Div 2 [VMSL Div 2] Predictions, Results & Banter 2019/2020

Macho Man

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Love the predictions, TC3!

The referees in Div 2 this year have been dogshit. This doesn't stem from any one incident in particular, moreso a comprehensive display of incompetence across the first half of the season. It's a massive shame and it's taking the joy out of games.

Still, at least they're equally shite for everyone. So we've got that going for us
 

Canucks4Ever

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if Sam O'Conner gets 'too close' again, this game might not go Harps' way. 3 - 2 Serbia
(* PS> not sure where in the rule book 'Too Close' is.)
View attachment 26515
Presumably "failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in" was too long and cumbersome to put in the online reporting system...
 

Macho Man

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Presumably "failure to respect the required distance when play is restarted with a corner kick, free kick or throw-in" was too long and cumbersome to put in the online reporting system...
typical vancouver imo. Guy tries to get close to others and is punished. No fun city strikes again
 

dezza

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The olden days of Div 2 having clearcut favourites like Campo (way back), Burnaby Metro, CMF Lupi, and Strikers - are gone.
Are you talking about Campo in the Dever Orgill days? Because the last time Campo got promoted out of Div2 it was for finishing behind GN Sporting, and tied on points for second place with Norvan Storm. Months later when Surrey United left Premier for FVSL, an opening was created pushing ND up to Prem, and Campo up to Div 1 because of some tiebreaker formula that Norvan's manager at the time, Tom, will never stop moaning about :)
 
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Canucks4Ever

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Are you talking about Campo in the Dever Orgill days? Because the last time Campo got promoted out of Div2 it was for finishing behind GN Sporting, and tied on points for second place with Norvan Storm. Months later when Surrey United left Premier for FVSL, an opening was created pushing ND up to Prem, and Campo up to Div 1 because of some tiebreaker formula that Norvan's manager at the time, Tom, will never stop moaning about :)
My god he did go on and on about that rule. Campo and NorVan were tied on points and Campo went up on goal difference but he was adamant that head to head was the proper tie breaker which made limited sense because the rule for vacancies was (and still is) the team with the next most points regardless of division. So there was no guarantee that teams tied on points would have played each other unless they were in the same pool or somehow met in the cup; which would be a bizzare way to decide things on the off chance teams had been drawn together in cup competition. The rules state that if tied on points it would then go to goal difference, but NorVan argued that not only was this not what the rules had said, but that the VMSL had gone to the trouble of changing the rules online to old version of the rules that did not reflect the proper head to head tie breaker blah blah blah and if your eyes are starting to glaze over you now get a sense of how we all felt at the time!

Thankfully some team with three spots in Div. 1 was on hand to trade places with NorVan...:rolleyes:
 

TC3

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Are you talking about Campo in the Dever Orgill days? Because the last time Campo got promoted out of Div2 it was for finishing behind GN Sporting, and tied on points for second place with Norvan Storm. Months later when Surrey United left Premier for FVSL, an opening was created pushing ND up to Prem, and Campo up to Div 1 because of some tiebreaker formula that Norvan's manager at the time, Tom, will never stop moaning about :)
I think the good ol' days for Campo are so long ago that yes, this must have been the year I was talking about haha. Ignoring that year though, there's consistently been a team that has come into div 3, ran rampantly through it, done the same at the div 2 level, and ultimately, found a home in Div 1. This year doesn't have that same kinda vibe.
 

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After a 5 - 7 weekend of predictions, including 3 predications that were bang on, I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, move to a 22 - 20 record overall. I, like everyone in Div 2, sit bewildered by Shaheen drawing 1 - 1 to Westside. That's seems a little like the Patriots losing to Miami in Foxborough.

That being said, Westside had had a shite draw. Hrvat, Lomas, UBC, in the first 3 games. Then at Shaheen in week 5. After 14 minutes they went down 1-0, only to square it up 10 minutes later. Shaheen, at home, with fully an hour to score - didn't. Westside is likely to be a better team than the first 5 weeks have shown, and it'll be interesting to see how they fare.

Other results of interest.. UBC won the rugby match at Connaught, a big dub for them. Sniper and Romania as predicted was a 4 - 4 goal fest. Newly promoted GFC sit atop the table after a Bingers Serbia draw (as predicted). The online highlights show a missed tap in from 3 yards by Bingers, and a late goal from Pedro that easily is called offside more than 50% of the time in the linesmen free div 2.

So what of it? Well, if Div 2 is about anything, it's 'what team is missing their best players?' No weekend brings that to life more then the Thanksgiving Long. In that spirit - breakdowns below:

2A:
Hrvat v Shaheen -> The TTP Div 2 chat has more posts than any other Division, thanks partly to Soccer Coach fcuking off in Div 1. 90% of the posts are about Hrvat and Shaheen. We're bored of it. And Friday night will make it even more boring. 1 - 1 Draw
Loma v BCT -> Back to back home games for Lomas. They won't mess it up this weekend, and BCT won't be able to stay in control. Their surrey home pitch is like an airport tarmac when compared to Loma's Thanksgiving pumpkin patch. I'm betting that the holiday weekend will make Loma's availability somewhat questionable, but it won't matter. 3 - 0 Lomas
Westside v Rinos -> Westside is going to come through in this one. I have a feeling both teams will be missing players, but Westside actually looked half decent against the Shaheen side on video tape. While Westside have played all the top teams, Rino's haven't, and they're still worse off. This is a 6 pointer, and unlike Rino's, Westside will be thankful that relegation concerns are somewhat staved off for now. 4 - 1 Westside
Rangers v Romania -> Rangers, formally with Vancouver United, have a bunch of young kids that are either from Vancouver, or have moved here to go to school or something like that. If it's the latter, then they'll be home for the holidays and Romania might take it. If it's the former, then they'll be home in time to help mom set the table after a W - 3 - 1 Rangers
Marpole v Lobos -> Marpole may have won 3 in a row, but I'm going with a different reach here though. Coquitlam have 2 guys in their management with shirtless headshots, as opposed to Marpole's 1. Early advantage Lobos. Moreover, the Marpole coach and asst coach are older dudes, likely preoccupied with managing thanksgiving festivities along with CFL football, while the Lobos manager looks like he's probably a player, and is wearing a tie in his headshot. More advantage Lobos. Also, they're even on points so *coin flip - 2 - 1 Lobos
Snipers v Metropolitan -> While Snipers have been scoring goals in bunches, they've also been leaking them. After a big win against a stout defense in Meraloma, Metropolitan will benefit from even more available space against a team with a 2.8 GAA - 4 - 2 Metro

2B:

Gastown v Harps -> Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The poor Gmen have lost by one goal every week, so it seems like its close for them. Two losses both came in the last 5 minutes. That being said, Harps are a stiffer test than Sarajevo, so - 3 - 1 Harps
Richmond v Strathcona -> I think that the Richmond guys are going to have a lot more familial duties through the long weekend than the Strathcona lads. The irishmen will hopefully join up friends-giving festivities, but won't be bothered by other obligations. Gonna be a coin flip, but I think a draw at 2 - 1 Strathcona is the safe money.
Astro v 13th Legion -> A quick toggle through the years function on VMSL annnnd, Astro hasn't faired well against Legion. Something seems to be up with Legion this season though, but after a 5 - 1 dub over Twin Arrows last weekend, maybe they've figured something out. Are Astro actually better this year? No idea. Not sure if Legion is worse. This will offer a bit of insight, but again, the Thanksgiving player availability matrix may play a role - 2 - 2 Draw
Greencaps v Sarajevo -> A classic thanksgiving mix up game. If this game was on Sunday, I think Greencaps win because the North Shore Sarajevo fellas will be helping make side dishes. On Saturday though, Sarajevo will likely put in a good showing, and it's hard to bet on Greencaps this year. 2 -1 Sarajevo
Bingers v Twin Arrows -> Bingers looked like the stronger team in the footage of the Serbia game, and I think they'll be looking to take a positive step to right what they feel should have been a win and not a draw. I agree with the thought that Bingers may actually be a likely team to finish #1 or #2 this year. Look for this to be a goal fest for Bingers - 5 - 1 Bingers
Serbia v GFC Lions -> MOTW here as the newly promoted lions find themselves top of the table. Serbia will go as far in this game as Pedro takes them, which I don't think will be enough, and Serbia might just drop more points. GFC will be fired up, but mostly because they have Monday off. 3 - 2 GFC

Rock and roll and happy thanksgiving yo.
Predictions for this weekend TC3. Give me something to read at work and pass some time :)
 

TC3

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Well I'd say that's how it's done. What a record in week 9, with TC3 going 10 - 2 on picks, with 3 bang on score lines. Heading into week 10 there are a few interesting things to look at from the way things are shaping up across the div 2..

In 2A, Shaheen aren't going to win. Milad is one of the best players in Canada, nobody disputes that. Gotta think that bringing him in meant their goal was promotion. But with two home field opportunities against the top teams, they've come away with 1 of 6 points. Going to Connaught Park and UBC to face Loma and Metropolitan late January won't help. Hell NK Hrvat is in 3rd. Shaheen will need to win when it matters, or they may not even be looking at a provincial spot. Elsewhere, Rino's at the bottom of the table managed to take advantage of a red card from BCT, scoring in the 75th and 80th minutes. Gotta feel for BCT after taking a red card in what's essentially a 6 pointer.

In 2B, only 4 points separate the top 6 teams. Any one of the top 6 teams would not enjoy playing in Div 1. In fact, they'd probably all get blasted, and end up right back here in Div 2 come 2021 (Bingers record last year was 3-4-15 w/ -34 GD for example). So while I think they're all interested in 'winning the league', there is arguably a more intriguing battle for provincial spots playing out here that could be very interesting come end of February. A pretty general observation in Div 2 seems to be that teams have years where they just seem to be on. For example last year, I'm pretty sure Twin Arrows found themselves just 3 points away from Provincial qualification. This year they have 9 points. So none of these teams are guaranteed to be any good next year, or have any of the players that make them special this year (i.e. Ramsey and two others going to Prem from Serbia).

Not to mention come late January, the cup draw will be especially interesting. Whoever is at the top of 2B (or 2A for that matter) will enjoy a bye, and the opportunity to not accidentally face a top team in round 1 of the cup. If say, Harps miss out on 1st, and Meraloma does as well, they could draw each other game 1 of the cup on Connaught Park. You'd love to see it.

I'm actually curious to know how teams in Div 2 feel about winning the league? ... Feels like a potentially bittersweet accomplishment. Like of course it'd be awesome, but then congrats.. you get to go up to Div 1, play in the Prem cup now instead, and likely go 2 - 0 - 20. Not to mention miss out on all the fun next year when a (hopefully) relegated Santos (Campo) come back down. BTW congrats to Santos (Campo) who won their first game in 31 weeks of VMSL play last weekend. Here's that as a win percentage -> 3.2%

Prediction time:

Friday:
Strathcona v Sarajevo: Unfortunately for Sarajevo, anyone in the top 6 will feel like they have a lot to play for. They haven't faired well against anyone in the top 6, and haven't scored a goal in 2 weeks. 3 - 1 Strathcona
Hrvat v Snipers: Nearly identical on paper, Hrvat is just better at shutting up shop against teams that know how to score. Snipers will get frustrated, and if Hrvat gets one it'll park the bus. That being said, I think Snipers get a point here - 2 - 2 Draw
BCT v Lobos: Doesn't get any easier for BCT.... No reason to think Lobos won't do well.. also no reason to break it down - 4 - 0 Lobos

Saturday:
Richmond v Twin Arrows: This one has the added beauty of being played on grass. Not sure what the quality is like out in Richmond i'm guessing it isn't Swangard. Has all the makings of a draw, but given draws are like betting on 00in roulette, I'm going to go with 3 - 2 Richmond
Loma v Romania: Using the Div 1 comparison, Loma is a team that has enough of a 'club' around it to go to Div 1 and likely do middle-of-the-pack-ish good. Conversely, Romania was the other team to come down from Div 1 with Bingers last year. All that aside, it's Connaught Park in the rain in November. Dogshit. 3 - 1 Lomas
GFC v Harps: The footage from the Serbia vs Harps game comes out, and it's pretty obviously one of the worst officiated games ever - and it's just a highlight pack. Harps extremely lucky not to have a red from some head case at 4:10 when already down 3 -1. Not to mention the moment at 6:45 lol. Anyway. GFC and Harps, with a good official, will be a slugfest. Between the two teams they have 34 yellow cards this year :bored:. So while this is MOTW, I really hope Mike Hagi is there for officiate it, cause this will end 9 v 9 - 3 - 2 GFC
Shaheen v Rinos: Shaheen will go ahead and get a win here, but one more slip up against the lower teams and that's that really. 4 - 1 Shaheen
Westside Juniors v Rangers: I'm guessing that Juniors are going to take this opportunity to move out of the relegation hot seat. They've put up some half decent efforts here and there, and these two teams are effectively equal. If the Juniors team that showed up against Rinos shows up against Rangers, they'll win a close one - 3 - 2 Juniors

Sunday
Bingers v Gastown: Bingers and Gastown have a similar style in the sense that they always play close games. Gastown have been extremely unlucky not to come away with more points, due simply to the fact that they seem to play for 85 minutes, then concede late. If Gastown can scrub one, or two, and then hold the fort, this has a weird opportunity to be a game that is upset of the week. In my heart it's actually a draw, but fcuk it - 2 - 1 Gastown
Greencaps v Astro: Astro now on the heels of back to back wins needed a 92 minute winner to beat Gastown. Greencaps have had two weeks in a row of wild results, first up 2 - 1, 3 - 2, and 4 - 3 against Twin Arrows only to concede in the 88th minute and draw 4 - 4! Then up again 2 - 0 against Legion, only to lose 3 - 2. If Astro take them lightly, they'll be playing from behind. 4 - 2 Astro
Metropolitan v Marpole: Pretty simple really. Shaheen and Lomas are going to win. NK Hrvat might too. These are the games that can't be taken lightly for Metro, especially after knocking off Shaheen last weekend on the road. I will say given the long weekend that the UBC guys tend to have some availability issues that creep up... ? 3 - 1 UBC
Serbia v 13th Legion: This one strikes me as one of those matches where Serbia gives up points. Something about 13th Legion just makes things weird for teams. Also I'm at the end of this damn write up and who cares about 13th Legion v Serbia late on a Sunday night - 2 - 1 Serbia

:foib:
 

Canucks4Ever

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Well I'd say that's how it's done. What a record in week 9, with TC3 going 10 - 2 on picks, with 3 bang on score lines. Heading into week 10 there are a few interesting things to look at from the way things are shaping up across the div 2..

In 2A, Shaheen aren't going to win. Milad is one of the best players in Canada, nobody disputes that. Gotta think that bringing him in meant their goal was promotion. But with two home field opportunities against the top teams, they've come away with 1 of 6 points. Going to Connaught Park and UBC to face Loma and Metropolitan late January won't help. Hell NK Hrvat is in 3rd. Shaheen will need to win when it matters, or they may not even be looking at a provincial spot.

In 2B, only 4 points separate the top 6 teams. Any one of the top 6 teams would not enjoy playing in Div 1. In fact, they'd probably all get blasted, and end up right back here in Div 2 come 2021 (Bingers record last year was 3-4-15 w/ -34 GD for example). So while I think they're all interested in 'winning the league', there is arguably a more intriguing battle for provincial spots playing out here that could be very interesting come end of February. A pretty general observation in Div 2 seems to be that teams have years where they just seem to be on. For example last year, I'm pretty sure Twin Arrows found themselves just 3 points away from Provincial qualification. This year they have 9 points. So none of these teams are guaranteed to be any good next year, or have any of the players that make them special this year (i.e. Ramsey and two others going to Prem from Serbia).

I'm actually curious to know how teams in Div 2 feel about winning the league? ... Feels like a potentially bittersweet accomplishment. Like of course it'd be awesome, but then congrats.. you get to go up to Div 1, play in the Prem cup now instead, and likely go 2 - 0 - 20. Not to mention miss out on all the fun next year when a (hopefully) relegated Santos (Campo) come back down. BTW congrats to Santos (Campo) who won their first game in 31 weeks of VMSL play last weekend. Here's that as a win percentage -> 3.2%
Nice to have someone else on here doing deep dives into the league, so, first off, keep up the good work.

A couple quick points, from my understanding Milad went to Shaheen for personal reasons. Certainly once he was confirmed to be joining surely they would expect him to push them over the edge for promotion, but he did not go there specifically for that purpose is what I am told. Even without him I am sure that Shaheen would have been targeting promotion as they have been since they came back down. Looks like even with Milad though they will fall short based on the reasons you outlined.

Second, I vehemently oppose the line of reasoning that because it is going to be difficult and likely involve some losing that teams should not want to go up. It is a massive problem to start allowing that line of thinking (see the FVSL). You know what you are signing up for at the start of the season, if you win the league you become the small fish at the next level up.

Is it tough? Sure. But if you fail you come back down and get to be a big fish again. If you can find a way to survive to try to build, get even better and continue to climb. Also worth noting that promoted teams have had a very strong record in Div. 1 in recent seasons.

Third, I wouldn't be so sure Campo/Santos are on the way down. This latest iteration under the Burnaby Metro umbrella seems to have some traction and Greencaps and NorVan look vulnerable. Even if they do come down, they are not the same team without Eduardo Azmitia at the helm, for better or worse...

Last point, I am sure all the Division 1 teams are quietly hoping that Meraloma do not go up unl as they plan on moving off Connaught!
 

Macho Man

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Man, that Harps - Serbia footage is hilarious.

Harps a bunch of psychos. One of their guys stuck a finger up one of our guys' ass when they were defending a corner earlier this season... wtf
 
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TC3

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Nice to have someone else on here doing deep dives into the league, so, first off, keep up the good work.

A couple quick points, from my understanding Milad went to Shaheen for personal reasons. Certainly once he was confirmed to be joining surely they would expect him to push them over the edge for promotion, but he did not go there specifically for that purpose is what I am told. Even without him I am sure that Shaheen would have been targeting promotion as they have been since they came back down. Looks like even with Milad though they will fall short based on the reasons you outlined.

Second, I vehemently oppose the line of reasoning that because it is going to be difficult and likely involve some losing that teams should not want to go up. It is a massive problem to start allowing that line of thinking (see the FVSL). You know what you are signing up for at the start of the season, if you win the league you become the small fish at the next level up.

Is it tough? Sure. But if you fail you come back down and get to be a big fish again. If you can find a way to survive to try to build, get even better and continue to climb. Also worth noting that promoted teams have had a very strong record in Div. 1 in recent seasons.

Third, I wouldn't be so sure Campo/Santos are on the way down. This latest iteration under the Burnaby Metro umbrella seems to have some traction and Greencaps and NorVan look vulnerable. Even if they do come down, they are not the same team without Eduardo Azmitia at the helm, for better or worse...

Last point, I am sure all the Division 1 teams are quietly hoping that Meraloma do not go up unl as they plan on moving off Connaught!
Having @Canucks4Ever say 'keep up the good work' is a dream come true lol.

I also take your point, but it's just simple reasoning. There are two types of clubs in Div 2, competitive teams that are made up for the fun of it and love a beer (most of them), and teams purely focused on trying to win, no matter what the culture might be.

The Metro Ford Lupi's and Burnaby Metro Athletics of years past were the former, and always destined to be in Div 1 - it's where they belonged. I'd bet their culture is not that of having a pint after the match, win lose or draw.

Will any of .500ish Div 1 teams do well in the Imperial Cup? Not likely. Take Romania last year -- they win 3 - 0 against Greencaps in the round of 32 -- then lose 11 - 2 against Rino's Tigers in the Round of 16. Fun! So the cup level competition is kinda ruined as well. The Div 2 Cup is always interesting.

The last piece is obviously provincials. There are no fewer than 13 teams in Div 2 this year that could finish top 3 in their divisions, and get a chance to be part of that provincial atmosphere in the spring.

All told, the jump from Div 3 to 2 is ideal for 'love of the game' teams that are actually competitive. The jump from Div 2 to 1 is not the same. Usually, there are 2 or 3 favourites for promotion in Div 2 - teams that wouldn't do poorly in Div 1. But at this point, in Div 2B for example, the top 6 teams in my opinion are all the 'competitive - love of the game' types. It's made 2B exciting for sure, and I'm sure they'd all love to be part of that excitement and compete level every year, instead of losing 15 - 20 games next year - *shrug

So yah, of course teams want to win every week. Of course winning it all would be awesome. But at the end of the day, the jump from 2 to 1 substantial. I'm not sure what the scoop is in the FVSL, but would be curious to know.
BTW @Macho Man , maybe that explains the Sam O'Conner 'Too Close' yellow from a week ago! Idiots. HAH o_O:foib::asshat:

Screen Shot 2019-10-31 at 1.16.48 PM.png
 

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Well I'd say that's how it's done. What a record in week 9, with TC3 going 10 - 2 on picks, with 3 bang on score lines. Heading into week 10 there are a few interesting things to look at from the way things are shaping up across the div 2..

In 2A, Shaheen aren't going to win. Milad is one of the best players in Canada, nobody disputes that. Gotta think that bringing him in meant their goal was promotion. But with two home field opportunities against the top teams, they've come away with 1 of 6 points. Going to Connaught Park and UBC to face Loma and Metropolitan late January won't help. Hell NK Hrvat is in 3rd. Shaheen will need to win when it matters, or they may not even be looking at a provincial spot. Elsewhere, Rino's at the bottom of the table managed to take advantage of a red card from BCT, scoring in the 75th and 80th minutes. Gotta feel for BCT after taking a red card in what's essentially a 6 pointer.

In 2B, only 4 points separate the top 6 teams. Any one of the top 6 teams would not enjoy playing in Div 1. In fact, they'd probably all get blasted, and end up right back here in Div 2 come 2021 (Bingers record last year was 3-4-15 w/ -34 GD for example). So while I think they're all interested in 'winning the league', there is arguably a more intriguing battle for provincial spots playing out here that could be very interesting come end of February. A pretty general observation in Div 2 seems to be that teams have years where they just seem to be on. For example last year, I'm pretty sure Twin Arrows found themselves just 3 points away from Provincial qualification. This year they have 9 points. So none of these teams are guaranteed to be any good next year, or have any of the players that make them special this year (i.e. Ramsey and two others going to Prem from Serbia).

Not to mention come late January, the cup draw will be especially interesting. Whoever is at the top of 2B (or 2A for that matter) will enjoy a bye, and the opportunity to not accidentally face a top team in round 1 of the cup. If say, Harps miss out on 1st, and Meraloma does as well, they could draw each other game 1 of the cup on Connaught Park. You'd love to see it.

I'm actually curious to know how teams in Div 2 feel about winning the league? ... Feels like a potentially bittersweet accomplishment. Like of course it'd be awesome, but then congrats.. you get to go up to Div 1, play in the Prem cup now instead, and likely go 2 - 0 - 20. Not to mention miss out on all the fun next year when a (hopefully) relegated Santos (Campo) come back down. BTW congrats to Santos (Campo) who won their first game in 31 weeks of VMSL play last weekend. Here's that as a win percentage -> 3.2%

Prediction time:

Friday:
Strathcona v Sarajevo: Unfortunately for Sarajevo, anyone in the top 6 will feel like they have a lot to play for. They haven't faired well against anyone in the top 6, and haven't scored a goal in 2 weeks. 3 - 1 Strathcona
Hrvat v Snipers: Nearly identical on paper, Hrvat is just better at shutting up shop against teams that know how to score. Snipers will get frustrated, and if Hrvat gets one it'll park the bus. That being said, I think Snipers get a point here - 2 - 2 Draw
BCT v Lobos: Doesn't get any easier for BCT.... No reason to think Lobos won't do well.. also no reason to break it down - 4 - 0 Lobos

Saturday:
Richmond v Twin Arrows: This one has the added beauty of being played on grass. Not sure what the quality is like out in Richmond i'm guessing it isn't Swangard. Has all the makings of a draw, but given draws are like betting on 00in roulette, I'm going to go with 3 - 2 Richmond
Loma v Romania: Using the Div 1 comparison, Loma is a team that has enough of a 'club' around it to go to Div 1 and likely do middle-of-the-pack-ish good. Conversely, Romania was the other team to come down from Div 1 with Bingers last year. All that aside, it's Connaught Park in the rain in November. Dogshit. 3 - 1 Lomas
GFC v Harps: The footage from the Serbia vs Harps game comes out, and it's pretty obviously one of the worst officiated games ever - and it's just a highlight pack. Harps extremely lucky not to have a red from some head case at 4:10 when already down 3 -1. Not to mention the moment at 6:45 lol. Anyway. GFC and Harps, with a good official, will be a slugfest. Between the two teams they have 34 yellow cards this year :bored:. So while this is MOTW, I really hope Mike Hagi is there for officiate it, cause this will end 9 v 9 - 3 - 2 GFC
Shaheen v Rinos: Shaheen will go ahead and get a win here, but one more slip up against the lower teams and that's that really. 4 - 1 Shaheen
Westside Juniors v Rangers: I'm guessing that Juniors are going to take this opportunity to move out of the relegation hot seat. They've put up some half decent efforts here and there, and these two teams are effectively equal. If the Juniors team that showed up against Rinos shows up against Rangers, they'll win a close one - 3 - 2 Juniors

Sunday
Bingers v Gastown: Bingers and Gastown have a similar style in the sense that they always play close games. Gastown have been extremely unlucky not to come away with more points, due simply to the fact that they seem to play for 85 minutes, then concede late. If Gastown can scrub one, or two, and then hold the fort, this has a weird opportunity to be a game that is upset of the week. In my heart it's actually a draw, but fcuk it - 2 - 1 Gastown
Greencaps v Astro: Astro now on the heels of back to back wins needed a 92 minute winner to beat Gastown. Greencaps have had two weeks in a row of wild results, first up 2 - 1, 3 - 2, and 4 - 3 against Twin Arrows only to concede in the 88th minute and draw 4 - 4! Then up again 2 - 0 against Legion, only to lose 3 - 2. If Astro take them lightly, they'll be playing from behind. 4 - 2 Astro
Metropolitan v Marpole: Pretty simple really. Shaheen and Lomas are going to win. NK Hrvat might too. These are the games that can't be taken lightly for Metro, especially after knocking off Shaheen last weekend on the road. I will say given the long weekend that the UBC guys tend to have some availability issues that creep up... ? 3 - 1 UBC
Serbia v 13th Legion: This one strikes me as one of those matches where Serbia gives up points. Something about 13th Legion just makes things weird for teams. Also I'm at the end of this damn write up and who cares about 13th Legion v Serbia late on a Sunday night - 2 - 1 Serbia

:foib:
Enjoy reading your predictions every week TC3 - keep them coming!

I'm curious to know why you think that none of the Div 2 teams would make the step up to Div 1 - what are you basing this on? Purely based on Bingers doing well in Div 2, or from viewing footage of the Serbia games? In any case, from what I've seen, I disagree.

I understand that Bingers signed a lot of new players this season and am led to believe that their roster is much stronger than last season. I have watched several 2B games and have been really impressed by the standard (for the most part). Both pools are really competitive and from what I've seen, this is a result of improved standard across the league, rather than a decline (I wish I could say the same about the refs). There are no run-away leaders but the standard has definitely improved overall. I also know of a few Div 2 teams who beat Div 1 teams in pre-season - take pre-season results with a pinch of salt but probably a better indication than Bingers record this season.

It's fair to assume that the promoted teams would also strengthen their squads over the summer and probably increase commitment levels, number of practice sessions etc. This can make a huge difference in making the step up in standard. Strikers and Westside are holding their own in Div 1 this year and I'm not one bit surprised. There are a number of Div 2 teams that could easily do the same IMO.
 

TC3

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Enjoy reading your predictions every week TC3 - keep them coming!

I'm curious to know why you think that none of the Div 2 teams would make the step up to Div 1 - what are you basing this on? Purely based on Bingers doing well in Div 2, or from viewing footage of the Serbia games? In any case, from what I've seen, I disagree.

I understand that Bingers signed a lot of new players this season and am led to believe that their roster is much stronger than last season. I have watched several 2B games and have been really impressed by the standard (for the most part). Both pools are really competitive and from what I've seen, this is a result of improved standard across the league, rather than a decline (I wish I could say the same about the refs). There are no run-away leaders but the standard has definitely improved overall. I also know of a few Div 2 teams who beat Div 1 teams in pre-season - take pre-season results with a pinch of salt but probably a better indication than Bingers record this season.

It's fair to assume that the promoted teams would also strengthen their squads over the summer and probably increase commitment levels, number of practice sessions etc. This can make a huge difference in making the step up in standard. Strikers and Westside are holding their own in Div 1 this year and I'm not one bit surprised. There are a number of Div 2 teams that could easily do the same IMO.
Basing it on a couple points. First, to 'strengthen their squads over the summer probably increase commitment levels' is easier said than done. It takes enough effort for a Div 2 team to get 12 - 15 guys out in January to a game. Try adding an extra training session in, etc. More practically, where would you practice? There isn't a field in Vancouver that you can rent so these small details, which you'd need to solve to have a reasonable shot in Div 1 of enjoying yourself - figuring out stuff like that is a drag.

Second is personnel. I've heard of teams that cut a bunch of guys that have been there from the beginning, with a view to 'getting better', then go on to do poorly. Now you're not only losing, but your culture stinks. This coupled with player turnover. Lots of teams have their fair share of good ol' Irish fellas who are great players here for short term work, but it's not uncommon for them (not just the irish of course) to be here one year and gone the next.

So teams like Lupi, Sierra, Strikers, and this year Lomas, Metropolitan, Shaheen (sort of) etc. are built to do well in Div 1. All the stuff above, they manage and manage well. Lots of teams don't have that kinda of club structure / someone willing to put in the time to make it happen. Just my two cents . That's enough TTP for one week haha
 

nobcheesefinger

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Basing it on a couple points. First, to 'strengthen their squads over the summer probably increase commitment levels' is easier said than done. It takes enough effort for a Div 2 team to get 12 - 15 guys out in January to a game. Try adding an extra training session in, etc. More practically, where would you practice? There isn't a field in Vancouver that you can rent so these small details, which you'd need to solve to have a reasonable shot in Div 1 of enjoying yourself - figuring out stuff like that is a drag.

Second is personnel. I've heard of teams that cut a bunch of guys that have been there from the beginning, with a view to 'getting better', then go on to do poorly. Now you're not only losing, but your culture stinks. This coupled with player turnover. Lots of teams have their fair share of good ol' Irish fellas who are great players here for short term work, but it's not uncommon for them (not just the irish of course) to be here one year and gone the next.

So teams like Lupi, Sierra, Strikers, and this year Lomas, Metropolitan, Shaheen (sort of) etc. are built to do well in Div 1. All the stuff above, they manage and manage well. Lots of teams don't have that kinda of club structure / someone willing to put in the time to make it happen. Just my two cents . That's enough TTP for one week haha
More practically, where would you practice? Word on the street is that the City of Vancouver will be changing their field reservation policy in 2020 so it will be interesting to see how that goes. I have no idea what the changes are, but sincerely hope that they take their heads out of their ass and give VMSL teams priority over rec leagues, ultimate frisbee, hide and seek etc. Hopefully finding fields becomes easier but wouldn't hold my breath on it...

Second is personnel. I've heard of teams that cut a bunch of guys that have been there from the beginning, with a view to 'getting better', then go on to do poorly. This has definitely happened with certain teams over the past few seasons, but there is the flip side of the coin. Look at Loma's and GFC for example, who clearly strengthened their rosters since last season and created B teams so that they could hold on to most of their players.

So teams like Lupi, Sierra, Strikers, and this year Lomas, Metropolitan, Shaheen (sort of) etc. are built to do well in Div 1. All the stuff above, they manage and manage well. Lots of teams don't have that kinda of club structure / someone willing to put in the time to make it happen. From what I know, there are teams in 2b making a big push this season so don't think this comment is fair. Some examples - Serbia record every game they play and have a very organized set-up, Harps put in a big effort in pre-season playing lots of friendlies vs Div 1 teams and now practice twice a week, Binger's cleared out some dead wood and held several trials in the summer to strengthen their squad etc etc. Some teams taking it more seriously than you think...
 
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FC Red Star

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I’ve watched a decent number of games in Division 1 and 2 this season and, in my opinion, the top teams from Division 2 (both pools) are not weaker than, at least, bottom six of Division 1 teams.

Too bad there is no Cup where Division 1 and Division 2 teams would play against each other; I am quite sure there would be numerous “surprises”.
 

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Well I'd say that's how it's done. What a record in week 9, with TC3 going 10 - 2 on picks, with 3 bang on score lines. Heading into week 10 there are a few interesting things to look at from the way things are shaping up across the div 2..

In 2A, Shaheen aren't going to win. Milad is one of the best players in Canada, nobody disputes that. Gotta think that bringing him in meant their goal was promotion. But with two home field opportunities against the top teams, they've come away with 1 of 6 points. Going to Connaught Park and UBC to face Loma and Metropolitan late January won't help. Hell NK Hrvat is in 3rd. Shaheen will need to win when it matters, or they may not even be looking at a provincial spot. Elsewhere, Rino's at the bottom of the table managed to take advantage of a red card from BCT, scoring in the 75th and 80th minutes. Gotta feel for BCT after taking a red card in what's essentially a 6 pointer.

In 2B, only 4 points separate the top 6 teams. Any one of the top 6 teams would not enjoy playing in Div 1. In fact, they'd probably all get blasted, and end up right back here in Div 2 come 2021 (Bingers record last year was 3-4-15 w/ -34 GD for example). So while I think they're all interested in 'winning the league', there is arguably a more intriguing battle for provincial spots playing out here that could be very interesting come end of February. A pretty general observation in Div 2 seems to be that teams have years where they just seem to be on. For example last year, I'm pretty sure Twin Arrows found themselves just 3 points away from Provincial qualification. This year they have 9 points. So none of these teams are guaranteed to be any good next year, or have any of the players that make them special this year (i.e. Ramsey and two others going to Prem from Serbia).

Not to mention come late January, the cup draw will be especially interesting. Whoever is at the top of 2B (or 2A for that matter) will enjoy a bye, and the opportunity to not accidentally face a top team in round 1 of the cup. If say, Harps miss out on 1st, and Meraloma does as well, they could draw each other game 1 of the cup on Connaught Park. You'd love to see it.

I'm actually curious to know how teams in Div 2 feel about winning the league? ... Feels like a potentially bittersweet accomplishment. Like of course it'd be awesome, but then congrats.. you get to go up to Div 1, play in the Prem cup now instead, and likely go 2 - 0 - 20. Not to mention miss out on all the fun next year when a (hopefully) relegated Santos (Campo) come back down. BTW congrats to Santos (Campo) who won their first game in 31 weeks of VMSL play last weekend. Here's that as a win percentage -> 3.2%

Prediction time:

Friday:
Strathcona v Sarajevo: Unfortunately for Sarajevo, anyone in the top 6 will feel like they have a lot to play for. They haven't faired well against anyone in the top 6, and haven't scored a goal in 2 weeks. 3 - 1 Strathcona
Hrvat v Snipers: Nearly identical on paper, Hrvat is just better at shutting up shop against teams that know how to score. Snipers will get frustrated, and if Hrvat gets one it'll park the bus. That being said, I think Snipers get a point here - 2 - 2 Draw
BCT v Lobos: Doesn't get any easier for BCT.... No reason to think Lobos won't do well.. also no reason to break it down - 4 - 0 Lobos

Saturday:
Richmond v Twin Arrows: This one has the added beauty of being played on grass. Not sure what the quality is like out in Richmond i'm guessing it isn't Swangard. Has all the makings of a draw, but given draws are like betting on 00in roulette, I'm going to go with 3 - 2 Richmond
Loma v Romania: Using the Div 1 comparison, Loma is a team that has enough of a 'club' around it to go to Div 1 and likely do middle-of-the-pack-ish good. Conversely, Romania was the other team to come down from Div 1 with Bingers last year. All that aside, it's Connaught Park in the rain in November. Dogshit. 3 - 1 Lomas
GFC v Harps: The footage from the Serbia vs Harps game comes out, and it's pretty obviously one of the worst officiated games ever - and it's just a highlight pack. Harps extremely lucky not to have a red from some head case at 4:10 when already down 3 -1. Not to mention the moment at 6:45 lol. Anyway. GFC and Harps, with a good official, will be a slugfest. Between the two teams they have 34 yellow cards this year :bored:. So while this is MOTW, I really hope Mike Hagi is there for officiate it, cause this will end 9 v 9 - 3 - 2 GFC
Shaheen v Rinos: Shaheen will go ahead and get a win here, but one more slip up against the lower teams and that's that really. 4 - 1 Shaheen
Westside Juniors v Rangers: I'm guessing that Juniors are going to take this opportunity to move out of the relegation hot seat. They've put up some half decent efforts here and there, and these two teams are effectively equal. If the Juniors team that showed up against Rinos shows up against Rangers, they'll win a close one - 3 - 2 Juniors

Sunday
Bingers v Gastown: Bingers and Gastown have a similar style in the sense that they always play close games. Gastown have been extremely unlucky not to come away with more points, due simply to the fact that they seem to play for 85 minutes, then concede late. If Gastown can scrub one, or two, and then hold the fort, this has a weird opportunity to be a game that is upset of the week. In my heart it's actually a draw, but fcuk it - 2 - 1 Gastown
Greencaps v Astro: Astro now on the heels of back to back wins needed a 92 minute winner to beat Gastown. Greencaps have had two weeks in a row of wild results, first up 2 - 1, 3 - 2, and 4 - 3 against Twin Arrows only to concede in the 88th minute and draw 4 - 4! Then up again 2 - 0 against Legion, only to lose 3 - 2. If Astro take them lightly, they'll be playing from behind. 4 - 2 Astro
Metropolitan v Marpole: Pretty simple really. Shaheen and Lomas are going to win. NK Hrvat might too. These are the games that can't be taken lightly for Metro, especially after knocking off Shaheen last weekend on the road. I will say given the long weekend that the UBC guys tend to have some availability issues that creep up... ? 3 - 1 UBC
Serbia v 13th Legion: This one strikes me as one of those matches where Serbia gives up points. Something about 13th Legion just makes things weird for teams. Also I'm at the end of this damn write up and who cares about 13th Legion v Serbia late on a Sunday night - 2 - 1 Serbia

:foib:
Harps extremely lucky not to have a red from some head case at 4:10 when already down 3 -1
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Don't you mean Serbia lucky not to see red from the blatant elbow thrown?
 
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