Pacific FC Makes Seven Roster Cuts
Just over two weeks after Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend declared that up to half of the inaugural Pacific FC roster might be replaced, the west coast club has officially parted ways with no less than seven players.
The club confirmed that it would not be retaining the services of Mark Village, Hendrik Starostzik, Ryan McCurdy, Emile Legault, and Jose Hernandez. Loanees Blake Smith and David Norman Jr. have since returned to their parent clubs.
There are certainly a couple surprising departures: Village had performed reasonably well for the Vancouver Isle side in its inaugural campaign, recording 17 appearances to Nolan Wirth’s 13. With the Vancouver Whitecaps having recently released 25-year-old Canadian goalkeeper Sean Melvin, however, the club could be looking to pick up a former Whitecaps player yet again.
AJ Auxerre youth product Emile Legault came in as a highly-touted prospect, especially given that it appeared only MLS roster difficulties ultimately prevent him from signing for the Montreal Impact earlier this year. It’s easy to envision the 19-year-old landing at another Canadian Premier League club, especially given his age.
Ryan McCurdy had some 924 minutes of action to test himself at the CPL level, but evidently didn’t do enough to impress the PFC ownership. The same can be said for 19-year-old Jose Hernandez, who departs from Pacific FC with a single goal in twenty appearances across all competitions, most of them as a substitute.
While Hendrik Starostzik will go down in history for scoring Pacific FC’s first goal, there have been rumblings that the international player was eyeing a return to Germany. Now down three more defenders, the club is evidently confident that it can find another good centre-back pairing for Lucas MacNaughton.
With the club conceding 46 goals in 28 games, there’s certainly room for improvement on the defensive side of things. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that more than half of the just-announced departures come from the defensive third.
28-year-old left back Blake Smith was always expected to depart, as he was an emergency loan signing to fill in for Marcel de Jong as the veteran Canadian international recovered from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Speaking with Northern Tribune on if he could return to the CPL in the future, he said ‘you never know what the future holds – anything is possible’.
David Norman Jr., meanwhile, will soon be with fledgling Major League Soccer side Inter Miami as one of the club’s first-ever signings. It’ll be interesting to see if the 21-year-old can carve out a spot for himself as he participates in yet another inaugural season.
The Pacific FC ownership group sent a clear message to players when it fired head coach Michael Silberbauer ahead of the final game of the season: the performances had to be sharp, or one would find themselves replaced. It’ll be interesting to see what the west coast club does to improve on its mid-table finishes from the split-seasons of the inaugural campaign.