Canada’s “Coastal Clash” will begin anew in Charlottetown on Saturday as Pacific FC and HFX Wanderers FC open their Island Games accounts, slightly reducing one of the longest away trips in top-flight football by just a stone’s throw.
The Wanderers have 16 newcomers on their roster, trading in players who led them to a league-worst 28 points in 2019 for a new, exciting crop led by Louis Beland-Goyette and international attackers Alex Marshall and Joao Morelli. It’s the largest player turnover of any CPL club.
Pacific, meanwhile, took on a similar makeover – starting with coach Pa-Modou Kah. The first-time manager leads an impressive new-look roster, including CPL free agent Marco Bustos and former Liga MX veteran Alejandro Díaz. They’ve kept their young impressive core from 2019, too, with Noah Verhoeven and Terran Campbell back for the Tridents.
With no pre-season friendlies due to COVID-19 restrictions and so much turnover, it’s hard to predict how these teams will fair Saturday. But after almost 300 days of waiting, it won’t be long now before we find out.
These coastal rivals return to action next week, with Pacific taking on York9 FC on Tuesday (1:00 pm E.T;/2:00 p.m. AT), while HFX Wanderers plays Forge FC on Wednesday (8:00 p.m. ET/9:00 p.m. AT).