By: James Nielsen, Highlanders FC Communications
July 20,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – Victoria Highlanders FC will play their final match of the 2014 season in style as the team welcomes Scotland Championship League’s Rangers FC to Centennial Stadium, July 21 for the 2014 Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, presented by Coast Capital Saving. The event will take place at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium at 6:00 p.m.
The Highlanders finished one point shy of a second consecutive Premier Development League Northwest Division title before suffering a defeat in the opening game of the playoffs to Whitecaps FC at Royal Athletic Park. Next to the ‘Caps, the Highlanders had the second highest scoring offence in the division with 32 goals scored, helping them finish the regular season with an 8-3-3 record.
Rebounding from an injury-plagued 2013 campaign, Scotland native Blair Sturrock led the Highlanders on offence in 2014 with six goals, while teammates Cam Hundal and Carlo Basso contributed with five and four goals, respectively. After missing the remaining three matches of the PDL season, defensive standout Ryan Ashlee will return to the Highlanders back line alongside team captain Tyler Hughes. Ashlee —one of just two players to log every minute of the past two seasons leading up to his three-game absence —will provide with Victoria head coach Steve Simonson with stability on the back line. In net, the Highlanders will have the luxury of two reliable goalkeepers in the form of Elliot Mitrou and Brandon Watson.
Entering their third game of a four-match North America tour, Rangers FC will be hungry to post a victory after splitting their opening two games of their preseason. Their opening game featured a stunning 3-1 defeat against PDL squad Ventura County Fusion before regrouping to post a 2-1 win against USL PRO’s Sacramento Republic FC. Rangers are coming off an undefeated season in their 2013-14 Scottish Professional Football League campaign, a result that earned the storied franchise a promotion to the League’s second tier.
Rangers feature an abundance of recognizable faces among their roster that include former ‘Caps striker Kenny Miller, who will return to the west coast after parting ways with the Vancouver-based Major League Soccer squad. In addition to Miller, defender Lee Wallace will make a second stop in Victoria after participating in a U-20 World Cup match at Royal Athletic Park in 2006. The 26-year-old fullback has become a staple on the Rangers roster and currently holds the distinction of Vice-Captain with the team. Entering his fourth season as manager, Scottish football legend Ally McCoist will lead his squad from the sidelines.
Competition at the 2014 Rangers International Friendly, presented by Coast Capital Savings kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on July 21 at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid lineups. Tickets can be purchased early at www.selectyourtickets.com, while additional information on the event can be found at www.highlandersfc.ca/tickets/glasgowrangers.