Prospects Men fall 3-0 to Khalsa


Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Men fell 3-0 at home to Khalsa Sporting Club on Wednesday evening.

In the first of three home games to close out their Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Division season, Bart Choufour's side were looking to build on Sunday's victory over Okanagan Challenge in Kelowna by claiming a second win of the season over the Coquitlam-based club at Simon Fraser University.

Included in Wednesday's line-up were two members of the Mountain WFC U-16 Super Y-League squad. Midfielder Nolan Moore and striker Giordan Payne both appeared as substitutes on the Terry Fox Field turf.

Things did not go according to plan for the Prospects, as Khalsa broke the deadlock on 25 minutes. The visitors were awarded a dubious penalty, which Meysam Soltani converted for 1-0.

Five minutes before the break, Khalsa doubled their lead when poor Whitecaps defending allowed Soltani to strike a shot past Prospects goalkeeper Michael Branion-Calles for a two-goal lead at halftime.

The second half saw good pressure from the home side, but no end product of a goal that would have allowed the young Whitecaps back into the midweek contest. Vancouver even came as close as hitting the woodwork on two occasions, but that provided little consolation to the home side.

After withstanding long spells of pressure in the second half, Khalsa sealed the three points with a third goal from Niko Marcina on 86 minutes.

Despite the scoreline, Choufour saw some productive things in his young team's performance. "I felt very positive about the game," he told whitecapsfc.com. "We were very good with the ball, and had a good mix of playing short and long passes tonight."

Though the Prospects have struggled results-wise through this current PCSL season, Choufour feels the experience of being in a highly competitive senior men's league has been of great benefit to his young players. "I've seen tons of improvement," he said. "We're a much better team than we were at the beginning of the season, that's for sure."

The Prospects Men will complete their PCSL season with two home games on the weekend. They first host fellow strugglers Okanagan on Saturday afternoon at SFU before taking on Premier Division leaders Victoria United on Sunday. "We'll be gunning to get a win against Okanagan on Saturday, so we can get tied up with them in the standings," Choufour said of this weekend's games. "Once we play that game, we'll do the best we can on Sunday against Victoria United, as that will be a very tough game for us."

Whitecaps Prospects Men - line-up v Khalsa Sporting Club
Michael Branion-Calles (Coady Nett); Branden McLean (Nolan Moore), Ben Hemphill, Ben Leggett, Flo Liu; Lawrence Buchan (Harry Lakhan), Max Maund (Thomas Mallette, Giordan Payne), Milad Mehrabi, Ashley Ankiewicz (Nat Blaiklock); Ian Clark, Gavin Barrett