VANCOUVER, BC - Whitecaps FC 2 put a bow on their inaugural USL season at Thunderbird Stadium last Sunday, wrapping up 28 matches worth of thrills and excitement, as we watched the future of the club grow and develop in front of our very eyes.
Looking back on the year that was, here are 10 moments that stood out during the WFC2 season.
10. Clarke scores first-ever goal. With the team in search for identity in its infancy, Caleb Clarke stepped up to the forefront, leading the team to a 3-0 road win in Austin. It was the first of eight goals for the Canadian striker, tied for the team-high.
9. Captain and Clarke connect in home-opener. Clarke was back at it when WFC2 came home after starting the season on the road. This time, he was set up by captain Tyler Rosenlund for the goal in front of a sellout crowd at Thunderbird Stadium.
8. Hometown boys lead WFC2 to first home win. Fittingly, local sons Ben McKendry and Clarke found the net, treating the supporters to their first win at home.
7. Dean opens his professional account. USL play has been instrumental in providing crucial minutes for young first team players. On July 4, Christian Dean scored his first professional goal while playing for WFC2. Two weeks later, he would help Whitecaps FC to a huge 1-1 result versus Portland Timbers at Providence Park in MLS play.
6. Chung thrills crowd in debut. 17-year old Residency product Kadin Chung was signed late in the season and made his professional debut on September 13, getting the crowd on their feet when he split through defenders with his crafty footwork, giving the fans a glimpse of the club's future.
5. Levis comes back from injury to score twice. On July 10, Brett Levis was carried off the pitch after suffering a left ankle injury and the prognosis did not look promising. After missing two months of action, he came back to start on September 20 and scored two emphatic goals, leaving no doubt that he was back in full form.
4. Rosenlund finds the net on his birthday. The captain celebrated his 29th birthday in style, blasting a shot into the top left corner past a diving Orange County Blues FC goalkeeper in an exciting 1-1 draw.
3. Bustos stuns the Tulsa crowd. Speaking of making a splash in their return, Marco Bustos recovered from an early season foot injury to emerge as a rising star. A week after suffering a 4-0 home loss to Tulsa Roughnecks, he led the 'Caps to a 3-1 payback win in Tulsa, scoring twice and silencing the crowd of over 5,000.
2. Bustos provides an encore. The following week, Bustos picked up where he left off, scoring two more goals and showing his arsenal of chip shots.
1. Blasco wins match with last-minute brace. Victor Blasco provided the fireworks on the Fourth of July, breaking a 1-1 tie in the dying moments when Billy Schuler found him twice for the last-minute brace.
With moments like these, we can't blame you if you start the countdown to the start of next season.