VANCOUVER, BC – Birthday boy Tyler Rosenlund scored for Whitecaps FC 2 (8W-13L-6D) in an exciting 1-1 draw with Orange County Blues FC (14W-9L-4D) on a sunny Sunday afternoon at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
Rosenlund, who turned 29 today, opened the scoring in the 33rd minute but the Blues drew the game level early in the second half to grab a share of the points.
It was a positive result for the young ‘Caps against a Blues side that had won three in a row and seven of their last eight. This was an important match for Orange County, who came into the match just one point out of the top spot in the Western Conference.
And they looked dangerous early.
Blues striker Christofer Ramirez, who leads the team in scoring, came close twice around the 15-minute mark. First, he attempted to lob an onrushing Marco Carducci but missed wide. And less than a minute later, he had a clear-cut opportunity after picking off an errant pass but Carducci came up with a big save – one of six on the night – to keep the score level.
From there, the young ‘Caps began to settle into the game.
And they took the lead in the 33rd minute thanks to a lightning-fast counter that saw the referee play advantage after Marco Bustos was chopped down. Eventually, Bustos got the ball back inside the area. His shot was blocked but Rosenlund picked up the rebound, stepped around a defender, and fired it into the top left corner to get WFC2 on the board.
Unfortunately for the energetic home crowd, the Blues brought the game level through Brenton Griffiths on a 51st-minute corner. And they nearly took the lead shortly later, but Carducci came up big once again – this time with a sprawling, point-blank stop on David Estrada.
There was no shortage of action in the final half hour. Both teams had their fair share of chances but Alan Koch's side looked particularly dangerous. And that was thanks in large part to substitutes Brett Levis, who made his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on July 10, and Whitecaps FC Residency graduate Kadin Chung, who made his professional debut.
Chung brought the crowd to its feet in the 82nd minute, blowing down the right flank before splitting a pair of defenders and feeding Caleb Clarke in the box. But a winner wasn’t in the cards on this night.
WFC2 return to UBC Thunderbird Stadium next Sunday for Fan Appreciation Day, as they conclude their inaugural USL season against Austin Aztex. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT and tickets are still available. Come out to the 'Bird and send the boys off in style!
33’ – VAN – Tyler Rosenlund
51’ – OC – Brenton Griffiths (Pavle Popara)
Shots: VAN 13 – OC 16
Saves: VAN 6 – OC 4
Corners: VAN 2 – OC 6
18’ – OC – Brenton Griffiths
33’ – OC – Pavle Popara
90’ – OC – Ryan Felix
90’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
Whitecaps FC 2
24.Marco Carducci; 50.Sahil Sandhu, 41.Jackson Farmer, 22.Christian Dean, 62.Deklan Wynne; 58.Will Seymore, 45.Tyler Rosenlund (64.Thomas Gardner 73‘); 25.Andre Lewis (63.Kadin Chung 81‘), 32.Marco Bustos, 48.Victor Blasco (46.Brett Levis 64‘); 34.Caleb Clarke (51.Billy Schuler 84‘)
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey; 42.Jordan Haynes, 49.Mackenzie Pridham
Orange County Blues FC
1.Josh Cohen; 20.Jack McCracken, 23.Brenton Griffiths, 5.Beto Navarro, 14.Josh Suggs; 87.Pavle Popara (17.Nikola Ilich 76’), 4.Milton Blanco, 7.Christopher Santana, 21.Didier Crettenand © (11.Denzel Slager 56’), 24.David Estrada (31.Ryan Felix 84’); 22.Christofer Ramirez (9.Chris Cortez 46’)
Substitutes not used
30.Pepe Miranda, 27.Tyler Feeley, 29.Jefrey Payeras