Soccer returns to Calgary as Calgary Foothills FC play their first home match of the new Premier Development League (PDL) season this Friday.
Foothills FC have started the season with a win and loss in their two opening games on the road.
Here are five talking points as Foothills FC prepare to host the Portland Timbers U23 this weekend:
1. Foothills will be looking to win games – it sounds simple enough
Foothills FC finished in fourth place in last year’s PDL Northwest Division, one spot shy of the playoffs. They only lost two of the season’s 12 matches – an impressive record for any rookie club. However, Calgary’s league standing was hindered by drawing too many matches – seven in total.
If Foothills hope to have a post-season, coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. will have to get his side to convert a few of those draws into victories this season.
2. Change of venue
Nothing frustrates a soccer fan quite like forcing them to watch their club play on a field awash with North American football yardage lines. Such was the pain suffered by Foothills FC fans last summer during their club’s inaugural season in the PDL.
The club hosted visitors at Shouldice Park an admittedly smooth, and yet visually scarred, artificial playing surface. This season finds Foothills FC playing their home games at Glenmore Athletic Park on the facility’s main grass pitch – free of a distracting clutter of unnecessary giant numbers and lines. Fans should appreciate the difference.[socialpoll id=”2362862″]
3. Improved match schedule
The PDL has modified the match schedule from last season. The changes mean Foothills FC will often play a club on Friday evening and then play the same club the following Sunday. This reduces the number of midweek evening matches, which were some of least attended games last season. And will hopefully add some heat to matches, as the opposing clubs might build a familiarity with one another.
4. Timbers are a wounded animal
Portland Timbers U23 are coming off a 3-3 draw against Lane United Tuesday where they surrendered a lead in time added on. They currently have 2 points from their first three matches. Not a great start to the season for a club that reached the play-offs last summer. They’ll be looking to correct their season’s course this weekend in Calgary. Foothills FC will be well advised to be prepared to face a highly motivated club over the next two matches.
It could be a soggy match on Friday night. Weather forecasts are predicting a fair amount of rain Friday, possibly accompanied by thunder and lightening. Both sides should be prepared to play on a wet surface.
Calgary Foothills FC host Portland Timbers U23 at Glenmore Athletic Park in Calgary Friday at 7pm and Sunday at 7pm.
Foothills FC has teamed up with Ship and Anchor Pub and Village Brewery to provide a match day experience for Friday night’s match. Click here for details.
For additional ticket information for Friday and Sunday’s games click here.
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