Peace Arch United’s men’s premier team celebrates its 2008 Pakenham Cup championship. (File photo)

Coastal FC men’s team aims for return to the top

Men’s soccer side to play for Premier League Cup against Langley Saturday

Coastal FC’s top men’s soccer team has their eyes on a pretty big prize this weekend – the Soccer City Premier League Cup.

In order to win it, the South Surrey-based team will have to get past Langley in the championship game, set for Saturday, 6 p.m. at Newton Athletic Park.

A win would give the Coastal crew a second notch in their collective belts this spring, having already won the Fraser Valley Soccer League’s premier-league regular-season crown. The team had a chance at the prestigious Pakenham Cup title, too, but lost in quarter-finals late last month.

But as the saying goes – two out of three ain’t bad. Or three out of four, even.

“It’s a chance to win two of three, but even after that, there’s provincials coming up (later this month), so if we can win three of four, that’s the major goal,” said Coastal FC coach Corrado Lenzi, who was a player on three Pakenham Cup title-winning teams with Peace Arch (Coastal FC’s predecessor) in the mid 2000s.

“No team from the Fraser Valley Soccer League has ever won provincials, but we have a very strong team, so I think we have a chance.”

The premier’s men’s team’s successful season to date marks a resurgence of sorts for the program on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. As Peace Arch United, the team won a slew of titles – both Pakenham Cups and league championships – until 2011, but has not reached the same heights in recent years.

Since hanging up the cleats as a player, Lenzi had been coaching North Delta’s premier side, but prior to this season – after consultation with Coastal FC technical director and former premier-team coach Mark McQueen – decided to make the switch to Coastal, bringing his players with him. Combined together with a handful of Coastal players from the previous premier squad, it’s now something of a regional team, Lenzi explained.

Needless to say, the move has worked out well.

“It’s been a great year, and we have a lot of depth of this team, which is important when you have seasons that are eight, ninth months long,” Lenzi said.

“Everyone is on the same page as to what our playing style is, and what our strengths are.”

They’ll certainly need to be on the same page this weekend when they face Langley – a team Lenzi called “a very, very strong side.”

Coastal, meanwhile, will attempt to play to its strengths, which are a quick-strike offence and a team that plays at a high pace, Lenzi said.

“We probably have the fastest front three strikers in the province – our attackers are lightning-quick,” he said.

“But Langley is a team we totally respect. They’ve got some of the best players around, they have some size – they’ll be tough to deal with.”

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