2019 BC Mens Provincial U21 Cup

Canucks4Ever

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As always, there is a host of new teams participating in the U21 Cup. That being said, perennial contenders and defending champions West Van FC are back in the competition this season and are one of the seeded teams who have a bye in the first round. The kids get largely ignored during the season as few are hooked into the social side of the local soccer scene, plus the players in the leagues seem to get younger and younger each season; especially as more and more academy sides are entering teams as a way to get matches for their young charges. This season saw TSS do just that and that has brought some increased attention to this age group with some of the most loyal supporters of their PDL franchise keeping tabs on the youngsters. In another new twist for this season, the FVSL chose not to run a U21 division with only four teams, instead opting to put those sides in their various open divisions for league play. We shall see if that makes them any more prepared to compete with the Province's best at this level.

Standard Disclaimer:
For those not familiar with my column, I am largely just pulling this stuff out of thin air. I try to find whatever information is readily available online, but ultimately I am just trying to generate some interest in local soccer in BC. If I have omitted or overlooked facts that you consider relevant to your team or league, it's not done intentionally...get over it...;)

Completely Baseless Predictions
Men’s U21 Doug Day Provincial Cup
Preliminary Round:


Greater Vancouver United (VMSL)
v Cowichan United (VISL) - Sunday 1:15pm @ Newton Athletic #4, Surrey
A fairly even draw for these two sides. With VMSL U21 title winners and defending U21 Provincial Champions West Van awaiting the winner, this is likely going to be a fairly short tournament for both these sides. Both teams were mid-table and both ended up with negative goal differences. Neither team boasts a prolific scorer either, so it sets up as a toss up. Like many matches this time of year, the travel factor must be considered. With most of the other stats cancelling each other out between these two teams, I will give it to the home side.

Langley United U21 (VMSL) v Prospect Lake Lakers (VISL) - Saturday 3:00pm @ Willoughby Turf #3, Langley
Likely the Match of the Round here with the two second place sides from their respective leagues. Langley, who opted for the VMSL over the FVSL, were close runners up to powerhouse West Van, ultimately losing out by just four points. Prospect Lake were even closer on the Island, as they saw Mid-Isle take the VISL title on goal difference alone. The road does not get much easier after this either, with the winner facing a trip to the aforementioned Mid-Isle and West Van also lurking in the top half of draw. By comparison, the bottom half is fairly wide open, but, alas, there is not changing fate for these two sides now. The two leading goal scorers in their leagues will lock horns as well in this match, so you would expect to see some goals. Kobe Dheensaw had 11 goals in 17 for the Lakers while Brody Thomas had an electric 22 in 18 for Langley. United also lead the VMSL with a ridiculous 77 goals on the season. That kind of offensive potential combined with the fact that Prospect Lake will have to combat the travel factor coming to the Mainland and you have to give Langley the edge.

Castaways FC (VISL) v BCT Tigers U21 (VMSL) - Sunday 2:30pm @ Topaz-Finlayson Turf, Victoria
Travel is also a concern in this match, though, of all the Island against Mainland match ups, this one might have the greatest potential of going the way of the away side. BCT Tigers don't exactly strike fear in the hearts of their opponents after their fourth place finish. However, they did reach the U21 Cup final, losing narrowly to TSS, so they clearly know how to win in knockout competitions. Castaways are at home, but they are the VISL final entrant. They too finished fourth in their league, but posted a -18 goal difference and allowed a league worst 41 goals against. That is hardly a recipe for success, especially when it comes to knockout games. It will depend on what kind of team Tigers can get to Victoria on the weekend, but, if they field a full squad, there is every reason for them to be confident of their chances to progress from this one.

Westcoast FC United U21 (FVSL) v Faly Academy (VMSL) - Saturday 5:00pm @ Pitt Meadows Secondary, Pitt Meadows
What would the Provincial Cup be without at least one FVSL against VMSL match up. Faly Academy were brash upstarts last season, just missing out on the league title. This year did not bring the same level of success as they were a distant third place, ten points back of second place Langley and 14 back of league winners West Van. Westcoast played their league games in Division 3 and finished a very respectable second place. Both teams have players that can put the ball in the back of the net with Faly boasting 16 goal man Tarr Wonder while Westcoast counter with Bela Piocza and Ryan Cordoni who scored 14 and 12 respectively. Westcoast's only head to head match ups with other U21 sides this season saw them beat a pair of teams that spent the year playing in Division 1. They needed a shootout to get by Surrey United but looked great beating Abbotsford last weekend 4-0 in the FVSL U21 Cup Final. That should see them come into this match with some fairly solid momentum. Conversely, Faly have not played many games recently. Their league play finished in January and they then had a long lay off until cup play began at the start of March. They needed a shootout to advance to the semis where they lost 5-4 and drew 1-1 with TSS to get eliminated 6-5 on aggregate. That was fully a month ago, so it remains to be seen how sharp Faly are coming into this one. There is also the fact that they have only won a lone game in 2019, back on January 12 when they beat second bottom Snipers. It has been losses and draws the rest of the way because, as mentioned, they were only able to advance in the cup via a shootout. Now, there is always the "VMSL factor" lurking in the back ground, which means you cannot rule out the chance that Faly end up being just that much better than Westcoast. However, I will take the hot hands in this one and say Westcoast ride the wave from their U21 Cup win to advance to the last eight.
 
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