VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC 2 (2W-0L-1D) continued their undefeated start to the season, earning a scoreless draw against MLS hopeful Sacramento Republic FC (2W-0L-1D) in front of a packed grandstand of 3,057 fans in their home-opener at Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Sean Melvin made three saves for Whitecaps FC 2, recording his second clean sheet in as many professional starts. Dominik Jakubek registered the shutout for Republic FC with one save.
WFC2 head coach Alan Koch talks to media after the match
Featuring a starting lineup with six Canadians and an average age of 21 years, the ‘Caps started on the front foot as Ben McKendry’s corner kick found Will Seymore in the opening minutes, but the ensuing header attempt missed the target by mere inches. McKendry, who was named 2015 Whitecaps FC 2 Player of the Year at the conclusion of last year, played 45 minutes in his first start since suffering a season-ending knee injury in July 2015.
The home side appeared to have opened the scoring in the 12th minute when 15-year old Alphonso Davies played the ball forward to Daniel Haber, who shot straight into the net, but the official had whistled him offside.
The two teams traded chances late in the first half. First, it was Republic FC striker Thomas Stewart finding the back of the net from close, but his goal was negated after being ruled offside in the 43rd minute. A minute later, Greig linked up with a breaking Haber inside the box but the official again had his flag up, leaving the match scoreless heading into intermission.
Haber, who was named to the USL Team of the Week after his two-goal performance last week, was at it again in the 54th minute when Seymore fed him with a long through ball, but Jakubek was alert to the threat.
There were more fireworks in the second half. Brett Levis, who was active and aggressive along the left flank, launched one from the edge of the box, but his attempt sailed above the crossbar. Minutes later, Greig skied for a bicycle kick but overshot the target.
Striker Fatawu Safiu came on as a second-half substitute, injecting energy into the WFC2 attack in his debut in the Blue and White.
On the other end, Melvin was calm in net for Whitecaps FC 2, stopping shots from Agustin Cazarez and Cameron Isawa. Centre backs Cole Seiler and Sem de Wit were also stout in the back, providing timely clearances to snuff out threats from the visiting side.
In the end, neither side could find a goal as both teams moved to seven points, tied for second in the Western Conference standings.
Whitecaps FC 2 are back in action on Sunday, April 17 when they host Greig’s former team, Oklahoma City Energy FC, on Catching Fire Night at Thunderbird Stadium.
NEWS AND NOTES: Several members of the first team were on hand to support Whitecaps FC 2, including David Ousted, Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh, Christian Dean, Sam Adekugbe, and Marco Carducci… Whitecaps FC legend and fan favourite Young-Pyo Lee was also in attendance, signing autographs for young fans before the match.
Shots: VAN 4 – SAC 5
Saves: VAN 3 – SAC 1
Corners: VAN 2 – SAC 2
57’ – VAN – Will Seymore
86’ – VAN – Deybi Flores
88’ – SAC – Max Alvarez
Whitecaps FC 2
40.Sean Melvin; 63.Kadin Chung, 51.Sem de Wit, 14.Cole Seiler, 46.Brett Levis (55.Chris Serban 78‘); 30.Ben McKendry (45.Giuliano Frano 45’), 58.Will Seymore (37.Mitch Piraux 66‘), 20.Deybi Flores; 67.Alphonso Davies (49.Fatawu Safiu 72‘), 56.Daniel Haber, 47.Kyle Greig
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 41.Jackson Farmer, 42.Jordan Haynes
Sacramento Republic FC
1.Dominik Jakubek; 23.Emrah Klimenta, 2.Derek Foran, 8.Christopher Christian, 20.James Kiffe; 5.Danny Barrera, 6.Agustin Cazarez, 24.J.J. Koval, 22.Chase Minter (4.Felix Motagalvan 40’); 10.Thomas Stewart (11.Max Alvarez 80’), 26.Mark Sherrod (14.Cameron Iwasa 64‘)
Substitutes not used
12.Evan Newton, 3.Mike da Fonte, 16.Matt LaGrassa, 19.Mackenzie Pridham
This year, every Tier 1 ‘Caps Club MLS membership includes three open tickets to WFC2 matches. Members can select their matches and theme days online through Account Manager. Information on theme days is available at whitecapsfc.com/wfc2/themedays.
Youth season passes are also available for $30 all in. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-484-7862.