The Canadian Premier League is just a few weeks away from kicking off. Four of the seven Mastermind Site #CANPL Team Guides have been posted and now its time to examine a team from the west coast of Canada, Pacific FC. Here is The Mastermind’s official team guide for Vancouver Island’s newest soccer club: Pacific FC.
On May 5, 2018, “Port City FC” was accepted by the Canadian Soccer Association for professional club membership, alongside groups that would become Cavalry FC, HFX Wanderers FC, and York 9 FC. Port City was the only one of the four to not be identified with a specific city, and instead with a team expected to launch in Vancouver Island, either in Victoria or Surrey, BC. Pacific FC was officially unveiled on July 20 as the seventh and final team to join the CPL, confirming its place for the inaugural 2019 season. A month later, former Danish international footballer Michael Silberbauer was announced as the club’s first head coach. ￼
The club will play their home games at Westhills Stadium, located in Langford, BC. The club’s plan is to increase the stadium capacity from under 2,000 to around 6,000 for this season. The team’s crest is in the shape of a Douglas fir, a native tree in Vancouver Island. The tree is bordered by the blue of the ocean due to Van-Isle’s proximity to the Pacific. The club’s colours are purple, teal and white. Their kit manufacturer is Macron and Volkswagen will be their sponsors.
Here is the official roster for Pacific FC, accompanied by links to the players’ twitter profiles to keep the conversation going all season long and continue to raise awareness on Canada’s first ever top flight league. Player additions and numbers will be added as they come in.
|7||Defender||Kadin Chung||@jkadinchung |
|8||Defender/Midfielder||Matthew Baldisimo||@matthewbaldi |
|9||Forward||Marcus Haber||@MarcusHaberPFC |
|10||Midfielder||Ben Fisk||@benfisk |
|11||Forward||Issey Nakajima-Farran||@isseynfarran |
|14||Midfielder||Terran Campbell||@terrancampbell |
|15||Forward||Jose Hernandez||@Jhernandez2000 |
|17||Defender||Marcel de Jong|
|19||Midfielder||Noah Verhoeven||@Noah_Verhoeven |
|21||Midfielder||Alessandro Hojabrpour||@ahojabrpour |
|26||Goalkeeper||Mark Village||@_smalltown |
|—||Defender||Ryan McCurdy||@RyanMcCurdy23 |
|—||Defender||Blake Smith||@Besmith_23 |
|Chief Executive Officer||Rob Friend||@robfriend16|
|VP of Operations||Brad Norris-Jones||@BNorJo|
|Head coach||Michael Silberbauer||@M_Silberbauer|
|Assistant coach||Jamie Merriman|
MANAGER: MICHAEL SILBERBAUEREmbed from Getty Images
Michael Silberbauer has more experience as a player than any other coach in the Canadian Premier League. The Danish international made over 200 appearances between Aalborg BK and FC Copenhagen before moving to FC Utrecht in the Netherlands where he made over 100 appearances for the Dutch club. After three years in the Eredivisie, Silberbauer moved to Switzerland for BSC Young Boys, where he spent three years and had a loan spell with Odense Boldklub back in Denmark. He then finished off his career back in Switzerland with second division side Biel-Bienne. Beyond his club career, Silberbauer also made 25 appearances for the Danish national team over a ten-year period. When he retired from football in 2015, he coached as an assistant for Biel-Bienne and then swapped that after a year for the much more prestigious FC Luzern. He remained there until 2019 when he became Pacific FC’s head coach. Pacific FC players describe Silberbauer’s tactical knowledge as something that should set him apart from other managers in the league and with all that playing experience at the top level, it would be very hard to argue with that. Having won three titles with FC Copenhagen, he’s also a proven winner.
PREDICTED STARTING LINEUP
Marcel de Jong’s heartbreaking injury meant that Pacific FC had to quickly sign a couple of new fullbacks. The left-back spot is still relatively up for grabs but Blake Smith looks the most likely contender to claim the spot having arrived on loan from FC Cincinnati. Youngster Kadin Chung might steal the right-back spot having arrived back in Canada after a year in Germany, while Starostzik and MacNaughton should add some much needed experience in the back-line following de Jong’s injury. Matthew Baldisimo is an interesting one due to his versatility and might round out the midfield with Pacific FC’s slight lack of quality there. That being said, 19-year old Noah Verhoeven will be looking to partner former Whitecaps 2 player Victor Blasco in central midfield and prove that Pacific FC have what it takes in the midfield area. Up front it’s a bit more clear-cut with Ben Fisk, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Marcus Haber combining to make one of the deadliest attacking trios in the league. Mark Village will look to beat Nolan Wirth for the number one position in goal, having also arrived from FC Cincinatti.
KEY PLAYER: MARCUS HABER
Marcel de Jong came into this inaugural CPL season as the most experienced player and one of the more recognizable names. He will be immensely missed this season and other players are going to have to step up in his absence. One of those who might have what it takes to step up to the plate is Canadian international Marcus Haber. At 30 years old, Haber comes into this season in the form of his life, having had a very successful time with Dundee FC in Scotland. The Vancouver native also had spells with Crewe Alexandra, St. Johnstone FC, Stevenage and even a year with the Vancouver Whitecaps long before they became an MLS side. Haber has also made 27 appearances for his national team and has been in and around John Herdman’s plans since he arrived at the helm of Canada’s Men’s team. He’s a natural goal-scorer, a Vancouver native and should prove to be key to Pacific FC in this inaugural CPL season.
PREDICTED FINISH: 3RD
This may be a bold prediction, but even without Marcel de Jong, Pacific FC look set up to do very well. They’ve signed a great replacement in Cincinnati’s Blake Smith, they’ve got so many youngsters just dying to get out their on the field and play and they’ve got an experienced front three that should be able to form the best attacking trio in the league. Ben Fisk, Issey Nakajima-Farran and Marcus Haber all have loads of experience playing at the top level while centre-back Hendrik Starostzik played for 12 years in Germany’s second and third divisions. On top of that, the experiences that Michael Silberbauer has had during his playing career should translate into him being a very good coach for this Vancouver Island team. Pacific FC look set up to do well in this inaugural CPL season and when they do, Issey Nakajima-Farran just might have enough money to buy a second boat for himself.
So there it is! The 2019 #CANPL Team Guide for Pacific FC. What are your thoughts on Michael Silberbauer’s work on this Vancouver Island team so far? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Also be sure to check out the other team guides that have been posted so far below.
Make sure to check back soon for all the other #CANPL Team Guides and keep the conversation going on Twitter @mastermindsite. See you soon!