Highlanders Travel To Calgary For Weekend Series Against Foothills FC

(Photo Credit: John Richardson)

CALGARY, AB - Victoria Highlanders FC (6-5-1) travel to Calgary, Alberta to finish off their 2019 USL League Two regular season with a two-game weekend series against Calgary Foothills FC (7-3-2) in Week 11, July 12th (7:00 PM MT KO) and July 14th (2:00 PM MT KO) at Mount Royal University. The matches will showcase two teams battling for the Northwest Division title with Seattle Sounders U23 in the three-team divisional race.


The Highlanders will be looking to sweep the weekend series just to keep their chance at a division title alive. Both matches plus the Sounders U23 match against Portland Timbers U23 on Sunday, July 14th will decide who will be crowned the 2019 USL League Two Northwest Division champion.

With only two games left to play, the Highlanders are looking to keep the playoff hunt alive. Victoria sits in fourth place in the Northwest Division going into this weekend’s action.

The Highlanders are coming off a tough 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders U23 on Sunday, July 7th at Sunset Stadium. Caleb Clarke scored his first goal of the season in the first half, but the Sounders scored the go ahead goal midway through the second half to take the 2-1 decision.

“This was a tough one. There were certainly aspects to our game that worked, and worked well, but overall it just didn’t come together,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “I thought our movement and passing in the midfield was one of our strengths, but once we got into the attacking third, we were a bit unpredictable. We had a couple of opportunities that would have swung the momentum of the match, but we were unable to capitalize on them. We need to regroup now and focus on the task at hand going forward, our weekend series against the Foothills in Calgary. If we take advantage of our opportunities and focus on the way we know we can play, we will be successful. The boys understand what needs to be done and we will be extremely motivated to keep the playoff drive going.”

Through twelve games the Highlanders have received goals from Ntignee (4), Victory Shumbusho (2), Sean Young, Joshua Walter, Connor Guilherme, Daniel Davidson (3), Takano (3), Caleb Clarke, and Shojaei (2), with Shumbusho leading in assists with four and shots with 20. The Highlanders have received clean sheets from both Trevor Schneider (2) and Simon Norgrove (2).

Highlanders Inactives: Sam Fletcher, Jack Hill, Caleb Clarke, Victory Shumbusho

Calgary Foothills FC
Last weekend saw Foothills FC travel to Eugene, Oregon to take on Lane United FC in a two-game weekend series at Marist High School. The visiting Foothills took both games, winning the Friday matchup by a 3-1 score and securing the second win of the weekend on Sunday with a late goal to take the 1-0 win and capture all six points that were up for grabs.

This season has seen the Foothills offense being led by the likes of Willy Akio, with seven goals on the season, Cory Bent, two goals and three assists, and Tofa Fakunle, with four goals and two assists while racking up 21 shots. Meanwhile, Benjamin Jackson has amassed over 800 minutes of playing time while posting 1.25 GAA while playing between the sticks.

“This is a big series and a big test. We haven’t been playing at the level we know we can,” added Niendorf. “While we don’t fully control our path to the playoffs, we just need to focus on these two matches against Calgary and do everything we can to put ourselves in a good position. The boys are ready to get back to what made us successful earlier in the season and climb the division table. We just need to take care of what’s within our control and go from there. Foothills, of course, will be extremely motivated to clinch the division and we have to be able to stand up against that and show that we can push right back by taking advantage of our opportunities.”

2019 Season Series
This will be the second two-game weekend series between the Highlanders and Foothills this season. The first series saw both matches being contested at Centennial Stadium in Victoria.

The first match, played on June 21st, saw the visiting team take the 4-1 win. Willy Akio recorded a brace and Tofa Fakunle made it a three-goal first half for the Foothills. Marcus Campanile made it a 4-0 game early in the second half to put the game away. Goteh Ntignee scored the lone goal for the Highlanders.

The second match, played on June 23rd, was a much more defensive oriented game. After 45 minutes of play, both teams headed into halftime in a scoreless draw. Ntignee scored early in the second half off a brilliant ball from Sean Young to put the home side up 1-0. Shun Takano made it 2-0 when he placed a shot just inside the far post. Akio scored in added time, but the Highlanders walked away with the 2-1 win.

Playoff Scenarios
Calgary Foothills FC Win Northwest Division – Foothills win one game and Seattle loses or ties their last game against Portland Timbers U23 OR Foothills win both games.

Seattle Sounders U23 Win Northwest Division – Highlanders win both games and Sounders win their last game against Portland Timbers U23 OR Highlanders win one game and tie the other against Foothills FC and Sounders win or tie their last game.

Victoria Highlanders FC Win Northwest Division – Highlanders win both games and Sounders lose their last game against Portland Timbers U23 OR Highlanders win both games and Sounders tie their last game (Highlanders would take the most wins tiebreaker).

2019 USL League Two Regular Season – Week 11
Mount Royal University – Calgary, Alberta
July 12th, 2019 – 7:00pm MT
WATCH: Calgary Foothills FC Official MyCujoo.tv Channel

Mount Royal University – Calgary, Alberta
July 14th, 2019 – 2:00pm MT
WATCH: Calgary Foothills FC Official MyCujoo.tv Channel

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 former 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.