VANCOUVER, BC – The fun family atmosphere at Thunderbird Stadium is starting to become the exact opposite for visiting teams as Whitecaps FC 2 defeated Long Tan and Arizona United SC 2-0 on Sunday.
The victory is the second straight at home for WFC2 (3W-4L-3D) and they are now undefeated at home in five matches. Arizona United SC fell to 4W-5L-1D and are now only a point ahead of the young 'Caps for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Fielding seven Canadians and nine players on loan from the MLS team, the ‘Caps almost got on the board in the fifth minute when striker Caleb Clarke (Richmond, BC) set up fellow first-teamer Nicolas Mezquida in the box but the Uruguayan’s strike missed high of the net.
Kianz Froese (Brunkild, MB) got into the act in the 16th minute when he danced with the ball along the left flank and split two United SC defenders. The Homegrown midfielder sent a cross to Victor Blasco on the opposite side, but the Spaniard side-netted the volley.
The ‘Caps would threaten again in the 32nd minute when defender Christian Dean joined the attack as he lofted a perfect cross down the middle, but Clarke’s header went straight into United SC goalkeeper Carl Woszcynski’s gloves.
After a scoreless first half, Woszcynski was tested again in the 48th minute but the visiting keeper made a dynamic soaring save on a long distance Mezquida strike. On very next play, the keeper would not be as fortunate as Clarke pounced on a rebound off a strike from Froese. Clarke’s team-leading fourth goal of the season put the home side on top, 1-0.
The Blue and White had a glorious chance to pad the lead in the 59th minute when Woszcynski left the United SC net but the goalkeeper came up with a big play as he intercepted Clarke’s feed intended for the front of the goal.
Long Tan, a former crowd favourite during the inaugural season for Whitecaps FC, came close to making a grand homecoming in the 73rd minute but his attempt from inside the box was blocked by substitute defender Jackson Farmer (Edmonton, AB).
It proved to be a huge missed chance as the ‘Caps found the net five minutes after. Substitute midfielder Brett Levis (Saskatoon, SK) possessed the ball at the half line and navigated across the field before shaking free just inside the box for a left-foot strike. The insurance goal was Levis’ first goal as a professional.
The final whistle confirmed another important victory for the 'Caps USL side. Italian-born goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi registered a clean sheet for WFC2.
Whitecaps FC 2 are on the road for the next three matches, starting on Wednesday, June 3 when they take on Real Monarchs SLC at Rio Tinto Stadium.
WFC2 are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, June 14 for Bark at the Bird. Bring your dog to the match as the ‘Caps take on LA Galaxy II. Tickets are only $15.
The following week is Father’s Day as dads get in for free with a purchase of another ticket as the ‘Caps take on Cascadia rival Portland Timbers 2 on Sunday, June 21.
FACES IN THE CROWD: Vancouver Whitecaps FC players Kendall Waston, Matias Laba, Kekuta Manneh, Sam Adekugbe, Marco Carducci and Marco Bustos were on hand to show their support for their USL counterparts and signed autographs for the young fans at Thunderbird Stadium. The ‘Caps MLS side won versus Real Salt Lake, 2-1 at BC Place on Saturday, May 30.
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.
49’ – VAN – Caleb Clarke
78’ – VAN – Brett Levis
Shots: VAN 19 – AZ 6
Saves: VAN 1 – AZ 7
Corners: VAN 4 – AZ 2
Offsides: VAN 4 – AZ 1
39’ – AZ – Jonathan Top
57’ – VAN – Kianz Froese
81’ – AZ – Milton Blanco
82’ – AZ – Scott Morrison
89’ – VAN – Christian Dean
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 27.Ethen Sampson, 26.Tim Parker (41.Jackson Farmer 46’), 18.Diego Rodriguez (54.Craig Nitti 46’), 22.Christian Dean; 45.Tyler Rosenlund, 30.Ben McKendry; 48.Victor Blasco (50.Sahil Sandhu 74’), 9.Nicolas Mezquida (46.Brett Levis 63’), 38.Kianz Froese (51.Billy Schuler 86’); 34.Caleb Clarke
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 42.Jordan Haynes
Arizona United SC
1.Carl Woszcynski; 3.Damian Rosales (8.George Malki 46’), 2.Tyler Ruthven, 6.Brock Granger, 14.Alex Shinsky (23.Scott Morrison 63’); 17.Brad Stisser (13.Cameron Vickers 72’), 12.Joey Dillon, 21.Milton Blanco (11.Danny Garcia 81’), 7.Robbie Derschang (16.Jordan Rideout 65’); 29.Long Tan, 9.Jonathan Top
Substitutes not used
18.Zak Downes, 10.Jose Cuevas