It's double derby time as Whitecaps FC 2 (11W-6L-8D) square off with Seattle Sounders FC 2 (8W-11L-6D) at Starfire Sports Complex on Friday evening for the front end of a home-and-away series with their Cascadia rivals.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. live on whitecapsfc2.com.
WHITECAPS FC 2
The 'Caps are coming off a gritty scoreless draw in front of upwards of 11,000 rowdy Sacramento Republic FC supporters last week to stay in contention for the top record in the Western Conference, and it will require another valiant performance from Alan Koch's troops to steal a point or three in hostile territory on Friday.
It's been the defensive half that has stepped up in recent weeks, with Spencer Richey getting a bench nod to the USL Team of the Week for his impressive two-save shutout at Bonney Field. New WFC2 player/coach Pa-Modou Kah was steady in his debut last week, providing a steady presence in the middle, while helping guide young studs Sem de Wit and Cole Seiler.
The attack has been relatively silent as of late, save for Thomas Sanner's 20-minute three-goal explosion two weeks ago. The load will once again be on his shoulders, as well as on attacking duo Daniel Haber and Kyle Greig, who each have one goal against Seattle on the season.
SOUNDERS FC 2
S2 have hit a rough patch in the past few weeks, including a 6-0 throttling at the hands of Rio Grande Valley FC, but are looking to ride the momentum off their thrilling 2-1 Cascadia rivalry win over Timbers 2 on Monday.
New to Seattle is midfielder Irvin Parra, who most previously competed in the Regionalliga Südwest, Germany’s fourth division league. He's played the full 90 minutes in the last two matches since joining S2 earlier this month.
Defender Tony Alfaro mans the backline for Sounders FC 2. The first-teamer controls the play from the back and will also be tasked to stop the 'Caps attack.
Victor Mansaray, who ranked first in the USL 20 Under 20, is back on the team after visiting Norwegian club Åsane on trial. With Darwin Jones, a constant thorn on the 'Caps side, battling injuries, WFC2 will have to zero in on Mansaray, who has four goals on the season. WFC2 right back and fellow USL 20 Under 20 selection Kadin Chung is away on international duty with the Canadian U-20 national team, so the assignment will fall on Seiler or perhaps former S2 player Giuliano Frano.
After Friday, the scene shifts to McLeod Athletic Park in Langley for the Cascadia rematch on Labour Day Monday, September 5. Get your tickets here.
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.