Editorial (March 2, 2019) – Pacific FC will host the HFX Wanderers on 28th April at the renovated Westhills Stadium, in their first game of the Canadian Premier League. This fixture kicks off the inaugural CPL for British Columbia’s only team in the league.
Canadian Premier League: Pacific FC Fixtures and Season Preview
League with a unique format
The format of the CPL is a little quirky and borrows features from several leagues across North America and Europe. During the season, each team will play 14 home and 14 away matches in total, though some clubs will play one another four times, and other clubs will play against each other five times. The season is split into a Spring half spanning 10 matches per club and a Fall half that features 18 matches per club. The winners (or top two clubs by points) in the two halves of the season face off for the Canadian Premier League Championship.
Pacific FC’s Season Preview
Pacific FC have a relatively benign start to the Spring half with back-to-back home games. In their second game, Pacific face Valour FC in the latter’s first game of the season.
The combination of home comforts and better match fitness should hopefully help the team build a head of steam before we play Forge FC away at the Tim Hortons field on 8th May. Forge are likely to be a formidable unit to break down and should prove to be the first major test of the season.
If Pacific can settle into a good rhythm in these first three games, it will hold them in good stead for the rest of the first half. Pacific end their spring half of season with two home games again, hosting both the Alberta teams in the space of one week.
Pacific will be hoping to secure their place in the championship by winning the spring half of the season, because the fall half of the season promises to be a daunting challenge. Although the season is split in two, there is not really a break to rejuvenate and refocus efforts in the schedule.
The toughest lineup of games facing Pacific comes at the business end of the Fall half, when they take on Cavalry, then play Halifax home and away in the space of 11 days. The travel promises to be brutal, with short recovery times and niggles likely to pose a stiff challenge.
Make or break games
All the games away at Halifax will likely be tricky, simply on account of the travel involved. The home and away double header in early October promises to be a defining moment of the season. Another set of games that stand out are the ones away at Forge and Edmonton early in May which could determine whether Pacific can clinch a spot in the championship final, in the first half of the season.
Pacific FC go into the inaugural season of CPL 2019 with some seasoned names such as Josh Simpson in their management team and Marcel de Jong on the pitch. This experience could be key to establishing a winning mentality, backed by vocal fans who can help make the Westhills an intimidating fortress set in stunning, yet rugged surroundings.