Pacific FC could be kicking a ball across the Cambie Street Bridge. PFC is a step away from playing the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer.
Island-based Pacific FC will meet fellow Canadian Premier League-club FC Edmonton in the first round of Canada Soccer’s 2020 Canadian Championship tournament. The first leg will be played between June 16-18 and second leg June 23-25. Westhills Stadium in Langford and Clarke Stadium in Edmonton will each host a game in the total-goal aggregate set with the order to be determined.
The winner between PFC and FC Edmonton, nicknamed the Eddies, will advance to play the Whitecaps in the second round.
“It would be a massive opportunity for us to play the Whitecaps at B.C. Place and at Westhills in a provincial rivalry,” said Pacific FC CEO and GM Rob Friend.
“That is a huge goal for us next season. But FC Edmonton is a good team, and a big challenge in the first round, so we can’t get ahead of ourselves.”
The second round of the competition, which is also the quarter-final phase, is when the Whitecaps, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact of MLS, enter the fray. The quarter-final games are scheduled for July 7-16.
The semifinal round is Aug. 12-19 and the championship round Sept. 16-23.
The headline story of the Canadian Championship last season was when the CPL’s Cavalry FC of Calgary upset the Whitecaps.
“The CPL surprised a lot of people last season with Cavalry beating the Whitecaps and York almost beating the Montreal Impact,” Friend said.
The 2020 Canadian Championship winner will capture the Voyageurs Cup and advance to the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League tournament.
Meanwhile, Pacific FC announced Victor Blasco has been re-signed for 2020. The dynamic attacking midfielder had six goals and three assists for PFC last season.
“We gave him the opportunity and he took it,” said Friend.
“Victor was sometimes the price of admission and scored some of the most exciting goals in the league last season. We believe we can get even more out of him and that he can be a top-five player in the league next year with a jump to bigger pro leagues possible after that.”