Highlanders Head Down the Oregon Trail to face Lane United and Timbers U-23

by Joshua Rendle

Photo: Richard D. Abbot

VICTORIA, BC - Victoria Highlanders FC (2-6-0) travel this weekend down to take on Oregon sides Lane United FC (2-2-4) and Portland Timbers U-23 (2-3-2) in Week 8 of the Premier Development League (PDL) regular season, June 22 (7:00 PM PST KO) at the Les Schwab Sports Park in Springfield, Oregon and June 24 (2:00 PM PST KO) at McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Oregon.


The Highlanders go on the road this weekend looking to grab points from Lane United FC and MLS Affiliate Portland Timbers U-23. Highlanders are coming off a tough 4-1 loss on the weekend versus division leaders Calgary Foothills FC but look to rebound away in Oregon. The matches will be streamed online through LUFC’s and Timbers’ Official Youtube Channels.

The Highlanders are heading into the latter stages of the season and will be looking to grab points on the road this weekend south of the border. Victoria is coming off a tough 4-1 loss versus the division leaders Calgary Foothills in what was an exciting Father’s Day matchup at Centennial Stadium.

Calgary kicked off the game with early pressure scoring at 4-minutes. The goal came from a scramble in the box with the ball popping out to the top of the 18 where it was met by Calgary midfielder Bruno Zebie to take the lead. Victoria worked their way back into the game finding an equalizer at 37-minutes from local boy Mackenzie Cole.

The game continued to be closely contested till 60-minutes hit when multiple Calgary substitutions changed the game. The insurgence of Calgary’s Moses Danto up front made it very difficult for the home side’s backline. Calgary returned to Alberta with all three points after scoring three goals in the second half of the game.

Victoria now look to snatch points away, with Lane United up first. Following a day break, Victoria will be traveling to Salem, Oregon to take on Portland Timbers U-23.

“The goal for this weekend is to play hard and competitive, to challenge for a win in both games,” commented Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “In order to accomplish that, we will have to produce a great team effort and need players who can step up their game.”

“We want to be defensively better organized and improve our possession play to conclude our attacking play with more shots on goal. The attitude of the players remains positive.”

Lane United are coming off a weekend of goals with 12 goals over two games. Despite scoring six goals over the course of their two matches, the opposition responded with an equal number of goals in both matches to end their weekend with two points.

Lane United traveled to take on their two American PDL counterparts facing Portland Timbers U-23 first, followed by an away game versus Seattle Sounders U-23.

Against Portland, Lane came back from a 2-0 deficit to make it 2-2. The game ended in a thrilling 3-3 tie between the Oregon rivals. The second game versus Seattle was a disappointment for Lane dropping a two goal lead with yet another 3-3 tie.

Lane will want to grab three points at home versus the Highlanders and will be looking to go level with TSS in second place.

Highlanders hosted Lane United Friday, May 25 at Centennial Stadium winning their first three points of the season by a score of 1-0. The goal was Victoria’s first goal of the season scored by winger Cory Bent.

Lane will be eyeing revenge this weekend ahead of their third matchup between these two sides back in Victoria Saturday, July 14.

Portland had one game on the weekend, hosting Lane United in an exciting match that ended 3-3. Despite leading 2-0 at 64-minutes, Lane United scored twice at 76-minutes and 85-minutes to get back on level terms.

A goal in the final minute from Giovanni Magana-Rivera seemed to be the winner for Portland. However, Lane’s William Spurr found an equalizer in the final minutes to end the thrilling match with a point a piece.

Portland sitting only two points above Victoria will be looking to grab an all important three points to move up into the middle of the table.

Portland won the first matchup between these two sides in Victoria at Centennial Stadium Sunday, May 20. An even contest throughout the game was highlighted by a stunning goal from Portland’s Magama-Rivera to take all three points home.

Victoria will want to grab three points in their first of two away games versus Portland.

“Lane United and the Timbers are also looking for wins to improve their season,” added Niendorf. “So, we are all in the same boat trying to find a way to win. Lane United and the Timbers are teams that are looking to play and build up from the back. We prefer this type of game and are looking forward to it.”

The Highlanders are back at home next Friday, June 29 versus rivals TSS FC Rovers at 6:35 PM. Tickets are available for Friday’s clash against TSS FC Rovers at Centennial Stadium at www.highlandersfc.ca/tickets. For more information, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.

2018 PDL Regular Season – Week 8
Les Schwab Sports Park – Springfield, Oregon (LUFC)
June 22, 2018 – 7:00 pm PST KO
WATCH: LUFC Official Youtube Channel

McCulloch Stadium - Salem, Oregon (POR)
June 24, 2018 – 2:00 pm PST KO
WATCH: Timbers U-23 Official Youtube Channel

About Victoria Highlanders FC
Behind the scenes, the Highlanders organization has undergone a complete overhaul since the 2017 PDL season. A new ownership group, new logo and an unprecedented number of local partners have come together to put the club back on the sporting map. The changes are a positive step for the club, who will be aiming to rise to the top of Victoria’s sporting scene with fresh game-day activations and professional structure.

Last season the Highlanders competed in the Premier Development League (PDL). Developing a path for aspiring professional soccer players to reach the highest level. Notable players such as Brett Levis (Whitecaps FC), Jamar Dixon (Ottawa Fury), and Matt Polster (Chicago Fire) are just a few of the notable alumni that have come through Victoria’s ranks.