Fresh off their first win of the USL season, Whitecaps FC 2 head down the I-5 ready to face Timbers 2 in another Cascadia rivalry match.
The 1W-1D-1L ‘Caps look to take advantage of a Timbers side winless in their opening four matches of the season. You can bet the Blue and White will be licking their chops after putting up a three-spot on their other rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 last week at McLeod Athletic Park.
- LIVESTREAM: Catch the match live on whitecapsfc2.com. Kickoff on Sunday is at 2 p.m. PT
The young ‘Caps know they can’t get ahead of themselves when facing a hungry Portland side, they know the men across the pitch are professionals and will be looking to come out hard putting on a show for their home supporters.
For WFC2, Sunday's match brings the challenge of earning their first road win of the season, and the opportunity of continuing their climb up the Western Conference standings. It would do head coach Rich Fagan's side wonders if they can put points in the bank early rather than later in the season. The match against Timbers 2 provides a great opportunity for a three-point road trip.
Earlier this week, Whitecaps FC 2 defender Deklan Wynne was named to the USL Team of the Week. He opened the scoring for the ‘Caps on the weekend, and helped preserve the clean sheet.
Also, WFC2 defender (and former T2 player) Andy Thoma, midfielder Ben McKendry, and recently signed forward Glorie Amanda also drew praise from analysts around the league. Each of the three figured in Saturday's electric offensive display in front of their home supporters in Langley.
McKendry continues to lead the squad in shots (10), shots on target (6), and shares the lead with Thoma, Wynne, and Sanner with one goal apiece. McKendry and Cole Seiler are the only WFC2 field players to have played every minute of the USL season.
THE OPPOSITION: TIMBERS 2
In Portland, Whitecaps FC 2 will face a Timbers 2 side hungry for their first win of the season. With only two players over the age of 23, Timbers 2 field a similarly young team who are trying to learn on the fly what it’s like to play against professionals week in and week out.
A bright spot early this season is the play of 19-year-old forward Augustine Williams. Williams, a native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, has two goals for T2 this year. More impressive is he’s scoring at a clinical rate with his two goals coming on only three shots on target.
Bulgarian midfielder Villyan Bijev is also one to closely mark. He led the league in 10 assists in 2016, and earned a USL First Team selection. Bijev was a thorn on the 'Caps side in their last meeting, tallying a goal and an assist last September 18.
NEXT HOME MATCH
Whitecaps FC 2 will be back home on Saturday, April 22 when they take on San Antonio FC in their UBC home opener. Kickoff at Thunderbird Stadium is at 3 p.m. Redeem your vouchers or purchase your tickets now. And don't forget, April 29 is Bark at the 'Bird when you can bring your dog to the match at Thunderbird! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your $5 dog ticket, with all proceeds going to Paws for Hope.