Langley’s new pro soccer team is heading into the final match of the season on a three-game win streak tonight, under what’s forecast to be star-filled skies.
After securing an 2-1 victory over their B.C. rivals, the Pacific FC, the Vancouver FC expansion team’s recent turn-of-form has caused problems up and down the league standings in the intense battles for home playoff matches.
VFC is out of playoff contention, , but the Canadian Premier League playoff race is still afoot heading into the local team’s finale weekend.
And as it turns out, the local team will have a chance to complicated matters on that front, VFC potentially affecting who gets the final playoff spot.
VFC only needs one point against York United to leave the Nine-Stripes’ fate in the hands of what Atlético Ottawa can do on Saturday.
Tonight’s match between Vancouver and York kicks off at Willoughby Stadium (next to Langley Events Centre), at 7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6:30 p.m.
Just ahead of today’s game, head coach Afshin Ghotbi shared some appreciation for what he called the “beautiful fans.”
He hoped the stands Friday would be packed “so we can celebrate together the conclusion of this historic season,” Ghotbi added, “I’m so grateful for each and every one” of the fans who have been with them through VFC’s inaugural year.
“I’m so impressed with how consistent they have been with their love and their support and their encouragement, that has really helped this team grow up and become a much better team and competitive team – and I think at this moment – one of the better football teams in the league.”
The final game in VFC’s inaugural season will once again serve to highlight barriers that may be inhibiting members of the community in accessing basic needs, while also amplifying key resources that are available to help, explained said the club president Rob Friend.
“We are excited to host our Community Foundations match as our final game of the season to shed light on the needs and resources in our community,” he said.
“VFC’s connection to the community has been at the heart of our organization from the get-go, and has been one of our key driving purposes of leaving the community in a better place than when we joined the neighbourhood. It is through events like this one that we can learn about our community, grow our connection, and help to support those in need.”
Vancouver has teamed up with Foundry BC for the Community Foundations match.
This is the third game of the season dedicated to amplifying VFC’s work in the community, particularly with youth, Friend pointed out.
Foundry BC is a province-wide network of integrated health and wellness services for young people (ages 12 to 24) dedicated to supporting them in living a good life.
VFC previously hosted its BC Proud Derby match on Aug. 19 as a celebration of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and hosted its Balanced Minds match on Sept. 9 to encourage the conversation surrounding mental health.
In support of Foundry BC, Vancouver FC will be hosting a donation drive at Friday’s match with all items being given to Foundry Langley.
Fans are encouraged to bring new, unused, and unexpired hygiene products to tonight’s game, which the Foundry Langley will give away to youth in need for free.
Items can include deodorant, soap/body wash, face/make up cleanser, toothpaste, lip balm, and socks.
Fans in attendance on Friday can learn more about Foundry BC and the free resources they provide to youth in local communities at their booth in the Family Zone, located under the west grandstand at Willoughby Stadium, or online at foundrybc.ca.
Vancouver FC is also excited to host Community Living Society (CLS) at Friday’s match.
CLS is a non-profit organization that supports adults (19 years and older) with developmental disability, Acquired Brain Injury, or personalized supports initiative designation through supported-living facilities, career development, and mental health resources.
More information about CLS can be found online at www.communitylivingsociety.ca or at their information booth in the Family Zone at Friday’s game. s
As a thank you to the continued support VFC has received throughout its inaugural season, five lucky fans on Friday will be going home with signed, game-worn jerseys. Rocco Romeo, Gabriel Bitar, Shaan Hundal, Mikaël Cantave, and Alejandro ‘Wero’ Díaz will each be presenting the ‘shirts off their backs’ to a fan in attendance at the conclusion of the match.
Every ticket purchased to today’s match will be eligible for the draw.
For the last time this season, tickets are available for purchase online, in person at Gate 1 of the Langley Event Centre, or in person when gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Langley Advance Times/Black Press readers are being offered a special $10 ticket for this game.
VFC communications team asks for those interested to copy and paste this link as is for the discount to work: https://vanfc.link/SeasonFinale.