VANCOUVER, BC – On an overcast day at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves defeated North American Soccer League (NASL) side FC Edmonton by a score of 4-2 in a prequel of the two clubs Amway Canadian Championship clash set for May. Paulo Jr., Tom Heinemann, Kekuta Manneh, and Corey Hertzog netted the goals to lift the ‘Caps over the Eddies.
On 18 minutes, the ‘Caps got their first real chance to take the lead when Greg Klazura whipped a cross into the box, but Kekuta Manneh headed the ball just over the top corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, in the 28th minute, the Blue and White had their second chance to score when midfielder Russell Teibert took a powerful shot from outside the 18-yard box, but the shot dipped and hit the post.
Finally, in the 30th minute, Paulo Jr. gave the ‘Caps the lead on a rebound from a Tom Heinemann shot after a low cross in from Manneh.
The first half ended with the ‘Caps controlling the play on the pitch as they went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
Just minutes into the second half, Paulo Jr. made a beautiful low cross to Heinemann, who easily put the ball in the back of the net to give the ‘Caps a 2-0 lead on 51 minutes.
Shortly after, on 54 minutes, FC Edmonton reduced the ‘Caps lead to one as Michael Cox stole the ball from the Blue and White backline and put just enough touch on the ball that it slowly rolled past Brad Knighton and into the back of the net to make the score 2-1 for the ‘Caps.
In the 62nd minute, Paulo Jr. played a beautiful through ball that sent Manneh in on a breakway. The rookie then shook off the Eddies defender and slid the ball home for his first goal with the ‘Caps Reserves, giving the Blue and White a 3-1 lead.
With a little less than 20 minutes to go, former ‘Caps player Wes Knight reduced the lead again with a beautiful volley finish from close range.
Just one minute later, ‘Caps midfielder Aminu Abdallah received a straight red card for a rough tackle, reducing the ‘Caps to 10 men for the final 20 minutes of the match.
Despite being down a man, with just minutes remaining in the match midfielder Matt Watson made a nice run though the middle of the field and played the ball to Corey Hertzog, who finished with a low strike to bring the final score to 4-2.
After the match, assistant coach Carl Robinson was pleased with the effort of his team.
“I thought they were great," said Robinson. "I thought after the initial 10 minutes wherewe were a little slow starting, we got into a rhythm and we were able to score some good goals. We conceded two silly goals, but we have plenty to work with.”
The next scheduled match for Whitecaps FC Reserves is on Sunday, April 14 when they open up MLS Reserve League play against Real Salt Lake Reserves at Thunderbird Stadium.
30' - VAN - Paulo Jr.
51' - VAN - Tom Heinemann (Paulo Jr.)
54' - FCE - Michael Cox
62' - VAN - Kekuta Manneh (Paulo Jr.)
73' - FCE - Wes Knight
87' - VAN - Corey Hertzog (Matt Watson)
Shots: Vancouver 15 - Edmonton 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 - Edmonton 3
Saves: Vancouver 2 - Edmonton 2
Fouls: Vancouver 5 - Edmonton 7
Offsides: Vancouver 1 - Edmonton 0
Corners: Vancouver 6 - Edmonton 2
35' - FCE - Adrian Leroy
55' - VAN - Ethen Sampson
88' - FCE - Neil Hlavaty
74' - VAN - Aminu Abdallah
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 2.Jordan Harvey, 43.Ethen Sampson, 16.Johnny Leveron (33.Adam Clement 55'), 32.Greg Klazura; 8.Matt Watson, 20.Aminu Abdallah, 31.Russell Teibert; 22.Paulo Jr. (34.Caleb Clarke 82'), 29.Tommy Heinemann (26.Corey Hertzog 71'), 23.Kekuta Manneh
Subs not used: 39.Simon Thomas, 25.Emmanuel Adjetey, 42.Dever Orgill
Lance Parker; Lance Laing, Adrian LeRoy, Mallan Roberts, Eddie Edward (Antonio Rago 82'); Massimo Mirabelli (Wes Knight 45'), Edem Mortotsi (Elvir Gigolaj 68'), Neil Hlavaty, Shaun Saiko; Michael Cox, Daryl Fordyce
Subs not used: Ajeej Sarkaria, Chris de Guise, Michael Nonni, Dillon Torindo, Sadi Jalali, John Smits, Andy Ramos