Central midfielder Luke Phye holds onto the ball for United against the VI Wave. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Central midfielder Luke Phye holds onto the ball for United against the VI Wave. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Comox Valley United optimistic for better season

With some new faces from Campbell River, the Comox Valley United division one team is hopeful for a better season this year than last.

Despite finishing 2016–17 in the basement of the Vancouver Island Soccer League’s top division, Comox Valley head coach Carey Cordocedo is more optimistic this year. He said additional players from Campbell River will strengthen a Comox Valley squad he admits was “pretty thin” last year.

“Last season we were lean as far as personnel goes,” said Cordocedo. “This year, because Campbell River doesn’t have a team, we’ve picked up some of their players and we’re stronger.”

Cordocedo said the team’s goal will be to finish in the top four, thus qualifying for the provincial tournament. There are nine teams in division one.

“They’re still trying to gel as a team,” he said of this year’s crop of players. “I think we’ll get better as the season goes on, because we do have a lot of new faces.”

The team is currently in seventh place with an 0-1-1 record. After a hard-fought 0-0 away to Nanaimo United FC on Sept. 9 to kick off the season, Comox Valley fell 2-0 to the VI Wave in their home opener a week later.

Last year’s only win for United was against the VI Wave, meaning the players have their backs to the wall early this time around.

“We were expecting a better result though, for sure, so the boys were pretty disappointed,” said Cordocedo.

Though they controlled a decent amount of the game against the Wave, United went down 1-0 in the last moments of the first half after a defensive lapse in concentration. The Wave doubled their lead early on in the second through an own goal by a Comox Valley defender.

Even though they piled on the pressure near the end of the game, United could not score their first goal of the season.

“I thought we performed very well,” said Cordocedo of Saturday’s loss. “We were unlucky.”

United continue their season on Saturday, Sept. 23 away to Cowichan United FC, who won the league last year and are currently 2-0-0.

One disadvantage for Comox Valley’s team is its location; due to most VISL teams being based in the greater Victoria area, United will have to make nine road trips to the provincial capital this season — far more travelling than any other team in the league.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” said Cordocedo.

The 18-game VISL season runs from September until February. Home games for Comox Valley United take place at the Vanier Turf Field, near Georges P. Vanier High School. Games are always on Saturday evenings.

 

United striker Nick Marinus contests for a header against the VI Wave. Photo by Scott Strasser.

United striker Nick Marinus contests for a header against the VI Wave. Photo by Scott Strasser.

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