- The UBC Thunderbirds are the coaches' pick to repeat as conference champions in 2016, earning 12 of a possible 13 first-place votes
- Alberta and Mount Royal received the other first-place votes
- Regular season action opens Wednesday, August 24 with a trio of games, including a double-header at Edmonton's Foote Field
NEW WESTMINSTER – For the first time in conference history, the 2016 Canada West men's soccer season kicks off in August, as this Wednesday marks the opening of the conference schedule.
A trio of conference games are slated for opening day, as the University of Winnipeg Wesmen host the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns (7:00 p.m. CT), while Edmonton's Foote Field is ready for a conference double-header.
MacEwan University, who earned full Canada West and CIS membership earlier this year, hosts Mount Royal University (4:00 p.m. MT) before the University of Alberta Golden Bears take on the University of Calgary Dinos (6:00 p.m. MT).
All three games can be seen live on Canadawest.tv.
Both Calgary and Alberta are expected to have strong campaigns this season, as the Wildrose province sides finished third and fourth respectively in the annual Canada West preseason coaches poll.
The poll, which is voted on by the conference's 14 men's soccer head coaches, is topped by the defending conference champion UBC Thunderbirds, who received 12 of a possible 13 first-place votes.
The T-Birds return a strong side under the guidance of head coach Mike Mosher, who will have four fifth-year players to lean on.
Slotting in behind UBC is fellow west coast side Victoria, who will be looking to move on without 2015 CIS player of the year Cam Hundal.
Following a stellar five-year career, Hundal has graduated from the program, leaving the likes of fifth-years Adam Ravenhill, Noah Pawlowski and Samuel Prette to carry the perennially strong program forward.
To get you set for the 2016 Canada West season, click here for a complete look at each of the conference's 14 men's soccer programs.
2016 Canada West Men's Soccer Coaches Poll
Team / Points (first-place votes)
1. UBC / 162 (12)
2. Victoria / 146
3. Calgary / 130
4. Alberta / 129 (1)
5. Fraser Valley / 119
6. Saskatchewan / 110
7. Trinity Western / 109
8. Mount Royal / 102 (1)
9. Thompson Rivers / 61
10. UBC Okanagan / 57
11. Lethbridge / 51
12. UNBC / 40
13. *Winnipeg / 29
14. MacEwan / 29
NOTES: Winnipeg finished ahead of MacEwan by virtue of more higher placed votes. Teams received 13 points for a first-place vote, 12 for a second-place vote etc.