Pacific FC striker Marcus Haber looked appropriately purplish following a training session this week. After practice, he threw on a Randy Moss No. 84 Minnesota Vikings jersey from that other sport called football.
It’s back in purple today, but in the sport the rest of the world calls football, when Haber and his PFC mates meet Valour FC of Winnipeg at 3 p.m. in a Canadian Premier League fixture. It will herald the official opening of the mostly completed renovations to the 6,200-seat Westhills Stadium with ceremonies that will include Premier John Horgan.
The premier will see a PFC offence that at times has proven the soccer equivalent of a Moss fly pattern.
“We’ve shown we have enough talent to score goals,” said Haber, a former Scottish Premiership pro, who has 27 caps for Canada.
That is borne out by PFC’s 13 goals in the fall season, tied for league best with Forge FC of Hamilton (which has played one fewer game). And by the fact breakout striker Terran Campbell of PFC leads the league race for the Golden Boot with eight goals over the spring and fall campaigns.
“We expect to score,” said PFC midfielder Ben Fisk.
But the flip side is PFC is tied with HFX Wanderers of Halifax for the most goals allowed in the fall season with 14, with HFX having played one more game.
“That’s why that clean sheet in our last game [a 2-0 victory over York9 in Toronto last Saturday] was so big for us, and for our morale,” said Haber.
“In the fall, it is something we have focused on. We take pride in our defending. We defended well as a unit in our last game.”
That needs to continue. Scoring lots doesn’t matter if goals against you are being scored apace.
PFC is 2-4-1 in the fall season (after going 3-5-2 in the spring), but is an encouraging 2-1-1 in its last four games.
“It’s a decent run, especially since three of those games were on the road,” said Fisk. “We have been improving all season with a steady upward course.”
Valour FC was 3-7 in the CPL spring basement and is 2-3-3 in the fall after a character-enhancing 3-1 victory over third-place FC Edmonton in its last game.
So both teams come into today with some momentum.
“With all our injuries this season, playing time has been forced upon our younger players, and you can see how much they have developed and improved because of it,” said Haber.
CORNER KICKS: Valour FC is owned by the Blue Bombers of the CFL and derives its name from the three Victoria Cross recipients in the First World War who lived on Pine Street in Winnipeg, which has since been renamed Valour Road.