Pacific Clinches Playoff Spot
It’s been a great weekend for James Merriman and Pacific FC, who battered York United 4-1 last night before Ottawa lost to Halifax tonight to mathematically guarantee the Tridents a playoff spot.
The west coast club currently rest second in league standings, six points behind table-topping Cavalry FC and seven points ahead of Atletico Ottawa, who hold a loosened grip on the fifth and final playoff spot.
Given that Ottawa will face Forge – a team lower than Pacific in the playoff race – that means Pacific is guaranteed a playoff position regardless of how its last three matches ago. Still, this weekend’s upcoming clash against a third-place Forge side will be a crucial one as both teams vie to lock in a top-two league standing.
James Merriman saw his side endure a tough slump of from in August before bouncing back to an undefeated September, with two wins and two draws seeing the club regain firm footing for a strong postseason position. With eight goals scored in their last four games, they’ll march into the fixtures against Forge and Vancouver FC with confidence before what could be a real nail-biter against Cavalry.
While Cavalry became the first team to secure a playoff position six days ago – also determined by a Haligonian result – Pacific are the first postseason-gauranteed team to already have 2,000 domestic U-21 minutes in the bank. More than half of those have come from goalkeeper Emil Gazdov, who signed a new deal guaranteed through to 2025 earlier this year.
Halifax’s win over Ottawa could also prove to be a saving grace for York United, who remain just one point behind Ottawa with 25 games played apiece. The Nine Stripes have six points from their last five, while Atletico Ottawa’s flattening form leaves them with just two.
Pacific FC will march into Tim Hortons field to face Forge on Saturday, hoping to record their second win on the grounds this year.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques