Saturday evening saw Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency drop a 2-1 result to North Sound SeaWolves in United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) action at Frank Goddard Memorial Stadium in Everett, Washington.
Whitecaps FC had four Major League Soccer roster players in their line-up, as they were still light for numbers due to several regulars competing at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. Wes Knight, Alexandre Morfaw, Michael Nanchoff, and Blake Wagner were welcome additions to the Residency squad, who were coming off their first defeat in six PDL Western Conference, Northwest Division matches at the hands of Washington Crossfire last weekend.
North Sound, meanwhile, came into Saturday's match having won three of four matches and riding the goalscoring prowess of midfielders Marshall Kosaka and Brady Ballew, as well as striker Abdulwali Aman. All three have combined for nine of the team's 13 goals this season.
The match was a hotly contested one, as both sides traded chances from the start. The first half saw the home side test Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Callum Irving early and often, recording seven shots in the opening frame. That consistent pressure paid off on 39 minutes when Aman was able to beat Irving, who recorded three saves on the night.
The second half saw Whitecaps FC turn the tide, as they pushed back with ten shots of their own in an attempt to equalize. Leading the onslaught was speedy striker Caleb Clarke, who registered five volleys on SeaWolves goalkeeper Claudio Lazar. With time winding down, Residency substitute Carlos Marquez made the most of his opportunity, as he slotted a shot home on 83 minutes to even the score at 1-1.
Yet, before the young 'Caps had a chance to savour restoring parity, North Sound replied a minute later when Ballew buried a strike that would eventually count as the match winner.
Residency technical director Craig Dalrymple had mixed emotions concerning his team’s performance in Washington State on Saturday night. "I’m pleased with the way we played tonight. We traded enough chances to win two games, but their goalkeeper made some key saves," he told whitecapsfc.com. "We were really buoyed by the addition of some first-team players, who settled our squad down. We possessed the ball well and connected on our passes, but just conceded some unfortunate counter-attack goals."
Whitecaps FC Residency's next action sees British Columbia rivals Victoria Highlanders FC pay a visit to Richmond’s Minoru Park on Canada Day (Friday, July 1) for their third and final PDL regular season match-up. Their first match ended in a 2-2 draw on Vancouver Island, while the second meeting resulted in a 2-1 victory for the 'Caps at Empire Field. North Sound, meanwhile, face PDL Northwest Division leaders Kitsap Pumas in their next league match on Wednesday night.
39’ – NOR – Abduwali Aman (Zachary Hammond)
83’ – VAN – Carlos Marquez
84’ – NOR – Brady Ballew (Craig Tomlinson)
Shots: North Sound 10 – Vancouver 14
Saves: North Sound 4 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: North Sound 5 – Vancouver 6
Offsides: North Sound 3– Vancouver 4
Corners: North Sound 2– Vancouver 6
42’ – NOR – Abduwali Aman
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
1.Callum Irving; 16.Wes Knight, 5.Derrick Bassi, 12.Tim Hickson (24.Carlos Marquez 76’), 3.La’vere Corbin-Ong; 17.Alexandre Morfaw, 18.Ben McKendry (25.Alex Rowley 80’), 10.Ben Fisk; 7.Michael Nanchoff, 9.Caleb Clarke, 15.Blake Wagner (13.Spencer DeBoice 60’)
Subs not used: 31.Sean Melvin, 2.Declan Rodriguez, 19.Jason van Blerk
North Sound SeaWolves
1.Claudio Lazar; 14.Kevin Cook, 24.Demaci Roussos, 4.Brandon Gonzales, 2.Kainoa Owens (16.Jordan Corea 63’); 18.Jorge Brambila (22.Christopher Morris 76’), 8.Zachary Hammond, 6.Craig Tomlinson (12.Raymond Lind 89’); 21.Marshall Kasaka, 11.Brady Ballew, 17.Abduwali Aman (15.Todd Wallenius 60’)
Subs not used: 0.Joseph Galbraith, 34.Winfred Smith