Highlanders Kickoff Their Season At Home
Victoria, BC - Victoria Highlanders FC are set to open their 2019 USL League Two season on Friday May 10 (7:00 PM PST KO) at Centennial Stadium, UVic.
A revamped Highlanders squad will look to start the season on the front foot and gain an early edge in an ultra-competitive Northwest Division. The match will be available to stream online for free at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMl9ZhF_mVHr21jwsGcTerg/videos.
The Highlanders organization will welcome in many first-time USL League Two players as the club looks to fill roster spots left behind by graduating players. Most notable include Captain and defender Callum Montgomery who was drafted 4th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas, defender Peter Schaale drafted 7th overall in the Canadian Premier League to Halifax Wanderers, and Goalkeeper Nolan Wirth who signed a professional contract with Pacific FC. The changes are a positive step for the club, who will continue to aim towards moving players to the professional ranks of football in North American and beyond.
Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf will have a group of fresh-faced players looking to secure a playoff position this season after missing out in 2018. Players to watch as the season kicks off include 16-year-old Goteh Ntignee who represented Westcastle United to their Jackson Cup victory in the Vancouver Island Soccer League, TRU Wolfpack’s Mitch Popadynetz and VIU Mariners Shun Takano.
“We are a much younger team than in previous years but the potential is quite high” said Niendorf. “At the same time we need to understand that our youth will make a few mistakes and that we are here to help develop these young men to overcome difficult situations throughout the game and learn from these mistakes. I’m very happy with the boys, they have showed great willingness to work and learn. We want to create a penetrating style, not as much long ball, proactive, dominating possession and using the speed and technical skill that we have with the group of players that we have.”
Lane United will be an early measuring stick for the Victoria club, having put together a strong roster for the upcoming USL League Two season. Last season saw Lane United finish third in the North West Division with a 5-4-5 record.
“It is going to be a tough challenge for us playing Lane” Niendorf added. “Lane have a core team that has been together for two years now, they have been successful in the league. They will be very organized, always hard working, a disciplined group, and physically strong. They have good attacking players, speed as well, so at the end of the day it will be who can put their concept into action.”
2019 SEASON SERIES
Highlanders had the slight upper hand on Lane in their three-match, 2018 regular season series, edging Lane by scores of 1-0 and 2-1 on May 25 and June 22, respectively, and losing 4-0 on July 14.
The Highlanders 2019 season kicks off at home tonight against Lane United. The team’s next home game is May 19th against the Portland Timbers at Centennial Stadium. Tickets are available at www.highlandersfc.ca/tickets.
For more information, please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.
2019 USL League Two Regular Season – Week 1
Centennial Stadium, UVic– Victoria
May 10 – 7:00 pm PST
Around the Park
Join us for our Home Opener and take part in the festivities. We have a variety of food trucks and refreshment options during the match!
- Burger Crush
- Country Crepes
- Wilson’s Donuts
Phillip’s Brewery Bar
Peninsula Co-op Kids Zone
About Victoria Highlanders FC
The Highlanders compete in the United Soccer Leagues League Two (USL League Two). Developing a path for aspiring professional soccer players to reach the highest level. Notable players include Brett Levis (Whitecaps FC), Callum Montgomery (FC Dallas), Peter Schaale (Halifax Wanderes), Ryan McCurdy and Nolan Wirth (Pacific FC), Joshua Heard (Real Monarchs), Jamar Dixon (Ottawa Fury), and Matt Polster (Glasgow Rangers). All are notable alumni that have come through Victoria’s ranks.