The first three weeks of the 2023/2024 Vancouver Metro Soccer League (VMSL) Premier Division season have already thrown up some drama and surprise results, with three teams remaining undefeated, three still to find their first wins of the new campaign, and one still to find their first point.
Defending champions BB5 United CCB already look like the team to beat once again after a strong summer of recruitment, as they gear up for another crack at the Challenge Trophy at Nationals in Nova Scotia next week. Their firepower and strength in depth already looks formidable. Can anyone stop them landing another treble? Time will tell.
It’s Inter EDC who are leading the way right now, with seven points on the board from their first three matches. A 3-1 win over VUFC Hibernian on opening day was followed by a closely contested 3-2 win over Coquitlam Metro-Ford Wolves in Week 2. Then came what looks to have been a fiery affair in a 1-1 draw with new boys Rino’s Fury at the Musqueam Turf on Friday night.
Eoin McCormack had given Rino’s a 32nd minute lead but the real fireworks came in the second half. Thiago Ferreira Menezes was shown a red card for a second booking for the Fury with 20 minutes to go before things exploded in stoppage time. Massud Habibullah scored from the spot to tie things up, with the match report then showing fan misbehaviour from Inter, a straight red to Inter’s Tyler Dhillon for violent conduct, and the ejection of Inter coach Moe Forouzan. Wild, wish I’d been there!
BB5 United sit second with six points from their two matches that actually were played to a finish, and are the only remaining team with a 100% record. BB5 put up five goals in each of their first two games, beating Croatia 5-2 on opening day and then Rino’s Fury 5-0 in Newton in Week 2. They were leading NVFC Norvan 1-0 at Fen Burdett Stadium in North Vancouver on Saturday afternoon thanks to an 18th minute Nic Morello goal before a horror injury to Fugo Segawa saw the game abandoned just past the half hour mark after it took over an hour for an ambulance to arrive. Segawa suffered a broken fibula and separated ankle after a tackle that infuriated the Surrey side. We wish him all the very best in his recovery.
BB5 and Inter were set to meet in a top of the table clash at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey on Friday evening, but BB5 are riddled with injuries ahead of nationals and the teams agreed to postpone to help BC’s representatives get as healthy as they can. Norvan still remain undefeated on the season, sitting 5th in the table after an opening day 3-2 victory over Port Moody and a 2-2 draw with Croatia in Week 2.
VUFC Hibernian sit third in the table, one of three sides on six points. They’ve bounced back from that opening day loss to Inter to record a pair of wins – 4-2 at Columbus FC and 4-0 on Sunday against West Van up at UBC. Brandon Momotani hit a first half hat-trick within the first 20 minutes of that one, with Patrick Braun also getting on the scoresheet in the rout.
You can watch Sport Revolution’s highlights from the match below:
After avoiding relegation by a single point last season, Westside have got off to a good start in the new campaign, getting what could be some crucial early wins on the board. Recovering from an opening day 4-2 defeat to Columbus, Westside fought back with a 2-1 win over West Van and followed that up with a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Port Moody at Point Grey on Saturday thanks to Jaihyun Jeong’s third minute winner.
It’s too early to say if Westside might be a surprise package this season and the same is true for Columbus, but the latter have made an impressive start, adding a couple of big additions and could be a team to watch this year. Sparked by new addition, and former WFC2 player, Emiliano Brienza, Columbus currently sit in 6th with a 1-1-1 record, with Brienza the current VMSL Golden Boot leader on 5 goals.
Columbus started their season with that 4-2 win over Westside, before losing to VUFC Hibernian 4-2 by the same scoreline. Last weekend they played out a 3-3 barnburner in Coqutilam against Metro-Ford, coming from two goals down to earn a point. Paulo Dait had given Columbus an early 5th minute lead before Dominic Di Paola’s 19th minute leveler for the home side. A 39th minute Columbus own goal gave Coquitlam the lead at the half before Kyle Jones extended their lead just before the hour mark. Columbus fought back and Matthew Chow pulled one back in the 71st minute before Brienza tied it up six minutes later to earn a big point.
At the other end of the table, BCT Rovers Hurricanes are still looking for their first points of the season after three straight defeats to start the new campaign. They’re already sitting with a -9 goal difference after a 2-1 loss to West Van on opening day was followed up by a 6-1 shellacking by Port Moody in week 2 and a 4-1 defeat to Croatia at Newton on Friday night.
Goals from Nathan Walters and Emile Saimovici had Croatia two up by half time and although Nick Soolsma pulled one back for the Hurricanes in the 54th minute, goals from Jake Starheim and Valentyn Kryvenko gave Croatia the big win.
You can watch Smart Runners’ highlights of the match below:
So after all of that early season action, the VMSL Premier Division standings look as follows three weeks in:
It’s shaping up to be another fantastic season in the league. Can anyone come close to stopping the BB5 juggernaut?
Here’s what’s on the slate this weekend:
FRIDAY SEPT 29TH
Columbus v Rino’s Fury (Burnaby Lake 2 – 7.25pm kick off)
West Van v Coquitlam Metro-Ford Wolves (Ambleside – 7.30pm kick off)
SATURDAY SEPT 30TH
Croatia v Westside (Burnaby Lake 2 – 3.30pm kick off)
NVFC Norvan v BCT Rovers Hurricanes (Kinsmen Field – 4.05pm kick off)
Port Moody v VUFC Hibernian (Trasolini Turf – 8.30pm kick off)
You can get all of the results, fixtures, and standings across all of the divisions at VMSLsoccer.com