Calgary Foothills FC earned their third straight victory of the new Premier Development League season, with a 3-1 win over visiting Portland Timbers U23 Friday night.
The result means Foothills FC maintain a perfect start to the season – having taken maximum points from their first three games.
Foothills FC and their fans could be allowed to consider Friday’s result a measure of revenge for how their season ended last year. Portland Timbers U23 eliminated Calgary Foothills FC from last season’s playoffs, defeating the Calgary club 3-0 in the Western Conference playoff qualifying round.
But it was Foothills FC who this time took an early three goal lead in the first half. Moses Danto scored two headers either side of a Kyle Jones strike, which Danto also assisted on, before picking up a yellow card.
Abdulkadir Haji did pull a goal back for the visitors just before half time, but that was as close as the Timbers would get.
Foothills FC’s head coach, Tommy Wheeldon Jr., continues to be impressed with his new striker, Danto, and wanted to make sure he was able to play for Sunday’s second match against Timbers.
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“Let’s talk about Moses Danto,” exclaimed Wheeldon. “I think he was annoyed that I brought him off, but I’ve got to protect him. He was on a yellow (card). It was a physical game. We’ve got another game Sunday. He’s phenomenal. He’s a quality player.”
Midfielder Kyle Jones was also quick to praise the forward.
“It’s good to have a forward like him,” said Jones. “He can make runs in behind, beat guys and lay it off, and beat guys and score. It’s just another level to have someone like that on the team.”
Jones believes his club worked well for each other Friday night, especially in the first half.
“It was a good team effort,” said Jones “That’s what we did best we pressed as a unit. Won the ball and just countered after everything we could.”
Foothills FC’s manager also recognized his squad’s effort on the night and believes the team is already proving able to adapt to different types of opponents.
“We’ve gained a little bit more composure with it,” said Wheeldon. “We’ve developed a few more of our patterns. We’ve got to give credit to the field – it allowed us to play a different style. Not always direct, not always on the counter. We can play through. What’s good about this team is they can play every style. So when teams want to rough it up with us, we’ll compete. When we want to play, we can play.
“You look at the second goal from Kyle Jones, what a wonderful goal that was. Great passing, great give-and-go and a great finish from him.”
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And Wheeldon will be looking to see similar efforts from his squad as the season develops.
“It’s going to be a tough league,” he said. “Everyone’s going to take points off each other, so we’re going to bank points and keep moving on. We’ve started the season well. Three wins, three games at home. Another to roll on Sunday, and that’s all I’m going to focus my time on now.”
Calgary Foothills FC next play Portland Timbers U23 at Foothills Composite High School in Okotoks Sunday May 27 at 2pm.
Single game and season tickets are available online at www.foothillsfc.ca/tickets/ or at the gate.