TSS Rovers Prepare For Cup Clash With Friendly Against Pro Competition
With a knockout cup match against professional opposition coming up in a matter of weeks, reigning League 1 BC champions TSS Rovers are giving themselves quite the litmus test.
The Burnaby-based side is headed down to Langley on Monday for a preseason tilt against Vancouver FC, the Canadian Premier League’s newest team. The move comes in a bid to prepare themselves for a club-first Canadian Championship knockout clash against Valour FC on April 19.
Monday’s exhibition match – set for noon at Willoughby Park – will afford head coach Will Cromack a good look at how match-ready his team is. They’ll need to be sharp if they’re to best Valour FC in the opening round of Canada’s domestic cup, where the Rovers arrive as one of three semi-pro teams in a tournament full of otherwise professional teams from the Canadian Premier League and Major League Soccer.
The preparatory match will see Burnaby’s Pirates square up against their former centre-back Anthony White, who was part of the Rover’s title-winning campaign last year before turning professional and signing a multi-year deal with Vancouver FC. He’ll likely have to suit up against his brother Nikolas, who had been his defensive partner with the Rovers.
The League1 BC side will also be lean on the attacking talents of Erik Edwardson, who won the Golden Boot award following a ten-goal campaign last year. He first suited up for the side in 2018 and has been a reliable attacker who’ll be keen to test himself against professional opposition.
“Everybody is buzzing,” Edwardson told AFTN Canada about the Canadian Championship clash that tomorrow’s game will prepare him for. “I think for a lot of us, I don’t know if we thought we’d ever get the opportunity to play in such a tournament with such a history in Canada. Those are the types of games that you don’t need extra motivation to get up for.”
For Vancouver FC head coach Afshin Ghotbi, it’ll be a great test for a team which has come together nicely: the veteran gaffer has assembled a team comprised of some high-profile veteran talents supplemented by younger faces and, in many positions, first year professionals. A man of great ambition, he’s confident that the team will immediately contend for the Canadian Premier League title in year one, so he’ll want to see them comfortably best their semi-pro opposition tomorrow.
As Canada’s first-ever supporter-owned semi-pro side, the Rovers have a lot of hype behind them – and they’re hoping for a sizable crowd for their Canadian Championship debut in a few week’s time. In fact, there’s even one invested fan who will purchase the first fifty people of legal drinking age there a beer – that’s something you don’t see everyday.
Whether the TSS Rovers provide an upset either tomorrow or in the cup, both matches are a great opportunity for the semi-professional side to showcase itself against the professional ranks.
Tomorrow’s match will not require a ticket for those looking to watch the action unfold. Fans interested in purchasing tickets to the TSS Rovers’ upcoming Canadian Championship match on April 19 can do so here.