IRVINE, CALIFORNIA – Orange County Blues FC (1W-1L-0D) handed 10-men Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2 – 1W-2L-0D) a 2-0 defeat on Sunday afternoon at Anteater Stadium.
WFC2 gave Orange County just about all they could handle despite playing with a man down for most of the match, but were caught on the counter twice in the second half. The Blues opened the scoring in the 58th minute and added an insurance marker in stoppage time to secure their first win of the 2015 United Soccer League season.
Meanwhile, the young ‘Caps now have a 1W-2L-0D record after claiming their first-ever victory earlier this month against Austin Aztex.
Three players made their WFC2 debuts on Sunday: defender Christian Dean and Whitecaps FC Residency graduates Marco Carducci and Kianz Froese, who played for the first team on Saturday night in San Jose. There were a total of seven first-team players in Alan Koch’s starting lineup, as well as eight Canadians.
Orange County controlled possession in the first half and had a few chances, including a missed attempt from the centre of the box in the ninth minute, but WFC2 defended well and Carducci looked sharp when called upon. At the other end of the park, WFC2 created a couple opportunities of their own.
In the 24th minute, Brett Levis met a Ben McKendry free kick at the back post and hit a first-time volley across the face of goal, but Blues goalkeeper Pepe Miranda was there to pick it off.
The big talking point in the first half was the ejection of WFC2 fullback Ethen Sampson. The South African was sent off in the 34th minute after picking up two early yellow cards.
But WFC2 responded well and had another chance in the 42nd minute. That’s when some good work by Sahil Sandhu down the right side resulted in a Froese strike that missed just wide. The Blues came on strong in the dying stages of the first half, but the 10-men ‘Caps managed to hold them off.
Despite being down a man, WFC2 started to control play early in the second half. They kept the ball well and looked the livelier side going forward, but the Blues struck first against the run of play.
In the 58th minute, Didier Crettenand put Orange County ahead after banging in a cross from close range. It was an unlucky sequence for WFC2, as Dean did well to block the first cross before Denzel Slager got a second opportunity to find Crettenand in the centre of the box.
There wasn’t much Carducci could have done on that one – unlike in the 63rd minute when the Canadian keeper came up with a sprawling save on a Slager breakaway.
It was all WFC2 in the final half-hour. Substitute Victor Blasco provided a boost for WFC2, who pushed forward in search of an equalizer.
It nearly came in stoppage time, when Miranda made a goal line save off a glancing Mackenzie Pridham header at the near post. Moments later, Orange County caught the ‘Caps on the counter and sealed the deal through a goal from Amani Walker.
WFC2 will look to bounce back on Wednesday, when they visit defending USL champions Sacramento Republic (7:30 p.m. PT kickoff – watch live at whitecapsfc2.com).
Whitecaps FC’s USL side will then return to Vancouver in advance of Sunday’s home opener against Toronto FC II at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT and tickets are still available.
Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. With Season Tickets available for as low as $118, WFC2 matches will be a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. 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.
58' - OCB - Didier Crettenand (Denzel Slager)
90'+3' - OCB - Amani Walker (Chris Cortez)
4' - VAN - Ethen Sampson
23' - OCB - Nikola Ilich
34' - VAN - Ethen Sampson
66' - OCB - Chris Cortez
71' - OCB - Josh Suggs
34' - VAN - Ethen Sampson
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 27.Ethen Sampson, 41.Jackson Farmer, 26.Tim Parker, 22.Christian Dean; 45.Tyler Rosenlund (37.Mitch Piraux 76'), 30.Ben McKendry; 50.Sahil Sandhu (49.Mackenzie Pridham 65'), 38.Kianz Froese (48.Victor Blasco 77'), 46.Brett Levis (55.Chris Serban 39'); 34.Caleb Clarke (51.Billy Schuler 65')
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 54.Craig Nitti
Orange County Blues FC
30.Pepe Miranda; 20.Jack McCraken, 23.Brenton Girffths, 32.Romeo Filipovic, 14.Josh Suggs; 10.Luka Petricevic (19.Jacob Barron 63'), 21.Didier Crettenand; 11.Denzel Slager (12.Amani Walker 80'), 17.Nikola Ilich (7.Christopher Santana 59'), 9.Chris Cortez; 22.Christofer Ramirez
Substitutes not used
18.Billy Thompson, 5.Beto Navarro, 6.Jimmy Turner, 8.Jiovanni Santana