VANCOUVER, BC – It could not have been scripted any better.
Whitecaps FC 2 (2W-4L-3D) notched another milestone in their inaugural season, sharing their first home victory with their fans in another fun-filled Sunday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium.
It was fitting that hometown players Caleb Clarke (Richmond, BC) and Ben McKendry (Vancouver, BC) scored as WFC2 defeated Real Monarchs SLC (1W-6L-3D), 2-1 in entertaining fashion in front of a crowd of loyal supporters and their families out to enjoy soccer in the sun.
The live band had barely put their guitars down when Monarchs midfielder Lucas Baldin teed off for a long-distance strike from the kickoff. 'Caps goalkeeper Spencer Richey (Seattle, WA) was up to the task, gamely deflecting the early chance as the tone was set for the highly entertaining match.
After a scrappy back-and-forth start, the 'Caps got on the board on the 21st minute with a surgical build-up on the right flank. Right back Chris Serban (Calgary, AB) and midfielder Tyler Rosenlund (Port Coquitlam, BC) combined to set up Clarke for a high deflected shot that was placed perfectly beyond the reach of Monarchs goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez. Rosenlund now leads the 'Caps with three assists this season.
Sensing that the visiting Monarchs were on their heels, first-team centre back Diego Rodriguez gave Vancouver fans a glimpse of what they could expect from him this year. Rosenlund found the 24-year old Uruguayan off a corner kick, but the Rodriguez header was just inches wide of the target. It was Rodriguez's first time on the pitch after sustaining a quad injury in the MLS squad's match versus Columbus Crew SC at BC Place on April 8.
WFC2 kept pressing and their aggressive play was rewarded again in the 33rd minute. Midfielder Victor Blasco controlled a rainbow diagonal throughball on the right side while in full stride before setting up the trailing McKendry to increase the 'Caps lead to 2-0.
The Monarchs threatened right before halftime but defender Danilo Acosta’s brilliant individual effort bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and out of the danger zone for the ‘Caps.
After a halftime that had fans battling it out in bubble soccer on the Thunderbird pitch, the Blue and White resumed with their attack. In the 47th minute, McKendry pounced on a set-up from Brett Levis (Saskatoon, SK) for a half-volley, but the midfielder’s attempt bounced high of the goal.
The tension thickened in the 80th minute when defender Jordan Haynes (Peterborough, ON) was called for a foul inside the box as Monarchs midfielder Sebastian Saucedo was on the attack. Lucas Baldin took the penalty kick for the visitors and calmly put the ball in the bottom right corner to cut the ‘Caps lead in half.
However, it was too little, too late for the Monarchs as WFC2 would not be denied their second win of the season.
Head coach Alan Koch fielded 10 Canadians in the match, including seven in the starting lineup.
Whitecaps FC 2 are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, May 31 when they host former 'Caps MLS striker Long Tan and 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.
21’ – VAN – Caleb Clarke (Tyler Rosenlund)
33' – VAN – Ben McKendry (Victor Blasco)
82’ – SLC – Lucas Baldin (Penalty kick)
Shots: VAN 9 – SLC 9
Saves: VAN 3 – SLC 3
Corners: VAN 4 – SLC 3
5’ – SLC – Lennon Celestino
34’ – VAN – Ben McKendry
42’ – SLC – Eti Tavares
52’ – SLC – Phanuel Kavita
61’ – VAN – Chris Serban
63’ – VAN – Ian Christianson
71’ – VAN – Brett Levis
90’ – SLC – Phanuel Kavita
90’ – SLC – Phanuel Kavita
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 55.Chris Serban, 41.Jackson Farmer, 18.Diego Rodriguez (54.Craig Nitti 64'), 42.Jordan Haynes; 45.Tyler Rosenlund, 56.Ian Christianson (51.Billy Schuler 77'); 48.Victor Blasco (47.Jovan Blagojevic 81’), 30.Ben McKendry (50.Sahil Sandhu 67'), 46.Brett Levis; 34.Caleb Clarke (49.Mackenzie Pridham 86’)
Substitutes not used
Real Monarchs SLC
1.Lalo Fernandez; 4.Riley McGovern, 26.Justen Glad, 3.Phanuel Kavita, 29.Danilo Acosta (19.Tyler Arnone 77'); 5.Lennon Celestino, 8.Fito Ovalle; 7.Eti Tavares (13.Garrett Losee 59'), 18.Lucas Baldin (22.Darion Copeland 90’ +4), 50.Sebastian Saucedo; 28.Maikon Orellana (14.Leon Brown 90’+3)
Substitutes not used
17.Victor Rodriguez, 23.Jose Navarro