A little over two weeks ago, the PDL released their 2017 schedule. With a short 3-month season, the PDL’s schedule always seems a little rushed. In the Pacific Northwest Division, each team meets thrice, but how that falls varies quite a bit not only from one team to the next, but also from one season to the next. Today I’m going to have a look at the Highlanders 2017 Schedule, and how to plan your vacation(s) to hit up the most games.
In 2016, Highlanders’ first home match had them completely outclassed by Foothills. Both the team & the front office weren’t quite ready to play on May 15th 2016. A short road trip gave the front office the chance to get things in order at the stadium, and give the players the chance to find their footing out of the eye of their fans. This year, they won’t have that kind of chance. In 2017 the players and front office will need to get things underway a lot quicker. Highlanders schedule starts with 5-straight home matches, including a weekend double-header against Calgary Foothills FC on June 2nd & 4th, before finishing off their home stretch against Portland on June 18th.
The team begins its 6-game road trip with a week-end double header against the new team on the block: TSS FC Rovers. Rovers have managed to secure Swangard, and will host Highlanders on the evenings of June 23rd & 25th, for a quick, all-Canadian weekend in Vancouver. Victoria residents shoudl still be able to catch a ferry home after Sunday’s 6:00pm match for a couple days back at work before travelling to Eugene, OR for a Thursday night match against Lane United FC. Highlanders remain in Eugene through Canada Day, with a second match against Lane United before a quick trip to take on Portland on July 2nd. Finally, on July 7th fans will need to take the Clipper to Seattle in order to face the Sounders U-23.
There are a lot of ways to make this long road trip accessible for fans. If you’re rich with vacation days, you can consider a “grand tour”, heading over to Vancouver for the weekend and a couple extra days, then trekking down to Eugene for a few days. Split a few days between Portland and Seattle, and you’re back after 2-weeks. If you need to be a little more conservative with your days off and work a Monday-Friday schedule, take a 1/2 day on the 23rd for a short weekend in Vancouver, then Thursday & Friday, to give yourself an extra-long weekend from June 29th – July 2nd. Another 1/2 day off on July 7th to get into Seattle. That’s only 3-days vacation, spread out nicely in order to ensure you catch the whole 6-game road trip.
2 matches at home against Rovers & Sounders U23, are followed in very short order by a Sunday season closer in Calgary. The Sounders match happens on July 14th, and the Calgary closer happens on the 16th, making for a very short turnaround time before some long-distance travel. On the bright side, it’s an all-Canadian closer. On the downside, the quick turnaround and long flight are going to be exhausting for Highlanders. If you’re looking to travel, you’ll want to make a weekend of it, so I’d suggest booking the Monday off, giving you a bit of a long weekend, and a more relaxed flight back to Victoria.
3 months are going to zoom by this summer, thankfully only 2-weeks are spent on the road. This means fans unable to make the road trips won’t have too long to wait for more Highlanders action. Sadly, I won’t be making the road trips, but between Sean Clarke’s coverage of Calgary Foothills & Davie Wong’s coverage of TSS FC Rovers, Highlanders fans can look forward to having some great coverage even when the Highlanders are out of town. Only a few more months, and then we can all enjoy some great local soccer. For now, here’s a few photos from the first meeting between the Foothills & Highlanders last year.