The deadline just passed and here’s who has submitted their Expression of Interest to BCSA. Not too many surprises.
- - Abbotsford Soccer Association
- - Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club
- - Lower Island Soccer Association / Upper Island Soccer Association
- - North Shore / Burnaby
- - Pitt Meadows Soccer Club / Golden Ears United Soccer Club
- - South Fraser Soccer Club
- - Sportstown FC
- - SurDel Pegasus FC
- - Surrey United Soccer Club
- - Thompson Okanagan Football Club
- - Vancouver / Richmond
The interesting one is really SurDel Pegasus FC. Looks like SurDel and Surrey FC ended up getting together. That will make things a bit more interesting.
Here’s how I see it breaking down:
Abby: They will get one but they may have made a strategic mistake in not wooing Langley boys and girls. Not exactly the most competitive at Metro/Selects so they could have used some allies to buttress their player base. They are in though.
Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club: A lock. This is exactly what those running it want HPL clubs to look like. Not afraid to admit they want to be the best, great staff, great coaches, great facilities.
Lower Island Soccer Association / Upper Island Soccer Association: Also a lock for geographic reasons and because they have a disproportionate number of votes and those votes come in handy at BCSA AGM’s.
North Shore / Burnaby: North Shore could have chanced it by going alone but a bit of arm-twisting on the Mountain FC front means Burnaby joins in and brings great facilities with them; a deficiency for the North Shore given the massive number of players they have.
Pitt Meadows Soccer Club / Golden Ears United Soccer Club: Just don’t see it. They are effectively North Fraser Selects and as such have just four teams in the boys Selects divisions (out of six) and none of them are in the top half of their division. Speaks to a lack of competitiveness and with Abby to the east and Metro Ford to the west the only place to draw from is Langley and they seem to looking towards Surrey United.
South Fraser Soccer Club: Good history of co-operation between the clubs in this region, very good coaches and great facilities to go with a player base that is big enough if Ladner, North Delta and Tsawwassen sign on to the official application. Have the advantage of covering a different part of the region when it comes to a head to head with SurDel Pegasus.
SurDel Pegasus FC: This one, as I said, is really interesting. Surrey FC is already a massive club, bigger than Surrey United and have reasonable success at Metro/Selects level. Geographically more of a north and south east Surrey club, they’re probably looking at having to compete with Surrey United more than South Fraser as the powers that be are going to put a premium on spreading these franchises around the Lower Mainland so no one has to travel too far unless they want to.
Surrey United Soccer Club: One of the other locks. The club that Martin Foden built is impressive on all fronts. Great facility with clubhouse, very competitive, big enough and very well staffed. If SurDel Pegasus were competing with anything less than Surrey United they’d probably get the nod. But they’re not.
Thompson Okanagan Football Club: Lock by virtue of geography. Hope they start playing a better brand of soccer than their Y League teams though.
Vancouver / Richmond: Last to the party but it ended up coming in the way that those picking wanted to see it. A cozy arrangement between two districts that have at times worked very closely and well together and other times not so much. They connect the border to the wilds above the North Shore mountains and will definitely get a franchise.
So geography is definitely going to be a determining factor and you never know what strengths and weaknesses the actual applications of each entity may hold but the co-operation and joint bids that characterizes Y League clubs did, in the end, materialize to the relief of the organizers and this will make their decisions that much easier.