EDINBURG, TEXAS – Whitecaps FC 2 suffered a 4-0 loss to Rio Grande Valley FC on Wednesday evening at RGV FC Practice Complex as Toros midfielder Jose Memo Rodriguez recorded a first-half brace.
The ‘Caps were forced to play the final 60 minutes with 10 men after Brett Levis was shown his second yellow card on the night for a challenge against RGV FC captain Kevin Garcia.
Goalkeeper Calle Brown registered a two-save shutout for Rio Grande Valley FC.
Battling against the wind on a blustery South Texas evening, Whitecaps FC 2 were on the receiving end of an aggressive Toros attack right from kickoff.
Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 17th minute when he possessed a deflected pass from Robert Casner, striking from the top of the box and into WFC2 goalkeeper Sean Melvin’s net.
Shortly after, it was Casner with the finish, this time off a clean diagonal from Rob Lovejoy to double the home side’s lead on 21 minutes.
Rio Grande Valley FC had a glorious chance to add another tally three minutes later when Taylor Hunter found a streaking Eric Bird with a throughball with only Melvin to beat, but the Victoria, BC native came up with the save.
Just when it appeared the ‘Caps had stolen the momentum on the road, Levis was sent off in the 29th minute for a tackle, reducing the visiting side to 10 men.
Substitute Giuliano Frano came off head coach Alan Koch’s bench to provide support in the back, thwarting a five-on-two Toros break with a sliding tackle to momentarily keep the deficit at two.
RGV FC would capitalize on the man-advantage in the 40th minute when Rodriguez slotted in his second goal, slicing in a long-distance shot from the top-right corner of the box to put the Toros up 3-0 going into intermission.
Teenagers Alan Camacho and Joel Harrison came on in the second half for WFC2, making their professional debuts after being called up from the WFC Residency U-16 team. 21-year-old Deklan Wynne also made his first appearance in 2016 after recovering from a groin injury early in the season.
Despite playing down a man and fielding four teenagers for majority of the second half, the ‘Caps battled to finish the game strong defensively until Toros substitute Emilio Garcia scored the final tally in the dying minutes for the 4-0 victory.
With the loss, Whitecaps FC 2 fall to 9W-3L-5D but remain in first place in the Western Conference, with Rio Grande Valley FC behind them at fourth place with a 7W-5L-7D record.
Whitecaps FC 2 conclude their season-long four-match road trip with their first-ever visit to San Antonio FC on Saturday, July 16. Watch the match live on whitecapsfc2.com. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m.
ADDITIONAL NOTES: Teenagers Matthew Baldisimo and Thomas Gardner featured for Whitecaps FC 2 after starting for WFC Residency U-18 in their 5-3 win over Sacramento Republic FC in the USSDA Championship semifinal last Thursday. WFC2 players Kadin Chung and Terran Campbell are also members of WFC Residency U-18, who face Players Development Academy in the semifinal tomorrow at 6 p.m. PT at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Watch the match live on whitecapsfc.com.
17’ – RGV – Jose Memo Rodriguez (TJ Casner)
21’ – RGV – Robert Casner (Rob Lovejoy)
40’ – RGV – Jose Memo Rodriguez (Charlie Ward)
89’ – RGV – Emilio Garcia (Juan Carlos Flores)
Shots: RGV 16 - VAN 4
Shots on Goal: RGV 9 - VAN 2
Saves: RGV 2 - VAN 5
Corners: RGV 5 - VAN 0
14’ – RGV – Rob Lovejoy
25’ – VAN – Brett Levis
29’ – VAN – Brett Levis
29’ – VAN – Brett Levis
Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
31.Calle Brown; 2.Kevin Garcia ©, 3.Taylor Hunter, 4.George Malki (15.Kai Greene HT), 5.Ivan Magalhaes; 6.Jorginho James, 8.Charlie Ward, 17.Robert Casner (19.Juan Carlos Flores 77’); 7.Jose Memo Rodriguez (13.Emilio Garcia 74’), 10.Eric Bird (12.Ruben Luna 74‘), 23.Rob Lovejoy (16.Christian Lucatero 61’)
Substitutes not used
30.Callum Irving, 18.Kyle Murphy
Whitecaps FC 2
40.Sean Melvin; 50.Sahil Sandhu, 51.Sem de Wit (62.Deklan Wynne 77’), 41.Jackson Farmer, 46.Brett Levis; 58.Will Seymore (73.Joel Harrison HT), 65.Matthew Baldisimo, 64.Thomas Gardner; 56.Daniel Haber (45.Giuliano Frano 34’), 49.Fatawu Safiu (68.Alan Camacho 74’), 47.Kyle Greig © (57.Thomas Sanner HT)
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 66.Nicolas Apostol
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.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-484-7862.