PREVIEW: Pacific FC vs. York United — Tridents hoping to continue success against new-look York team
Canadian Premier League

2024 CPL Regular Season — Match #40
York United vs. Pacific FC
June 19, 2024 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT
York Lions Stadium in Toronto, Ontario
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Just four days after being the first team to beat Canadian Premier League leaders Atlético Ottawa in 2024 regular season action, York United face another significant test as they host Pacific FC at York Lions Stadium on Wednesday.

The Tridents were the only team that York United did not defeat last season, and they have beat Pacific just once in their last ten CPL meetings, losing five of the last six. That included a 2-0 loss at Starlight Stadium back in May with a goal from Reon Moore, and a Max Ferrari own-goal handing Pacific the victory.

That record gets even worse, somehow, at York Lions Stadium, where the Nine Stripes have not defeated Pacific since the league’s inaugural season — with York captain at the time Manny Aparicio scoring an absolute screamer on that day.

One member of the Nine Stripes. in particular, will be looking to change his personal record against the Tridents, as Brian Wright has scored just once in 15 all-time games against Pacific FC between his time with Atlético Ottawa and York, with his teams winning just two of those. Having scored a brace against Atleti this past week, however, giving him a league-leading six goals on the season, Wright will come into Wednesday’s contest plenty confident that he can buck that trend.

As will his York United teammates who will feel this is a chance to make new history in this rivalry under new head coach Benjamín Mora, who is undefeated two games into his tenure. York, meanwhile, have not lost in their past four home games.

“We had really our first exam [against] Ottawa, with a big challenge facing the top team in the table, and unbeaten, so that was our exam and we passed,” said Mora. “So we need to improve a lot, as any team that is starting to work together but we’re in a good path. We’re in a good moment, players are motivated.”

Pacific will come into this match reasonably confident as well, however, having picked up their first road win of the campaign on Friday against Valour FC in Winnipeg. The match also saw them score three goals in a game for the first time this season — as despite sitting second in the table, Pacific have scored just ten goals in ten matches this season.

Pacific FC will get Juan Quintana back from suspension for Wednesday’s contest. However, they are still without both of their regular goalkeepers, as neither Emil Gazdov nor Sean Melvin travelled with the team. As a result, Short-Term Replacement goalkeeper Daniel Zadravec is expected to start a second consecutive game, with Callum Weir as his backup.

Mora, meanwhile, said that key attacker Mo Babouli has returned from injury and is “ready to rumble” on Wednesday — which would provide a big boost to the Nine Stripes. With only top of the table Atlético Ottawa having scored more goals this season than York’s 15, Babouli’s return will add yet another weapon to an already lethal Nine Stripes attack.

All CPL matches are available to stream on OneSoccer, FuboTV, or on TELUS Optik TV Channel 980.


  • Can Zadravec come up big for Pacific FC again?:  On Friday in Winnipeg, 24-year-old Daniel Zadravec saw a dream realized as he not only made his professional goalkeeping debut, but earned his first professional win in a 3-2 victory. On Wednesday, Pacific will once again be counting on the former U SPORTS goalkeeper to continue his quality play. While Zadravec may be a new name for Canadian Premier League, and perhaps even Pacific fans, he, and current backup goalkeeper Callum Weir, have been training with the group every day since pre-season. Merriman says that as a result both of them are tactically comfortable with the group, and fully considered a part of their team since the start of the year. He was very happy with how Zadravec performed in Winnipeg, and expects him to be solid again on Wednesday. “I thought he handled the moment, the situation, so we feel confident, we feel like the team is behind him and has his back,” said Merriman.


  • Can Tridents finish first road trip of 2024 on a high?: Pacific FC began the 2024 season with a home-heavy schedule, that saw them play six of their first eight matches at Starlight Stadium, and seven of eight in BC with one of their two road trips being just across the sea to battle rivals Vancouver FC. But the month of June has seen their first road swing of the season, as they travelled first to Halifax, before playing Valour in Winnipeg this past Friday. Now, they finish up that three-match travel with a crucial away trip to York Lions Stadium. Having already collected four points away from home, the Tridents will be eager to finish this voyage on a positive note and continue to build their positive momentum away from home. This is especially true as, after returning home for another Salish Sea Derby against Vancouver FC in their last game of the month on June 27, they return to Ontario to take on Atlético Ottawa in Ottawa and Forge in Hamilton. Road form will largely dictate this next stage of the season for the Tridents.


  • Max Ferrari thriving under Benjamín Mora:  One of the players who has quickly taken to life under new manager Benjamín Mora is long-time Nine Stripe Max Ferrari. Playing in a wing-back role, Ferrari has thrived after being given the licence to get further up the pitch and create opportunities. The 23-year-old was already enjoying an excellent season, leading the league in duels won, with 75 (winning 62.5 per cent) and winning 17 tackles. Now he will be more of a threat in the attacking third, having picked up his first assist of the season on a lovely through ball to Brian Wright for the winning goal against Atlético Ottawa on Saturday. He also wore the captain’s armband for the Nine Stripes in that match. “I see him as an example of a player that is always going to give everything for the team,” said Mora. “His qualities and his capacities and abilities are for service to the team.”


Pacific FC wins: 8 || York United wins: 6 || Draws: 6

Last meeting:

May 5, 2024 — Pacific FC 2-0 York United 


“Any time a new manager comes into a team he’s going to try to put his style and his philosophy into the group and see how quickly they can adapt to it. Obviously, he’s bringing energy to the group and they had a big performance in Ottawa, so they’ll take confidence, they’ll feel good coming off of that game. We need to approach it like it’s a new York, it’s a different team from maybe we faced earlier in the season.”  — Pacific FC head coach James Merriman