VICTORIA, BC – Highlanders FC (1W-0D-3L) face Portland Timbers U-23 (2W-3D-1L), June 18 at 2:00 p.m. at Centennial Stadium. The Premier Development League (PDL) match is a big one for the home side Highlanders, who could make up valuable ground in the Northwest Division as they aim for a return to the PDL playoffs.
The visiting Timbers sit third in the division table with nine points, and will be aiming to put pressure on the top-2 teams in the division in Calgary Foothills (15 points) and Sounders FC U-23 (13 points). The team is riding a four-match unbeaten streak dating back to May 29 that has seen them collecting three-straight draws before winning their last match versus Sounders U-23 by a score of 3-1 at McCullough Stadium. Francesco Amorosino has shouldered the load in the attacking third for the Sounders, registering four goals and an assist in 512 minutes of play in 2017.
Coming off a bye-week, the Highlanders will be looking for a return to the win column to put them back in the mix with the division’s top squads. Currently in fifth-place, the Victoria side holds at least two games on hand on every team in the division and with nearly two weeks of downtime to recover, should be fresh and eager to go for three points this Sunday. Head coach Dave Dew has a wealth of options to select from for the upcoming match, with the recent additions of Isky Van Doorne and Fabien Kurimata (pending ITC) to the fold. The team will be without defender Callum Montgomery for the remainder of the season, who was injured following a collision versus Foothills.
Last season, Victoria and Portland split their two matches, 1-1 and 2-2 at Providence Park and the University of Victoria, respectively. Former Highlander Chris Rushworth scored in the team’s initial match, while Montgomery and Michael Baart registered goals in the team’s season finale.
“We’re going to have to come out [against Portland], take care of defending again and find a way to create some goal scoring opportunities and put them away,” Dew stated. “That’s the biggest thing.”
Victoria Highlanders FC and Portland Timbers U-23 kick-off at Centennial Stadium, June 18 at 2:00 p.m.