July 20, 2024
  • July 20, 2024

League1 BC Reveals Opening Weekend Lineup

By on March 5, 2024 0 1284 Views

Fans eagerly awaiting the League1 Canada season were gifted with their first taste of 2024 action as League1 BC revealed the match-ups for its opening weekend.

Announced over social media on Monday, the weekend of April 27 and 28 will play host to four games collectively with all eight L1BC teams taking to the pitch. The league also plans to maintain the double-header format for their season to lower travel costs for teams and maximize pitch time.

Rovers At Highlanders: Where Redemption And A Grudge Match Meet

Women’s Match – APR 27 / 1:00pm
Men’s Match – APR 27 / 3:30pm

Kicking off the 2024 season are the Victoria Highlanders and TSS Rovers women’s squads at the University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. The Highlanders struggled in 2023 with only three wins on the season, while their Rovers counterparts squeezed into the post-season in fourth place only to be eliminated 5-2 in the first round by the league champions Whitecaps FC.

Oppositely, the men’s match between the Rovers and Highlanders is a rematch of last year’s most-anticipated contest as the reigning men’s champions – and this year’s L1BC entry in the Canadian Championship – take on their Central Park rivals. In 2023, it came down to the last game for these two sides as, tied on points, the Highlanders and Rovers both needed a win to claim the regular season title. Ultimately, Victoria’s David Schaefer played the hero with a ’93 goal past Connor Adams to claim all three points for the capital’s crew.

The 2024 League1 BC opening weekend match-ups have been revealed. Here's a preview of each of the four opening bouts!
Photo Credit: John Schwirtlich / Rivers FC

Altitude At Rivers: Altitude Is High, Hope Are Higher

Women’s Match – APR 27 / 3:00pm
Men’s Match – APR 27 / 5:30pm

Both the Rivers FC and Altitude FC management are hoping to turn their fortunes around in 2024, so naturally both are starting their seasons off against the other to try and get off on the right foot.

Hillside Stadium will be the place to be for Altitude and Rivers fans as the women kick off these two clubs’ seasons. The Kamloops-based side will be looking for revenge, having lost its two meetings with their North Shore opponents in 2023, 2-1 and 3-0 respectively, while for Altitude – despite finishing in fifth place – their fans were left wanting more as a 4W-5D-5L record did little to inspire.

The men’s match will prove to be even more so a rebuild of hope for both sides as the Rivers and Altitude men’s squads placed sixth and seventh respectively in 2023, a far cry from any post-season contention. Rivers FC claimed the season series over North Van’s finest having won 6-2 combined across their two meetings, leaving Head Coach Faly Basse with much work to do to improve his squad over the off-season.

Unity At Whitecaps: A Title Bout Rematch

Women’s Match – APR 28 / 12:00pm
Men’s Match – APR 28 / 3:00pm

A rematch for the ages sees the winners of the League1 Canada Inter-Provincial Championship take on the 2023 L1BC runners-up at the former home of a dearly-departed club.

The Whitecaps have seemingly relocated stomping grounds from the Ken Woods Field to UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium and will be starting their 2024 season at home versus Surrey’s Unity FC. This comes in wake of the sudden departure and folding of Nautsa’mawt FC – whose former home turf was Thunderbird Stadium – during the 2023 off-season, leaving Point Grey with one sole club in L1BC.

The Whitecaps are looking to defend their dual L1BC Playoff Championships, having claimed both titles at BC Place in 2023 while Unity – under new ownership led by TSN’s Kelcey Brade – will be hoping to build off of their momentous rise last season all the while bringing a championship to their new home in Surrey.

Harbourside At Burnaby: Battle Of The Expansion Sides

Women’s Match – APR 28 / 1:00pm
Men’s Match – APR 28 / 3:30pm

There is very little to predict going into this final match-up of L1BC’s opening weekend as it features the two newest sides to enter the world of pro-am soccer in the province.

Harbourside FC kicked off their 2023 season with a tie (women) and a loss (men), ending it 14 games later in sixth and last place respectively, with the men’s squad picking up just one singular win nestled between four draws and nine losses. Both sides will be looking to improve on their performances from last season, however with very little information coming from the club, it is hard to assess how they will weather the storm this year.

On the opposing bench are L1BC newcomers Burnaby FC. The youth club nestled just east of Vancouver has already seen success with their U-17 Boys team taking home a national title at the 2023 Toyota National Championship. Additionally, with the coach of said U17 side, Todd May, taking up the role of Gaffer with Burnaby’s men’s premier side, it is a promising sign that the club is looking to leave their mark in their inaugural season.

The 2024 League1 BC season is set to kickoff on April 27 and 28 with all eight clubs in action. This league will be joining its fellow pro-am leagues under the League1 Canada umbrella in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec as they all kickoff their 2024 seasons.

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