Match Preview – Pacific FC v York United FC: Tridents continue tour of Ontario with playoff berth within reach

Pacific FC heads down highway 401 from Ottawa, stopping just north of Toronto to play York United FC in another match with big playoff implications. Sunday’s match provides the Tridents with the opportunity to quickly turnaround from the mid-week draw against Atlético Ottawa and pick up more points in Ontario during this late-season road trip.

Pacific heads into the matchday in second place, nine points behind the leaders Cavalry FC after their match on Saturday – still close enough to play a role in the regular season title – and with their fate in their own hands in terms of playoff seeding. With how crucial it is to finish in the top two, the same goals that were in place prior to the season remain within reach for the Tridents.

Pacific’s opponent on Sunday, York, come into this match bruised by a 3-1 loss to Valour FC last weekend but still in with a shout at making the playoffs. The Nine Stripes will have plenty of motivation to earn all three points at home, however, it’s Pacific who carry positive momentum into the match. The Tridents will be looking to make their stay in Ontario count by putting even more points on the board at York Lions Stadium.


Recent history favours Pacific in this matchup, especially in the three matches already played between these two this season. Two wins at home for the Tridents in the first two meetings this season were followed by a 0-0 draw in York, which came during a difficult road trip for Pacific.

Pacific has also very much enjoyed their trips to York Lions Stadium over the years. The last time the club lost away to York was during the inaugural season in 2o19.

The all-time head to head now currently stands at five wins for Pacific, five wins for York, and seven draws.


“We need to focus on ourselves and what we can control. We have to prepare for them the best we can, but the focus has to be on us. The responsibility to take care of the match and to win the match is with us.” — Pacific FC head coach James Merriman

Keys to Victory

Every match has huge weight behind it at this stage of the season, with teams not wanting to open themselves up too much and take risks to the same degree they may have before. Pacific’s opponent on Sunday, York, are currently just outside the playoff picture but still very much in the race. However, a problem facing them along with the need for more points is more U-21 minutes. Given York will be missing Noah Abatneh for this match and the next, as well as the recently departed Adisa De Rosario, the Nine Stripes will need to lean on its other youngsters to accumulate minutes in this match. For Pacific, that means recognizing where some areas of unfamiliarity might arise in York’s lineup and seeing how they can take advantage of that.

The Nine Stripes also currently have the third worst defence in the Canadian Premier League, and have been vulnerable in their mid-block when they come up against a team capable of playing lots of progressive passes. It’s an area of the game that this Pacific team excels in when at their best, which is why the Tridents have enjoyed good success against York this season. Playing through the lines with meaningful passes, much like the first half against Ottawa on Wednesday, should set Pacific up to do well in this match.

Match Facts to Know

  • Pacific FC can clinch a playoff spot with a victory against York United FC on Sunday paired with a victory for HFX Wanderers FC against Atlético Ottawa in their newly-rescheduled match on Monday.
  • This is the second of three straight matches in Ontario for Pacific FC, with the final coming against Forge FC next Saturday.
  • After Steffen Yeates got his first goal of the season on Wednesday, Pacific FC has now seen 12 different players score for the club this season.