BOW VALLEY – Pivotal Bow Valley Soccer League (BVSL) games are around the corner and the outcomes will see which teams contend for the title or fall behind.
"The season is kind of in the middle right now and every team seems to be better than last year," said Canmore United's coach/player Libor Kreml. "Looks like any team can beat any team on the given day."
With four games remaining, the outcome of United's next two could be the most important point of the season as they face the No. 1 and No. 3 seeds in crucial games where every point matters.
On Thursday (July 28), Canmore faces a Banff Pump and Tap FC squad in desperate need of a win, at 7 p.m. at Millennium Field. Then next Sunday (Aug. 7) at 11 a.m. in Banff, United takes on the current top team Banff Springs FC, which only has three games left.
"If we win all three we win the league; we have no room for error at this stage," said Robert Weir, Banff Springs captain/centre back. "If we get three points there [against Canmore United], that is going to make things very, very interesting at the end."
Banff Springs edged ahead to top spot of the standings with 13 points after winning 4-1 over Pump and Tap on Sunday (July 24).
United is second with 11 points, and Pump and Tap's season is on the line with six points.
Pump captain Jack East put a call-out for any players looking to play in August as the team has struggled to field a full roster.
Rundle FC has fallen out of contention for the league title.
Banff Springs and Canmore United have traded blows on the pitch from pre-season to out-of-league tournaments.
After losing badly to Canmore earlier in the season, Banff Springs came away with a 2-1 victory over United in mid-July at a Kimberley, B.C., tournament.
However, Canmore United is the only undefeated team in the BVSL this year with three wins and two draws.
To add to the high stakes, the two top teams' final match-up this season will be played in Banff rec grounds, which has been mostly unavailable for games and practices this season.
"I don't know how much of an advantage it gives [being at home], but it's nice all the teams have to come to here," said Weir.