On a cloudy Sunday afternoon in Coquitlam, BC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency dropped a 3- 1 decision to Washington Crossfire in United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) action on Sunday afternoon.
The young 'Caps came into the match having gone undefeated in four matches, while the Crossfire were still in search of their first PDL win of 2011. With several players away on international duty with Canada’s U-17 national team and other potential Major League Soccer roster players called into MLS Reserve League action at LA Galaxy on Monday morning, Whitecaps FC were in tough, but fielded an eager squad.
The Father's Day fixture got off to a quick start, with Crossfire midfielder Michael Harris displaying some throw-in flare, as he front flipped the ball towards the net to set up striker Colin Rigby for a headed goal on eight minutes. Whitecaps FC were awoken by the early deficit and pushed back with close chances on strikes by Carlos Marquez and Cornelius Stewart, the latter grazing the crossbar after a great pass from Ben Fisk on 24 minutes.
The Residency team continued to dictate the play for the rest of the first half, with strong attacking efforts courtesy of Stewart and striker Caleb Clarke, but neither could beat Crossfire goalkeeper Doug Harrick.
The second half started with the Crossfire looking to increase their lead and they were presented with a penalty kick opportunity on 49 minutes after an inadvertent hand ball in the ‘Caps box. The ensuing spot kick was converted by Adam Nowland to double the advantage for the visitors.
Washington added to their count on 53 minutes when midfielder Murphy Campbell broke through the ‘Caps backline and put a perfectly-placed strike past ‘Caps goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
Whitecaps FC looked to ignite a comeback and had the perfect chance to do so on 59 minutes when defender Declan Rodriguez jumped into attack, but could not find the back of the net from outside the Crossfire box.
Fisk was then given a free kick opportunity on 65 minutes, but was unlucky to see his shot just sail over the crossbar. He would not miss on 73 minutes, however, burying a strike on a lovely feed from Clarke to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Washington went down a man on 77 minutes when Nowland was shown consecutive yellow cards for dissention and was sent off. Looking to capitalize, the young 'Caps created several chances over the last 25 minutes, but in the end, the Crossfire held on for their first victory of the season.
After the match, Resdiency assistant coach Craig Dalrymple acknowledged that the squad was depleted, but was not using it as an excuse. “I think today you saw some innocence in our squad," Dalrymple told whitecapsfc.com. "Having said that, we dug ourselves in a hole with those goals early in the first half and early in the second half. We talked about being a little bit more on the offensive, and when we did that, we were able to create four or five good chances and could have easily tied the game.”
Next up for Whitecaps FC Residency is an away fixture versus North Sound SeaWolves at Frank Goddard Memorial Stadium in Everett, Washington, next Saturday. The Crossfire’s next PDL match is against Portland Timbers U-23's next Saturday.
8’ - WAS - Colin Rigby (Michael Harris)
49’ - WAS - Adam Nowland
53’ - WAS - Murphy Campbell (Colin Rigby)
73’ - VAN - Ben Fisk (Caleb Clarke)
Shots: Washington 11 – Vancouver 15
Saves: Washington 2 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Washington 22 – Vancouver 10
Offsides: Washington 3 – Vancouver 0
Corners: Washington 5 – Vancouver 6
65’ - WAS - Liam Kelly
76’ - WAS - Adam Nowland
77’ - WAS - Adam Nowland
90+’ - VAN - Tim Hickson
77’ - WAS - Adam Nowland
90+’ - WAS - Kellen Wantulok
Whitecaps FC Residency
30.Sean Melvin; 2.Declan Rodriguez, 5.Derrick Bassi, 12.Tim Hickson, 3.La’vere Corbin-Ong; 25.Alex Rowley, 18.Ben McKendry, 24.Carlos Marquez (13.Spencer DeBoice 70’), 7.Cornelius Stewart; 10.Ben Fisk, 9.Caleb Clarke
Subs not used: 1.Callum Irving, 11.Wesley Cain, 19.Jason van Blerk
25.Doug Harrick; 9.Nick James, 29.Matt Fischer, 10. Michael Harris, 33.Jordan Zogg; 7.Alex Klew (17.Liam Kelley 29’), 16.Murphy Campbell, 23.Adam Nowland, 6.Kellen Wantulok; 32.Mark Conrad (12.Benjamin Fisk 70’), 27.Colin Rigby (35.Nathan Sackeyfio 62’)
Subs not used: 21.Josh Philips