As part of the Whitecaps partnership with BC Soccer, the Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men are off to Prince Edward Island to represent British Columbia at the 2009 Canada Games next week.
The Prospects Men endured a steep learning curve this summer. Bart Choufour’s side faced some tough opposition in the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Division this past season and competed well against physically superior opposition, despite finishing at the bottom of the standings. They followed that up with a run to the semifinals of the prestigious San Diego Surf Cup before falling to Pachuca USA Internationals from Maryland earlier this month.
The Prospects Men - in conjunction with BC Soccer - now turn their attentions to the Canada Games, where they will represent British Columbia. The men’s soccer competition begins in Week Two and runs from August 24 to 29 in Charlottetown, PEI. As Team BC, Choufour's side have been placed in Pool D along with Alberta and Northwest Territories. They play their first match on Monday against Northwest Territories at McCormack Field before rounding out pool play against Alberta on Wednesday at the Eastern Eagles Soccer Complex.
Choufour is looking forward to the tournament and has high expectations for his squad. "It will certainly be exciting and an honour to represent British Columbia," the Prospects Men's head coach told whitecapsfc.com. "Quebec is clearly the favourite with seven players from the Canadian U-17 national team pool, but I expect that we’ll compete for a medal."
Should they advance as one of the top two teams in their pool, Team BC will play a quarterfinal match on Thursday, with the semifinals set for next Friday. The Gold Medal final will take place on Saturday, August 29.
Team BC are no strangers to success in men’s soccer at the Canada Games, having won the inaugural tournament back in 1969. They repeated that success in the following three tournaments (1973, 1977, and 1981) before winning their last gold medal back in 1993. British Columbia lead all provinces with five gold medals in men's soccer at the Canada Games. Both Alberta and Ontario are tied for a distant second with two gold medals each.