Two teams with perfect 2W-0L-0D records in the United Soccer Leagues W-League go head-to-head Friday in Chilliwack, BC, as Vancouver Whitecaps FC host Colorado Rush in the second match of the 2011 Whitecaps Women’s Soccer Series - presented by Kia. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. PT at Chilliwack's Exhibition Stadium, and will be hosted by Chilliwack FC.
Head coach Hubert Busby Jr. will continue to adjust his line-up, with midfielder Amber Brooks suspended after receiving a red card in her team debut last Sunday against Seattle Sounders. Busby has options, especially with captain Kelsey Hood demonstrating her versatility in that match, as the ‘Caps captain started at centre back instead of her usual midfield role.
Forward Sydney Leroux enjoyed a successful home-coming against the Sounders, scoring the game's only goal. Another recent arrival to the squad is now competing for a spot up front, as Canadian international striker Alysha Bonnick played an hour on Wednesday night for the Whitecaps FC U-18 Prospects squad in their 2-2 draw with Vancouver Thunderbirds.
One Whitecaps FC player that Colorado Rush will be familiar with is forward Tseng Shu-O (AO). The Chinese Taipei international played for the Denver side last season, scoring two vital goals against Vancouver.
Colorado Rush were one of the W-League's surprise teams last season, as the young expansion outfit finished with a record of 2W-2L-6D, level on points with powerhouses Pali Blues and Seattle Sounders. Already this season the Colorado side has shown its quality with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Strikers, and a 1-0 victory at Victoria Highlanders FC on Wednesday.
United States U-17 star Lindsey Horan leads Colorado in scoring with two goals. Joining her up front is experienced W-League striker Christie Ehrhardt, who played last season for rivals Colorado Force. Midfielder Ameera Abdullah is also a dangerous player who caused Vancouver problems last season. At the back, the Rush feature the Farrell twins, Kerstyn and Kellyn.
The two previous meetings last season were draws. In a July 3, 2010, clash at Swangard Stadium, the Rush became the first ever Denver-based side to get a result in Vancouver, as current Whitecaps FC player Tseng Shu-O scored twice in three minutes to cancel the ‘Caps first-half lead, and make it a 2-2 final.
Against teams from Denver, Vancouver are 14W-1L-5D all-time and 9W-0L-1D at home.
Friday's game will be the second ever time Whitecaps FC have played a league match at Chilliwack's Exhibition Stadium. On July 8, 2007, Vancouver were held to a 2-2 draw by now defunct Mile High Edge in front of 1,550 fans. No current Whitecaps FC players featured in that match, although Monica Lam-Feist was on the roster as a 16-year-old rookie, while goalkeeper Jaclyn Dunnett was on the injured reserve list.
Whitecaps FC will be wearing special commemorative pink jerseys for this match that will be auctioned off at the end of the game. Proceeds from the game will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and the BC Cancer Foundation.