westside will surely not go down easy though and will know what is on the line in this one. Hopefully it produces a top contest. As for a winner, these sides look tough to separate and coming off of the break it is tough to get a read on form. It also looks set to be a miserable weekend weather wise, so will that play a factor? Given how important this match is to both sides, I doubt there will be much in it one way or the other so I will say that honours are likely to finish even.

Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi v Vancouver Strikers
Their loss to Burnaby Metro in the final match before the break dropped Coquitlam to second place, putting the "can they be promoted" debate on hold, at least temporarily. Unlike last season, Lupi seem like they will be able to avoid plummeting off a cliff over the back half of the schedule, but, assuming they cannot get promoted, motivation may be tough to come by over the final months. The Tri Cities boys are likely eagerly awaiting the Imperial Cup draw to see if there is any potential for a match up against big brother Wolves at some point. For Strikers it is all but job done with a mid-table finish all but assured. It would seem that they know this as well given their recent downturn in form. Strikers are winless in four matches and their motivation down the final stretch will be interesting to gauge. A Sunday night trip to Coquitlam to start the New Year is not likely to get the blood really boiling for the Jericho Beach boys, so expect Lupi to get 2020 off to a winning start.

Richmond FC Hibernian v GN Sporting
This match has been moved to Monday night, presumably to accommodate the various UBC players away for the holidays. That is an unfortunate move for GN who's promotion hopes are on life support and would have no doubt relished the chance to take on a depleted "Richmond" squad. Presumably this date change means Richmond will not need to turn once more to uber-veteran and coach Mike Mosher to make up their numbers, although after scoring to spark a last minute comeback against Sierra, Mosh might just fancy putting himself in the side given that he is obviously in top form! UBC remain unbeaten on the season and unless GN can topple them, the Surrey/Delta boys look likely to lose further ground in the promotion race. A loss to UBC and a win for Burnaby Metro against Westside might just put it out of reach, so there should be some desperation in the visitor's camp. That said, Monday night on the farthest westward point of the Lower Mainland is unlikely to be a huge draw for the boys from south of the river, especially if this miserable weather persists. Tough to see anything other than a UBC win here.
 

Canucks4Ever

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Both the promotion and relegation races remain very interesting thanks to wins for Westside and Greencaps last week. However, with snow in the forecast, we could be in for yet another crazy finish to the season with makeup games and mid-week fixtures aplenty throwing the predictions out the window. Hopefully at least one more full week of games goes ahead to help set the stage for two races that look likely to go to the wire.

Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 17

Richmond Hibernian v Westside FC A
After a big 1-0 win over Burnaby last week that kept them in the thick of the promotion race, Westside are now tasked with trying to find a way past the still unbeaten "Richmond". There are few other marquee matchups on the docket this week, so this is likely the MOTW. Plus there are plenty of good story lines given all the connections between the two teams, so it should make for a top contest. Much was written about the breakdown in relationship between UBC and Westside that played part of the role in UBC ultimately seeking out their own VMSL spot in order to give their red shirts and fringe players competitive game minutes. While not directly related, the recent brawl between "Westside" Sierra and UBC before the Winter Break could not have improved relations between the two camps. "Richmond's" second leading scorer, Zach Karmel, who sits on nine goals for the seasons was Westside's talisman when they were last in Premier and went on an improbable run to the Provincial Cup semi-finals and there are plenty more players on both sides who will have featured for the other program at some point. There will be plenty of bragging right on the line to go along with some crucial points, particularly for Westside. The win over Burnaby meant they moved within three points of Metro, but losing this week would likely see that gap move back to six points with just five matches remaining. That might be too much of a gap to close. The first meeting between these sides saw Westside become the first team to take points off of UBC this year. Could they finally be the first side to hand them a loss? Unlikely, especially considering that two of UBC's three draws (three of four if you count the game under review against Sierra) have come during tough away fixtures around holidays, likely impacting the campus crew's ability to field a full side. Still, this should be a top game, though expect another UBC win.

GN Sporting v NorVan Storm
Losing to UBC last week was likely always on the cards for GN, and they did manage to get some help from Westside, given that they prevented Burnaby from pulling further away in the second promotion spot, but the reality is that the light is beginning to fade on the Surrey/Delta side's promotion hopes. It is not totally extinguished just yet, though any dropped points to relegation threatened NorVan would surely be lights out. After a pair of comprehensive wins before the break, NorVan were unable to muster much of anything against a heavily depleted Sierra side in a 1-0 loss. This give credence to the rumours that out-of-town players featured largely in their two big wins. If that is the case, NorVan had best sharpen up for a relegation battle given the teams below them are within touching distance and look up for the fight. Going to Delta on a Friday night is quite the trek for the North Shore crew and with GN desperate for the points in order to keep pace at the top of the table, the odds are clearly stacked against the Storm in this one.

Club Inter EDC Burnaby B v Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi
It is back to second place for Lupi after their 4-2 win over Strikers and Burnaby's loss to Westside. This should reignite the "Can they get promoted?" conversation. Looking at the six games remaining on their schedule, there is no reason to think that Lupi cannot run the table, with the exception of possibly the Hibs game, though they did end up drawing that one last time those teams met. Certainly this week looks like a slam dunk. After a mid-season surge, Chinter look lost having lost six straight matches, with the last three coming to the three teams below them in the table. It is starting to look very likely that the 13 points they have amassed to this point of the campaign will not be enough to keep them up and, given their current form, where they are going to find the points they will likely need to stay up is anyone's guess. Not much to analyze in this one as Lupi should be comfortable.

Vancouver Strikers v Burnaby Metro Athletic
Their 1-0 loss to Westside has cost Burnaby their cushy second place position with guaranteed promotion. Given it is widely assumed that Coquitlam, the team that supplanted them, cannot go up, Burnaby still technically occupy a promotion place in third, but surely they do not want to rely on that to get promoted and will be keen to get back into the official promotion spots as soon as possible. A couple of names on the hot sheet for their trip to the beach to face Strikers will likely cause a small headache for the Metro management team. That being said, Strikers look to have pretty much called time on their season and it is tough to blame them. After a grueling Division 2 promotion campaign and a hot start to the season, Strikers are all but mathematically assured of a place at this level again next year. Certainly if Burnaby leave the door open though, Strikers will be happy to bowl through it though and they still have decent offensive threats in Gavin Lytton, who is second in the division with 11 goals, and Bryan Da Cruz, who has netted nine times this year. Both were on target in their 4-2 loss to Coquitlam last time out, so Metro would be well advised not to sleep on this one as a slip up here would really send shock waves throughout the promotion race.

Westside Sierra v VAFC Santos
A win for Greencaps means Santos are once more at the foot of the table. The good news is that both NorVan and Chinter look fully catchable. The bad news is that Santos are going to need to start finding some wins somewhere. They did manage to scrape past Inter, but that is their only win in their last seven games. Losing 4-3 to Rino's last time out was a big missed opportunity to pick up more points. With matches still to come against three of the current top five a clash with mid-table Sierra is starting to look like a must win, or maybe a must get at least a point. It has been a tumultuous season for the Santos franchise after relegation from Premier, migrating from Campo, to VAFC to now being under the Burnaby Metro umbrella, but they are quickly running out of track to avoid sinking straight to Division 2. Sierra look like to continue to be very short staffed for this match with players still waiting for judgement on their red cards from their pre-holiday match against UBC. Santos should be in with a chance here, but after Sierra kept things tight and snatched all the points in a 1-0 against NorVan last time out, clearly they have the ability to persevere without those bodies. Bit of a toss up here, but Santos are bottom for a reason so Sierra are likely slight favourites, even if they are understaffed.

Rino's Fury v Vancouver Greencaps
Looks like it is now or never for Greencaps to make their move if they are going to beat the drop. Games against mid-table Rino's and Sierra will need to net them points with GN and UBC still on their docket. They finish the season against relegation rivals Santos and NorVan but will need to be in a position to make those games count. Beating Chinter 4-2 last time out has put Greencaps within touching distance of safety, but they really have to be targeting this match with Rino's as a chance for points as well. The reverse fixture finished as a draw, but the Irish lads will likely be hoping they can take all the spoils this time around. Rino's made hard work of it against the other relegation side, Santos, last week, eventually emerging as 4-3 winners. A similar performance this time around would like leave the door open for the 'Caps. The Fury are on 16 points and that might well be enough for safety. That said, 19 would be a much more comfortable number with only a handful of matches remaining. This should be a pretty good contest with two well matched teams, especially given both should be well motivated. I think they likely split the points again.
 
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soccer8

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Westside sierra have 3 suspended from there last game 1 guy got 8 game ban other 2 are TBD what the hell happened? These guy have serious discipline issues
 

Canucks4Ever

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Westside sierra have 3 suspended from there last game 1 guy got 8 game ban other 2 are TBD what the hell happened? These guy have serious discipline issues
It was not their last game, it was the game before the holiday break and it was actually 5 reds (4 for Sierra and 1 for UBC) in that game. Check the game summary online if you have access or read above...

There was a brawl at the end of the game after UBC died it 3-3 at the death. Match abandoned.

Still no update on the Excellent Site as match remains listed as "under review" but sources tell me both teams were found at fault for the abandonment so neither team will get any points from the match.

As for suspensions, the Sierra guy who got eight games (Glyn) and the UBC guy who got four games (Liam) apparently started the whole thing. Sierra had one guy get one game, so he has already served his suspension and is back. Presumably the two "TBD" guys have not bothered to attend their discipline hearings yet as the league seems to be taking a firm stance on not ruling on straight red cards unless guys show up to the hearing.
 

NVsoccer

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Anyone notice former Whitecaps U-19 and Peru U-17 international Vasco Fry is now playing for Westside Sierra?
 

Canucks4Ever

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So a second, unscheduled Winter Break has interrupted to promotion and relegation battles. It will be interesting to see if any sides potentially benefit from the rejigged fixture list. With teams falling out of the promotion race and/or becoming safe from the drop, there is less motivation for those mid-table sides that could have potentially affected the promotion race back when they had something for which to play. Currently everybody still has something to play for, at least mathematically, but they could change as early as after this weekend's fixtures.

Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 19

Richmond Hibernian v VAFC Santos
Three more wins will make promotion official with first place likely to quickly follow for "Richmond". The UBC boys were pegged back by Sierra before the break, and, despite their impressive last minute fight back from 3-1 down, ended up getting no points from that match due to the brawl at end of that match. It was the first time that the UBCers have not earned anything on a weekend this season, although they remain technically unbeaten. They did not let it throw them off, however, as they dispatched GN with ease, 3-0, in their first match back from the break before the snow set in. VAFC find themselves back at the foot of the table after Greencaps beat Inter and they were beaten 3-0 by Sierra in their last match. They have two big matches left, one against each of fellow relegation threatened sides Greencaps and NorVan. That is where they will try to make their desperate last stand, not against the league leaders. This one should be fairly straightforward for UBC and a nice way to ease back in after the snow.

GN Sporting v Vancouver Greencaps
These are two teams who will be desperate for the points this week for entirely different reasons. In a week devoid of any real marquee match ups it can also likely serve as our MOTW. Greencaps did the business against Chinter before the snow and have climbed to the edge of safety. Another win could potentially be enough, and would put them in a position to consolidate safety when they have an epic relegation showdown with NorVan next week. For GN, they look like they are going to come up short in the promotion race. Statistically they are a distant fifth, with a GD of only +3, compared to the double digit GDs boasted by the top four. They are eight points behind Burnaby Metro, assuming that it is Metro who are the benchmark for promotion and not Coquitlam. A loss this week would likely see that distance increase and with just five games remaining, that is probably a mountain too high to climb. One is left to wonder how that will affect their motivation the rest of the season as they are already safe from relegation. A win this week would keep them in the hunt for another week or two at least. The Surrey/Delta boys also have their home form to contend with somewhat, as they only have a record of 2-4-1 over their seven home matches so far this season, hardly a record to boast about. Greencaps will fancy this as an opportunity to pick up further points with a solid effort and they were only narrowly beaten, 1-0, on a late goal in the reverse fixture. Still, it is tough to see Greencaps travelling well on a Friday night South of the River; I think GN will have enough belief left to pick up the result.

NorVan Storm v Westside FC A
Well it is a fairly simple proposition for both these sides, a Westside win keeps their promotion race alive at least another week, a NorVan loss sees them remain mired in the thick of the relegation race. The respective opposite results do not mathematically resolve anything, but would be either a large blow or a huge boon to that team's efforts. NorVan put up a pair of solid results before the break, but looked off the pace in a 1-0 reversal at the hands of Sierra to begin the New Year. That match has been their only action in six weeks, as they opted to postpone their final pre-holiday fixture until later in the season. Rust could be a factor of the North Shore boys in this one, though, regardless, they will need a better effort than what they produced against Sierra. For Westside, they too have had only one match to begin the year, and it too was a 1-0 result, however, they were on the right end of it. That win against Burnaby Metro kept them in the promotion hunt, but all that good work goes out the window if they cannot follow that up with a win in this one. Both sides should be well motivated, if not well conditioned, coming into this game. I'll tip the team in the promotion race to take the points.

Westside Sierra v Coquitlam Metro Ford Lupi
Sierra have taken on all comers this season. Even after their well earned draw against first place UBC was wiped out due to a brawl that resulted in them having four players suspended, including losing their first choice goalkeeper for the balance of the season, they have not missed a beat, posting a pair of victories to start the New Year while keeping matching clean sheet to boot. They have also recruited former Whitecaps youth player Vasco Fry into their ranks and, despite some sort of registration SNAFU that cost them a $5 "hand written player fee", he made an instant impact in their 3-0 win over VAFC Santos with a goal and a booking. Evidently it was likely worth the $5. Those wins came against a pair of the "lesser" sides in the division however, and Sierra are set to be tested by second place Coquitlam this week. After this weekend, Sierra could well be mathematically safe from relegation and out of the promotion race, so it will be interesting to see how the team approaches the balance of their schedule. Certainly a clutch of teams, including "clubmates" Westside will be hoping that they can continue to deliver results against the other top half sides, thereby messing with the promotion race and keeping things interesting for all involved. Coquitlam will take some stopping though, as they have clearly learned from last season and managed to avoid a big drop off in from during the back half of the schedule. With only two losses on the season, they are full value for their second place standing, although the league big wigs are no doubt quietly hoping that Lupi drop a few points and finish outside the top two so as to avoid any promotion issues. Metro Ford should probably be favourites here, but Sierra, and their Saturday afternoon home kickoff, will be up for this one, so look for the teams to split the points.

Rino's Fury v Burnaby Metro Athletic
Can the Fury embrace their new role, taking up the mantle of Binger's Army as division stalwarts, and throw a wrench in the promotion race? They will certainly have there chance as they still play Burnaby Metro, Coquitlam and Westside before seasons end. Metro bounced back from a narrow 1-0 loss to Westside that kept the promotion race a going concern by brushing aside Vancouver Strikers 3-0 before the winter weather hit. Up until that Westside loss, Burnaby were unbeaten in ten matches, dating back to their previous match with Westside. That is the sort of form that becomes a promotion side. Their immediate bounce back also speaks to a resolve this season that has not necessarily been there during previous campaigns. Stiffer tests against Sierra, GN and UBC await Burnaby, so they will have their chance to prove their promotion credentials well and truly before all is said and done. For now, it is simply about holding serve and not allowing points to slip away against teams in the bottom half. Rino's are always capable of a result on their day, but Metro are clearly favourites in this one.

Club Inter EDC Burnaby B v Vancouver Strikers
For all intents and purposes these two teams appear to have shut up shop for the season. Chinter have lost seven straight, including losses to all three teams below them in the table. Strikers are winless in six, with their only two points coming via draws against the two teams in the relegation places. Surely something has to give. The look is definitely better on Strikers who sit perched in seventh on 19 points, compared to EDC in ninth on 13 and only three points above the relegation zone. Based on a season as a whole, you would back Strikers to snap out of it and get a result here, but, their once plentiful offense has gone missing. Over this six game rut they have scored just five goals while being held off the scoresheet altogether in three of those matches. This is a team that scored 30 goals in the 11 previous matches to begin the season, an average of just under three per game. It has gotten so bad that they have now seen their goal difference dip below even to -2. As for Inter, it is a tire fire at the minute. They are bleeding goals, having given up 28 over this losing streak, good for an average of four per game. It has seen their goals against sink to the second lowest in the division, ahead of only last place Santos who spent the first month of the season in total disarray. In fact, over their last seven games, Santos have only given up 18 goals, fully ten less than Inter. The one saving grace for the "Italian"-Chileans is the fact that they can all but right the ship with likely one more win. The bad news is that they play Strikers this week and Rino's next week before finishing the season against teams from the top half. This looks like their best opportunity to find those needed points, so they would do well to take it. If Strikers had any sort of offensive mojo going, given Chinter's current defensive woes, I would say this would be a slam dunk for the Beach Boys. Instead, with their offense on hiatus, who knows? These two sides drew their first meeting, I'll say they split the points again.
 

Ivanhoe_hound

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Greencraps beat GN 3-2.

Last kick of the game by penalty kick to win it. The Referee gave 4 penalties, 3 to the Craps and 1 to GN. Big win for the Irish laddies. The linesman flagged for a soft free with 10 minutes to go and the Greencaps fullback got a straight red for calling the linesman a effing bottler. Not sure what that means in Irish slang but seemed like a harsh red. GN were lucky not to get their own player sent off for a extremely rash challenge on the Greencraps number 8 which lead to the decisive penalty. All in all it was a great nights entertainment, I’m glad I made the trip out to watch it. Left footed blonde winger For GN was very tricky, he gave the GC fullbacks a hard time of it, possibly leading the eventual sending off of one of them, taking his frustration out on the linesman. Other than that they did it pose much of threat, just seem to have very tall players that flick the ball on aimlessly. Greencaps seem like they can play a bit but tired.

I’m newish to this league but it seems like the Greencraps are not as bad as their results seem? It was my first time seeing them in action. Curious to know opinions on it.
 

soccer8

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Well it looks like results are going Greencaps way along with picking up 2 big wins. I would have to believe inter and Santos will get relegated. Pretty impressive Richmond still unbeaten they will be a tough team to beat in the premier next year.
 

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