Unbeaten in their last three matches, Whitecaps FC 2 find themselves in a playoff spot a month into the USL season. This Saturday, they face a tough test when first-place San Antonio FC come to town.
The Blue and White will have the fans on their side in their UBC Thunderbird Stadium home opener. Rich Fagan has the boys playing inspired football of late, and it has shown with a plus-four goal differential helping the team snag seven of a possible nine points during this three-game stretch.
Up front, it’s ‘Caps 2016 MLS SuperDraft second round pick Thomas Sanner, and first-teamer Ben McKendry leading the way. WFC2 have generated 37 shots in the opening month of the season, 19 of those coming off McKendry's and Sanner's feet. The Indianapolis native Sanner also leads the squad with two goals.
Then there’s recently signed Gloire Amanda who has produced three quality scoring chances in only 130 minutes of game action. Tallying 17 goals in 33 appearances for the WFC U-18 team last season, Amanda has added depth and speed to the Whitecaps FC 2 attack.
We haven’t forgotten about the play on the back-end. One goal conceded in the last three contests has head coach Rich Fagan pleased with the unit. Rookie defender Francis de Vries leads all defenders with 30 clearances, and is tied with Cole Seiler with 11 interceptions.
Sem de Wit has made his presence felt picking up where he left off last season. Always the aggressor, the 2016 WFC2 Player of the Year de Wit has entered 33 50/50 challenges, coming out with the ball on 18 occasions. Add that to his 10 tackles in three matches and it’s no surprise opposing players have their head on a swivel when de Wit is near.
Between the pipes, Spencer Richey has found his form after an opening night loss to LA. The first-team goalkeeper, on loan to WFC2, saw action in the first three games posting a 1W-1L-1D record, and winning a clean sheet at home to Seattle Sounders FC 2. Sean Melvin made his season debut last week on the road in Portland. Melvin backstopped the Blue and White to a 1-0 win, making five saves for his first clean sheet of the year. For his performance, Melvin was named to the USL team of the Week.
SAN ANTONIO FC
Whitecaps FC 2 face the top team in the USL as San Antonio FC make the trip across the border. The 3W-0L-1D SAFC boast the league’s top goal-differential at plus-eight, putting the ‘Caps backline on notice for Saturday’s match. SAFC come to Vancouver rolling after a dominant performance last week, defeating expansion side Reno 1868 FC 4-0.
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Confidence will be sky high for the men from the Lone Star State. Midfielder Billy Forbes was named to the USL Team of the Week for his stellar performance after figuring on half of the team's scoring in the 4-0 victory. Forbes leads all SAFC players with three goals in four contests this season.
After this weekend, WFC2 are back at it on Saturday, April 29 for Bark at the 'Bird. Bring your dog to the match in UBC! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase your $5 dog ticket, with all proceeds going to Paws for Hope.