Whitecaps FC striker Nizar Khalfan (photo courtesy Jeffrey Farrar)
Jeffrey Farrar

Whitecaps FC defeat Ventura County Fusion 3-1

OXNARD, California – Vancouver Whitecaps FC concluded their offseason training camp with a spirited 3-1 victory against Ventura County Fusion on Wednesday afternoon. Nizar Khalfan netted the first goal for the ‘Caps, while Kyle Porter and Terry Dunfield rounded out the scoring in the second half.

Thordarson was forced to make an early change to his line-up when Jonny Leathers pulled out of the match after five minutes with a hamstring injury. Ethan Gage came into the match in his place.

Ventura took the lead after 30 minutes of play when a low ball sent into the box was one-timed top corner past a helpless Simon Thomas by Diego Berrera.

Whitecaps FC, though, pressed their hosts throughout the half and levelled ten minutes later when Blake Wagner beat his defender and sent a pass in front of goal to Khalfan, who calmly finished with an easy tap-in.

Thordarson made three changes to the line-up at halftime, bringing on Kyle Porter, Cornelius Stewart, and a trialist in place of Long Tan, Blake Wagner, and Willis Forko.

Thordarson’s squad dominated the second half of play. The ‘Caps took the lead after 58 minutes, as the ball was worked out wide to Khlafan, who slotted a precise pass to a sliding Porter for a 2-1 advantage.

Vancouver put the match out of reach six minutes later with another simple tap-in from close range, this time by a wide-open Dunfield off a pass from Porter.

Thordarson was satisfied with the way the match went and was pleased to end the training camp on a high note. “It was a good finish to the camp,” said Thordarson. “I was very happy with our way of attacking today. We wanted to try and press them high and go at them a little bit, and I think we managed that most of the time. We didn’t give them too much time on the ball.

“I felt that we used the width of the field quite well, we broke through them in different ways, sometimes on the flank, sometimes centrally, and sometimes individually,” added Thordarson. “There was lots of variation in our attack and we created quality chances.”

Looking back at training camp as a whole, Thordarson felt that the team’s time in California was a success. “It was a very good experience and very useful for myself, and hopefully for the players as well,” said Thordarson. “We’ve gotten to know each other, and for me, that’s been extremely important.”

The team now goes on a six-week break before reconvening for preseason training on Monday, January 24, 2011.

Scoring Summary:
30’ - VCF – Diego Berrera
40’ - WFC – Nizar Khalfan (Blake Wagner)
58’ - WFC – Kyle Porter (Nizar Khalfan)
64’ – WFC – Terry Dunfield (Kyle Porter)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Simon Thomas; Jonny Leathers (Ethan Gage 5’), Greg Janicki, Jay DeMerit (Luca Bellisomo 67’), Willis Forko (trialist 45’); Shea Salinas, Terry Dunfield, Gershon Koffie (Philippe Davies 59’), Blake Wagner (Cornelius Stewart 45); Nizar Khalfan, Long Tan (Kyle Porter 45’)