CASA GRANDE, ARIZONA - A second-half brace from Omar Salgado carried Vancouver Whitecaps FC to a 3-2 win over North American Soccer League expansion club Indy Eleven in their first match of the 2014 preseason Wednesday at Grande Sports World.
Down 2-1 late in the second half, Salgado equalized for the 'Caps in the 77th minute and then scored the eventual winner in the 81st minute in his first match since suffering a fractured right foot last spring.
Salgado speaks with whitecapsfc.com after the match
"It felt great," Salgado told whitecapsfc.com. "I'm glad to be back after a long injury. I'm just excited to keep going … there's still a lot of work to do."
Salgado's first goal came off quickly played free kick by Residency midfielder Mitch Piraux. After going down with a hard tackle, Piraux alertly picked up the ball and played in Salgado down the left wing before the 6-foot-4 striker snuck it in past the keeper with his left foot. Just a few minutes later, Salgado headed in a pinpoint cross from left back Sam Adekugbe to give the 'Caps a 3-2 lead.
"He had 30 minutes today and he's going to play again tomorrow," assistant coach Martyn Pert told whitecapsfc.com. "Obviously, as a goalscorer at the top end of the pitch, you're judged on your goals and he got two, which is pleasing."
Salgado, 20, was one of several young faces in the 'Caps lineup on Wednesday, as Carl Robinson opted to go with a squad composed mainly of trialists, Residency players and recent draft picks in his first match as Whitecaps FC head coach.
The club's first three selections in the recent MLS SuperDraft, Christian Dean, Andre Lewis, and Mamadou Diouf, each drew into the starting lineup - as did Residency duo Marco Bustos and Jackson Farmer.
Dean, who wore the captain's armband for Whitecaps FC, and Farmer both played the full 90 minutes and didn't look out of place, limiting Indy Eleven to just two shots on goal.
"Both worked their socks off, played the full 90 minutes and competed well," said Pert. "Very pleasing"
Bustos, who played in the attacking midfield position behind Diouf, and Lewis, who played in front of the back line alongside Aminu Abdallah, were also both heavily involved in the first half.
One player who was particularly involved, however, was U-23 midfielder Ben Fisk. The Vancouver, B.C. native had several chances in the first half and eventually found the back of the net in the 26th minute, after outwaiting the keeper and slotting in the ball from in tight. Diouf, who set up the goal with a well-timed throughball from midfield, was awarded the assist on the goal.
Indy Eleven's Pedro Mendes responded just a few minutes later with a free kick from about 30 yards, as the two sides entered the half knotted at 1-1.
Both teams made a number of substitutions at halftime - as is usually the case the case with matches this early in the preseason. The 'Caps also made four changes in the 59th minute, which is when Salgado replaced Fisk on the left side.
The Indianapolis outfit would eventually take their first lead of the game in the 71st minute, courtesy of Jamaican striker Don Smart. It wasn't enough, however, as two quick goals from Salgado sealed the deal for the Blue and White.
"It was a good game," said Pert. "There are a lot of new players, so it was mainly the fitness element that we wanted to get out of the game. It was a good test for us. The Indy team came out and worked hard … it was a good first game."
The 'Caps are right back at it on Thursday morning, when they meet Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC in their second match of the preseason. Kickoff is set for 10:30 a.m. PT from Grande Sports World.
26' - VAN - Ben Fisk (Mamadou Diouf)
29' - IND - Pedro Mendes
71' - IND - Don Smart
77' - VAN - Omar Salgado (Mitch Piraux)
81' - VAN - Omar Salgado (Sam Adekugbe)
Shots: Vancouver 14 - Indy 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 - Indy 2
Saves: Vancouver 3 - Indy 0
Fouls: Vancouver 13 - Indy 11
Offsides: Vancouver 7 - Indy 6
Corners: Vancouver 6 - Indy 1
70' - VAN - Erik Hurtado
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
39.Simon Thomas* (18.Patrick McLain 46'); 42.Jordan Cyrus* (29.Solomon Kwambe* 59'), 41.Jackson Farmer+, 22.Christian Dean, 27.Ethen Sampson^ (3.Sam Adekugbe 59'); 46.Adam Mena# (Michael Calderon# 46'), 25.Andre Lewis (51.Michael Kafari# 46'), 32.Marco Bustos+ (38.Kianz Froese+ 46'), 26.Aminu Abdallah (25. Mitch Piraux+ 46'), 30.Ben Fisk^ (17.Omar Salgado 59'); 45.Mamadou Diouf (19.Erik Hurtado 59')
+Whitecaps FC Residency
^Whitecaps FC U-23
#Whitecaps FC MLS Draftee
24.Kristian Nicht (Nathan Sprenkel 45'); Trialist (14.Chris Wey), Trialist (3.Baba Omosegbon 45'), Trialist (Trialist 45'), 4.Kyle Hyland (Trialist 45'); 8.Brad Ring (Trialist 45', Trialist '60), Trialist (Trialist 45'), Trialist (Trialist 45'); 2.Mike Ambersley (12.Don Smart 45'), 5.Pedro Mendes (Trialist 45'), 10.Walter Ramirez (Trialist 45')