Victoria Highlanders FC (1-0-1) host MLS-affiliated side Seattle Sounders U23 (1-1-1) in Week 4 of the USL League Two regular season, May 26th (2:00 PM PST KO) at the University of Victoria’s (UVic) Centennial Stadium.
The Highlanders are back in action at Centennial Stadium for their third home game of the year. The Victoria squad is coming off a 2-0 win over Portland Timbers U23, a win that saw two first-class goals scored by UBC Thunderbirds product Victory Shumbusho and local Victorian, Sean Young. The match will be streamed online through the Highlanders Official YouTube channel.
VICTORIA HIGHLANDERS FC
In front of their home crowd, the Highlanders picked up an important three points in the Northwest Division as they earned a 2-0 win over Timbers U23. Shumbusho, scoring a precision shot off the inside of the far post just before the half, and Sean Young, converting on a long-range shot from outside the box in the early stages of the second half, provided the offence for the home side. The game also featured the return of Simon Norgrove in goal, who went on to pick up his, and the Highlanders’, first clean sheet of the season.
“Very happy with the boys. We addressed a few things from the first game that we wanted to do better. Especially being a bit more decisive in front of the net and capitalizing and taking advantage of our opportunities, making things count,” added Highlanders head coach Thomas Niendorf. “I think the two goals we scored today were first-class quality for this level of play. Being able to, in the second half, hold off a strong opponent and showing good mental strength in order to make sure we are not giving up a goal. Playing a game with a clean sheet is always a confidence builder for the defensive area of our game.”
The Highlanders first game of the season was a 1-1 draw against Lane United FC that saw Elyad Shojaei score a beautiful one-touch goal off a Shumbusho set up.
Through two games the Highlanders have received goals from Shumbusho, Young, and Shoejaei, with Shumbusho also adding an assist in the home opener and compiling four shots on goal.
SEATTLE SOUNDERS U23
Sounders U23 travel to Victoria after picking up three points in their Friday-night matchup against Portland Timbers U23. The Sounders walked away with a 4-0 decision with goals coming from O’Vonte Mullings, Arthur Herpreck, RJ Stretch, and Pablo DeCastro. It was the first win of the season from the Seattle side.
“Everyone is very responsive in the things we want to implement into our game. We will be facing a very strong and motivated team again this weekend,” stated Niendorf. “Seattle won yesterday in Portland 4-0. Our division is very competitive, every team can, on any given day, beat anybody. We all understand that the opponents that we will be facing will be very strong. Everybody on this team has a great mental outlook on the season and I really like the atmosphere with the group right now. We’ve created a good competitiveness and we have good options for our lineup. We are really looking forward to playing this match.”
Their previous two games of the season include a 1-1 draw against Lane United FC and a 1-0 loss at the hands of Calgary Foothills FC.
In the early stages of the season, Herpreck is leading the charge in terms of offence for Seattle as he has chipped in with two goals on the season while racking up 209 minutes played. Meanwhile, Nicolas Campuzano has been in goal for all three matches for the Sounders.
2018 SEASON SERIES
Victoria and Seattle’s 2018 regular season series saw the teams square off two times with the home side taking each match.
The first match, on Friday, June 1st at Centennial Stadium, saw the Highlanders walkaway with a 2-1 win thanks to goals by Marcus Campanile and Mitchell Popadynetz. The lone goal for the Sounders was scored by Santiago Patino.
Then, on Friday, July 6th, the Highlanders visited Sunset Stadium in a match that saw the Seattle side come away with a 3-1 victory. Jamael Cox and Patino, scoring a brace in the match, led the offence for the home side while Popadynetz scored off a Cam Hundal assist.
2019 USL League Two Regular Season – Week 4
Centennial Stadium – University of Victoria
May 26, 2019 – 2:00 pm PST
WATCH: Highlanders YouTube Channel