Premier [VMSL Premier] Predictions, Results & Banter 2017/2018

Discussion in 'VMSL' started by Crazy-K, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Saw that a while ago. All I can think is that maybe West Van's previous visits have got them on the naughty list at Burnaby Lake??
     
  2. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    I did make it over to Memorial for Inter vs.Peg and my was it a spicy one. Very chippy with lots of chirping and heavy tackles, which of course neither of these groups shy away from. Inter were forced into an early change when their left back went off with what looked like an ankle injury. The restart of the game was delayed while he was tended to and this seemingly gave Peg, who were waiting to take a free kick on the edge of the area, time to set their sights. It was perhaps too long though as they clanged their effort off the frame of the goal. At the other end Inter worked a nice move for a cross that brought a great save by the man between the stick for the Surrey boys. Peg opened the scoring on the half hour mark when they sent in a free kick that just kept carrying over everyone until it nestled into the back of the net. They could not make their lead stick though, as just before half time Inter broke from relatively nothing and Milad Mehrabi (no sign of Rahmati at this one) did well to get around the defenders before finding a teammate for the finish. It wasn't a clean contact or thumping finish by any means though and the Pegasus keeper almost seemed surprised to see it roll into the net.

    The half time whistle brought it's own fireworks as the teams exchanged some pretty heated words at midfield as the went to their respective dugouts. Once the officials cleared everyone away, Reuben handed out one yellow card apiece to the ringleaders on each team. The temperature continued to rise once play resumed and one tackle led to a great chance for the travelling contingent to retake the lead. The free kick forced a smart save from the Inter keeper and the ensuing corner led to a mad scramble. The ball eventually fell to a Peg player who made decent contact, but saw his effort cleared off the line by a defender. On the hour mark Milad was breaking down the right wing when he was fouled heavily but managed to stay on his feet. He got one more loose touch in before clattering into an opposing player right in front of a group of Pegasus supporters. This kicked off another scrum and the fans were baying for a red card to Milad for an apparent elbow and he, or course, had a few words for the spectators as well. Reuben again produced a yellow each way, but tensions were continuing to rise.

    Unfortunately I had to leave in order to make another engagement at this point, so I was unable to see the conclusion. Per the Excellent Site, it looks like Inter did eventually have a man sent off and sometime before, after or as a result of that, Peg scored a winner. Not sure if anyone else can shed some light on the closing half hour, but certainly a really good quality game and entertaining from a neutral perspective.
     
  3. soccerstar

    soccerstar New Member

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    "Rino's Tigers 7 v CCB LFC" 0

    Rino Tigers vs CCB LFC was not much of game. The boys were there to prove a point and did easily. First time watched the CCB LFC United this season - with such top 4 coaching staffs this team looks in shambles on field and having difficulty connecting with each other.


    LFC CCB United Coaching Staffs:
    Coach:
    Dino Anastopulos

    Assist. Coach:
    Ted Hans

    Assist Coach:
    Steve Millar

    Assist Coach:
    Peter Malakoane
     
  4. robj

    Lifetime Better Bastard

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    I don't blame any of the coaching staff. You need a group of guys willing to show up and train hard together. I'm not implying this isn't happening but players need to buy into the philosophy that the coach (s) are trying to instill. I have seen a lot of bad coaches over the years coaches where they have ruined some great players because of their techniques. What might work for one player may not work for another type thing. Whatever has happened and for whatever reason I don't see CCB getting relegated with the talent they have on the pitch. Bad start to the season and might be tough to seal a Provincial Cup spot but they nor MF won't get relegated.

    My 2 cents worth.
     
  5. Flipper

    Flipper New Member

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    Not sure but it could be that the boys AAA provincial finals are being played then. I think they run from Nov. 23-25th. They are usually played at Burnaby Lake.
     
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  6. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Presuming the snow doesn't ruin things, we should see another compelling weekend in the top flight. Rovers are free and clear at the top after Inter dropped more points. Now we await to see if ANYONE will take points off the Surrey boys at all this season before we can discuss a potential title race again. Lots of teams bunching up at the bottom though...

    Completely Baseless Predictions for Week 9:

    Coquitlam Metro Ford v EDC Burnaby
    Alright, time to reach for the panic button in the Tri-Cities. Coquitlam were unable to get past bottom of the table CCB last weekend, trailing 2-1 until a late equalizer saved them from being dropped to the foot of the standings. It seems reigning Golden Boot winner Carlo Basso is desperately missing a supporting cast as he has scored four of Metro Ford's joint lowest goals for in the league. Perhaps there is SFU help on the way? Surely no one truly believes that Coquitlam could be in actual relegation trouble after back to back titles, but more performances like last weekend are not going to help calm the anxiety out towards the Valley. The good news is they will have another chance against a team next to them in the table this week when they host Chile, who are only one point above them, and can haul themselves out of the relegation places with a win. EDC have struggled mightily of late earning just one point over their last six games. This has been punctuated by back to back home losses to both newly promoted teams. A trip to Coquitlam on a bitterly cold Friday night would usually be an extremely tall order for the Burnaby boys, but, with Metro Ford's current state, Chile have to think that perhaps there is a chance to stop the bleeding. Two teams desperate for points, but also for a good feeling around the camp, so hopefully it produces an entertaining clash. Perhaps it sets up nicely for a draw, but I am going to go with Metro Ford again this week though based on the fact that this is the first of a stretch of very winnable games for them and they can kick start a run back toward the respectable end of the table with a win tonight. Also, Chile's discipline issue continue to mount with three names on the naughty list this week, plus EDC are historically dreadful in these winter conditions...

    Richmond v Rovers Tigers
    Rovers look unstoppable ahead of a massive Surrey derby next weekend against Pegasus. Assuming they are not looking ahead too much, this one should be a comfortable victory. Richmond would be a massive surprise to turn over the league leaders in their current form given that the boys from below sea level haven't scored in a full month. Rovers aren't known for keeping clean sheets, so perhaps Hibs can at least get that monkey off their backs, but coming away with the points in this one seems incredibly unlikely. Not much to analyze here, Rovers to be comfortable.

    Pegasus v West Van
    MOTW as second hosts fourth. These two teams have had some great battles over recent seasons in both the league and the Imperial Cup so there will be no love lost between the two side. Additionally both sides are in top form, with Peg having just one loss on the season and West Van unbeaten since Week 2. The North Shore boys are in a particularly purple patch having won three on the spin and going the entire month of October without conceding a goal. That shock opening day loss to Campo seems a distant memory now. Peg got past a fiery Inter side last weekend though is has cost them a body to the suspension list. Their offensive weapons should be available with top scorers Azad Palani and Javid Kahn along with the always dangerous Sahil Sandhu needing to find a way to solve the stingy West Van back line. It sets up as a cracker out in Surrey tonight, assuming there is no field/snow issue south of the river. It's a long journey for the former Trollers to be sure, but I think the odds are slightly in their favour in this one. Peg's record is impressive to be sure, but they have yet to really run the gauntlet at the top of the table. They lost to third place Croatia and were kept largely in check by Inter last weekend. Combine that with West Van's recently intensified defensive results and I think the scales are tipped just slightly towards the visitors in this one especially if they can find an early goal. Should be a cracker though!

    Croatia v Inter
    A close runner up for match of the week as it is third against fifth. Inter suffered the second loss of their abbreviated campaign last week against Peg and things will not get any easier when they arrive to take on a young Croatia team, hungry to prove that they do indeed deserve to be taken seriously at the top of the table. Croatia are scoring goals at will currently and have not been held off the score sheet since Opening Day's listless 0-0 draw against CCB. Last weekend's 5-2 pummeling of new boys Campo helped propel David Malamura to the top of the league scoring charts. He has now netted nine times; two more than the pack of Rovers Tigers chasing him boast. Inter will need Milad, Milad and Co. to be at their offensive best if they want to come away with anything from this fixture, as keeping Croatia off the board appears highly improbable. Conceding goals does not seem to go well for Inter as the "Italians" have yet to take any points from a match in which they are scored on; all four of their wins have come with a shutout of their opponent. They will be hard pressed to continue that trend this time out and I think Croatia are bang in form while their young attackers might just overwhelm Inter, who have long been more famed for their attacking prowess compared to their defensive abilities. Looking forward to a high scoring affair in this one, but I think Croatia will take it in the end.

    Westside v CCB LFC
    Back to teams who are out of form and we find Westside on the back of a 5-1 hiding courtesy of league leaders Rovers Tigers. They now face the team at the opposite end of the table and will need to be desperate against a CCB team starting to very quietly rumble to life. There is the faintest pulse coming from the Surrey boys who have posted draws in back to back home games. Sandwiched in between, however, was a 7-0 away loss to Rino's, so CCB will need to find away to take their show on the road. This might be a good week for it as Westide aren't exactly lighting the world on fire offensively, with only eight goals from eight games. Dropping points here would drag the Vancouver boys fully into the relegation battle which they are surely keen to avoid after a solid debut season that saw them make a deep Provincial Cup run in their return to the top flight. CCB are running out of opportunities to fire up the engines though, as after Westside this week and Richmond next week they face the top five in the league in a row. Neither team scores goals at will but CCB still carry top level players and will think maybe a lone goal might just be enough, while Westside will be hoping home field is in fact an advantage against the travelling Surrey boys. Tough to say how it will play out, given that neither team screams out confidence at the moment. Draws seem to be CCB's style though, so we leave honours level in this match up.

    Rino's Tigers v Campo Atletico
    A tasty one here as these promotion cousins get set to battle again. Even without their former coach adding to this rivalry, Campo certainly will be up for taking on the team that pipped them to the Div. 1 title last season. Both teams have held their own and got their feet under them at this level but, with traditional powerhouses beneath them in the current table, these two would do well to remember that it takes more than eight games to avoid a relegation battle in this league. Indeed survival must remain the first priority for these teams and this will be a fixture both sides have had circled as an opportunity for precious points to move ever closer to safety. Tigers had the better of things last season and will be confident of getting the best of Campo once more, however, top scorer James Connor MacMillan is on the hot sheet this week and ineligible. Rino's have other bullets in the chamber of course, but will need to be wary of Campo danger man Edson Castro who is still finding his was to goal even at this higher level, having already scored five times. The stats slightly favour Rino's in terms of goal scoring, but it's worth bearing in mind those numbers are slightly skewed by their 7-0 trouncing of CCB. The Vancouver boys are slight favourites perhaps, but all in all I like a draw in this one.
     
  7. SmartCoach

    SmartCoach Active Member

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    No draw today what was the score in the Westside game
     
  8. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Some REALLY tasty fixtures on the docket all the way up and down the schedule with really only Inter's visit to Campo failing to lack any real bite, at least on the face of things. The top four all play each other while there are also compelling games at the bottom of the table and a very interesting contest for Metro Ford this week.

    Completely Baseless Predictions for Week 10:

    West Van v Croatia
    After a tough 1-0 loss to second place Pegasus last week, things are not set to get any easier for West Van this week against third placed Croatia. Croatia are also coming off a tough loss, having succumbed 2-1 to Inter last weekend. Two teams looking to bounce back then, for the early kick off out at Ambleside. Inter was able to stifle Croatia vaunted attack, holding Croatia, and league top scorer David Malamura, to only a single goal for the first time since the second week of the season. It is not great timing for Croatia's offense to dry up as West Van have allowed the fewest goals against in the league; their defense having been breached only five times over nine games. Indeed, the goal they conceded to Peg in their loss last week was the first that they had given up since allowing a consolation marker to EDC in a 4-1 win on September 29. A classic clash of offense versus defense in this one and when you add in that these two teams are both at the top of the table and this should be a great way to kick off the weekend. North of the River, the former Trollers haven't exactly exuded goals to this point of the season (13 over nine games) so it stands to reason that if Croatia are able to find the back of the net they should be in good stead. Given their goal scoring record, the Europeans will likely be confident of getting at least one past their hosts, which might make them favourites. However, the old saying though is that defense wins championships, so West Van could be considered favourites as well. Toss up here, but I'll say West Van lock things down and bag the three points at home.

    Rovers Tigers v Pegasus
    MOTW, and likely Match of the Season, at least so far. It's first versus second in a Surrey derby at Newton on Friday night. Peg have long been the cream of the Surrey crop and are only a season removed from being crowned Provincial Champions. However, it is the upstart Tigers, in only their second season under their current umbrella, who lead the way with a 100% record; 9-0 to this point of the season. Another fun layer to this one is the fact that longtime Pegasus stalwart, Chetan "CJ" Jhooty, has traded in the black of Peg in favor of the orange of Rovers and now returns to face his former team for the first time. As comfortable as Rovers have looked this season, scoring seemingly at will with their 35 goals- fully 10 more than their closest rival, they have yet to face arguably their two, currently, closest challengers. Peg sit second and can move within two points of Tigers with a win, while next on the docket is Croatia, who currently sit third and have scored the second most goals in the division. For all their hard work and impressive record, Rovers Tigers could well find themselves out of first place by the time the schedule hits its half way mark. Such is the nature if the VMSL Premier league, however "could" and "will" are very different matters. Despite how charged up Peg will be to mess with their Surrey cousins and their title plans, the three headed attacking monster of CJ, Nick Soolsma and Ryan Dhillon looks irresistible at the moment. Those three have combined for 23 goals alone, which is five more than Pegasus have as a team. That being said the former Provincial Champions, have shown over their last two results (2-1 over Inter and last week's 1-0 over West Van) that they are comfortable locking things down against the top teams and are capable of grinding out the results. Meanwhile, while Peg were mucking it out, Tigers posted back to back 5-1 wins. With so much talent on display and so many storylines, this one should be well worth the price of admission (which is of course free) and I would bank on a fairly good atmosphere out at Newton. As for a prediction, I'll have to go with the 100% record, but I honestly think this one is up in the air.

    CCB LFC v Richmond
    A massive one here at the bottom of the table as CCB remain on life support but have a chance to kick start their season and restore a pulse with a result this weekend. The Surrey boys have slowly shown signs of life with two home draws and a narrow loss on the road to Westside last weekend. They now return home to face a Richmond side well out of form and will fancy their chances for a first with of the season. Richmond are mired in a five game losing streak and are coming off a 5-1 hammering by league leaders Rovers Tigers. Their one goal in that encounter was their first since September 30, when things were much rosier for the boys from below sea level, having just won their second in a row. Those two wins are the only points Richmond have registered on the season, which means they actually have the most losses of any team in the division. A big opportunity for both these teams with CCB looking to stay in touch with the rest of the table and Richmond looking to kick on and stay clear of the relegation zone. Hibs have the other bottom side, EDC, next week so a great opportunity to pull back towards mid-table, however the stakes are high because a pair of losses will see them occupying a relegation place. As for CCB, they are staring down the barrel of a gun in terms of fixtures with the top five teams in the league all on deck. This may well be their last opportunity this calendar year to put points on the board and failing to come away win a win might see them too far out of things by the time a January fixture with newly promoted Campo comes around. Neither team inspires confidence but sometimes these types of fixtures provide the best games. Certainly they will be in the shadow of the heavyweight tilt on the pitch next to them at Newton on Friday night, but this game could well be worth keeping an eye on. I'm going with a gut feel on this one and saying, based on their recently improved home form and Richmond's serious goals scoring struggles, CCB will claim their first win of the season and really make the relegation race interesting.

    EDC Burnaby v Westside
    Also at the bottom of the table EDC are struggling to keep their campaign on the rails. The Chileans have lost three on the spin including a listless performance in the cold temperatures last Friday against Coquitlam. That 4-0 loss saw Metro Ford leapfrog them and left Chile second from bottom, with a relegation race well and truly on their hands. Their biggest misstep may not be the three losses in a row (which included back to back 2-1 reversals at the hand of both newly promoted sides, Rino's and Campo) but, in fact, their draw with CCB that preceded this losing run. Failing to get all three points against the league's bottom team was a major red flag and now EDC will need to try and pick up some points over the next two weeks before the schedule resets and they have to face the top teams in the league. For Westside's part they did beat CCB last week, even if a 3-2 score line is not exactly a resounding victory. The Vancouver boys will hardly be bothered as they, along with many other VMSL teams, wait for their college players to return for the second half of the season. In the meantime, stopping the rot of their own losing streak and moving towards mid-table and the race for Provincial Cup spots will no doubt have made for a happy dressing room. Both teams will fancy their chances in this fixture, though one thing going for Chile is that they are finally out of discipline trouble and should have a full roster available. Flip a coin here, I'll take the team in slightly better form and say the Westsiders make it two in a row.

    Campo Atletico v Inter
    Not a ton to analyze in this one. As mentioned before, Campo know their season is going to come down to getting points off the other teams in the relegation race with anything else they can knick being a bonus. Coming off a 6-2 drubbing courtesy of their promotion cousins, Rino's, Campo may well have been handed a reality check on their mid-table standing. Add in the fact that they will be missing a pair of players through suspension and you have to think this one should be relatively straight forward for Milad, Milad and Co. Perhaps a day for Inter's big guns to pad the stats? While the "Italians" might look mired in mid-table, they could actually vault into a title race if they win their games in hand so Campo would do well to come away with anything from this one.

    Rino's Tigers v Coquitlam Metro Ford
    Perhaps the most intriguing fixture of all this weekend has Rino's hosting Metro Ford on Saturday at Trillium. Usually this would be a slam dunk for the two time defending champions against a newly promoted team, but, given Metro's struggles his season, it is hardly that straight forward. However, the Tri-Cities boys sent a warning shot out last week, thumping Chile 4-0 at home. Was it a return to form, or just a false dawn? Rino's have acquitted themselves well at this level so far and look unlikely to be dragged into a relegation battle. That being said, they are set to learn a lesson that every newly promoted team learns: the VMSL Premier Division is essentially a new league after the winter break. Rino's have beat the teams below them in the table and lost to the teams above them, save for a 0-0 draw with West Van. The question now is, into which category does Metro Ford fall? In terms of points they currently sit below Tigers, but, based on their pedigree, no one truly expects them to finish the season there. On the other hand, what an opportunity this is for Rino's to claim, arguably, their first major Premier scalp. Looking at Coquitlam's upcoming fixtures, they do have decent chance to string together a nice run and get themselves well established among the Provincial Cup places, so they should be motived in this one to really get their season started. Rino's play good football though and will be fired up with a chance to send a message to the league. Tigers are without a couple of bodies due to suspension, so it won't be quite a full strength side that takes the field on Saturday. That being said, I've been made to look foolish picking Coquitlam so many times this season, or perhaps I am just a jynx for the. Whatever the case, I'll cop out on this one and call it a draw.
     
  9. robj

    Lifetime Better Bastard

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    We lost to Peg tonight 2-1. Great battle Peg fully deserved the win.
     
  10. Crazy-K

    Crazy-K Member

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    How was the game over all?
     
  11. GoF

    GoF Active Member

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    Metro Ford beat Rino's 3-1 this afternoon. Tigers took the lead about 9 minutes in. Wolves tied it up six minutes later, then dominated second half adding a couple of goals in the final 15 minutes or so.

    Here's some video for Metro Ford's three goals and a couple of other chances. Missed Rino's goal as zipping up jacket! :oops:

     
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  12. Ballbaby

    Lifetime Better Bastard

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    Canucks4Ever,

    I just want to say what an absolute treat it is to read your posts. You write so well and your insight to the game and situations is very much appreciated by me and I would assume everyone on this site!
     
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  13. robj

    Lifetime Better Bastard

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    F
    fcuking great game overall can't wait for re match
     
  14. Crazy-K

    Crazy-K Member

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    Kool thanks for all the info
     
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  15. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Saw a couple of games this weekend. Hit Burnaby Lake Friday night to see Chile host Westside. It was fairly pedestrian in the early going, with Westside perhaps having more of the ball but not exactly doing much with it. Chile were happy to concede possession and look for counter attacks via their forwards. They got the breakthrough just before the half hour mark when they pinged on in to their lanky left winger who used his long legs and sheer determination to get through a couple of Westside defenders before tucking it in. They went back to the well for their second goal, again finding the lanky winner in almost a carbon copy of the first goal with him getting by his marker. The only difference being that he differed the finish to a teammate. This finally seemed to spark the Westsiders who got much more aggressive out of possession and began really pressing EDC high. Their pacey winger got behind his defender in the box before being chopped down for a penalty to make it 2-1. Then, in first half stoppage time (which their was a decent amount of due to Duliba pulling what appeared to be a calf and needing time to stretch out before hobbling on - side note: nice to see him out running around on Saturday at the Columbus/Guildford match, so obviously nothing too serious), the Westside attacker cut across the top of the penalty area and hammered a shot in low and hard. The Chile keeper got down behind it to smother but it squibbed through his legs and trickled into the net. For a team in a slump, to surrender a 2-0 lead before halftime and with that sort of a goal, you could almost feel Chile's sails deflating.

    Second half was mostly Westside, they got the winner off a free kick with maybe 20 mins to play. The second ball landed at the feet of the pacey winger who had drawn the penalty and he slammed it home from eight to ten yards out. The keeper got a hand to it but the shot was hit with too much venom and went of his hands and in. Chile never really created any guilt edged chances to draw level, save for a couple of half-hearted penalty appeals. Their winger was no longer having the same success down the left flank that he had enjoyed in the first half. Westside, on the other hand, missed about half a dozen great opportunities to take the pressure off down the home stretch. Certainly a frustrating night for the Chileans as they now occupy the basement of the table following CCB's first win of the season.

    Saturday I went down to Trillium same as @GoF for Rino's/Metro Ford. Rino's took the early lead off some nice combinations at the front before a cool finish to get them off and running. To concede the equalizer so quickly was a real kick to the stomach and such a cheap goal as well. As the video shows the defending on the play was shocking, from the time the first ball gets cleared the Rino's attacker only half-ass attempts to prevent Kindel from pinging the cross field diag and the winger who receives it has been allowed to get on it in acres of space because no one has bothered to track him. When the defender does get out to him it is again a half-baked challenge as he just allows him onto his left for the cross and Lemsky has no interest in coming to help shepherd him away. In the box, no one has tracked the runner and he is clearly onside because one of the defenders was late stepping up. Just overall, not good enough. That being said, other than completely switching off on that play, I thought Rino's were the better team in the first half and likely deserved a lead. Declan Rodriguez looked really dangerous up front for Tigers while Metro Ford was mostly settling for long balls into Basso and who seemed somewhat isolated. To put it bluntly, Coquitlam looked old and out of ideas, but that all changed in the second half.

    Straight after the break Metro Ford began to get plenty of joy going long to Basso up front and, as the highlights show, they were asking all the questions. Some great last ditch defending, top goalkeeping and the woodwork kept Coquitlam at bay, but Rino's attacking had completely dried up. I don't remember them getting a dangerous chance at any point, though you did feel with the skill they had up front that they might be able to get one out of nothing and against the run of play at any point. As it was, by the time Metro Ford scored the winner it had been coming for a while. Basso got rewarded for his thankless running up front when he salted things away in the 90th. 3-1 was likely harsh on Rino's after a good first half, but certainly Coquitlam were full value for it based on their performance in the second 45 mins.
     
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  16. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    Another great weekend of fixtures on tap this week; we've got two derbies, a pair of top five clashes, a massive relegation six-pointer and Coquitlam is looking to continue their journey back to respectability. It's the last round of matches before the half way mark of the season, though Inter are still yet to play Coquitlam and Rino's due to Nationals.

    Completely Baseless Predictions for Week 11:

    Coquitlam Metro Ford v Campo Atletico
    The long trek back from the relegation places is well and truly underway for Coquitlam and the Tri-Cities boys are heating up. Two wins on the spin, for the first time this season, makes it three unbeaten in a row and they have climbed back up to eighth place; however, if they were to win their game in hand against Inter they would join Rino's and Westside who are level on 13 points in sixth place. Metro Ford are looking firmly up the table, not down it, and they have a decent run of fixtures on the horizon before the play Pegasus the second week of December. They will certainly fancy themselves against this week against Campo and while Westside might be a bit of a bogey team, though surely CMF will be out for revenge after their opening day loss, they will once more like their odds against relegation threatened Richmond in two weeks time given that Hibs are one of the few teams they have already defeated this season. While his team climbs the table, talisman Carlo Basso is also climbing the goal scoring charts; he is up to six on the season now, good four a fourth place tie. Coquitlam will still be keen to find the back of the net on a more regular bases, having only hit 14 goals through nine games, and Basso has accounted for nearly half of them, so likely some continued output from the supporting cast will be necessary to get Metro Ford securely among the Provincial Cup places. Possibly a chance to fill the net this week as newly promoted Campo travel to Coquitlam. Campo should not be taken lightly though, as they have held their own against other top sides, losing narrowly to league leaders Rovers 3-2 and were just beaten by defending Provincial Champions Inter 1-0 this past weekend. They have proven that they have a sting in their tail as well, having already won on three occasions this season. Again though, the Burnaby boys know that their season will come down to getting the points against their relegation rivals, with anything else counting as a bonus. Coquitlam, in their current form especially, are favourites in this one and once you account for it being a cold, Friday night fixture away from home, I definitely see the Tri-Cities boys staying hot.

    Richmond FC v EDC Burnaby
    Massive tilt at the bottom of the table here. Chile now find themselves at the foot of the table having lost four straight, however, they are only one point behind both CCB and, this week's opposition, Richmond. A win would see the Chileans vault their opponents and, depending on CCB's result, escape the relegation places. Other than not turning up at all against Coquitlam away two weeks ago, EDC have not been that far off the pace, losing by just a single goal against Westside, Rino's, Campo and the league leaders Rovers Tigers. The same cannot be said for Richmond who look to be headed for dire straits. Just a solitary goal scored for the boys from below sea level since September and no points. Their one marker was little more than a consolation in a 5-1 route at the hand of Rovers and their nine goals for on the season is the lowest total in the league. To cap it all off, their latest setback was a 2-0 reversal at the hands of former bottom team CCB to give the Surrey boys their first win of the campaign and allow them to move level on six points, dragging Richmond into a tie for the second relegation place. It's time to show some desperation for Hibs as another loss might put them into a position they never recover from. Goal scoring is clearly the concern for Richmond, while Chile's problems seem to be more mental after conceding a 2-0 lead to Westside last weekend and ultimately coming away from that game with nothing. So two struggling clubs in desperate need of points, but also some good vibes as we come to the halfway point of the season. As for a prediction, the Burnaby boys seem in slightly better form and are scoring goals, something Richmond is not doing. Given it is uncertain where the offense will come from for Hibs, you almost feel as though they would need to collectively will this game to victory, which they may well. However, the smart money here is likely on EDC.

    Pegasus v CCB LFC
    A Surrey derby between teams at opposite ends of the table. CCB have finally recorded their first win of the season and, in doing so, have lifted themselves off the foot of the table. They will be keen to keep the momentum going as well, given that their two closest relegation rivals, EDC and Richmond, are playing each other meaning one, if not both, of those teams will be picking up points. Equally keen to keep the momentum going will be Pegasus who are coming off a massive win over the third Surrey team, Rovers Tigers. It was Rovers first loss of the season and it has put second place Peg back into a title race. Turning around and throwing away all that hard work against CCB certainly would not be how the home side in this one will have written the script. Despite their struggles though, it is well known that CCB have good players in their squad. Former Whitecap Caleb Clarke is up to five goals on the campaign and with UBC's season now over the Surrey crew may have an opportunity to add to their ranks given their connections via alumni such as Boris Si. It is a daunting fixture list on the horizon for CCB who will play the top five teams in the league over the next five weeks to close out the VMSL's pre-holiday schedule, so any chance to pick up points is crucial and perhaps the added spice of a derby might help open the door for CCB given that anything can, and usually does, happen in these types of games. CCB are in awful form away from home, 0-4 on the season, but even though they are the road team un this one, it's still at Newton, so there's another glimmer of hope! Clearly I'm betting on the guys near the top of the table to beat the ones at the bottom, but hopefully it's a cracking game and who doesn't love surprises?

    Croatia v Rovers Tigers Utd.
    Rovers tasted defeat for the very first time this year last week and will surely be sick of the feeling already. Their 100% record was tarnished by Pegasus, who currently sit second behind them in the table and now, this week, they will play third place Croatia. After a slow start the Croatians have recaptured the form that saw them soar out of the relegation places at this time last season and into a Provincial Cup berth on the back of a top five finish. Just one loss in their last eight matches for the Europeans and they have a chance to make it firmly a dog fight at the top of the league with a win this week. This match will see the two best offences to this point of the season square off, so we should be in for some goals. Croatia have found the net an impressive 26 times through 10 games and are surpassed in this statistic by only their opponents, Rovers, who have hit for a whopping 36 goals over the same span. Predictably, we also will have the top goal scorers in the league on the pitch in this one as Rover's Nick Soolsma has jumped to the top of the Golden Boot race after netting his tenth goal of the season, overtaking David Malamura who did not have Croatia's lone goal against West Van last weekend and, therefore, remains on nine goals for the year. The match will also feature third place Ryan Dhillon, who has scored eight times so far this campaign, as well as four other players with either five or six goals to their name. Both of these teams have also proven that they can win close, one goal games this season and, given their joint offensive prowess, I would suggest that no lead should be considered safe in this one. It might just come down to the final kick of the game, but I'll go with the league leaders to bounce back and return to winning ways in this one.

    Westside v Rino's Tigers
    Another derby here as, for the first time ever at this level, Westside FC will play Rino's in the Vancouver Westside derby. There is plenty of history between these two and certainly not enough space to recount it all here. Suffice to say this will mean plenty to both clubs, though likely perhaps a bit more to the older generations who might be looking on from the sidelines than the players themselves on the field. As for the present day incarnations of these teams, they would appear to be rather even, at least statistically. Both are level in the table on 13 points, though Rino's boast the superior goal deference, however, much of that can be attributed to their lopsided 7-0 win over CCB and Westside's collapse in a 5-1 loss to Rovers. For the most part the teams have put up the same results, beating the teams below them, with one exception (Westside's was against Richmond and Rino's to Coquitlam last week), and losing to the teams above them, save one draw apiece (Westside held Croatia, while Rino's split the points with West Van). Rino's, though, do have a game in hand to be made up against Inter at the start of next month. These teams are young and like to try and play through their opposition, so stylistically the are also well matched. It would appear these teams both get scoring by committee as well, given that neither boast a name near the top of the league scoring charts. Both are in good form at the moment, Rino's are coming off a loss, but had won three straight prior to that, while Westside have won two on the bounce after a bit of a slump. It's tough to separate these two so it sets up as a good encounter before you add the spice of a derby to it. Also to be considered is the fact that, if the first half of the season is any indication and presuming Metro Ford make the return to form that we all anticipate, these two look to be on pace to fight it out for the seventh and final Provincial Cup spot, baring of course a fantastic Imperial Cup run for one of the bottom teams. All in all, a helluva lot to play for in this one and on the basis of all these factors I won't try and separate these two, they can do that on the field. I'm calling this one a draw.

    Inter v West Van
    It's fourth against fifth in another top of the table clash, though Inter could technically be second on the basis of their games in hand. West Van have been on the wrong end of a pair of 1-0 score lines the past two weeks at the hands of Pegasus and Croatia, who currently sit second and third in the table. Worth noting that they also lost 1-0 to first place Rovers earlier in the season. No points for guessing the strategy against fourth place Inter then. Indeed, the former Trollers have certainly focused on a defense first ideology this season, allowing the fewest goals in the league; only six against through 10 games and they boast the most clean sheets with five. Inter have conceded the second fewest goals on the year, only allowing nine, though they have played only eight games. However, they too have kept a clean sheet five time so far this year. I would not be expecting a ton of goalmouth action in this one and it is likely to be first goal wins. Inter are coming off of a 1-0 win of their own over new boys Campo last weekend and their lack of goal production, only one goal for in each of their last four matches, is surprising considering the weapons at their disposal. In fact, Milad Rhamati has scored only twice to this point and Michael Nonni does not show as having found the score sheet at all this season. Milad Mehrabi is up to four goals, but these certainly are not the numbers we are used to seeing out of Inter. Possibly it is a bit of a hangover from Nationals and they have also been historically slow starters, but, whatever the case, you would back them to beak out sooner or later. Not convinced that it will be this week though, as this fixture has 0-0 written all over it. I'll be bold, however, and take Inter to find a lone goal for the fifth week running and hand West Van their third straight 1-0 loss.
     
  17. dezza

    Better Bastard

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    Hey @Canucks4Ever want to make a wager on the Westside derby tomorrow? Perhaps a case of beer?

    Also, my understanding is the VMSL will only have 6 Provincial A spots this year.
     
  18. robj

    Lifetime Better Bastard

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    0-0 croatia thanked us. Their keeper was man of the match. Made some brilliant saves to earn the clean sheet.
     
  19. wednesday

    wednesday Active Member

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    Rmd 2 Bby 0
     
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  20. Canucks4Ever

    Canucks4Ever Well-Known Member

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    I'd be surprised to learn it's down to just 6 spots.
    Traditionally it has been:
    VMSL: 6
    FVSL: 5
    VISL: 4
    Defending Champion's League: 1

    So with Inter as champions the VMSL should have 7 spots as usual? Has this changed? If anything I believe that the VMSL was lobbying to have that floating spot permanently attributed to the league given the VMSL's historical dominance in the tournament. The FVSL has only 8 teams in Premier this year, so giving them an additional spot would be ridiculous. The island performed so poorly this past season, three of four out in the first round and then the remaining team out at the next time of asking, that it would be difficult to see how they would be awarded a spot. Unless one of the other leagues has badgered their way to a spot (see PCSL circa 2009) I can't think there would be any reason to take the spot away from the VMSL.

    As for a wager on the Vancouver derby, I predicted a draw, so unless you are giving me odds, I am unlikely to commit to that position ;). Presumably you will be backing Rino's in this hypothetical, leaving me to take Westside? You would have to direct message me to exchange the details...
     

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