Match Preview - Tulsa vs. WFC2

Whitecaps FC 2 look to get back on track versus Tulsa Roughnecks FC

TULSA, OK – Fasten your seatbelts, Whitecaps FC 2 fans, we have a wild road trip ahead.

WFC2 (6W-10L-5D) kick off their four-match road trip on Friday evening against Tulsa Roughnecks FC (7W-8L-4D) at ONEOK Field.

The 'Caps turn their sights ahead and put last Friday's tough 4-0 loss against the Roughnecks in the rear-view mirror as they get a chance for a quick payback.

Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. live on whitecapsfc2.com.

Here are the things to watch out for as the Blue and White try to get back on track in the Western Conference playoff race.

RETOOLING FOR THE REMATCH

It is not a coincidence that the recent bump on the road came as WFC2 missed the services of a few of their key cogs in Caleb Clarke, Jackson Farmer and Brett Levis.  

Clarke and Farmer are back from the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, as each made an appearance last week. Levis, although expected to be back sooner than initially anticipated, remains out with an injured left ankle.

Ben McKendry also hobbled off the pitch in the first half versus the Roughnecks and his presence was missed as the tide turned in the match.

With players rotating in and out, the young guys will look to veteran Tyler Rosenlund to settle the team.

Whitecaps FC 2 head coach Alan Koch will be tasked to come up with a combination that works and jump-starts the offence. Can Billy Schuler and Victor Blasco find the space to recapture their magic from just a few weeks ago?

SLOWING DOWN BRADY BALLEW

Midfielder Brady Ballew was a matchup nightmare on the right flank at Thunderbird Stadium, figuring on the first two goals that changed the complexion of the match, before putting the game away when he found the net himself in the 86th minute.

Ethen Sampson has been slotted in at left back since Chris Serban was sidelined in the July 19 match at Timbers 2. The South Africa native will have to be in fine form and in steady communication with the centre backs to contain the Roughnecks offensive catalyst.

Craig Nitti, Diego Rodriguez and Will Seymore have shared time in the middle recently, with Farmer also an option at centre back.

REVVING UP FOR THE STRETCH RUN

We're down to the last quarter of the season. WFC2 must get at least a point in Tulsa to get a good jump on the road trip if they are to make ground on sixth-place Orange County Blues FC, who are ahead by four points with two less matches played.

"We'll need to keep the foot on the pedal," Koch said. "It's a huge game. Winning at their place won't be easy. We've had a lot of ups and downs this season. We'll have to turn it around really quickly."

The young 'Caps have risen to the occasion this season and Friday will be the biggest test yet.

After the August road swing, WFC2 are back at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, September 6 for their final homestand of the season when they host defending USL champions Sacramento Republic FC. Tickets are available here.

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. 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 wfc2@whitecapsfc.com.

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