A 50th-anniversary celebration for Surrey United FC on Saturday served as a send-off for three of its teams bound for national championship tournaments.
The soccer club’s U-17 girls and boys will both compete for Canadian supremacy at South Surrey Athletic Park starting Wednesday (Oct. 3), while the Surrey United senior women’s team is in Saskatoon to play for the Jubilee Trophy.
On the senior men’s side, Surrey-based BC Tigers Hurricanes will represent B.C. at the Challenge cup, also in Saskatoon.
All of these tournaments, including a U-15 competition in Laval, QC, are played under the umbrella of Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships.
In South Surrey, the Coastal FC-hosted U-17 action will involve 24 teams. The Surrey United boys gets going Wednesday (Oct. 3) against Coquitlam Metro at 4:15 p.m., while the club’s girls open against host Coastal FC Thursday (Oct. 4) at 12:15 p.m.
The complete U-17 schedule can be found at canadasoccer.com, under Competitions.
Surrey United has a long history of sending teams to nationals. Last year, the club’s U-15 girls won the Canadian title, while the women’s team finished second overall.
On Saturday, Surrey United marked its half-century anniversary during a day-long event at Cloverdale Athletic Park, with many of the club’s 2,300 players in attendance.
“The timing of the event was perfect, with the national championships coming up and everything,” said Spiro Pegios, head coach of Surrey United’s senior women’s team. “The weather was good, and we had an unbelievable amount of people attend. There were some parking issues, just with so many people at the park, but honestly, it was great. And the people who put it on for us, the committee members from our executive, they did an unbelievable job.”
At nationals, the senior women’s squad will have to come together quickly in order to show well in Saskatoon.
“They look good,” Pegios said Monday, “and the reason I’m saying that a bit hesitantly is because we haven’t had a chance to get everybody together, including the two call-ups, to play an actual game,” he explained. “So even though they look good as individuals, I’m going to have to rely on bringing them together at the tournament.”
As always, an issue for B.C.-based squads at nationals is the nature of the schedule.
“We finished the provincials in May and since then, the team has changed quite a bit,” Pegios said. “A couple of the girls were pregnant, and we also picked up an injury again, so that’s why we’re kind of short on the bench… And everybody’s schedule is now on to the new season here, and the new schooling and everything else, it’s really tough. We had two university players as well, and they’re being released to us, and haven’t played with us yet either, so their first games will be in Saskatchewan.
“We’re not the same team we were in May, but we’re still a strong team, so I’m feeling confident that we’ll represent B.C. well,” Pegios added.