VMSL League / Divisional set-up

FC Red Star

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Well it seems Guildford have found their buyer. They have appeared on the VMSL teams list still listed as "Guildford FC" but a closer look reveals that the management and coaching staff match that of FASA FC. FASA have registered a team in Division 3 so not sure why they would not want to build their brand by being "FASA-Guildford", or visa versa, but perhaps that is to come.

My understanding is that head coach Othmane Kabbadj runs an academy out of Adanac Park; "FASA" standing for "Field Art Soccer Academy." FASA currently have two teams playing summer league in the KSL. One is sitting second place in that "Premier" Division, though they are worlds behind run away leaders West Van FC, though ahead of VMSL Div. 1 promotion hopefuls Burnaby Metro. They also have a team in the "Friday Night Lights" Division, where they sit third, about even with recently relegated from VMSL Div. 1 Romania. As a side note it is also worth pointing out that Campo continue to rot and sit dead last in that Friday Night league without a point to their name.

It seems this all came together rather quickly with FASA's website boasting only of starting a Div. 3 team with an eye to climbing the ladder: https://www.fasacademy.ca/mens-open.html#/

At $750 a head, perhaps that explains how they were able to match Guildford's asking price. That team it appears will be based out of Andy Livingston, though no word on if this new venture might establish itself farther East to try an perhaps entice a few Guildford holdovers. I also understand Kabbadj was involved somewhat as a player with Burnaby White Eagles during their Div. 1 Championship and subsequent promotion last season and was rumoured to have been asked to coach that team in Premier this season. Obviously now he will be going in a different direction, but, again, it will be worth seeing if he potentially cannibalizes White Eagles to give his new side some senior players or if he instead opts to go with all academy kids in what you would have to feel is a recipe for disaster. I am told that assistant coach Riad Issa has some connection to Langara, so again, possibly an avenue for player recruitment there. All in all though this new side have to be considered early betting favourites to go down.

Elsewhere, we are rapidly approaching the VMSL registration "deadline" which is listed as today (July 11) on the Excellent Site. Pretty sure teams can still register after, however I believe there is a late fee. There are still three sides missing from the topflight as of this writing, one of which is NorVan, who have not registered any teams in any divisions as of yet, and you feel as though someone in the club may have dropped the ball there, as well as Metro Ford who will surely be back given that many of their lower division sides are already registered. The other team missing at the minute is Pegasus, who I believe just won 13k as champions of BC Tigers Miri-Piri tournament. Of course one would expect their return to the VMSL's top flight, however, they always seem to be loosely linked to the FVSL. I understand many of their players played summer league in the Valley and given the struggles they had last season, there was a rumour floating around near the end of the campaign that the core of Peg was eyeing a move to Masters Premier in the FVSL. It is also worth mentioning that the FVSL's Umbro Premier League is apparently expanding to 10 teams next season (I would post that in an FVSL offseason thread if there was one...). All in all I expect Peg back in the VMSL as usual, but I suppose you never know until it is official!
Am I the only one who thinks that something really, really stinks when VMSL allows those "buy and sell" agreements?

A lot of solid and hard working teams are trying very hard to earn promotions, spend years in one division, work hard, and then see how somebody simply purchases the name of a team that would otherwise fold and, voila, has a team in Premier League!

So, today it is Guildford FC FASA then tomorrow it may be Guildford FC Fraser River, completely new team, new coaches, new management, completely bypasses any competition (through various divisions) and ends up in Premier League.

Does any of this make any sense?
 

dezza

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Heard rumblings that VUFC are looking for some kind of merger to boost their struggling O35 and Open age teams. Ideally looking for a Vancouver based club with some combo of Masters + Open or just a decent Open team with some older players who could make the jump to Masters.

Could we see the return of the "Westside Rangers" franchise?
 

big gk

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Heard rumblings that VUFC are looking for some kind of merger to boost their struggling O35 and Open age teams. Ideally looking for a Vancouver based club with some combo of Masters + Open or just a decent Open team with some older players who could make the jump to Masters.

Could we see the return of the "Westside Rangers" franchise?
The rangers are a good bunch of guys. I would happily try and wrangle up some of my retired old timers and try and convince them to play soccer again. Maybe send them lance for ample first round draft choices.
 
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Canucks4Ever

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Am I the only one who thinks that something really, really stinks when VMSL allows those "buy and sell" agreements?
Officially the VMSL does not "allow" anything. These are under the table, backroom deals. As far as the VMSL is concerned, the team is still Guildford FC and they have merged with FASA. Realistically, we all know that in reality FASA has reached an agreement (likely for monetary compensation, but of course we cannot be 100% certain) and now has full control of the team from management down to player personnel.

In terms of trying to prevent deals like this is you run into the classic paradox of "if a ship is slowly replaced one piece at a time until none of the original parts remain, is it still the same ship?" So at what point is a team not still the same team? If Guildford FC still play in Surrey and keep some of the same players and coaches but "merge" with FASA and call themselves Guildford FC FASA and recruit kids though that academy would that be ok? What if they do not change the name, but Guildford FC completely change coaching staff and players so that it is just a shell for FASA FC? Surely that would have to be ok as they are still technically "Guildford FC", no?

Is the solution to say that you have to have a certain amount of hold over in coaches and players from year to year? While being somewhat impractical given the amount of turnover that naturally occurs in an amateur sport, that would also appear easy enough to get around by just listing coaches and maybe registering some players that are not actually involved. The other issue is it would restrict teams with genuine honourable aims, for example the aforementioned VanU/Bingers collaboration. Should those teams have to start at ground zero again because they want to pool their resources after existing apart for previous seasons?

So yes, it does "stink" but it is reality. Guildford earned their place in Premier fair and square and are now turning management of that spot (which is technically "remaining part of the club") to a new staff. That being said, you would think that external forces will likely run their course as FASA is surely ripe for immediate relegation. However, if they survive, then perhaps you can argue they deserve to be there after all.
 
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Canucks4Ever

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As the dust has now settled and the winter leagues are taking shape it is as you would expect in the top two divisions, with the obvious exception of the new Guildford/FASA entrant. Reading the tea leaves of the various summer leagues as best as possible, given that we of course know that summer league has minimal predictive value on the winter season, suddenly makes FASA's performance in the Knight's league much more intriguing to watch. As mentioned previously, West Van were run away winners in the KSL's top flight, so much so that VMSL promotion hopefuls Burnaby Metro did not even bother to play them in their cup semi-final, instead giving the former Trollers a walk to the championship match. Read into that what you will about the state of Burnaby Metro and their presumptive installment as preseason favourites in VMSL Div. 1.

More importantly, though, second place FASA, who finished seven points shy of West Van, were set to take on third placed Kotoko FC, a hold over from the Multicultural League who have found a new home in the KSL and are a summer only side comprised mainly of African based players (Kotoko is the name of a professional club in Ghana). The game was scheduled for last night and the score has not been updated. While it is only summer league, if FASA are to be taken seriously as a team that can belong in VMSL Premier, you feel that it is important that they win that match and set up a final with West Van. They forfeit one of their league clashes against the North Shore boys, but hung in during their other encounter, losing only 2-1. The final is set for tomorrow (Thursday) at 9 at Burnaby Lake and might just be worth keeping an eye on if it is indeed FASA against West Van.

Elsewhere, the only team missing from registration in terms of upper division incumbents is West Coast Saints in Division 2. Again, you have to think that this is merely an oversight by club management given that West Coast have registered their Division 3 team, Celts, and, if they were going to fold one of their teams, presumably they would keep the spot in the higher league given that Celts have only narrowly missed out on promotion two seasons in a row. Celts also beat Saints when they were drawn head to head in the cup last year, so you would assume there would be an appetite from that group to play at a higher level if a spot was available. For the record, if Saints do in fact create a vacancy it would be filled by BCT Apna Tigers who finished last season with a PPG of 2.45, compared to France FC at 2.27 and Celts at 2.38. This would be a shot in the arm for Apna who had come over to the VMSL after finishing second bottom in FVSL Division 1 in 2017/18 and had hoped not to have to start at the bottom of the pyramid in the VMSL.

The most conspicuous absence from the VMSL teams list, however, has to be reigning U21 Cup Champions, TSS. It is well known that TSS were trying to sniff out opportunities to play in Division 2 this year, but as teams such as Apna and others have found, Division 2 spots are hard to come by in the VMSL. Perhaps a well placed call to West Coast Saints might be in their best interest! Barring that, entry in Division 3 remains possible. That being said, currently the Division 3 list numbers 36 teams, which would be 3 full pools of 12 teams each. There was talk of creating a Division 4, for teams that were perennially not competitive in Division 3, but you feel the league would need at least 4-6 more teams entered to make that a reality. If this comes to pass, it is conceivable to imagine TSS entering a Div. 3 team (and perhaps a U21 side for CATing purposes) before September.

There does remain another possibility though. TSS played summer league football in the FVSL Division 2 and finished mid-table in a six team league before losing in the playoff semi-finals. Moving to the FVSL for winter would surely afford TSS a Division 2 spot or perhaps even Division 1 if they want it. More intriguing is the fact that, unless the FVSL intends to bring back their U21 Division for this year, TSS would be able to maintain U21 status while playing in an Open division, making them eligible for the U21 Provincial Cup. TSS of course prioritize player development over results as part of their mission statement, but a chance to play at a higher level while still having the opportunity to compete for trophies come the end of the season might strike the perfect chord.
 

KingFisher

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Congrats to them winning. Based off that photo, they have a few guys from other teams. I wonder if those players will be leaving their winter clubs for FASA
 

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That pic is from the semifinal, let's see their result vs West Van.

I would be shocked if the players of Serbian ethnicity jumped from White Eagles to FASA, but I could see them cannibalizing some of the non-Serbian players from that team's roster.
 

Canucks4Ever

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News of the day:

TSS confirmed to the FVSL. Div 1 and a Div 2 (U21) team.

Also I have heard that there might be something to the Temple/Peg/VanU rumour. I understand that there will be very few holdovers from the Temple FVSL Premier side to the VMSL one and that the majority of the FVSL group is slated to play O45 in VMSL on that new Peg side. Some of the more keen players are pushing for the potential VanU merger which would see them in O35 Div. 1. Still sounds like a bit of a long shot at this point, especially with the logistics still to iron out, but not entirely out of the question.

Currently no website or social media updates on the KSL Premier final between FASA and West Van leading one to assume that West Van took care of business.
 

Sir M

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That pic is from the semifinal, let's see their result vs West Van.

I would be shocked if the players of Serbian ethnicity jumped from White Eagles to FASA, but I could see them cannibalizing some of the non-Serbian players from that team's roster.
West Van 4 FASA 2 in the final

1563593960524.png
 

FC Red Star

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Premier:
1564002144550.png

Division 1:
1564002201901.png

VMSL shows, at this point, 9 teams in Division 2 - Pool A and 11 teams in Division 2 - Pool B.

Anyone knows why Binger's Army, Romania, and GFC United Lions are still not listed in either pool?

Also, so far only 23 teams registered in Division 2. Is there going to be 24th team?

1564001130122.png

Division 3: Three pools (9, 9, and 8 teams out of 36, 37 teams registered in Division 3; one team has withdrawn)

1564002587324.png
 

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Canucks4Ever

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VMSL shows, at this point, 9 teams in Division 2 - Pool A and 11 teams in Division 2 - Pool B.

Anyone knows why Binger's Army, Romania, and GFC United Lions are still not listed in either pool?

Also, so far only 23 teams registered in Division 2. Is there going to be 24th team?
As mentioned previously, the missing team is West Coast Saints. Seems odd that they have not entered a team because they entered their Division 3 team West Coast Celts. No doubt the league will contact them to determine if they are in fact vacating their Division 2 spot. As noted previously as well, if there is a vacancy, per league rules, it will be filled by promoting BCT Apna Tigers from Division 3.

Re the relegated/promoted team missing from the Div. 2 pools, these are just last season's groups. The groups will be drawn at an upcoming VMSL BoD meeting, which one would have to think will be sooner rather than later given that they need to get to work on the schedule.

Division 3: Three pools (9, 9, and 8 teams out of 36, 37 teams registered in Division 3; one team has withdrawn)
Same here as in Division 2, these are just last season's groups and all the relegated and new teams will be drawn into the pools based on the allocation rules. One assumes 3 x 12 team pools, but if the league gets further registrations there was talk of creating a Div. 4.
 
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Hearing Richmond has sold their div.1 spot to a university on the westside of Vancouver who will run it as their second or JV team. I guess the marriage between them and westside is officially over.
 

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I know Fusion FC has started a men’s team for alum of their youth teams. Unclear where they will try to slot them in to the VMSL. That Richmond div 1 spot would likely have been a decent fit.
 
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I know Fusion FC has started a men’s team for alum of their youth teams. Unclear where they will try to slot them in to the VMSL. That Richmond div 1 spot would likely have been a decent fit.
Can confirm this has nothing to do with Fusion. Nad from Fusions posts on social media over the summer regarding their spring/summer alumni team, it looked more like a co-ed team then a mens or women's team. Not sure the VMSL has a co-ed division. Maybe urban rec might be a better fit. Surely not even Fusion can screw that up.
 
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