Men's team prepares for Sounders U23
Foothills FC Hosts Major League Soccer affiliates Seattle Sounders U23 Team
After a split against the Portland Timbers academy team in the Rose City last week, Foothills FC, the USL2 Northwest Division Leaders, prepare to play host to another Major League Soccer academy, Seattle Sounders U23, this coming Friday night at 7:00pm and Sunday afternoon at 2:00pm at Mount Royal University Stadium Field.
The Sounders U23 team has played in USL League Two for the past seven seasons and has helped over 60 players move on to professional contracts. The Sounders U23s are the amateur affiliate of 2016 MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders FC and Tacoma Defiance of the USL Championship. They have had consistent success in 2008 and 2012 when they won the Northwest division Final, as well as being in the top half of the table in most seasons. The club finished second in the standings to Foothills in 2018.
In turning their sights towards the Sounders, Calgary’s opening win of the year was on the road against Seattle on May 17th. The only goal of the match came on a free kick in the 85th minute by midfielder Dan Hayfield.
“They were the biggest team I’ve seen in my life,” said Foothills head coach Leon Hapgood. “They were very direct with their play and very solid. The game could have gone either way. Dan scored a great goal for us late.
“It’s going to be a physically tough weekend for us. As an experienced squad with a consistent pipeline of professional players, they pose a threat each and every time they step on the pitch.”
Earlier this year, veteran head coach Darren Sawatzky was promoted to FC Tucson of USL1 and was replaced by longtime assistant coach (2012-2018) Jason Prenovost. Sounders and Foothills have met ten times in the past four seasons and Calgary have come away with all 30 points, and are hungry to do so again this weekend to remain on the top of the table.
The last loss to the Sounders was also the Foothills last defeat at home, in July of 2015. The locals have not been defeated in Calgary in 47 months. Foothills FC is looking to maintain its winning mentality this weekend.
Calgary’s club is known for using ‘super subs’ on their forward line. A rookie who has been trusted with providing the team a late offensive spark has been 20 year-old Calgarian Everett Orgnero, who was given the start for the Sunday match in Portland.
Coach Hapgood says Orgnero did exactly what he was asked with the extra minutes in Portland.
“He was brilliant for us, he allowed space for Aribim (Pepple) and Tofa (Fakunle), and we got the goals from it. His play allows the other forwards to get into the game, occupying the centrebacks so our wings can get into spaces.
“His attitude since he came into this building has been first class.”
The Grant MacEwan university player, who was named to the Canada West all-rookie team, had tryouts for various German teams after graduating high school at Edge School and expressed the difficulty when as a player you’re not sure where you’re wanted.
“For me, I was in places where I had to scrape and claw and convince someone that I am a good enough player. I think switching to USports, I was going to a system where I was meant to be the star, and that was refreshing.”
The Philosophy-Pre Law student said the decision to come to Foothills was an easy one.
“There is an expectation on every player that you come in, you work hard, you do the little things right and it shows up on the field.”
Who: Foothills FC U23 men’s soccer squad
What: Try to get back on the winning track against another MLS academy
Where: Mount Royal University Stadium Field
When: June 7th at 7:00 p.m. and June 9th at 2:00 p.m.
Why: To see the next generation of local players looking to take the next step in their careers.
ABOUT FOOTHILLS FC
Foothills FC has been operating in Calgary and competing in USL League Two, competing in the Northwest Conference since 2015. In 2018, Foothills captured the National Championship title of the U23 league. Foothills FC’s mandate is to be a bridge for the future stars of the game to develop and succeed in Canada, while providing our fans with a premier sporting experience.
Foothills FC would like to thank all its sponsors including our jersey and game day sponsors: Telus, PetroTranz, Rogers Insurance, Secure Energy, Field Safe Solutions, Panther Sports Medicine, Cavalry FC and Strikers Soccer
ABOUT USL LEAGUE TWO
USL League Two is the leader in pre-professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada. The League holds a vital role as it continues to provide the elite platform for those pursuing professional careers domestically and internationally. Throughout the United States and Canada, League Two franchises continue to provide the elite amateur player the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level while maintaining their collegiate eligibility. With ownership of teams coming from the likes of MLS and USL franchises as well as leading business and sports individuals. League Two serves as the leading development platform for the game both on and off the field. League Two is more than the leading national U23 league…League Two is the defined and proven pathway for players to progress to the professional ranks of soccer while becoming a staple within the community in which the team operates.
For additional information go to www.foothillsfc.ca or
Contact 2019 media coordinator: David Standish at 403-860-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Calgary Foothills Soccer Club, 111 Exploration Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T3S 0B6 (403) 225-9388