Good Friday morning Caps fans, hope you all are well and getting geared up for the weekend. If you are in a part of Canada and the U.S. that observes daylight savings, enjoy an extra hour of sleep this Sunday.
There officially is a new kid on the block in Vancouver, with the Langley-based team, creatively dubbed Vancouver FC, officially rolling out their name, logo and manager ahead of their first season in 2023.
The name and existence of the team has either been the subject of mocking, bemusement, aggravation or, for some people totally done with the Caps, glee.
We knew since the existence of the lower mainland’s CPL entry that the team would play in Langley, more specifically Willoughby Community Park, near Langley Events Center.
A brief scan of Google Maps shows the difficulties this poses. While convenient to some parts of the lower mainland, it is a real hike from downtown and the mass transit options to get there are not terribly helpful.
Vancouver FC’s first coach, Afshin Ghotbi, seems like a good hire. The Iranian-American has a pretty diverse coaching resume and it seems like a sign the club made as much of a statement as a fledgling CPL team could with the hire.
For his part, he doesn’t see the relationship with the Caps as a “rivalry,” per se.
An alternative is probably the right way of putting Vancouver FC. You aren’t going to drive 40 minutes unless you are really disgruntled with the Caps or have a burning passion to watch CPL or both. For those in the area, this will be a nice option that might get in the way of an annual or twice annual trip to BC Place. But if the Caps become relevant again, I do believe the support is all too happy to oblige — we aren’t that far from the team selling out decision day 2021 and BC Place rocking.
And, even if the Caps remain mediocre, the standard of CPL still is not anywhere close to MLS. This limits some interest from casual fans who might want to tune in for a particular player or team they’ve heard something about.
So, in sum, I wish nothing but the best to our new CPL friends and look forward to meeting in the Voyageurs Cup. The addition of Pacific FC has been a lift for soccer in the region and I do believe this is a situation where a rising tide lifts all boats. And, hey, a little friendly rivalry never hurt anyone, right?
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