Victoria Highlanders FC (0-2-0) host cross-border rivals Portland Timbers U-23 (0-1-0) for their 2018 Premier Development League Home Opener, May 20 (2:00 PM PST KO) at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium.

The Highlanders return home for the first time in 2018 for their Home Opener versus the Timbers. The Victoria squad will look to rebound from their opening weekend with a win in front of their home crowd. The match will be streamed online through the Highlanders Official YouTube channel.

The Highlanders traveled to Calgary last weekend to take on Canadian rivals Foothills FC. Despite a number of quality chances, Foothills came away with the points. Despite the disappointing weekend, the Highlanders squad were able to take a lot away from the pair of games as they return to the comforts of Centennial Stadium for the next four weeks.

A fresh starting eleven took to the field last weekend for Highlanders head coach Thomas Neindorf. Standout players throughout the weekend included speedy winger Cory Bent, midfielder Marcus Campanile, and goalkeeper Nolan Wirth.

“We had a very good week of training and addressed some areas of our game we want to improve on,” said Niendorff.  “All players are showing eagerness to be an option to be selected for the starting line up for our home opener against Portland. The mentality of our team is very positive and we are all looking forward to Sunday’s home opener.”

Portland travel to Victoria following a loss versus Highlander’s Juan De Fuca rivals TSS Rovers. Coming off a tough 7-3 loss on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup, versus USL side Reno 1868 FC, Timbers traveled to Vancouver eyeing a bright start to their 2018 Premier Development League (PDL) season.

Facing second-year club TSS FC Rovers, Timbers took the lead late in the first half from the penalty spot, converted by Jamaica U-20 international Malcolm Dixon. However, TSS found a response just before half to equalize, followed by two more goals in the second half to secure all three points with a 3-1 win. Timbers now look to rebound from their PDL season opener with three points in Victoria.

Timbers U-23 had the upper hand on the Highlanders in their two-match, 2017 regular season series, edging Victoria by scores of 2-1 and 4-1 on June 18 and July 2, respectively at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium and McCulloch Stadium in Salem, Oregon. Christo Michaelson, Alejandro Segovia, Benji Michel, and Francesco Amorosino registered goals through the two matches, while Sho Goto scored both of Victoria’s goals assisted by Owen Pearce.