VANCOUVER, BC – It’s a preview of sorts at Thunderbird Stadium this Sunday, May 24 as Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 square off with Real Monarchs SLC in USL action, one week before their first-team counterparts battle it out in MLS action at BC Place.
WFC2 (1W-4L-3D) look to protect home field, site of last week’s highlight-filled 2-2 draw versus Oklahoma City Energy FC. The young ‘Caps have secured a point from each of their first three matches in Vancouver this season, but are intent on notching their first home win of the year.
The Monarchs (1W-5L-3D) come into Vancouver riding the momentum off a road win versus the Long Island Rough Riders in U.S. Open Cup action on Wednesday.Kickoff for Sunday’s match is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT.
WHITECAPS FC 2
WFC2 score an entertaining 2-2 draw versus OKC Energy FC.
Last Sunday, head coach Alan Koch put forth a collection of young rising players in the ‘Caps system, including nine Canadians and four teenagers. Nineteen year-old right back Chris Serban (Calgary, AB) got on the scoreboard as WFC2 played the visiting OKC Energy FC to a 2-2 tie.
The Blue and White came out strong but Energy FC caught them on a counter-attack for a ninth minute opening score.
Perhaps buoyed by the lively home crowd, WFC2 bounced back immediately, as first-team midfielder Ben McKendry (Vancouver, B.C.) shot a low cross into the box that ricocheted off a defender and into the back of the net.
WFC2 took the lead in the 60th minute when McKendry and midfielder Sahil Sandhu (Surrey, BC) combined on an attack that produced a chance that Serban decisively pounced on, driving the ball past the Energy FC goalkeeper with authority.
Goalkeeper Marco Carducci (Calgary, AB) was impressive for the home side, providing three huge stops, including a diving save off an Energy FC header in the 16th minute that got the crowd to their feet.
Whitecaps FC 2 looked poised to get the three points, but the visiting side equalized on an 87th-minute header off a long, front flip throw-in.
Added to the mix fix for WFC2 this weekend will be first team centre back Diego Rodriguez.
Whitecaps FC 2 current roster:
Goalkeepers: Spencer Richey, Mark Village, Marco Carducci*
Fullbacks: Jordan Haynes, Chris Serban
Centre backs: Jackson Farmer, Craig Nitti, Diego Rodriguez*
Centre midfielders: Ian Christianson, Mitch Piraux, Tyler Rosenlund, Ben McKendry*
Wide midfielders: Victor Blasco, Jovan Blagojevic, Brett Levis, Sahil Sandhu
Strikers: Mackenzie Pridham, Billy Schuler, Caleb Clarke*
*On loan from WFC MLS roster
Monarchs SLC and Timbers 2 battle it out.
Real Salt Lake’s affiliate are similarly coming off a draw in their last USL match, a 1-1 result against Portland Timbers 2.
Head coach Freddy Juarez got the Monarchs squad to jump to an early lead when midfielder Fito Ovalle slotted a through ball in behind the T2 defence to find striker Emery Welshman for his first goal of the season.
Midfielder Ricardo Velazco joined in on the attack, getting two good looks at the net in the 27th minute. His initial 27-foot shot was denied by a Timbers 2 defender, but Velazco was alert to the ball and secured it for another chance. Velazco’s second attempt was likewise unsuccessful, sailing straight into T2 goalkeeper Jake Gleeson’s gloves.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
WHITECAPS FC 2 #37 Mitch Piraux – The Calgary native has shown he has the right moves and has proven to be a great complement to the ‘Caps strikers. Koch will tab him to initiate the offence early to ensure the home side gets off on the right foot.
MONARCHS SLC #9 Max Rauhofer – The Uruguayan striker is dangerous in the open field. He lifted the Monarchs to an upset victory over defending USL champions Sacramento Republic FC on April 29 and is due for another offensive explosion.
Whitecaps FC 2 are in a midst of a three-match homestand. They will be back at it on Sunday, May 31 when they host 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.