There’s rumoured to be gold at the end of the rainbow. But it’s a fact there’s entertaining soccer at the end of a road trip to Victoria.
Victoria Highlanders FC is a Canadian soccer club in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) and Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL). The Highlanders began PDL play in April 2009 as part of the Northwest Division of the 67-team PDL, while the women joined the PCSL in 2013 after coming from the W-League.
Making the trip down Island even more worthwhile for soccer fans is the chance to see the Comox Valley’s own Kalem Scott patrolling the backline for the Highlanders. “The PDL is an exciting alternative to the more expensive and less accessible MLS,” notes Kalem’s mom Diana Scott.
“It’s great cheap entertainment for anybody who loves soccer and for anybody who loves live sports. It’s a wonderful way for young soccer players to see some great play and to see the possibilities for a soccer future at home,” Diana added.
The Highlanders play at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria and are averaging 1,500 fans per game. “It is a covered stadium and every seat is a good one,” notes Diana. “There are food vendors, including alcoholic beverages. Bagpipes, Striker the mascot, give-a-ways, The Lakeside Buoys cheering section and a really supportive home crowd make it a really fun event and something to aim for or to catch if you’re already planning to be in Victoria.”
The Highlanders have two regular season home games remaining: they host North Sound on June 14 at 7 p.m then entertain Portland Timbers U-23s on July 13 with a 7:30 p.m. start in what could be a clash for first place. Victoria is currently tied for second in their seven-team Western Conference Northwest Division with a 5-3-1-1 record.
They are even on points with Sounders FC U23 (6-3-2-1) and just three points back of Portland (6-4-1-1). Victoria is a fun team to watch as they are tied for most goals scored in the PDL with 15 while conceding 10 at the other end of the pitch.
The PDL and PCSL are training grounds for the best up-and-coming footballers in the sport and a stepping stone to the North American professional soccer leagues, the Highlanders note on their website.
Highlanders FC players are largely a consortium of Canadian and NCAA Div. I university and college players, Canadian Under 20 national team players, local Vancouver Island players, and a mix of import players from the UK, Europe, and Asia.
For more on the Highlanders, check out their website at www.victoriahighlandersfc.com or visit www.uslsoccer.com or pdl.uslsoccer.com.