Canadian Premier League — Match #2
Pacific FC vs. HFX Wanderers FC
April 28, 2019 — Westhills Stadium (7 p.m. ET, 4 p.m. PT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca (Pre-show begins at 7 p.m. ET)
It’s coast-against-coast in the Canadian Premier League’s second-ever match.
HFX Wanderers have travelled the 4,476-odd km from Halifax, N.S. to Langford, B.C. and Westhills Stadium to take on Pacific FC in the second match of the CPL’s opening weekend.
PFC’s potent attacking trio of Issey Nakajima-Farran, Marcus Haber and Ben Fisk are set to make their long-awaited debut. Wanderers coach Stephen Hart has surely highlighted former national team members Nakajima-Farran and Haber as ones to watch and, possibly, threats to score the first goal in Pacific FC history.
The Wanderers make the trip to VanIsle looking to make history themselves.
Watch for Stephen Hart and the Wanderers to sit back and hit at Pacific up the wings, using speedy full-backs like Zela Langwa and Zach Sukunda to create chances. Striker Luis Alberto Perea is a potential candidate to finish those opportunities, though he was injured during the club’s pre-season stint in the Dominican Republic.
Sunday’s game kicks off a busy first week for both sides, with Pacific set to host Valour FC on Wednesday (11:00 p.m. ET, 8:00 p.m. PT) and the Wanderers making their home debut on Saturday against Forge FC (1:00 p.m. ET, 2:00 p.m. AT.
KEYS TO THE MATCH
- Secret no more: Pacific FC has kept their cards close to their chest this pre-season. Silberbauer’s brand of football is still a question mark, with the Danish tactician staying out of the spotlight in the Dominican. The question is, will this surprise attack work?
- Coast-to-coast: HFX Wanderers have the longest, most intense travel itinerary in the league’s first season, so it’s only apt they make their longest trek for Match #1. Stephen Hart and co. will be adapting to travel for the first time, save for the trip to Punta Cana. They could be in trouble if they fail to make the right adjustments and the travel affects their fitness.
- Poseidon’s Trident: Circle that PFC front three in red. Arguably the most experienced attacking force in the CPL, this all-star connection of Nakajima-Farran, Haber and Fisk could make their debut together Sunday.
Pacific FC: Mark Village; Blake Smith, Lukas MacNaughton, Hendrik Starostzik, Kadin Chung; Noah Verhoeven, Victor Blasco, Terran Campbell; Ben Fisk, Marcus Haber, Issey Nakajima-Farran
HFX Wanderers: Jan-Michael Williams; Zachary Sukunda, Chakib Hocine, Peter Schaal, Zele Langwa; Kouame Outtara, Andre Rampersad, Elton John; Juan Diego Gutierrez, Akeem Garcia; Luis Alberto Perea
- ‘Going in blind’: HFX coach Hart prepares for unknown with Van Isle trip
“It’s going to be one of those games where it’s probably more important how you play than (who) the opposition (is),” previews HFX head coach Stephen Hart.
- Silberbauer: Pacific FC looks to establish attack in home opener
“To say that you can implement a playing style fully over two, three months is simply not possible. But we do want to be an attacking team that’s fun to watch, and hopefully we’ll be that,” – Michael Silberbauer, Pacific FC head coach.
- ‘It’s going to be ruckus’: Pacific FC supporters groups tease Westhills debut
“It’s almost like a competition with the rest of the supporter groups, right? Who’s the best supporter group in the CPL,” – Lake Side Buoys, Pacific FC’s supporters group.
- HFX Wanderers prepare to enter ‘lion’s den’ for inaugural match on Van Isle
“This week is more about concentration. Our concentration has to be at an all-time high for us, especially going away to Pacific,” – HFX Wanderers FC midfielder Elton John.
First meeting between these clubs
Marcel De Jong (Pacific FC) – Torn Achilles