HONOLULU, HAWAII – Vancouver Whitecaps FC opened the 2019 preseason with a 3-1 loss to Japanese club V-Varen Nagasaki on Friday night in Pacific Rim Cup action at Aloha Stadium.
David Norman Jr. scored the lone goal for the ‘Caps, who are still without several recent additions that are yet to join the group, in the 81st minute. The 20-year-old Coquitlam native headed in a corner kick from fellow Whitecaps FC Academy product Simon Colyn, a 16-year-old from Langley, to get the ‘Caps on the board with a local connection.
Marc Dos Santos fielded a different group of 11 players for each half in his first match as head coach of the club. He started with a more experienced lineup, featuring goalkeeper Zac MacMath, a back line of Jake Nerwinski, Doneil Henry, Derek Cornelius, and Brett Levis, a midfield trio of Andy Rose, Jon Erice, and Felipe, and a front line of striker Theo Bair and wingers Lass Bangoura and Victor “PC” Giro in a 4-3-3 formation.
In the second half, Dos Santos went with a more youthful group, including seven Whitecaps FC Academy products and a total of eight Canadians – the youngest being 15-year-old Kamron Habibullah.
The 'Caps had their moments in this one.
Bangoura looked particularly lively in the opening frame, causing problems through his pace and trickery and forcing Nagasaki goalkeeper Kenta Tokushige into a key save with a curling strike from the left in the 26th minute.
Tokushige also denied Bair a few minutes prior after PC won the ball in the attacking half.
Nagasaki eventually opened the scoring just before the break, when Yu Hasegawa headed in a corner kick in the 44th minute. The Japanese outfit would add a pair of well-taken goals from Yohei Otake early in the second half, before Norman Jr. got one back for the ‘Caps following a big save from Maxime Crépeau.
The ‘Caps will conclude the Hawaii leg of their preseason on Sunday, when they face Japanese side Iwaki FC in the third-place match of the Pacific Rim Cup. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. PT (2:30 p.m. local) at Aloha Stadium.
A live stream will be available on the Whitecaps FC YouTube channel.
NEWS AND NOTES
Whitecaps FC announced the additions of striker Joaquín Ardaiz and centre back Érik Godoy on Friday … Godoy is already with the team in Hawaii but did not dress, while Ardaiz and fellow newcomers Hwang In-beom, Jasser Khmiri, and Lucas Venuto are expected to join the group in the coming weeks … Midfielders Michael Baldisimo (left ankle contusion), Yordy Reyna (right quadricep strain), and Russell Teibert (left ankle strain) did not feature on Friday due to injury.
44’ – Nagasaki – Yu Hasegawa
47’ – Nagasaki – Yohei Otake
49’ – Nagasaki – Yohei Otake
81’ – Vancouver – David Norman Jr. (Simon Colyn)
Whitecaps FC First Half
18.Zac MacMath; 28.Jake Nerwinski ©, 2.Doneil Henry, 13.Derek Cornelius, 46.Brett Levis; 15.Andy Rose, 6.Jon Erice, 8.Felipe Martins; 19.Lass Bangoura, 50.Theo Bair, 94.Victor “PC” Giro
Whitecaps FC Second Half
16.Maxime Crépeau; 23.Scott Sutter ©, 26.Brendan McDonough, 24.David Norman, 52.Gabriel Escobar; 54.Simon Colyn, 53.Patrick Metcalfe, 57.Matheus Queiroz; 56.Georges Mukumbilwa, 60.Jefferson Alade, 59.Kamron Habibullah