Playing their third home match of the MLS Reserve League season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (3W-2L-1D) suffered a 3-1 defeat to LA Galaxy reserves (3W-1L-1D) at Thunderbird Stadium on the campus of the University of British Columbia on Tuesday. The result moves the Galaxy reserves into a tie with Vancouver’s second string for first place in the Reserve League’s West Division standings.
“I’m not really sure what went wrong today,” Whitecaps FC assistant coach Carl Robinson told whitecapsfc.com. “The last two or three games, the boys have been absolutely fantastic. But it’s about standards and it’s about consistency. Today, the standards slipped.”
Riding a three-game unbeaten streak, the visiting Galaxy reserves controlled the play through much of the first half. They were nearly rewarded for their efforts on 13 minutes after midfielder Michael Nanchoff received a caution for his sliding tackle on a streaking Mario Rodriguez. On the ensuing free kick, Galaxy midfielder Kyle Nakazawa struck a 25-yard effort, but ‘Caps goalkeeper Brad Knighton made a sprawling save to keep matters scoreless.
Although the Southern California outfit seemed the more organized side, Whitecaps FC reserves had opportunities of their own in the first 45 minutes - the best of which came off the foot of midfielder Floyd Franks on 31 minutes. After Nanchoff made a run down the left flank, Franks picked up a loose ball and went for goal from 30 yards out, but he could not beat Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
It did not take long for the Galaxy second string to open the scoring after the halftime break. Striker Jose Villarreal made no mistake in the 47th minute, finding the bottom left corner of the net with a quality strike from just inside the Vancouver box to give LA a 1-0 lead.
Nanchoff nearly equalized for the ‘Caps in the 67th minute after he found himself all alone in the Galaxy box with only Saunders to beat, but the charging Galaxy shot-stopper made an important save and cleared the ball out of danger - taking out Nanchoff in the process.
On the ensuing corner, second-half substitute Bryce Alderson finished what Nanchoff started, beating Saunders with a low strike to even the match up at 1-1. “Definitely wasn’t the prettiest goal,” Alderson said after the match. “It was just a set-piece and the ball was scrambling around. I had a couple swings at it and it worked its way in. It’s good to score and it was good for the team to tie it up.”
Just minutes later, the ‘Caps first-team tandem of Camilo Sanvezzo and Eric Hassli nearly made their mark, in what was the pair’s first Reserve League appearance of the season. The Brazilian striker, who was buzzing throughout the second half, dispossessed a Galaxy defender and fed Hassli, who was all alone in the LA box. Saunders, however, managed to get just enough of the ball to keep the score level.
The miss proved costly, as second-half substitute Jack McBean scored the Galaxy reserves’ winner off a set-piece in the 86th minute. Villarreal then added an insurance marker in stoppage time just before the final whistle sounded to end this heated West Division showdown.
Whitecaps FC reserves return to action on Monday, June 25, when they visit Chivas USA reserves, who currently sit third in the West Division standings. Their next home match takes place on Monday, July 23, when they host Chivas USA reserves at UBC Thunderbird Stadium at 11 a.m. PT. Admission to all Reserve League home matches is free of charge.
47' - LAG - Jose Villarreal (Mike Stephens)
68' - VAN - Bryce Alderson
86' - LAG - Jack McBean (Kyle Nakazawa)
90+1’ - LAG - Jose Villarreal
Shots: Vancouver 10 – LA 13
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 – LA 6
Saves: Vancouver 3 – LA 4
Fouls: Vancouver 12 – LA 8
Offsides: Vancouver 2 – LA 3
Corners: Vancouver 4 – LA 4
13' - VAN - Michael Nanchoff
Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves
18.Brad Knighton; 32.Greg Klazura, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 3.Jordan Harvey (35.Ben Fisk* 82'), 31.Russell Teibert; 8.Etienne Barbara (36.Bryce Alderson 58'), 16.Matt Watson (43.Daniel Stanese* 78'), 26.Floyd Franks (42.Anton Peterlin** 45'); 29.Eric Hassli (34.Caleb Clarke 73'), 37.Camilo Sanvezzo, 13.Michael Nanchoff
Substitutes not used: 1.Marco Carducci*
*Whitecaps FC U-23 PDL/Residency
LA Galaxy reserves
12.Josh Saunders; 37.Oscar Sorto*, 21.Tommy Meyer, 31.Andy Iro**, 25.Rafael Garcia; 6.Bryan Jordan (30.Sebastian Velasquez* 73'), 34.Kenny Walker, 36.Mario Rodriguez*, 28.Kyle Nakazawa; 33.Jose Villarreal, 36.Mario Rodriguez (32.Jack McBean 73')
Substitutes not used: 24.Brian Perk, 40.Nathan Smith*, Drew Murphy*
*LA Galaxy Academy