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‘You don’t realize how hard it is to win a trophy,’: Pacific FC set to make Canadian Championship debut on Wednesday

Pacific Football Club will take a midweek break from Canadian Premier League action as they enter the annual Canadian Championship, Canada’s domestic soccer tournament against Cavalry FC on May 15 at Westhills Stadium.

Founded in 2008, the Canadian Championship features 13 clubs competing for the Voyageurs Cup; the CPL’s seven founding clubs, three Canadian MLS clubs, USL’s Ottawa Fury FC as well as PLSQ’s AS Blainville and League1 Ontario’s Vaughan Azzurri. Each round of the Canadian Championship carries its own unique storylines, similar to that of a NBA, MLB or NHL playoff series.

The Canadian Championship runs in parallel to the CPL season and the payoff for a successful run could yield mouthwatering opportunities for victorious clubs. Success in the Canadian Championship could see Pacific FC welcoming Vancouver Whitecaps FC to Westhills Stadium for a round three match-up this summer. The two-leg battle that would no doubt draw interest from soccer fans across the country as a much-anticipated David vs. Goliath showdown becomes a reality on the West Coast.

Pacific FC defender Blake Smith carries a wealth of experience heading into next week’s tournament, having captured the Voyageurs Cup as a member of Montreal Impact’s  2013 and 2014 Canadian Championship-winning sides.

“It was an awesome experience to be in a group that not only competed in the Canadian Championship but won it—twice. To be a young player that was a part of winning it was cool. When you’re young starting your professional career, you don’t realize how hard it is to win a trophy.”

Back then, when you’re a part of an MLS club, you’re kind of expected to get the results,” added Smith. “Now to be on the other side of things as a CPL team where they consider us to be underdogs in the tournament, it’s an exciting challenge.”

While the prospect of a CPL-MLS match-up is an entertaining scenario to consider, the veteran defender knows it’s important to not get ahead of the immediate tasks at hand.

“We’re going to take it game-by-game obviously,” concluded Smith. “We play Edmonton on Sunday first. Then we’ll switch gears to Calgary, approach it like a regular game and be the better team on the day.”

Pacific’s opening round match-up with Cavalry FC begins on May 15 at Westhills Stadium and shifting to Calgary’s Spruce Meadows for the return leg on May 22. Determined by aggregate score, the winner will move on to face Forge FC, beginning on June 2.

The 2019 Canadian Championship kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PST on May 15 at Westhills Stadium. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with a live set from DJ Anger leading up to kickoff. Tickets to the game are available by clicking HERE. For more information on Pacific FC or the Canadian Premier League, please visit pacificfc.ca.