Foothills FC Enter USL2 Playoffs to Start League Title Defense
After finishing their 2019 season with four straight wins and another Northwest Division title, Foothills FC will play the Ventura County Fusion from Ventura, California in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday night in Whittier, California. The club’s 2018 championship’s first two victories came at that stadium.
The Foothills FC vs Ventura County match will be at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
The video webcast link is: https://mycujoo.tv/video/fc-golden-state-force?id=70087
Foothills FC’s head coach Leon Hapgood feels his team’s current run of wins has come from a change in approach to the days before the games.
“We couldn’t get our heads around being so good on the Friday (6-1 for the season) then hitting the wall during the Sunday match (3-2-2). We knew why but not how to get out of it, so we changed our entire training program. We’ve won four out of four so I expect my training staff will come looking for a pay rise.”
The hottest player not in the goals column for Foothills FC has been rookie defender Blake Fenton. He has had great results the last two weeks in helping with goals being scored, and prevented.
“We’ve been patient with him because he’s young and coming to this environment he found it difficult for the first four to six weeks, finding out how to get to our standard,” said Hapgood about the 19 year old.
“But now we noticed in training he became more confident and braver in possession. His breakthrough was the games against Lane (two weeks ago in Oregon), he was just brilliant. He’s just fit right in after that.”
Foothills FC finished the season last eliminating the Seattle Sounders U23 team from contention with their win on July 14th. However, without their 1-0 win in Seattle on the opening night of the season, things could have played much differently at the top of the Northwest’s table.
“We talked about the mini-series. If you play a team three times, beat them twice. That’s how you get caught up. That win was massive for us. It was the most pressure we felt all season.” Hapgood said.
Seattle went on a 6-0-2 run to end their year but it wasn’t enough to win the division, or the Western conference wild card.
Their win against us at home (on June 9th) was a big win for them, it gave them a lot of confidence,” Hapgood said. “They took great heart from that. It forced us to rethink, to dive deep into our schedule and rework our plan for the second half of the season.”
Looking ahead, the Fusion won the Western conference wild card spot and were seeded third for the weekend’s bracket. They were led in scoring by Evan Conway, who put nine goals away in 11 matches.
What inspires Hapgood’s confidence for the playoffs is everything going on with football in the city of Calgary.
“It’s amazing what can happen when people put their minds to it. It takes hard work and determination and we plow through it.
“We are four games away from retaining the national title. These wins are the result of what’s gone on in the last 10 years. What makes us special is the we and not the me. It’s become so clear.”
The other Western semifinal will be between the hosting and top seeded F.C Golden State Force, and the Colorado Pride Switchbacks at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night.
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
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.