They’ve accomplished a lot in five years, but one thing Pacific FC has never done is host a playoff game.
“We’ve had CONCACAF matches, we’ve had Canadian Championship and we know the energy and the spirit and the buzz [at home],” says PFC head coach James Merriman.
With three matches left on their regular season schedule, they trail first-place Cavalry FC by six points. Finishing in the top spot in the league assures them a home playoff matchup with the second seed as part of the league’s new playoff format.
“We need them to slip and we need to do our job,” says Merriman. “We keep saying control what we can control. There’s only three matches left. What’s going to happen is going to happen. We need to focus on ourselves.”
The Canadian Premier League adopted a new playoff system this season, wherein five teams make the cut instead of four. The winner of the first-round matchup advances directly to the league championship. The third seed plays the winner of a play-in round between the fourth and fifth-seeded clubs.
The national champion could be crowned by winning two matches, or as many as four.
It’s a confusing setup, but Merriman says the recent run of success, particularly Sunday’s 4-1 win over York United, has his group looking forward to a postseason run.
“We’ve had some good performances,” says Merriman. “Morale is high.”
PFC hits the road for a match Saturday in Hamilton versus Forge FC. Their remaining home game happens the following Sept. 30 vs. Vancouver FC before wrapping up the schedule on the road in Calgary versus Cavalry FC.