Victoria Highlanders

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Victoria Highlanders
Victoriahighlanders.png
Full name Victoria Highlanders
Football Club
Nickname(s) The Highlanders
Founded 2008
Ground Royal Athletic Park
Victoria, British Columbia
Ground Capacity 5,700[1]
Owner Season Ticket Holders (30%)
Alex Campbell Jr. (70%)
General Manager Mark deFrias
League USL Premier Development League
2013 1st, Northwest
Playoffs: National Semi-Finals
Website Club home page
Current season

Victoria Highlanders FC is a Canadian soccer team based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Founded in 2007 after the excitement of the FIFA U-20 World Cup saw crowds up to 11,500,[2] the first team plays in the USL Premier Development League (PDL), the fourth tier of the American Soccer Pyramid. The Highlanders organization is a club structure that includes a U-21 reserve Highlanders team and a women's program. The Highlanders also co-ordinate U-21 Vancouver Island Soccer League teams as a development pool for players ages 16 to 21. Highlanders FC players are Canadian CIS and NCAA Division I University and College players, Canadian U20 National Team Players, local Vancouver Island players, as well as imports from around the world. The team plays its home games in Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, British Columbia.

Badge[edit]

The team’s colours are white, black, and gold. These colours are the primary colours for the Clan Campbell coats of arms related to club founder Alex Campbell Jr.’s heritage. The heraldic colour white signifies purity and sincerity, gold has the meaning of generosity and glory, while black connotes fidelity and prudence.[3][4][5]

The badge consists of a double-headed Celtic swirl, triskele, or triple spiral with a hub of a soccer ball. A triskele is a common artistic symbol used in various cultures around the world, but is usually associated with Celtic art. Due to the symbol's age, the triskele is a symbol meaning a number of different things to different people and there is no absolute, widely agreed upon meaning. For some it is a symbol of the holy trinity such as on Pictish sculptured stones or in the Book of Kells. For others a symbol of pre-Celtic paganism representing land, sea, and sky, or the idea of spirit, mind, and body, or the deity Manannán. Manannán is a sea deity associated with the weather and mists between the worlds, uncertainty, the unknown, adventure, and transformation. Still others associate the symbol with the 3200 BCE tomb of Newgrange and harmony. Finally others associate the Celtic triskele as a symbol of female power, of the transition and evolution of body, mind, and spirit embodied in the maid, mother, and crone or the cycle of pregnancy.[6] The hub, the soccer ball, could symbolize the unity, focus, or expression of the three ideas. The whorls oriented in opposite directions could specify balance.[7]

Club Culture[edit]

Ownership[edit]

With the purchase of season tickets, one also gets a membership in the Victoria Highlanders Supporters Board that administers the fan’s 30% ownership in the club. The Supporters Board is a democratic registered non-profit society with limited liability, and all money or other assets belonging to the Supporters Board belong to all members equally. The structure is to facilitate a formalized way to provide feedback, voice opinions, help guide the club’s direction, and expand the club’s membership base.[8] Day-to-day club operations are handled by senior club management.[9][10]

The club has a Highlanders Board of Advisors consisting of Alex Campbell, the general manager, two Supporters Board members, and five business community members. The board of advisors meets quarterly to provide insight and input into the general direction, goals, and objectives of the club.[9][10] Another 30% share of the club is proposed to be held by local non profit soccer clubs. Agreements in principle have been signed with Lakehill FC, Gorge FC, and Prospect Lake SC.[11][12][13]

In the US and Canada most professional clubs are just one of many local clubs and community representation on the professional club is not inclusive. Local non-profit community clubs with paid coaches, technical directors, and staff often end up in adversarial commercial competition for facility usage and academy fees for example. In BC, local community clubs are the only full members of the BCSA and some clubs use this player registration monopoly to prevent their players from using outside training.[14] The professional club cannot have all local players accessible to them to scout, include in their club structure, and develop into better players. The professional clubs basically have their own small youth development system that is cut off from much of the area’s other players who play with other clubs and in other leagues. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC separate system outside the BC soccer mainstream is the USSDA, and the BCSA set up the BCSPL partly to make a league structure inclusive to the Whitecaps scouting efforts.[15][16] Generally given the profile of the MLS Whitecaps, BC youth soccer clubs consider the Whitecaps too big to compete against especially given the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency programs are not pay-to-play. The smaller Highlanders club also scouts the BCSPL, and part of the reason for community club ownership is to prevent adversarial Highlanders-local community club relationships.[13]

Supporters[edit]

The Highlanders are cheered on by members of the supporters group Lake Side Buoys (LSB); whose mission is:[17]

  • To participate in Victoria Highlanders games as true supporters.
  • To facilitate and encourage the expression of support for the team by such methods as singing, chanting, and displays of tifo.
  • To advocate for the rights of all supporters in our home stadium and away.

The name Lakeside Buoys (LSB) is based on the supporter’s location at Bear Mountain Stadium by a pond and an effort at a light hearted version of the term Bhoys-commonly associated with overly serious supporters of Celtic F.C. [18] The LSB is a member of the Independent Supporters Council (ISC). The ISC is a supporters' groups association for American and Canadian soccer fans to share information and work together to solve common problems.

Rivalries[edit]

The Highlanders main rivalry is with the Vancouver Whitecaps U23s. The BC soccer pyramid has been set up with the Vancouver Whitecaps at the top of the pyramid. The larger club dominates the provincial soccer media and recruiting for men and women. It is common for Highlanders players that excel in one season to feature on Whitecaps rosters the next year. The men’s first team competes for the Juan de Fuca Plate, a fan created competition for BC-based USL PDL teams, against the Whitecaps U23 side (and previously the Abbotsford Mariners). As of March 2013, the Highlanders are 3-3-4 (W-D-L) against the Whitecaps and 6-2-2 versus the Abbotsford Mariners all time in PDL play. The club also often has close, sometimes heated games with the Kitsap Pumas, who also started in the USL PDL in 2009. Their all time record is 3-1-4 (W-D-L) as of March 2013. The Highlanders prevented the Pumas from an undefeated 2011 season with a 0-2 win on the last day of season. Contests between the clubs have resulted in several sending offs and numerous cards.

Mascot[edit]

The Highlanders’ mascot is a Scottish sheep dog, or border collie. His name is Striker, and he wears the highland dress. He wears the Saskatchewan tartan.[19]

History[edit]

The original intent of the ownership group was to have a professional team playing in USL-1.[20][21] There have been previous attempts at professional soccer in Victoria. Taking a step back, the history of association football or soccer in Victoria is comparable in length to most anywhere else in the world. The first documented associated code game was on November 17, 1888 between St Paul’s School and the Victoria Rugby Club.[22] An attempt at starting a British Columbia Professional Association Football League including a team in Victoria came to nothing in 1909.[23] Professional soccer teams from Europe have had one off tours against Victoria sides beginning in 1911.[23] From the first games in provincial competition, amateur sides have charged admission for some games to offset travel costs.[22] The first listed professional soccer team was the Victoria Riptides (1984-1985). The second is the Victoria Vistas (1989-1990) who played in the original Canadian Soccer League (1987–1992) against the Vancouver 86ers and teams across Canada. From 1991 on the highest level of Victoria soccer was the amateur clubs in the winter Vancouver Island Soccer League and Victoria United in the summer PCSL.

Five games of capacity crowds at 11,500 spectators, and three others at over 10,000 spectators, greater than those in Vancouver, BC, at an expanded Royal Athletic Park watched group and round of 16 games during the tournament. The other 2007 Canadian host cities will all have either MLS or NASL teams in 2014.[24][25] From these foundations and the goodwill generated after the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Victoria Highlanders were created. The original intent of the ownership group was to build the Highlanders organization up, so that the 1st team would play in the USL-1 that the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers played in at the time. In 2007, this was the second tier of the Canadian soccer pyramid given that Toronto FC was playing in Major League Soccer. The award of a USL PDL franchise was announced January 16, 2008.[26]

The first year 2009 team had eight Victoria United players on their roster as the level of play for USL PDL was seen to be higher than that of the PCSL.[27][28] In 2009 three other new teams the Seattle Wolves, Portland Timbers U23s, and Kitsap Pumas also joined the Northwest Division. The Northwest Division has had strong competition since the Victoria Highlanders entered. Since 2009, the division has had a PDL-Pro side with USL Pro ambition, 3 MLS affiliates, and a fourth USSDA academy (all 3 MLS teams also run USSDA academies). Victoria was fortunate to retain the PCSL team as the 3 organizations' locations that have switched from PCSL to USL PDL did not, and there was no increase in the number of playing opportunities like there was in Victoria. The Highlanders and Victoria United maintain a friendly relationship and play a charity match each season around July 1.

In their inaugural season with head coach Colin Miller the Highlanders had exhibition games against FC Edmonton in the preseason and finished mid-table in the 2009 NW Division. In the 2010 PDL season they finished mid-table once again while the Portland Timbers U23s from their division won the national championship. In the 2011 PDL season the Highlanders qualified for the playoffs and travelled to the SW Division leading Fresno Fuego where they lost 3-1 in stifling heat. The Kitsap Pumas, winners of the NW Division, won the 2011 national championship. In the 2012 PDL season the Highlanders finished just out of a playoff spot after a late season rally. They also lost the inaugural Juan de Fuca Plate to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 on a tiebreaker. For a more detailed run down please see Year-By-Year below.

Stadiums[edit]

The Highlanders when first announced were to begin playing in a 4500 seat stadium;[26] however, the West Shore Parks and Recreation stadium proposal at the Juan de Fuca velodrome in Colwood did not proceed,[29] and the stadium in Langford was down-sized to the minimum acceptable size of 1600 seats, 1200 of which are permanent.[30] It has dressing rooms, concessions, luxury boxes, and the playing surface is field turf. Capacity concerns regarding dressing rooms, field space, mid-field seating capacity, and training time conflicts for the four Highlander teams with the Victoria Rebels Football Club of the Canadian Junior Football League and other tenants resulted in the move downtown to Royal Athletic Park in 2011. The primary concern reported in the media was lack of seating capacity.[31]

In November 2011 the City of Victoria announced it had accepted a bid from a Vancouver businessman to establish a West Coast League baseball team to become the sole anchor tenant of Royal Athletic Park (RAP) with a permanent outfield fence.[32][33][34] Baseball teams of higher level leagues have used RAP in the past with a movable outfield fence. Public pressure during the municipal election resulted in the facility remaining multisport.[35][36][37] Soccer has been played at Royal Athletic Park for over a century. As a secondary tenant, the Victoria Highlanders 2013 schedule was front loaded with all but one home game played before the baseball season's third game.[38] The Highlanders reserves and Highlanders Women 1st team home games were moved from RAP to Hampton Park and Tyndall Park respectively.[39]

Club structure[edit]

Level Mens Women's
1st Team

United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (USL PDL)

  • Victoria Highlanders

Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Women Division

Metro Women’s Soccer League

  • Peninsula CO-OP Highlanders

' Fall/winter team is a partnership between University of Victoria program (red shirts) and PCSL Premier and Reserve Division teams.'

2nd Team

Pacific Coast Soccer League Reserve Men Division

  • Summer as Victoria Highlanders Reserves (U21) in PCSL
  • Fall/winter as Victoria Highlanders in VISL U21 League/Cup
  • Both these teams are made up of U17 and U18 players.

Pacific Coast Soccer League Reserve Women Division

  • Summer as Victoria Highlanders (U17 and U18) in PCSL
3rd Team

Pacific Coast Soccer League Reserve Men Division

  • Summer as Mid Isle Highlanders U21 ( U17 and U18)
  • Fall/winter as Mid Isle Highlanders in VISL U21 League/Cup
  • Both these teams are made up of U17 and U18 players.
Highlanders Prospects

U13 – U17 is supplemental training (2/week) to club training.[40]

  • Highlanders Prospects was formerly Highlanders Academy
  • The length is 24 weeks, Sept - April.
  • From May – July competitive development teams play in spring tours, tournaments in US and BC Lower Mainland, as well as exhibitions.[41]
  • Affiliated/ownership clubs may receive a discount on fees in addition to other benefits.
L2T Centre

U10 – U12 Learn To Train Centre (L2T)

  • L2T is 24 weeks of supplemental training 1/week for 24 weeks based on the third level of the CSA's LTPD Wellness to World Cup.
  • Vancouver Island Wave and Highlanders staff provide the coaching.
  • Classification of Mid Isle Highlanders as the 3rd team is made due to play in the PCSL Reserve Division versus the PCSL Premier Division. Club operation may treat this 3rd team as another 2nd Team.
  • The PCSL Premier divisions are senior divisions with no age restrictions. The PCSL Reserve divisions are U21 with allowances for up to five overage players.[42]
  • Highlanders Prospects is a high performance alternative to the BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL) Vancouver Island Wave Program, Island Keeper Clinic, Reynolds Senior Secondary Centre for Soccer Excellence, EM Sports Academy, World Cup Soccer Academy, United Soccer Solutions, and optional local community club academies (there are 8 soccer clubs in the greater Victoria area).[43]
  • The Highlanders and Lower Island Soccer Association (LISA) (i.e. BCSPL and Highlanders coaches and staff) have partnered in the L2T Centre for U10 to U12 soccer players.[44] The Highlanders are adding their coaching staff and resources to LIWSA’s, and LISA’s to further development on Vancouver Island. LISA is an association of the 10 local community clubs on Lower Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

As of July 21, 2014.[45]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Canada GK Brandon Watson
2 Canada DF Kevan Brown
4 Canada DF Gavin Barrett
5 Canada DF Ryan Ashlee
6 Canada MF Alex Rowley
7 Canada MF Manny Gómez
8 Canada DF Adam Ravenhill
9 Canada FW Carlo Basso
10 Canada FW Riley O'Neill
11 Canada FW Jordan De Graaf
13 Canada DF Tyler Hughes
No. Position Player
14 Canada MF Wes Barrett
15 Canada DF Andrew Ravenhill
16 Italy MF Dominic Colantonio
17 Canada MF Jordan Hughes
18 Canada GK Cam Stokes
19 Canada FW Ian Greedy
20 Canada FW Tarnvir Bhandal
21 Canada MF Blair Sturrock
23 Canada MF Cam Hundal
26 Canada MF Sam Prette
29 Canada GK Elliott Mitrou

Notable former players[edit]

This list of notable former players comprises players who went on to play professional soccer after playing for the team in the Premier Development League, or those who previously played professionally before joining the team.

Year-by-year[edit]

Summary table[edit]

Season League Playoffs Juan De Fuca Plate[46] Open Canada Cup
Overall Home Away
Div League Pos GP W D L GF GA Pts W D L GF GA W D L GF GA
2009 D4 USL PDL 5th 16 6 4 6 37 25 22 4 4 0 21 12 2 2 4 16 13 DNQ N / A N / A
2010 D4 USL PDL 4th 16 7 3 6 27 24 24 4 1 3 18 12 3 5 0 9 12 DNQ N / A N / A
2011 D4 USL PDL 2nd 16 9 3 4 29 16 30 6 0 2 20 6 3 4 1 9 10 Round of 16 N / A N / A
2012 D4 USL PDL 6th 16 6 4 6 21 18 22 2 3 3 10 9 4 3 1 11 9 DNQ Runner Up N / A
2013 D4 USL PDL 1st 14 8 4 2 32 7 28 4 1 2 18 11 4 3 0 13 7 Semifinals Runner Up N / A
2014 D4 USL PDL 2nd 14 8 3 3 32 18 27 4 3 0 14 6 4 3 0 18 12 Play-In Round Winner N / A

Last updated: August 5, 2014 [47]
Note: click on the season for the Highlanders season wiki if it exists, click on league for PDL season wiki.
Note: Juan de Fuca Plate was created in 2012, all previous standings unofficial.
Note: Canada has national amateur championships (The Challenge Trophy and the Jubilee Shield) and a separate national professional championship that is currently only open to USSF/CSA Division 1 and 2 teams (MLS and NASL). Since 2008 Canada has not had an Open Cup.
Note: Playoff qualification format has varied from top 4, top 3, and top 2 qualifying.
Pos. = Position; GP = Match played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Lost; GF = Goal For; GA = Goal Against; Pts = Points; DNQ = Did Not Qualify
Colors: Gold = winner; Silver = runner-up; Cyan = ongoing

Colours :

Gold Champion
Silver Runner-up
Green Qualified For Playoffs

2008[edit]

On April 2, 2008 the Highlanders announced their coaching staff:[48]

  • Colin Miller- Head Coach (former coach of CMNT, Derby County FC, and Abbotsford Rangers PDL)
  • David Dew-1st Team Assistant Coach (former Head Coach Whitecaps W-League, Assistant Coach CWNT)
  • Steve Simonson-Assistant Coach, Director Youth Development (former assistant coach Whitecaps W-League and Women’s Youth Development)
  • Bob Stankov-Goalkeepers Coach (Island Keeper Clinic, Reynolds Secondary School, LISA)

The Highlanders initiated their scouting and development camps as well as the U21 reserve team during 2008. The camps consisted of 24 - 30 U17 and U18 players, who received two weekly sessions run by the Highlanders’ coaching staff. The Highlanders also sponsored a U18 Lower Island metro team.[49] An agreement was reached with the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence (PISE) for the training facility. In the 2008-2009 fall/winter the Northsound Seawolves (now Washington Crossfire) announced a change from the PCSL to PDL, and the Kitsap Pumas and Portland Timbers announced PDL franchises.[50][51][52] By January 2009 the club had signed 9 players.

2009[edit]

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Ground A A A A H H H H A A H A H A H H
Result W D D D L L W L L L W D L W W W

Last updated: December 8, 2013.
Source: [1]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: T = Tie; L = Lose; W = Win; P = Postponed.

During preason announcements of the title sponsor and player signings, the Highlanders made public the goal to join USL Pro in three years.[53][54] Comments by players indicated the club had a higher level of organization compared to typical PDL sides. The Highlanders opened the season on a four game road trip that began May 1, 2009 against the Spokane Spiders.

The Highlanders won the game 1-0, with the first goal in franchise history being scored by Patrick Gawrys.[55]

The rest of Victoria's season was solid, if unspectacular, with a neatly balanced 6 wins and 6 losses across the season, although the season split nearly in two, with the second half of the season much more positive than the first. A run of three ties and two losses to Abbotsford Mariners and Portland Timbers U23's was broken by a spectacular 6-3 demolition of Tacoma Tide at home in early June, a game which saw five different Highlanders goal scorers. A run of three more narrow defeats ended Victoria's playoff chances before July, but once the pressure was off, the football flowed. They walloped Yakima Reds 6-1 after being 1-0 down at half time, with Jordan Hughes scoring four in the second half, demolished Tacoma Tide 5-0 on the road in July, and outplayed local rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 4-0 on the final day of the season, ending the year on a three game winning streak.The mid-table fifth place finish was acceptable; Jordan Hughes and Patrick Gawrys both impressed in the goal scoring race, with 8 and 7 goals respectively, while Gawrys and Rory Hunter made invaluable contributions with 4 assists each.

The club was successful off the field as well. In the stands average crowds of 1,734, and a crowd of 2,412 for the home opener, watched the Highlanders. They also had a local Victoria player progress from the reserve team to the first team and earn a scholarship to Western Michigan.[56][57][58] Head coach Colin Miller announced his resignation due to an opportunity in Abbotsford where his family lives.[59] The Highlanders also announced an affiliation with the Austin Aztex FC of the USL First Division in July 2009.[60] The affiliation included a friendly held on September 15, 2009 which the Highlanders won 2-0. Three Highlanders were given ten day trials with Austin. One Highlanders player. Tynan Diaz, was given a short contract with the Austin Aztex and played against Stoke City F.C. on a UK tour.[61]

2010[edit]

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Ground H A A H A H H H A A A H H H A A
Result W W W W L W D W W L L D D L L L

Last updated: December 8, 2013.
Source: [2]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: T = Tie; L = Lose; W = Win; P = Postponed.

In February the Highlanders announced they were putting their reserve team in the 2010 premier (open) division of the summer PCSL.[62] They also announced the launching of a women’s program, the Victoria Highlanders Women.[63] Ian Bridge joined as head coach and Tyler Hughes joined the ranks and was named captain. The Highlanders opened the season with a four game winning streak and won seven of their first nine games. Portland, Kitsap, and the Highlanders battled each other at the top of the table in the first half of the season. In the second half of the season the Crossfire and Tacoma/Sounders started generating wins and tightened the playoff race considerably. The season slipped away with the Highlanders essentially being eliminated from the playoffs with an away loss to Kitsap. With five games remaining the Highlanders finished winless in their last eight games to finish fourth. Portland ran away with the NW division going undefeated and winning the USL PDL Championship in the playoffs. The Highlanders Women finished 2nd in the PCSL and lost in the playoff semi-final. The Highlanders played a home and away series against FC Edmonton in August. Jordan Hughes was a Western All-Star in the 2010 USL PDL season.

The Highlanders launched their Sept-March Academy or Prospects program for boys and girls in July 2010.[64] The Highlanders prospects aligned with Shel Brodsgaard’s Island Keeper Clinic.[65] On December 1, 2010 the Highlanders announced the women’s first team would compete in the 2011 USL W-League and a women’s reserve team would compete in the USL Super 20 league.[66]

2011[edit]

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Ground [3] A A H A A A A H H H A H H H H A
Result W L D D W L L W W W W L W D W W L

Last updated: December 8, 2013.
Source: [4]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: T = Tie; L = Lose; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Piror to the 2011 season, it was also announced that the Highlanders were moving mid-season to Royal Athletic Park in downtown Victoria, BC from the suburb of Langford (adjacent to the rural District of Highlands).[67] The U18 Highlanders reserves finished a UK tour against development sides of Port Vale, Sheffield Wednesday, and Notts County.[68] In March 2011 the Highlanders announced an affiliation with a Nanaimo-Ladysmith based group to be named the Mid-Isle Highlanders. The Mid-Isle Highlanders play in the Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL) Reserves Division (a U21 division) as a development squad. The Mid Isle side will be older than the Highlanders U20 Reserves (who are U17 and U18) playing in the PCSL Premier Division, but younger than the U23 PDL roster and will act to bring more high level training opportunities to the Nanaimo based Vancouver Island University and other Vancouver Island players.[69] On November 5, 2011 the Highlanders announced the season ticket and community ownership model.[70][71]

The Highlanders started the 2011 season by breaking the Timbers U23’s 20 game unbeaten streak in the season opener with Elliot Mitrou stopping 2 penalty kicks. In the second game the Highlanders lost a hard fought away game 2-1 to Kitsap when they scored two late goals including a penalty kick. The Highlanders had a relatively slow start to the season, but in the second half won seven of ten to finish in second in the NW Division. They clinched second and earned their first playoff qualification in their last match outlasting the Whitecap’s run for the playoffs. On July 21, 2011 the Highlanders hosted Port Vale F.C. who were on a North American preseason tour of the Pacific Northwest. Ashley Burbeary finished the season tied for 5th in the USL PDL with eight assists. The Highlanders Women had a tough first season in the W-League with five one goal losses; however, they finished the season with an undefeated streak of 1-2-0 (W-D-L).

2011 Playoffs[edit]

As one of the top two teams in the NW Division, the Highlanders advanced to the Western Conference Semi-finals, or the round of 16 in the overall playoffs, against the undefeated 13-0-3 SW Division Fresno Fuego. In front an attendance of 2369 on July 30 under sweltering 36 degree Celsius temperatures, the Highlanders lost a close fought game 3-1. The Fuego opened the scoring in the 10th minute before Highlander midfielder Jamar Dixon’s header knotted the game again in the 19th minute. As the heat slowed the game late, Tyler Reinhardt of the Fuego put the Fuego ahead for good in the 83rd minute by blasting a shot from 20 yards out after controlling a booming drop-kick from the Fuego goalkeeper. He earned the hat-trick with a goal in the 90th minute as the Highlanders attempted to equalize.[72][73]

2012[edit]

Results by round[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Ground H H A A A H H A H H A A H A H A
Result D D L L D L W W L L L W D W W W

Last updated: December 8, 2013.
Source: [5]
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: T = Tie; L = Lose; W = Win; P = Postponed.

A two game road trip to Portland and Redmond left the Highlanders at 0-2-2 (W-D-L). The Highlanders got their first win when they picked up back-to-back wins at the winless Fraser Valley Mariners mid-season. At 2-3-3 the Highlanders released head coach Ian Bridge and promoted assistant coach Steve Simonson. After a tough start to the transition with three further losses, the team ended the season on an undefeated streak of 4-1-0 to finish at 6-6-4 for 24 points. The Highlanders finished one point out of the NW Division playoffs and missed out on winning the inaugural fan created Juan De Fuca Plate on the goal difference tie-breaker.

On September 6, 2012 the Peninsula CO-OP Highlanders moved the Fall-Winter (Sept-April) team to the Metro Women’s Soccer League (MWSL) Premier Division. The MWSL is based in the Vancouver metropolitan area and also includes the Vancouver Whitecaps U-18 Girls Elite. The Highlanders women’s fall/winter team is a partnership composed of W-League veterans, University of Victoria red shirts (reserves), and Highlanders Prospects (U-17 and U-18 players). After another challenging and slightly improved sophomore W-League season, the Highlanders announced that with the Vancouver Whitecaps Women folding, they would return to the PCSL for 2013.[74]

Mark deFrias returned to the Highlanders as general manager in October 2012 after Drew Finerty stepped down.[75][76]

2013[edit]

2013 Victoria Highlanders season's home opener was a 3-0 victory on May 4 at Royal Athletic Park versus Kitsap Pumas.[38] 2013 was one of the most successful seasons on and off the field for the Highlanders; they finished 8-4-2 first in the NW Division and increased average attendance 57% to 1637, top ten in the USL PDL. The Highlanders made a playoff run with hard fought close wins over Ventura County Fusion and Portland Timbers U23 before a loss to the Thunder Bay Chill in an all-Canadian PDL national semifinal. The Highlanders started two 18-year-olds, a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old. Plus, 80 per cent of the roster was home-grown. The players really stood up for Vancouver Island and showed there is good soccer here. Victoria's run to the PDL Final Four was accomplished without a home playoff game after the Highlanders were unsuccessful with their bid to host the regional and national playoffs.

2014[edit]

The 2014 season was a success for the club with several players earning collegiate roster spots for the 2014 fall season. The women's first team went undefeated at 12-0-0 while capturing the double in the PCSL Women's Premier Division. The men's first team qualified for the playoffs and hosted their first ever playoff game. The women's reserve team earned the double with a league and playoff championship in the PCSL Women's Reserve Division. The men's reserve team finished third in the PCSL Men's Reserve Division and won the playoff championship. The Mid-Isle Highlanders, affiliate club, won the PCSL Men's Reserve Division league championship. During the Fall/Winter season a partnership with UVic allowed a traveling women's team to compete in Vancouver's Metro Women's Soccer League once again while the men's reserve team competed in the Vancouver Island Soccer League's U21 Division.

The club successfully hosted mid-summer friendlies with Rangers F.C. of the Scottish League 1 and FC Edmonton of the D2 NASL.

Statistics[edit]

  • Season Ticket Holders or Highlanders Supporters Society: Unknown
  • Salary Budget: Amateur players.
  • Seasons in USL PDL NW Division: 6.
  • Highest Home Attendance: 2412 May 23, 2009 Bear Mtn Stadium vs Abbotsfort Mariners
  • Lowest Home Attendance: 716 July 18, 2011 Bear Mtn Stadium vs Washington Crossfire
  • Most goals scored in one match home: Victoria Highlanders 6 -3 Tacoma Tide/Seattle Sounders U23 in 2009, Victoria Highlanders 6-1 Yakima Reds in 2009.
  • Most goals scored in one match away: Lane United FC 0 - 7 Victoria Highlanders in 2014.
  • Most goals scored in one match in Playoffs: Ventura County Fusion 2 - 3 Victoria Highlanders (2013)
  • Best position in USL PDL NW Division: 1st (2013)
  • Worst position in USL PDL NW Division: 6th (2012)
  • Participations in Playoffs: 3
  • Best position in USL PDL Playoffs: Semifinals (2013)

Last updated: August 2, 2014

Head coaches[edit]

Average attendance[edit]

Attendance stats are calculated by averaging each team's self-reported home attendances from the historical match archive at http://www.uslsoccer.com/history/index_E.html.

League ranks are reported from the United Soccer League archive and North American ranks for outdoor soccer from a website blog that has collated reported attendance from the MLS, NASL, USL-Pro, WPS, W-League, and USL-PDL. Leagues such as the CSL, PCSL, and NPSL do not support the administration capabilities to report attendance figures and those that can be gleaned from media or match reports are much less reliable and harder to find, so they were excluded by the website blog. There are a few teams at the PDL level that do not charge for admission for each and every match due to sponsorship arrangements with a business such as Fresno Fuego (3000-4500 average) or a larger parent club (Major League Soccer affiliated clubs).[77]

Year League Average Attendance # of Home Games League Rank Canada - USA Rank
2009 USL-PDL 1734 9 4th 39th
2010 USL-PDL 1497 8 5th 42nd
2011 USL-PDL 992 8 10th 52nd
2012 USL-PDL 1046 8 8th 46th
2013 USL-PDL 1637 7 5th 47th
2014 USL-PDL 1342 7 9th

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Victoria United FC :: Our Club". Victoriaunited.com. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
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External links[edit]