There’s an exciting weekend of BC Provincial Cup action coming up. The A Cup and Doug Day U21 Cup are at the semi-final stage, with the larger B Cup and Masters competitions at the quarter-final stage.
Burnaby Metro Athletic (VMSL) v Fraser Valley Red Devils (FVSL)
[Burnaby Lake West Field 2 – Saturday May 6 – 1.30pm kick off]
Burnaby, one assumes, will finally be forced to take the field at this stage of the competition. After receiving a bye for finishing as the top VMSL Division 2 team this campaign, much was made of the soon to be Division 1 team’s lack of willingness to accommodate Bacardi FC’s request for their Round of 16 fixture to be rearranged. Bacardi offered several alternate playing options, but Burnaby refused to reschedule and forced the BMSL team to forfeit, due in part to taking part in a 7-a-side competition on the Sunday. Like it or not (most people seem to be solidly in the “not” camp on this one) Burnaby are in the quarter finals and Navid Mashinchi and co. should not be taken lightly, regardless of their antics. They won promotion at the first time of asking for a reason and remain title favourites, even if it would be, ultimately, somewhat tainted. Looking to play karma’s swift justice this weekend will be Fraser Valley Red Devils, who are no doubt counting on some help from the soccer gods wanting to balance the books after Burnaby’s actions last week. The Red Devils have seen off a pair of Richmond clubs in their early round matches, but the temperature is about to get cranked up with a VMSL Champion awaiting them here in the quarters. It has been a season of statement victories at the expense of the VMSL in the B Cup this year, but Red Devils will be in tough to continue that trend against Burnaby.
Vancouver Greencaps (VMSL) v Fraser Valley Blue Devils (FVSL)
[Point Grey Turf, Vancouver – Saturday May 6 – 3.45pm kick off]
Cinderella against Cinderella in this one means it’s midnight for somebody. Greencaps are in a full renaissance having recaptured the form that saw them as promotion contenders a few seasons back. They are having no problems filling the net either, having scored eight already in this competition including an impressive 5-1 win on the Island at Gorge FC. The real question though is just who in the hell are Fraser Valley Blue Devils? These kids are a Division 3 team from the FVSL, albeit they will be in Division 2 next season, but are only here because of an impressive Presidents Cup win. One thing is clear though, this groups relishes in being the underdogs. It was this attitude that propelled them to the cup title that got them into this competition and it certainly fueled their remarkable 2-0 win over VMSL Division 2 Champions Burnaby Selects last round. Burnaby had to be considered a title favourite after earning promotion to Division 1, but 2-0 suggests that they had no answers whatsoever for the Valley boys. Now these two David’s have to figure out who Goliath is. Greencaps seem to being the right mood at present, so I’ll make them favourite (which is likely what the Blue Devils want anyhow) but really who knows in this one? All the credit in the world to Fraser Valley, but I just cannot pick a lower league team to advance, Greencaps to progress.
NorVan (VMSL) v Sierra FC (BMSL)
[Windsor Secondary School, North Vancouver – Sunday May 7 – 4pm kick off]
The Match of the Round as Sierra FC put the competition on notice, and the BMSL on the map, with a statement 3-0 win over VMSL upstarts 13th Legion in the previous round. Sierra were runaway winners in the BMSL’s First Division this season, finishing 11 points better off than their nearest challenger, but it’s tough to get a read on the strength of competition in these newer, growing leagues until this time of year. Sierra have shown that they can play with the big boys and will have to keep proving it this week against NorVan. The VMSL Division 2 Cup Champions will agonizingly miss out on promotion for the second straight season, but a Provincial B Cup would be some consolation. The North Shore lads have already shown their pedigree in knockout competitions this season and had little trouble seeing off West Coast from the RASA in their opener. It should be a true measuring stick then for the Burnaby boys as they carry the mantle for their fledgling league. If they can win again surely they have to be in the conversation as title contenders. For now though, they remain underdogs as the experienced VMSLers are favourites in this one.
Poco Royals (FVSL) v Serbia United (VMSL)
[Gates Turf, Port Coquitlam – Sunday May 7 – 4pm kick off]
The FVSL Division 2 Champions, Poco, edged out their fierce rivals from Langley in their opener last round. It was hardly a convincing scoreline though, only 1-0, and Serbia will be eyeing a potential upset in this one. Serbia have hit a purple patch at the right time of the year and journeyed successfully to the Island last time out to knock off the VISL Champions Mid-Isle. They also defeated two time B Cup Champions, and the RASA runners-up due to a playoff, All Blacks, in the first round. So the fact that the Serbians have to face another Champion will hardly concern these boys. The stars seem to be aligned for the Eastern Europeans at the moment and the Royals will need to be at the top of their game to avoid going home early. I like the underdogs in this one; Serbia are hot!