I do love schedule release day. Just as well, because the thing with supporting different teams at different levels of North American soccer is that you get a few of them!
The fixtures came out for the 2018 USL PDL season today and in just over three month’s time, TSS FC Rovers will kick off their second league campaign, looking to build upon the success they had both on and off the pitch last season. Just 103 days to go.
Although the results on the pitch were a mixed bag during their inaugural season, as injuries crippled the team from the first game onwards, Rovers home games were a delight. A return to what felt like watching authentic football.
Grassroots. Local players. Fanatical support. Some exciting football on the pitch and a great atmosphere off it. Mostly great weather in a fantastic setting of Swangard Stadium was really just the icing on the cake.
You’d be hard pressed to find supporters who went along last season that didn’t enthuse about their matchday experience. There’s definitely a palpable excitement for getting back at it from management, players, supporters, and ourselves alike.
The challenge now for the Rovers is to keep that going and all the signs are that this second season in the league could be something special, as Colin Elmes and Will Cromack go about building an exciting and talented squad of local players that will certainly compete with the best in the PDL Northwest Division this year.
And with the Canadian Premier League just around the corner, it’s a great shop window for the players to put themselves into.
TSS once again play a 14 game schedule, seven home matches and seven away, and will kick off their 2018 campaign this year with two home matches. If they can get maximum points out of those then they’ll set themselves up very nicely for the rest of the season to come.
Lane United come a calling to Swangard on Monday May 14 for TSS’ home, and season, opener. It may seem like a strange day for a match, but with the Whitecaps at home against Houston at B.C. Place on the Friday and Swangard being tied up for the B.C. Provincial Cups over the weekend, along with Lane travelling to Victoria, this date was really all that could realistically work.
And Rovers fans will get the chance to enjoy two home games in five days, as last year’s divisional champs, Portland Timbers U23s, make the trip north on May 18.
Those matches are then followed with two tough away trips, first heading down to Sunset Stadium in Sumner, Washington on Friday May 25 to take on Seattle Sounders U23s, before heading back north for the first Juan de Fuca Plate clash of the season in Victoria two days later.
The Highlanders lifted last season’s Plate, winning two of their three matches with the Rovers, and giving the Lake Side Buoys the supporters bragging rights. TSS will be out for revenge this year and the Swanguardians will be hoping it’s red and black ribbons that are left on the trophy come the end of the season.
As mentioned, the first of this season’s three clashes between the provincial rivals takes place at Centennial Stadium on Sunday May 27. The teams will meet at Swangard a week later, before the third and final meeting, which may or may not be a Plate decider, takes place back in Victoria on Friday June 29.
Two other home games you definitely don’t want to miss are the matches with the Rovers other Canadian rivals – Calgary Foothills. The Albertans head west to Swangard on Friday June 1 and then two weeks later on June 15. Going on last year’s fierce matches between the two, expect fireworks.
TSS’ regular season wraps up at home on Wednesday July 11 against Seattle, after a horror run of five games on the road. Hopefully that won’t be the last game of the year, with playoffs to come. Swangard would be the perfect venue to host a championship again after all.
You can find the full TSS schedule for the 2018 season HERE.
Season tickets are on sale now, with individual games available in the very near future. Prices remain at $70 for eight matches (seven league and one friendly) for adults, and $49 for children. Click HERE for all the details and to get your season tickets today.
If you haven’t had a chance to take in a TSS match yet, then you’re missing out. Remedy that soon.
AFTN are proud to announce that we will once again be TSS Rovers media partner for the season ahead, with myself and Gideon Hill continuing to provide the commentary for all their home PDL matches, which will once again be streamed on You Tube.
The Rovers will also be launching a women’s team this season, competing in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL), which is the second level of the women’s game in the North American pyramid under the NWSL. Expect some double headers with the PDL side. Double your enjoyment.
We’ll be bringing you full, comprehensive coverage of both teams in the build-up and throughout the season, kicking things off with a special squad reveal announcement on the podcast in a couple of weeks.
‘Mon the Rovers.