Yes, I think it was. Along with the big Nike banner brought out to midfield with another slogan on it. I know, accepting advertising helps pay the bills, but having players stand in their positions, waiting to start the match, as a Nike attempt to start a new "go Canada" chant is on the big screen is awful. I didn't see many people start following the chant and nobody was paying attention near the end of it (section 221). In the CPL forum there are comments about starting the games on time, or in one (?) case even a minute early. But, starting seven minutes late isn't great either.
I admit to not following the women's team as closely, but noticed Schmidt drop back to play center back after a substitution. Does she often play there as well as midfield?
At the game, had an excellent time.
Thought the atmosphere was great, very professional performance, we played with tons on confidence, shape and fluidity, along with very strong and confident defending.
A few minor things to tidy up, but the squad is in excellent form which shows from our undefeated 2019 record 6-0-2 and only conceeding 1 goal.
Many players impressed, not one player had a poor game in my eyes. I was especially impressed with Lawrence and her ability to play both as a RB & LB along with her overall coverage of the field.
I think that the opinion of respective federations is what counts to FIFA, via its regional bodies.
Right now there's a team in Andorra, called Andorra and now owned by Pique, that is playing in a Spanish division. The rest are in the Andorra league and the winner goes to Europa League qualifying rounds. Why does this team play outside of Andorra? First, the Andorran federation is in favour as many national team players are on it. Next, it raises profile of Andorra outside of the small country. Third, the Spanish federation has no problem with it, nor ever has, in part because Andorra, before full constitutional independance, was a Principality with co-princes, who were the President of France and the closest Spanish bishop (in a city called la Seu d'Urgell, in Catalonia). So there was a historically favourable basis on a political level. An Andorran team also plays in the Spanish basketball league and even played European competition this year as a Spanish rep.
Contrary position: Gibraltar. No Gibraltar team plays in any Spanish league (it perhaps did occur in the past, but not now). Spain claims that it is a colony, as it is British by a treaty arrangement from a colonial period war, as had been Menorca. Spain argues that it is theirs, that it should be decolonised in line with all post WWII decolonisation processes. Obviously this argument is not accepted by the UK (and has some holes), though recently, in the Brexit negotiation, the EU accepted most of the Spanish argument. All this is beside the point: Spain will not let Gibraltar teams with that name play in their leagues, for political reasons, unless they submit themselves to the Spanish federation. And also has requested to the EU to NEVER have to play any international match vs. a Gibraltar team, not senior, u-20, not women: NEVER. Which means all draws in Europe are doctored on this basis (Spain also refuses to recognise or play against Kosovo).
So basically what are we saying: the mutual interest of the two parts, which in this case would be CSA and USSF, is what is important. If both agree, then you come to an arrangement. If one part does not accept it, then it can't happen. That is the criteria, though arguments about relative quality, budget, travel, or whatever, are simply additional reasoning to bolster the national federation's decision: which can ignore all those criteria if a simple political factor is enough to override them. Same, I believe, here: if the CSA says no, then it is no, but with MLS as a precedent, you can throw in arguments, any you like, to back the decision.
I suspect familiarity is the reason for the good form. There may be a leveling effect as time passes. But if what you're saying holds true into the second half of the year, I'll wholeheartedly agree with you.
In terms of PFC and their attendance...
I am a little disappointed with the numbers, but, to be fair, they have taken one for the league in terms of early scheduling. That being said, it would obviously be better if we were getting more fans, and it would show more signs of long term sustainability.
Back to the scheduling, aside from the home opener, none of these games have been played on ideal dates. Our second and CC games were on weeknights with less then ideal weather. This guarentees an empty family section. The game against York may seem like an ideal day, but there are two issues that likely cost them 1,000 or so fans. Firstly, I think for the sake of timing the viewing schedule, they started at 12:30, which is far from ideal in terms of drawing in any walk up crowds. In addition, this is the May long weekend. A weekend in which half of the people of Victoria leave the city to go for the first camp or something of the year. Based on the many season tickets that seemed to be on resale. I actually wouldn't be surprised if paid attendance was actually higher then those who showed.
All these excuses aside, it can hopefully improve with more exposure, marketing, and better dates. Given the time before our next home game, the day (Sunday), and time (3pm) anything less then 4k would be bad no matter how it is spun.
Positives- It seems that weather, day, etc aside, PFC can rely on a pretty passionate and knowledgeable base of 2000-2500 fans. Given the size of the stadium, there is still clearly a great atmosphere as well. The ownership group seems willing to stick it out for at least a couple years, and given the salaries, sponsorship, other sources of revenue, if they can get average attendance up to 4k by the end of the year, they may still break even.
Negatives- You still need more paying customers to break even. The stadium location is still not ideal. I am hopeful again that the busing and exposure will help.
Neutral- Langford and the mayor is very supportive, which is probably helping to mitigate costs, as they are handling it. This is great for the team ownership, but is a neutral because if more receptive ears opened up in the downtown, Langford will probably not want to let it go.