Host team unbeaten
When they were named as hosts of the season-ending Challenge Cup tournament, Surrey United changed they way they approach the Pacific Coast Soccer League season.
In past years, United used the PCSL’s summer season to field a development team, filling the roster with young talent, not worrying about wins and losses.
But just a month after completing the winter schedule as members of the Vancouver Metro Soccer League, United has put a stronger team on the pitch, bringing in some veteran players from other clubs, and moving to the top of the PCSL standings.
The top three PCSL teams as well as the host club compete in the Challenge Cup, slated for July 26-27 at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
“From what Surrey’s done in the past, it is a different approach,” said coach Steve Millar. “As hosts of the Challenge Cup, they wanted a strong team. We have a little more commitment from the players who played in the winter, and there’s seven or eight new guys from other clubs, who might stay with United for the winter season.”
United won just six of 18 games a year ago, placing eighth in the 10-team league.
Winners of all five games played to date, they are one of three unbeaten teams in 2008, and the only squad with a perfect record. The 20 goals scored on those five games is just six shy of the total amassed in a full season in 2007.
Surrey added to the win total Sunday with a 5-0 victory over the Whitecaps Prospects at Simon Fraser University. Rizal Ganief, Harpreet Khakh, Ryan Reynolds, Phil Lensky and Lucas Barrett were the goal scorers. Ganief’s tally was his fifth of the season, tops in the PCSL. Barrett with three goals and Brian Fowler with a pair are two other United scorers among the league’s top 10.
United plays on the road tomorrow (Saturday), kicking off against the Peace Arch Soccer Club at 2:30 p.m. at the South Surrey Athletic Park.