Div 2 [VMSL Div. 2] Predictions, Results & Banter 2018/2019

Canucks4Ever

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Three weeks from kickoff and the groups are set. This season a seeded draw was used to determine the pools to avoid any teams that may have been trying to manipulate their final standing during the previous season to be in an allegedly "more favourable" group for the following year.

On first look the groups look pretty even, maybe Pool B is slightly stronger, but certainly things are not as skewed as last season.

In Pool A its seems likely to be a two horse race as Metropolitan will look to bounce back at what is now the second time of asking; having missed out on their first attempt at the hands of the then Provincial B Cup Champions, Vancouver Greencaps. It will be a case of deja vu this season as they will once again have the Provincial B Cup Champions to contend with, this time in the form of Vancouver Strikers.

Outside of those two, GN North Delta is a wild card. They were woefully off the pace in Division 1 last season, but did spark to life somewhat at the end of the year. Who knows what kind of team they will field this season, but an immediate return to Division 1 seems unlikely. Harps have had it all come together once previously for a dream promotion season; perhaps lightening will strike once more. Bombastic had a great season last year, though some may argue they benefitted from being in the "weaker" group, so we will see if they can push the top teams again this season.

At the bottom there are obviously the two promoted sides in Strathcona and West Coast who will be looking to avoid the drop and Twin Arrows are seemingly perennial relegation candidates. Also Snipers appear to be on shaky ground. Having once challenged for promotion it has been a steady decline for the UBC based outfit and they really limped to the finish line last year. Their ON HOLD status with the league does little to inspire confidence though it appears they have created a U21 side so maybe that will allow them a bigger roster to pull from.

In Pool B, perennial runners-up 13th Legion will have former Div. 1 sides Shaheen and Gastown to contend with. Relegated Richmond are rumoured to be mostly comprised of their Division 3 side that narrowly missed out on promotion, so they are unlikely to be a factor at the top end of the table.

Wild cards include one time Division 1 side Sarjevo, who, after a dreadful season, have merged with NorVan, so it remains to be seen if that can provide them a solid foundation to kick on from. There is also Sierra FC who are evidently over from the BMSL and, after dominating that league over recent years, have merged with Westside to take over their second Division 2 spot, won by their Div. 3 side last year. Punjab Tigers have come under the BCT banner and are often capable of getting results against anyone in the league, so a good start for them could be a catalyst for a surprise promotion push with the same holds true for FC Serbia.

At the bottom, with promoted Westide now incorporating Sierra, it makes Greencaps B the only real newly promoted side. VanU Rangers narrowly avoided relegation last season via their playoff win, so they will need to be better this year to avoid a similar fate. Astro and Hrvat have been lower mid -able sides in recent seasons and would do well to put a few results on the board early to avoid spending their campaign mired in a relegation battle.
 

machel

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VUFC 1 - 2 Serbia United

4 of us old-timers did double duty and helped out our open squad for this one or we would have fielded 10 players.

Both teams looked rusty with little happening in either offensive end with most of the work being done in the middle and both defences were having a good day.

We went up 1-0 in the first half. A good build up play led to a low cross from the right. Our winger got on to the end of it and bundled it home under pressure from both their defender and keeper.

Second half was more of the same. We forced them to take shots from distance that the fence became man of the match.

Turning point comes around the 70th minute when they’re awarded a dubious pk. After a scrambly play the ball gets sliced in to the air about 20 yards in our box. One of our players controls it with the top of his shoulder/chest and the pk is called. 1-1 after Serbia’s captain sends our keeper the wrong way.

The goal woke Serbia up and they were now pressuring and had a few good build ups but again their finishing was way word. However they managed to score another goal from a slow looping header that looked more like a failed pass that got lucky from my angle.

For the final minutes we had them pinned in their end. Had a couple of chances. Saw an effort cleared off the line but the equalizer wasn’t coming.

Good clean game.
 
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Eastvan

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NK Hrvat 3-2 Richmond Olympics

Clean game. NK looked young and fast while, Richmond looked very old and slow. Both teams looked sloppy with wet weather and first game of season.
 
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Macho Man

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13th Legion 5-1 Astro

13th Legion are a strong team with some real attacking talent, would expect them to do well this season. Their No.10 has a mix of power and technique you don't usually see at Div.2 level. Saying that, we gifted them 3/4 of their five goals through sloppiness and attempting to bed in a new CB partnership.

Still hopeful for the season, we've added some good strength through the spine of the team and we actually have a coach for the first time ever
 
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Arch

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Striker 3 - Bombastic 1. Tight game until the end. They got one in the first half against the run of play. We were pressing all game and it paid off with 3 second half goals. The winning goal was a cracker from outside the 18 into the top corner.
 
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dezza

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Canucks4Ever

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@Canucks4Ever let's get some predictions going here too please!
Haha, I'd honestly love to but there are only so many hours in a week. Maybe @Regs or @GoF can put me on their payroll and I could just do this full time :D

I do try to pop in month to month and give a run down of what I have seen/heard about going on in the division.

Two weeks in and the idea that 2B is slightly stronger than 2A looks about right. Westside Juniors and Meraloma on top in 2A but that likely only because Strikers and Metropolitan played each other Week 1 so expect them to be on top soon enough. That being said, given the other teams in the pool, a strong start for Westside and Lomas could set them up well to challenge for a Prov Cup spot.

No surprise to see Shaheen, 13th Legion and Serbia atop of 2B and Sierra aquitting themselves nicely in the VMSL. That half looks to be setting up as a dog fight.

I don't have time to break down each match up (I'm already behind on my Prem predictions...) but I'll toss out some one off predictions:

2A
Westcoast Saints v Meraloma - Great chance for Lomas to keep up their hot start against newly promoted (and bottom of the table) West Coast
Bombastic v Metropolitan - Reality check for Bombastic this season after ripping it up last year; Students need the points if they are serious about promotion
Rino's Bulldogs v GN North Delta - Pick 'em. GN seem to be able to compete at this level and Bulldogs are a decent Div. 2 side; call it a draw
Harps v Strathcona - Strathcona up from Div. 3 and trying to get their feet under them, I'll tip Harps and their experience, but could go either way. I'll be more impressed if this one finishes with all 22 players on the field...
Snipers v Strikers - Three years ago this would have been a marquee match up, now, pretty straight forward
Twin Arrows v Westside - Twin Arrows trying to avoid their perennial relegation battle, but Westside have started well

2B
Gastown v Shaheen - Gastown are better than their record, so expect a good game, but Shaheen look serious about taking a charge at getting back to Div. 1
Hrvat v Serbia - Always a good battle when you get two ethnic sides, Serbia likely just shade it but could go either way
13th Legion v Richmond Olympics - Legion are on a mission to finally earn promotion; should be straight forward against Richmond
VUFC Rangers v Greencaps B - Early chance to edge what is likely to be a big relegation six pointer; promoted Greencaps are off to a better start than playoff survivors VUFC, look for them to keep it going
Astro v BCT Hurricanes - Astro could really use the points in this one; depends on how Hurricanes travel, I'll say the home side knick a draw
Sarajevo v Sierra - Probably MOTW; Sarjevo are better this season after their NorVan merger; Sierra are hot after coming over from Burnaby though and are likely slight favourites

Best I can do mate. You want to be in the weekly predictions? Get promoted ;)
 
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Eastvan

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Any match reports from Legion, Shaheen surprising draws and Serbia dropping all 3 point s?
 

Arch

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2-1 Strikers. The snipers are definitely revamping. Great game overall. First have was all ours. They pressed in the second with young legs. If they learn how to play as a team they will steal some points this year.
 
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2-1 Strikers. The snipers are definitely revamping. Great game overall. First have was all ours. They pressed in the second with young legs. If they learn how to play as a team they will steal some points this year.
Half
 

binderdonedat

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whats up with division 2B scheduling? sierra and 13th legion dont play for 18-22 days but few teams play 2 games within 3 days this week?
 

soccer8

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A big win for strikers against in form Harps. Strikers and metropolitian will fight it out for promotion. BCT hurricanes given a walkover they seem to be struggling week in week out.
 
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Canucks4Ever

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Big game worth keeping an eye on in 2B this weekend as first place Sierra put their perfect record on the line against second place Serbia who sit just three points back. Its a first real test for newcomers Sierra, having not really faced another promotion contender yet this season. They have Serbia this week and Shaheen following that, so we should get a sense of there promotion credentials over the next couple of weeks.

In 2A Strikers hold an undefeated record and have opened up a five point lead on promotion. It looks like it is going to be theirs to lose the rest of the way with Metropolitan seemingly unable to keep up and the rest of the field not appearing to offer too much in the way of a challenge. Interesting to see GN North Delta rooted to the bottom. Despite the success of their first team so far this year in Division 1, it seems that many of the problems that plagued GN North Delta last season and saw them punted from Division 1 continue to be an issue as they begin to have to cope with the real possibility of back to back relegations.
 
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