Premier [VMSL Premier] Predictions, Results & Banter 2019/2020

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Weekend Results:

Rino's 4-2 Chinter
Trollups 1-1 Sapperton
Peg 5-3 FASA

Other 3 games postponed - no idea why.

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Looks like there's more snowing and freezing weather all week. There's probably a good chance all games will be off next week unless rain melts the snow
 

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Metro Ford vs. West Van already officially cancelled.

Expecting more once fields are inspected by parks boards this afternoon. Lots of rain on the way, although sounds like it might be snow in the Valley.

Maybe enough to get fields cleared by Sunday. Hopefully back at it next week...
 

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Hallelujah the snow has cleared. After an impromtu week off thanks to the weather, we will have one more weekend of games, followed by some disruptions for cup, followed by another full slate of matches. After that, the makeup weeks will start. Basically, the point is we are getting down to brass tacks here and the table is beginning to settle. A points deduction for FASA has all but condemned them to relegation and a loss this week for Columbus to White Eagles would essentially end the relegation battle. At the top, dropped points for West Van and Rovers mean it look likely to be either Croatia or Rino's who claim the title. Inter look like they are all but out of it in terms of finishing in the top six, but CCB are looking like making a late charge especially after the used the time off to bolster the roster with former professional and Men's National Team player Issey Nakajima-Farran. We're headed for the home stretch; should be good!

Completely Baseless Predictions - Week 19

CCB LFC v Club Inter EDC Burnaby
The first of several very compelling fixtures on the docket this week sees the two teams desperately trying to climb into the top six tangle. Even with the returnof Mohammad Habib and Bryan Fong, Chinter look to still be off the pace compared to the rest of the top sides. Habib is still able to provide the offense, he has netted three times in his two games this year, but the rest of the squad just was not up to it in their 4-2 loss to Rino's last time out. Currently they sit five points behind sixth place Coquitlam with five matches remaining and Metro Ford holding a game in hand. A loss this week would mathematically preclude them from a top four finish and be all but light out on any hop of getting into the top six, especially if Coquitlam pick up points. Meanwhile, Coquitlam are also the team CCB are chasing. They sit eight points back but still have eight games to play, several of which are against lower table opposition. Conceivably the gap is really just two points, but with no more head to head league meetings on the schedule between them and the Tri-Cities boys, CCB will need Coquitlam to slip up at some point while making no mistakes themselves. That would start with this game against Inter and, perhaps knowing the importance of it, CCB are actually training this week. Well, that is to say they have an exhibition match against Whitecaps U23, so there players will at least be together mid-week. This is useful as they look to reintegrate centreback Ryan McCurdy into the squad, after he was not re-upped by Pacific FC, as well as former National team player Issey Nakajima-Farran who McCurdy is apparently bringing with him after Pacific also deemed him expendable. Who knows if these two will be enough to get CCB back into the Provincial Cup and a chance to defend their title, but it should be enough to at least take the points off of Inter.

Croatia v Pegasus
After the snow, Croatia find themselves now behind Rino's in the table and will remain there until they can make up their match against Columbus, barring, of course, Rino's dropping points. The defending champions are still in control of their own destiny, something that they did not enjoy during there run to becoming champions last season, but it can still be a mental challenge when you are always looking up the table. There first test in this new reality will come against a Pegasus side that look as though they are ready to attack 2020 based on their two results so far. A win over lowly FASA was always likely, but their 4-1 dismantling of West Van to begin the New Year was eye-catching to say the least. The Horsemen are knocking on the door of the top four and potentially assuring themselves of a place in the Provincial Cup without having to sweat out the potential of teams below them reaching the final of the Imperial Cup. Knocking off the champs would be a real coup and likely just what they need to try and reel in local rivals Rovers who sit three points ahead of them in fourth. Croatia simply cannot afford any slip this close to the finish line though, so expect a really top match from this one. The Europeans look more than comfortable in cruising past NorVan 5-1 in their only match of the New Year so far, which bodes well for them as they come off another two week break. Look for Croatia's league best defense to be pivotal in this one, as their M.O. against the other teams this season has been to keep things close and look for their quality to earn them a winner at some point and the strategy has worked, earning them maximum points on all but four occasions. Croatia also boast a perfect record in matches where they score at least twice, with their two losses being 1-0 and their two draws a 0-0 and a 1-1. Their offense has been bang in form over their last three matches, chalking up 14 goals. If they can get one or two early on in this one it is surely going to be tough for Pegasus to get anything out of the match.

NorVan v Coquitlam Metro Ford Wolves
All the winter weather likely served as a great annoyance to Metro Ford who, being in a strong vein of form, would surely have preferred to simply keep playing to try and carry their momentum forward. Instead they were given two weeks off, however, they managed to continue their form after the Winter Break without any major dips, so they will be confident of doing so once more. NorVan look to be all but checked out for the season as they have not won since beating last place Columbus at the start of November. They have an important match against White Eagles next weekend that, if they can win, will all but guarantee another season in Prem for the North Shore boys. However, with a match against Columbus still to come, if NorVan lose those matches, all of a sudden the final few weeks might become a bit of a dodgy proposition. Ironically, with Coquitlam on an eight game unbeaten streak, the last loss for the Tri-Cities boys actually came against NorVan back in October. On that day NorVan were 2-1 winners, but, given the current form of the two sides, it is difficult to see a repeat performance being on the cards in this one. Metro Ford talisman Carlo Basso smashed five goals past Rovers in Coquitlam's last game and he looks to be back to his best with eight goals in the last three matches, good enough to move him into second place on the scoring charts with 16 on the season. Coquitlam's hot form will surely come to an end at some points, but it does not seem likely to be this week.

Guildford FASA v West Van
A simple, and infinitely preventable, error in making an extra substitution during their loss to Columbus has come back to hurt FASA dearly. They penalized three points according to the latest table published moving the gap to safety from three points to six. Given their run in is against all the top sides, it looks like this all but dooms them to relegation. Possibly they could have found a route to a fluke three points, especially late in the season if the team they are coming up against had nothing to play for, but finding six points against the teams in the Provincial Cup and title hunt seems highly improbable. Additionally, rumours are swirling that both the club's goalkeepers jumped ship before the transfer deadline. If that is true, it would be tough to blame them given that FASA boast the worst goals against and goal difference in the league. West Van have had a tough start to 2020 getting smashed by Peg and then having to settle for a draw with Rovers before the snow last week. These dropped points look to have all but ended their title hopes, but, with matches still to play against Croatia and Rino's, there is still a chance. A win for the former Trollers over FASA is a must. Based on "Guildford's" current state, it should be all but a slam dunk and could well prove to be the perfect tonic to get the Amblesiders back into top form.

Burnaby Selects White Eagles v Columbus
Despite their incredibly poor performance so far this season, it looks like Columbus will have one final chance to pull off a last gasp escape act. The Italians sit seven points from safety, with White Eagles the team they must catch. A win in this game closes that gap to four points. Columbus still have a match against ninth place NorVan to come that could close the gap to one point. If that comes to pass then the newly promoted side will need to find just a single point from any of their other five remaining matches to force a playoff, with a win making them safe, depending on whether or not White Eagles pick up further points. One of those matches will be against Inter, who will likely have nothing to play for at the time and who Columbus have already drawn this season. However, one can imagine that Inter would be well motivated for the chance to potentially be the ones to relegate their "Italian" rivals. White Eagles also have to play NorVan which means that at least one of those two sides will pick up further points, so that will change the equation for Columbus, but, really, it is all pretty much academic if they do not win this week. Fortunately for them, White Eagles appear to have forgotten how to play football. They have not won since the first week of Novemeber and have only picked up two points over their past seven outings. At the time those back to back draws against top four sides Rovers and West Van looked like the markers of a team that belonged at the top level. Since then, though, the Burnaby boys have gone off a cliff. It began with a shock 2-1 defeat to relegation candidates FASA and then got worse over their past three games, all of which they have lost by a combined score of 18-3. That is not going to get it done at this level. It is all going wrong for White Eagles. One of the biggest factors is leading scorer Matlash Vladyslav now struggling to find offense. After scoring 11 goals in his first eight matches, he has only two goals in the last eight games, directly correlating with Burnaby's drop off in form. The team's overall offensive output has suffered similarly; they scored 20 goals in their first eight matches and have only netted nine goals in the eight matches since. Perhaps teams have figured out how to play against the former Serbians, or perhaps they have lost personnel, but, whatever the case, it is getting close to panic stations for White Eagles. All that said, one win this week likely pushes all of these deeper inquests off until next season. Columbus have to know it is now or never for their last stand, though, so expect a motivated side. It is tough to believe in either of these sides given their current form, so I will call it a draw, which may well be enough for Burnaby.

Rino's Tigers v Rovers Hurricanes
It appears this one has been moved to Sunday by Rino's to avoid conflict with new head coach Randy Samuel's other commitments to Div. 3 Lobbans. In a weekend with a number of important fixtures up and down the table, this game sticks out as the MOTW. Rino's have made their way to the top of the table, though Croatia are just a point behind and hold a game in hand. Fourth place Rovers , on the other hand, have seen their title challenge stall and are now seven points off the pace. A loss here would make it 10 points, or 12 points if Croatia win this week and they are assumed to pick up maximum points from their game in hand against Columbus. The point being that, with just four matches remaining after this one, a loss this week ends any shot Rovers have at the title. A win, however, makes things very interesting with the Surrey side still have a chance to play Croatia and with third place West Van also having to play both Croatia and Rino's. The title race could be back on rather quickly in that event. For this to come to pass Rovers would need to quickly rediscover the form they had earlier in the season. After being torched for six goals, five of them scored by Carlo Basso, by Coquitlam to begin 2020, the Surrey side could not find a winning goal against West Van as the teams exchanged penalties and settled for a 1-1 draw. An emphatic 5-1 win over derby rivals Pegasus to close out 2019 is their only win in their last four matches and looks crucial at the minute with those three points the only thing keep Rovers in fourth place at the minute ahead of their Newton neighbours. The top four, of course, includes automatic inclusion in the Provincial Cup, where fifth and sixth place means the possibility of being replaced if teams from outside the top half manage to reach the Imperial Cup final. So with their title hopes on life support and their place in the top four now looking precarious, there is plenty on the line in this one for Rovers. They have showed previously that they are capable of conjuring the level of performance that carried them to the VMSL title, along with a Provincial Cup and National Championship, when they have their best roster available. Principally this was on display during their own run from mid-table last season to the Imperial Cup final, where they came up just short against West Van before immediately turning around and beating West Van in the first round of the Provincial Cup. They would lose to Rino's in extra time in the semi-finals, but certainly gave a spirited defense of their Provincial title. They also came out on top, 3-2, in the first meeting between these side back in October. Again, it is no surprise that it was the Surrey side's top players doing the business as Nick Soolsma and Pavi Dhillon staked Rovers to a 2-0 lead before Dhillon won it late on. They will need something similar if they are to claim all six points against Rino's this season. Given their current form, though, they would seem to be underdogs here. Especially with Rino's following the lead of Golden Boot leader Farivar Torabi, who seems capable of scoring against just about anyone. The coaching change seems to have done little to slow the for Ayjal side down and they have welcomed back some more veteran bodies from abroad to strengthen the squad for the run in. This one should be a top contest, one of the best that the VMSL can produce. At the end of the day, I think Rino's are slight favourites.
 

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"A simple, and infinitely preventable, error in making an extra substitution during their loss to Columbus has come back to hurt FASA dearly. They penalized three points according to the latest table published moving the gap to safety from three points to six."

And, officially, from VMSL site: "Use of Ineligible Player (6th sub) by Guildford FC FASA"

Premier League has three referees, they allow sixth substitution and the team is penalized with 3-point deduction!?

Does it really make sense to penalize a team with 3-point deduction for that type of error?
 

Canucks4Ever

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"A simple, and infinitely preventable, error in making an extra substitution during their loss to Columbus has come back to hurt FASA dearly. They penalized three points according to the latest table published moving the gap to safety from three points to six."

And, officially, from VMSL site: "Use of Ineligible Player (6th sub) by Guildford FC FASA"

Premier League has three referees, they allow sixth substitution and the team is penalized with 3-point deduction!?

Does it really make sense to penalize a team with 3-point deduction for that type of error?
It is the team's error. Some referees might tell a team "hey you have made five subs...", but that is not their job to keep track.

Again, referees are not police. They do not stop ineligible players from playing. If a guy shows up without a league ID or not on the list or a team wants to make unlimited subs, it is not the referee's role to stop this. They just take the information and report what happened to the league. That's it.
 
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knvb

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It is the team's error. Some referees might tell a team "hey you have made five subs...", but that is not their job to keep track.

Again, referees are not police. They do not stop ineligible players from playing. If a guy shows up without a league ID or not on the list or a team wants to make unlimited subs, it is not the referee's role to stop this. They just take the information and report what happened to the league. That's it.
Okay, but so why do 'we' give them the sub slips for? To keep track. Why not to the opponent to know who is coming in and out? They don't send them to the league after, so assume the opponent put the complaint in. This must be a new precedence being set here?

This is tough one.
 

Canucks4Ever

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I know when I referee I keep track and am more than happy to tell teams when they are at the limit (I usually even warn them when they get to four).

But in Premier/Division 1 games with three officials usually whoever is closer to the middle/sideline the assistant handles the substitution. This means it is not necessarily one person holding all the slips, making it somewhat harder to track.

Personally, I think we want referees focusing on the game and managing that rather than being concerned with who has made what subs.

In this case I do not think anybody "reported" it. Columbus won the game, so had no reason to protest. Looks like the league noticed it in the referee report and took action.

@knvb FYI this is the same scenario in FVSL Premier (the only division in that league that uses sub slips/limits substitutions). Referees are not keeping track of how many changes each team has made; they just count the slips at the end of the match and send them in...
 

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Here is where we disagree, the ref(s) is there to manage the game. Substitutions are part of the game. They are a crew and communicate calls, you're telling me its extra focus to count to 5 together? AR1 should be doing the right pocket, left pocket thing with the slips and keeping track, IMO.

Do they need to stop the game or say no when #6 roll up? No, but they should absolutely make it clear that they've reached the limit as a bare minimum at that level.
 
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Canucks4Ever

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Here is where we disagree, the ref(s) is there to manage the game. Substitutions are part of the game. They are a crew and communicate calls, you're telling me its extra focus to count to 5 together? AR1 should be doing the right pocket, left pocket thing with the slips and keeping track, IMO.

Do they need to stop the game or say no when #6 roll up? No, but they should absolutely make it clear that they've reached the limit as a bare minimum at that level.
Ah, but now we come to the crux of the issue. Let's say we go to your scenario and make referees officially responsible for enforcing the number of substitutions made by each team. A sixth substitution is made, who's fault is it?

Is it the referee's for miscounting and the team "getting away" with it? If so, what recourse does the aggrieved team have to protest? What if that sixth sub comes on and scores the winning goal? Should Team A who made the extra sub be allowed to benefit because the referee lost track? Or should Team B get to protest the match, therefore Team A loses the points for a mistake that was the referee's "fault" not theirs?

The only answer is to have the teams be accountable for playing by the rules and the referee acting solely as a neutral party. Again, some referees, myself included, do keep track of the subs as a courtesy and remind teams. Others do not.

If a team is relying on the referee to manage their administrative work for them because they cannot count to five, they are already in trouble IMO.
 
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knvb

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What if my aunt had balls...

I'm not getting into a pointless sub argument and branching off into different fictional scenarios. I'm not that bored.
 

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I was, but had a tragic smoothie making accident and can only manage up to 8. I'm forced to do what all retired ref's do...

Scroll TTP, left handed.
 
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The official explanation is that FASA used an illegible player (6th sub). FASA did NOT use an illegible player; FASA mismanaged subs which also none of 3 referees noticed during the game so why punish FASA with additional 3 points deduction?

Imagine FASA had 5:0 lead and made 6th substitution late in the game just to give some player a few minutes to play. That would be an innocent mistake which would cost them 3 points and that should be it.

This is exactly why the referees in Premier League should take care of situations like this. Yes, poor game management by FASA which would result in 0:3 even if they had 5:0 lead but additional 3 points deduction does not make any sense.

In another case we had a situation where one team used a suspended player under a different name and the punishment was the same: officially lost the game and additional 3 points deduction.
That was a serious offence that warranted a long time suspension but it did not happen and now we have a situation where a team losses additional 3 points for making 6th sub in a game they lost anyway.
How can those two offences be treated the same way?
 

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