Foothills FC Win Third Division Title in Four Years with Home Victory
Foothills FC's quest for another USL2/PDL National championship is in motion.
After a 3-0 win on Sunday as part of a weekend sweep of the Victoria Highlanders, the defending league champions clinched first place in the Northwest Division and finished their season with a record of 9-3-2.
On goals from forwards Willy Akio, Tofa Fakunle and Aribim Pepple, Foothills FC dictated the flow and pace of the match at Mount Royal University's stadium field and allowed the HIghlanders only a handful of chances.
Fakunle, the captain, credited the team behind the team, because every year they prepared the players to win.
"To win the Northwest division, it's a tough league. To do it with the roster we had with only three returning players, it's special."
"Once we got the first goal (in the 20th minute) we settled in. Then we couldn't take our foot off the gas, good teams finish opponents off."
Fakunle's goal came in the 52nd minute when Victoria goalkeeper Simon Norgrove's clearance went straight to Foothills defender Blake Fenton, who fed the captain for a finish to the far post.
He said while this division title, his third as part of the U23 squad, was the toughest, it is also the sweetest.
"This one is special to me because I don't know if people actually thought we could do it. There were good players here that moved on and congrats to them, but there are also good players here that want to move on. Our season was looking rocky but we came out of it."
The club won their last four matches while feeling the pressure of the standings, where four teams were still eligible to win the division title with two weeks remaining in the season.
Foothills FC Head coach Leon Hapgood said after the wild celebration that the team has been brilliant all season.
"We've reached our first objective which was to win the league and we've done that. To win the game 3-0, it was a good convincing win, we were clinical in front of the goal."
After their defeat on Friday night, the Highlanders were eliminated from contention for the division title so Hapgood knew their approach would be different.
"It's hard to come out when they have nothing to play for, they were just going to have a game of football. So we had to concentrate and capitalize when they gave us the moments and we did," Hapgood said.
"Our front four are so lethal and dynamic (the three goal scorers plus forward Cory Bent). They're scoring goals and sharing goals. We just look great at forward right now. Our momentum is good, we have four wins in a row, so hopefully we can carry that forward."
On Monday the USL2 league announced the playoff structure and schedule. Foothills FC will travel for the second year in a row to Los Angeles County for the Western Conference championship tournament. Their semifinal match will take place at 5pm on Saturday against the Ventura County Fusion.
A preview will come later in the week looking ahead to the weekend.
ABOUT FOOTHILLS FC
Foothills FC operates in Calgary and competing in the USL League Two 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, FieldSafe Solutions and Strikers Soccer
ABOUT USL LEAGUE TWO
The proven developmental leader in North American soccer's evolving tiered structure, USL League Two (formerly the PDL) features 74 franchises in four conferences throughout the United States and Canada, including 18 clubs that are owned and operated by a professional club, or that hold a partnership with a professional club. League Two has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world, with more than 70 percent of all selections in the MLS SuperDraft since 2010 having PDL experience, including 66 selections in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
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