PORT MOODY, BC – In a match delayed and shortened by thunder and lightning, Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) eventually fell 3-2 to Fraser Valley Soccer League (FVSL) All-Stars in their final preseason match at Port Moody Town Centre’s Trasolini Field on Wednesday night.
Head coach Rich Fagan trotted out a lineup featuring five teenagers and an average age of 19. The young ‘Caps were in for a battle from the outset against a spirited local side motivated to upend them.
The match started with great intensity before WFC2 opened the scoring five minutes in. Centre back Sem de Wit played a pinpoint through ball from midfield to striker Gloire Amanda on the right side of the box. The Residency striker took a touch before unleashing a wicked strike into the top corner from a tough angle to make it 1-0 early on.
WFC2 nearly doubled their advantage on 28 minutes when Terran Campbell tried a deft chipped shot that hit the post and stayed out. Moments later FVSL tied the match with a bit of fortune as a clearance from the ‘Caps deflected off of an FVSL attacker and ricocheted into the top corner to level the match at 1-1.
Minutes later, the referee was forced to delay the match as lightning approached, ending the half with 10 minutes still to be played.
After both teams were permitted back on the field, it was agreed to play one 50-minute second half.
Following a number of substitutions for WFC2, Marco Bustos put the ‘Caps back in front when he made no mistake on an opportunity in the box with a low finish to go ahead 2-1 on 66 minutes.
But five minutes later FVSL were level again as a rolling ball was misplayed by substitute goalkeeper Nolan Wirth and ended up in the back of the net for 2-2.
Shortly thereafter, the FVSL side gave their home support reason to cheer as a turnover led to a quick counter, which was finished delightfully with a well hit low strike inside the far post for a 3-2 advantage.
WFC2 looked to have equalized late when a great cross from Deklan Wynne was headed home by Thomas Sanner. But the assistant referee had his flag raised for offside.
The final whistle came on 85 minutes, signaling a 3-2 victory for the local boys in a hard-fought match that will prepare the young WFC2 squad well for the start of the USL season.
“It was a bit of a strange match with the stop and the start, but any time you lose a match there are learning moments and that is the biggest thing for me,” WFC2 head coach Rich Fagan told whitecapsfc2.com after the match. “There will be adversity at different times during the season, but we’re going to keep pushing them on and challenging them. What’s important is that they be brave and learn from their mistakes, because they did a lot of good tonight as well.”
WFC2 now begin their third USL season next weekend as they travel on the road to face LA Galaxy II on Saturday, March 25. They begin their home slate on Saturday, April 8 versus Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, BC, where they play six of their home matches this upcoming season. The first of their 10-match home schedule at UBC Thunderbird Stadium is on Saturday, April 22 versus San Antonio FC. Click here for ticket information.
5’ – VAN – Gloire Amanda (Sem de Wit)
28’ – FVSL
66’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
71’ – FVSL
73’ – FVSL
Whitecaps FC 2 lineup
Sean Melvin (Nolan Wirth 52’); Michael Baldisimo (Matthew Baldisimo 52’), Sem de Wit (Will Seymore 52’), Francis de Vries (Dominick Zator 52’), Andy Thoma (Connor MacMillan 70’); Thomas Gardner (David Norman Jr. 52’), Deybi Flores; Kadin Chung (Deklan Wynne 35’), Marco Bustos, Terran Campbell (Ryan Dhillon 70’); Gloire Amanda (Thomas Sanner 58’)