Victoria Highlanders FC (3-1-1) host Portland Timbers U23 (1-5-2) in Week 7 of the USL League Two regular season, June 16th (2:00 PM PST KO) at the University of Victoria’s (UVic) Centennial Stadium in a Father’s Day matchup.
The Highlanders return home after picking up a 1-0 win on the road against Vancouver TSS FC Rovers in the first leg of the Juan De Fuca Plate. The match will be streamed online through the Highlanders Official YouTube Channel.
VICTORIA HIGHLANDERS FC
The Victoria side returns home after winning their first road game of the season. The Highlanders traveled to Swangard Stadium to take on the TSS FC Rovers in the first leg of the Juan De Fuca Plate and came away with the 1-0 win. Victory Shumbusho scored the lone goal of the game off a penalty kick, his second goal of the season and Trevor Schneider picked up the clean sheet in his first start of the season, also earning him USL League Two Team of the Week honours.
“It was a big bounce-back win and an important three points to earn on the road,” stated Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “The Rovers are a good team with a talented roster that pushed us at times tonight, but we were able to work as a team and keep the game competitive throughout. We have some things we need to work on going forward to tighten up a little bit and we must make sure we are taking advantage of those opportunities we are given. Overall, three points on the road is always a good result and I’m happy with how the boys responded to a quality opponent on the road.”
The Highlanders’ previous four games include a 1-1 draw against Lane United FC that saw Elyad Shojaei score a beautiful one-touch goal off a Shumbusho set up. Then the Victoria side’s first win of the season came off a 2-0 result against Timbers U23 with goals coming from Sean Young, off a long-distance strike, and Victory Shumbusho, a well aimed shot off the far post and in. The Highlanders’ third game of the season was a 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders U23 that featured a USL League Two Goal of the Week from Joshua Walter off a perfect free-kick and the first goal of the season for Connor Guilherme after he dribbled the ball past the defenders. Their most recent home game saw the Highlanders drop a 3-0 decision to Lane United FC.
Through four games the Highlanders have received goals from Shumbusho (2), Young, Walter, Guilherme, and Shojaei, with Shumbusho also adding an assist in the home opener and compiling seven shots on goal. Trevor Schneider and Simon Norgrove have each picked up a clean sheet as well.
PORTLAND TIMBERS U23
Timbers U23 visit Centennial Stadium after settling for a 0-0 draw against Seattle Sounders U23 on Friday evening. The match at Sumner High School saw both team’s goalkeepers put on a show as Mario Sequeira, of Timbers U23, and Nicolas Campuzano, of Sounders U23, kept the game scoreless after the final whistle had sounded.
Portland, currently sitting sixth in the Northwest Division, is currently on a four-game run of 1-1-2 after starting the season 0-4. The win came on Friday, May 31st when they hosted the defending USL League Two champion side, Foothills FC, in the first game of a weekend doubleheader. Goals from John Denis and Bertrand Fourrier paced them to a 2-1 win with the lone goal for Calgary coming from Oluwatofarati Fakunle. The Sunday match between the clubs saw Calgary go ahead in the first half after Fakunle picked up his second goal of the weekend, but the home team had an answer in the second half as Fourrier also picked up his second goal of the weekend to tie the game at one. After 90 minutes of play, the game resulted in a 1-1 draw and Portland took four of a possible six points from the weekend against the Foothills.
With Timbers U23 coming into form, the Highlanders know that they will be facing a team that is determined to pick up some points and move up the Northwest Division table.
“Portland is coming off a solid defensive performance on Friday night where they played to a scoreless draw against the Sounders,” added Niendorf. “Their last four games have shown the type of talent that they have on their roster. We expect them to come out looking for three points and looking to push us tactically. We just need to play our game and make sure that we are working as team across the field. It should be an exciting match and the boys are looking forward to it.”
2019 SEASON SERIES
The Highlanders and Timbers U23 have squared off at Centennial Stadium earlier in the season with the home team capturing the three points. On Sunday, May 19th, the Timbers traveled to Victoria to take on a Highlanders’ squad that were coming off a 1-1 draw in their home opener at Centennial Stadium. With goals from Victory Shumbusho and Sean Young, the Highlanders walked away with a 2-0 win, while Simon Norgrove picked up the clean sheet between the sticks.
The third and final regular season game between the clubs will be played on Friday, June 28th when the Victoria side travels to McCulloch Stadium.
2019 USL League Two Regular Season – Week 7
Centennial Stadium – Victoria, British Columbia
June 16th, 2019 – 2:00 pm PST
WATCH: Victoria Highlanders FC Official YouTube Channel