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Victory off to Montreal for Canada Day fixture

June 30, 2007 - USL First Division (USL-1) - California Victory News Release

SAN FRANCISCO (June 29, 2007) -- The California Victory heads to Canada Sunday to play third-placed Montreal Impact. Kickoff is at 1 p.m PST and can be seen live at

Montreal has sat toward the top of the table since the season began. However, the Victory so far has had good results against top-notch opponents.

"We are looking forward to the Montreal game," said head coach Glenn Van Straatum. "It's strange but we have done so well against the big teams, such as the Vancouver Whitecaps and Rochester Raging Rhinos."

The Vics beat Vancouver 1-0 in their only league win of the season, and recorded a 2-2 tie with the Whitecaps in their first-ever league game. Last week the Victory scored late to tie Rochester 1-1.

"When we go up against the top teams, we come to play," added Van Straatum. "We hope to do the same this weekend."

California comes off a cruel 1-0 home defeat at the hands of the Portland Timbers Thursday and Van Straatum hopes to rebound with a good performance Sunday.

"We were unlucky Thursday and it cost us valuable points," he said. "That's the nature of playing against a tough, defensive team. Credit to them for how they play."

"But we of course need to solve our goal scoring problem, and we are making moves to do that."

The Victory (1-6-5, 8 points, last place) has scored only eight this season but defensively are much improved, having conceded only three goals in the last six league games.

Montreal (6-2-5, 23 points, 3rd place) is also a good defensive team, having conceded nine goals in 13 games. The Impact has only lost twice all season, and on Friday beat Puerto Rico thanks to a stoppage time goal.

VICTORY NOTES: Victory midfielder Hugo Casillas' goal against Rochester was named USL Goal of the Week for week 10. Casillas was also named in the USL First Division Team of the Week.

Ricardo Sanchez leads the league in Shots on Goal with 35. Montreal's Charles Gbeke is second with 29.

Josh Hansen is the Victory's point leader with six.

Eric Reed is one of the leagues top-rated 'keepers, ranked fourth in goals-against average. Montreal's Matthew Jordan is ranked second.

The Victory has not scored more than one goal in a league game since the season opener in Vancouver (a 2-2 tie).

Kiel McClung is injured and will not travel.

MONTREAL NOTES: Montreal leads the league in attendances, averaging over 11,000 for the past three seasons.

Sunday's game will be played on Canada Day, (French: Fête du Canada) which is Canada's national holiday, marking the establishment of Canada as a Dominion on July 1, 1867. It is a federal holiday.

Montreal's last two games were 1-0 wins over Seattle and Puerto Rico to recover from a slump that saw them pick up only three points in five games.

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