CALGARY, AB - A tremendous crowd of 1,225 came out to Encana Field at Shouldice Athletic Park to watch Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 take on Calgary Foothills FC U-23 in a specially organized friendly match in Calgary on Sunday. In the end, the home side delighted the fans with a 2-1 victory as both sides provided a terrific evening of entertainment.
Foothills FC pulled out all the stops for this big event, including having Calgary Flames legend Theo Fleury on field as the official announcer.
The 'Caps had an early chance to open the scoring when Residency midfielder and Foothills FC alumni Mitch Piraux broke in on goal on-on-one against fellow Residency product and former Whitecaps FC first team goalkeeper Simon Thomas. The challenge was accepted by Thomas, who made the stop to keep the match scoreless early on.
Foothills FC then had their own chance as striker Dominic Russo blasted a great shot on target, but Calgary native Marco Carducci did well to make a diving save.
It was back and forth, with Brett Levis having the next chance for the visitors as he dribbled past several defenders before hitting a shot just wide in the 30th minute. That would not be the last that the crowd would see from Levis, but it was the home side that opened the scoring two minutes later. Nat Tecle scored for the team in green to kickstart the match, 1-0 for the Calgarians.
It took only seven minutes for the 'Caps to respond, and it was Levis with the ball at his feet. After again dribbling past defenders, the University of Saskatchewan star buried his chance to make it 1-1 after 39 minutes.
An exciting first half ended1-1.
Whitecaps FC were dominant in possession throughout the match, but the day belonged to the Alberta side in front of their home fans. The winning goal came on 69 minutes on a free kick from centre back Jonathan Wheeldon for a 2-1 final score.
Special thanks to Calgary Foothills FC for hosting this friendly match. An energetic crowd, featuring many Whitecaps FC jerseys, showed that soccer is alive and well in Calgary.