Whitecaps FC 2 have the chance to put their midweek loss behind them with another tough test against Reno 1868 FC on Saturday. Kickoff is at 3 p.m. PT at UBC Thunderbird Stadium.
- REDEEM: As an MLS season ticket member, you receive three vouchers per seat to use during the WFC2 season
This will be the second meeting between the two clubs this season with their first matchup concluding in a 1-1 draw at Greater Nevada Field on April 1. Reno come into the weekend’s match winners of two of three, and scoring at will. On the other hand, WFC2 have lost two of three and are looking to get back on solid ground.
Season ticket members are invited to redeem their WFC2 vouchers and come out to the match to meet members of the MLS squad in a full team appearance (minus those away for international duty). Fans will have the opportunity to mingle and get player autographs. After the match, tours will be available of the new Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC).
Despite the result, goalkeeper Sean Melvin was outstanding in the ‘Caps midweek defeat to Swope Park Rangers. On more than one occasion, it seemed Swope Park were destined to find the back of the net but the 6-foot-4 Victoria, BC native was there to close the door. His best stretch came in the seventh minute when he made not one, but two highlight reel stops on a Rangers push, preventing an early lead for the visitors.
Marco Bustos was unable to make it six goals in six matches, but the shifty midfielder did show flashes of offensive capabilities, most notably in the first half when dribbling on the left wing, putting the defender on skates, and firing a left-footed strike that rang off the bar.
Minutes later, it was Gloire Amanda setting up Bustos for a one-timer at the top of the box that he hit just over the bar. The Manitoba man also showed his passing vision finding Nazeem Bartman open for a grade A opportunity. Unfortunately, Bartman could not convert, and WFC2 were left off the scoresheet.
RENO 1868 FC
Whitecaps FC 2 will be in tough once again when Reno 1868 FC roll in on Saturday. After beginning the year 0W-3L-1D, the expansion side has rattled off a 7W-1L-3D stretch, catapulting them to fourth in the Western Conference, while still holding games in hand on the teams around them.
The Nevada club is averaging 2.66 goals per match, good for tops in the USL. During their current run of form, Reno have won a pair of matches with a 4-0 scoreline, in addition to a 6-0 win. In their last match, they buried nine – yes, nine goals – in a slaughter of LA Galaxy II.
The club is led by USL veteran Dane Kelly, who has tallied 13 goals in 15 matches, and are supplemented by Frenchman Antoine Hoppenot with six goals of his own. Of note, Reno defenders Jimmy Ockford and Thomas Janjigian, midfielders Luis Felipe and Darwin Espinal, and forward Dembakwi Yomba were called up to San Jose Earthquakes for a friendly against German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday evening.
HOME OR AWAY… IT MAKES IT A DIFFERENCE
Despite Reno’s recent run of form, they’re only 2W-3L-1D on the road, which bodes well for the ‘Caps who have been in Vancouver all week and are ready to go again after Wednesday’s nooner versus Swope Park.
Reno 1868 FC have a +20 goal differential at Greater Nevada Field, but are only -1 in that department on the road. This should give the young ‘Caps a great chance to ultimately take three points from their Western Conference foe.
The match kicks off at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, July 15 from UBC Thunderbird Stadium.