Playing their third and final match versus a Cascadia opponent this week, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (2W-3L-2D) fell 2-1 to the undefeated Portland Timbers U-23 (5W-0L-0D) on Friday. In what was another tight United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) match, a record-setting crowd of 8,174 took in the proceedings at JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Oregon.
In front of the most boisterous crowd for a PDL match, the U-23 ‘Caps kicked off the first half well, with an organized style of play that matched the home side’s physicality, while creating many chances. With an assist from Vancouver captain Gagandeep Dosanjh, Ben Fisk scored his second consecutive PDL goal in less than a week on 32 minutes. It was the first time this season that Portland had trailed a PDL contest.
The opening 45 minutes belonged to Vancouver, who created plenty of opportunities to extend their lead. At the other end, debutant goalkeeper Lucas Menz only made one save for the visitors before the break.
Second-half proceedings, however, illustrated an adapted approach from Portland. Mark Sherrod began an impressive attacking sequence when he found Roberto Farfan on the left flank. The Timbers midfielder broke in for the equalizer on 65 minutes. With the home support buoyed by the goal, Portland were able to capitalize again just five minutes later, as Sherrod used his physical stature at the top of the Vancouver box to make an incisive pass to Cam Vickers, who duly converted his second goal of the season.
With their lead stripped in a matter of minutes, Whitecaps FC U-23 fought hard for the remaining 20 minutes, with promising forays towards goal. Second-half substitute Carlos Marquez looked to reignite his goalscoring prowess from a set-piece in the dying minutes, but was shut down by a resilient Portland backline.
“It was a battle of halves,” said Whitecaps FC U-23 head coach Craig Dalrymple to whitecapsfc.com. “We did a lot of great things to start off and went in deservedly 1-0 up. Halftime came a bit too early once we dictated play and momentum. They raised their game for the second half and the fans gave that extra energy to Portland. It was a great opportunity for the boys to play in front of such a fan base.”
With the PDL edition of the Cascadia Cup now at an end, Whitecaps FC U-23 will focus their energy on the remainder of their league campaign when they visit North Sound SeaWolves FC next Wednesday night. Kickoff from Edmonds Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington, is set for 7:30 p.m. PT.
32’ - VAN - Ben Fisk (Gagandeep Dosanjh)
65’ - POR - Roberto Farfan (Mark Sherrod)
70’ - POR - Cam Vickers (Mark Sherrod)
Shots: Portland 25 – Vancouver 12
Saves: Portland 2 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Portland 17 – Vancouver 8
Offsides: Portland 5 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Portland 6 – Vancouver 4
41’ - POR - Mark Sherrod
74’ - POR - Roberto Farfan
Portland Timbers U-23
1.Spencer Richey; 11.Chris Harms, 16.Anthony Hobbs (22.Reed Matte 58’), 13.Marc Tonkel, 26.Evyn Hewett; 18.Andrew Ribeiro, 15.Steven Evans (23.William Seymore 82’), 10.Roberto Farfan (6.Nick Hamer 80’), 7.Cam Vickers (5.John McFarlin 70’); 19.Erik Hurtado (14.Clark Phillips 75’), 12.Mark Sherrod (20.Emery Welshman 84’)
Substitutes not used: 0.Justin Baarts
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
30.Lucas Menz; 9.Adam Polakiewicz, 5.Bobby Jhutty, 4.Shawn Parkes, 2.James Farenhorst; 11.Reynold Stewart (15.Gagan Josan 85’), 16.Gagandeep Dosanjh, 8.Ben McKendry (6.Carlos Marquez 60’); 10.Ben Fisk (7.Yassin Essa 69’), 18.Cam Hundal, 21.Michael Marousek
Substitutes not used: 1.Callum Irving, 20.Tyrin Hutchings, 19.Sangyoon Hwang