The Vancouver Whitecaps road woes continued with a 2-1 loss to the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park on Friday. It’s the second straight loss for the Whitecaps, who have managed just one victory in seven games away from Swangard Stadium.
Not that it’s been any better at home. Vancouver’s inconsistent play has them one-game under .500 and in a tie for seventh place in the 11-team United Soccer Leagues First Division.
A Marco Reda own-goal gave Carolina a halftime lead before Sallieu Bundu scored the winner midway through the second half. Substitute Charles Gbeke scored in the game’s dying stages to put the Whitecaps on the board, but it proved to be too little too late. Gbeke struck home substitute Mason Trafford’s cross from the left side in the 90th minute for his fifth of the season.
Playing in their away strip of all blue, it was the Whitecaps that did the early running, with Vancouver enjoying plenty of possession during the opening stages. Carolina slowly worked their way back into the match and were first to make the breakthrough on 44 minutes. John Cunliffe played a pass out left to the skilful Gregory Richardson on the edge of the Vancouver box. The winger then side-stepped Whitecaps defender Wes Knight before heading to the byline and hitting a low shot that struck the sliding legs of Reda and deflected through the legs of Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly for a 1-0 Carolina lead at halftime.
Head coach Teitur Thordarson made two changes to the side that started last Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Miami FC Blues. Rookie Dever Orgill replaced Gbeke to partner Marcus Haber in the visitors’ attack. It was the Jamaican youth international’s first-ever start for the Caps. On defence, Reda replaced Jeff Parke to partner Wesley Charles in the centre of the Whitecaps backline.
Thordarson made three changes to his side for the start of the second half. Gbeke replaced Orgill in attack, while Vicente Arze replaced Burgess on the left side of midfield. Ethan Gage took the place of Martin Nash in central midfield.
The Caps look to bounce back against the high-flying Puerto Rico Islanders at Swangard on July 25.
Whitecap women shutout
The Vancouver Whitecaps women were officially eliminated from post-season contention with a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Force on Friday. Vancouver was forced to play the game minus a number of key players due to national team commitments and injury. The Whitecaps wrap up their season against the Real Colorado Cougars on Sunday.
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