HOUSTON, TX – Whitecaps FC 2 (WFC2) kicked off their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season with a 1-0 loss against Houston Dynamo 2 at AVEVA Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Head coach Nick Dasovic named a starting 11 consisting of eight Whitecaps FC BMO Academy grads in Owen Antoniuk, Isaac Boehmer, Cristian and Matteo Campagna, Vasco Fry, Jay Herdman, Simone Masi and Eric White.
Ontario native Ali Ahmed, 2022 MLS SuperDraft picks Giovanni Aguilar and Simon Becher also featured in the lineup.
Aguilar, Ahmed, Antoniuk, Becher, Cristian Campagna, Fry, Herdman, Masi and White all made their professional debuts.
Dynamo 2 would open the scoring in the 20th minute, as midfielder Marcelo Palomino curled home a free kick into the top left corner of the net.
The home side would continue pressing as Boehmer denied Dynamo 2 forward Cesar Cordova inside the box to keep the match at 1-0 in the 45th minute.
Right before the end of the first half, WFC2 almost found the tying goal as a strike from Antoniuk flew just over the bar.
Fast forward to the 86th minute, Houston nearly went up 2-0, as Masi deflected a shot off the bar to keep WFC2 in the match.
Becher came close to scoring the equalizer in stoppage time but his effort went wide of the Dynamo 2 goal.
Despite a valiant effort from WFC2, the final whistle blew at AVEVA Stadium.
Next up for WFC2 is another away match against Real Monarchs at Zions Bank Stadium on Saturday, April 2, with kick-off set for 4 p.m. PT. You can catch all the action live at mlsnextpro.com.
Referee: William Hale
20’ – HOU – Marcelo Palomino
Possession: 47.5 % HOU – VAN 52.6%*
Shots:* 22 HOU – VAN 8*
Shots on Goal:* 6 HOU – VAN 1*
Saves:* 6 HOU – VAN 4*
Fouls:* 21 HOU – VAN 20*
Offsides:* 0 HOU – VAN 0*
Corners:* 1 HOU – VAN 5
37’ – VAN – Simone Masi
44’ – VAN – Eric White
57’ – HOU – Ian Hoffmann
90+4’ – HOU – Juan Castilla
Houston Dynamo 2
1.Xavier Valdez; 3.Ian Hoffman, 5.Ethan Bartlow, 4.Jon-Talen Maples ©, 2.Mujeeb Murana; 10.Marcelo Palomino (12.Daniel Ríos 75’), 8.Juan Castilla, 15.Brooklyn Raines (18.Diego Gonzalez 64’); 14.Roberto Avila (25.D'Alessandro Herrera 90’), 7.Papa Ndoye, 16.Cesar Cordova
Substitutes not used
31.Andrew Pannenberg, 13.Jathan Juarez, 19.Sterling Penniston-John, 23.Reese Miller, 33.Erick Monge, 17.Joyner Castillo
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
60.Isaac Boehmer ©; 53.Simone Masi, 64.Cristian Campagna, 61.Matteo Campagna; 58.Eric White (46.Filip Rakić 75’), 66.Giovanni Aguilar (76.Joe Hanson 58’), 52.Vasco Fry, 68.Owen Antoniuk (47.Pípé Fernandez-Salvador 58’), 51.Ali Ahmed; 29.Simon Becher, 92.Jay Herdman (57.Elage Bah 86’)
Substitutes not used
40.Ben Alexander, 83.Finn Linder, 95.Joshué Ndakala