VANCOUVER, BC – Write it into the history books.
Whitecaps FC 2, the club’s new United Soccer League team, picked up their first-ever home win on Sunday afternoon, defeating Real Monarchs SLC 2-1 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
Here are some news and notes from the match.
FIRST HOME WIN
As mentioned, this was WFC2’s first home win. The young ‘Caps are now undefeated in four matches at UBC Thunderbird Stadium (1W-0L-3D) to start the season.
“It’s nice to win obviously,” said WFC2 head coach Alan Koch. “It’s been a long time coming. I think the only other win we had was in the second game of the season. Give the guys credit. We’ve worked very, very hard now for several weeks to get that win. I think we were getting sick and tired of tying at home so I’m glad we could turn it around and get the three points.”
ROAD TO RECOVERY
First team centre back Diego Rodriguez played just over an hour for WFC2 on Sunday – his first minutes since suffering a quad strain on April 8 against Columbus Crew. The 24-year-old Uruguayan also wore the captain’s armband for the Blue and White and, in Koch’s words, “he put in a quality performance.”
“Diego is a class act,” Koch said. “He’s a true professional. He came and trained with us [on Saturday] for the first time and he jumped in right away. He embraced everybody. He didn’t know some of the guys names [on Saturday] but he was asking guys names, he got to know them. And you could see that he wanted to play the full 90 minutes but we were told to play him for 60 and he put in a quality performance.”
“When the coach needs me, I’ll be ready,” Rodriguez said when asked how close he is to returning to MLS action. “I work every day. I have to thank all the medical staff who took care of me. All the guys who supported me and my family … I feel very healthy, very good, and ready to play.”
<b>Corner flags beware: McKendry scores first pro goal</b>
Homegrown midfielder Ben McKendry scored his first professional goal on Sunday. Since moving up to an attacking midfield position, the Vancouver native has now been either directly or indirectly involved in three of the team’s last four goals.
“It was great for Ben to score,” Koch said. “That should give him a bit of confidence in terms of getting into the final third. His energy is always good. In the first half, he played a little bit higher than we’d like him to but he found a better shape in the second half. Full credit to him. He’s played very, very well the last few weeks so it’s nice for him to get rewarded with a goal.”
“It’s a bit of a relief to be honest,” McKendry said. “A little bit of a monkey off the back. I feel like probably could have had one last week and this week I just wanted to come back with the same mentality. Credit to Victor Blasco, it was a great ball across. And I think Chris Serban was also involved on the wing there.”
‘HUNGRY TO IMPRESS’
Speaking of Serban, the 19-year-old right back has now started three straight matches. He scored his first professional goal last weekend and on Sunday he was involved in the build-up of both of WFC2's goals.
“Chris is fantastic,” Koch said. “He’s a young kid who’s come in and whatever you ask him to do he actually goes out and does it completely. There are very few teenagers that when you give them that much information that they grasp everything. You can see that he’s hungry to impress and he’s done a very, very good job.”
So why is that noteworthy? Because Rosenlund now has a team-leading three assists and each of them have come on Clarke's goals.
Talk about a dynamic duo.
Whitecaps FC 2 are back at UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, May 31 when they host former 'Caps MLS striker Long Tan and Arizona United SC. Tickets for all WFC2 home matches are available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2tickets.
Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. WFC2 matches are a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. Season Tickets start as low as $118, with prorated prices available. Flex packs are also available to fit your schedule – get seven tickets to use any way you want, to any matches you want. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options, call 604-484-7862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.