Match Preview - VAN vs. PHX

Whitecaps FC 2 turn their attention to Phoenix Rising FC

Whitecaps FC 2 look to finish the 2017 USL regular season strong as they enter the homestretch, beginning with their match against Phoenix Rising FC this Sunday. Kickoff at UBC Thunderbird Stadium is at 3 p.m. PT.

Marco Bustos

Bustos is coming off scoring a beauty last week versus Orange County SC. The goal marked the eighth time this season Bustos found the back of the net for Whitecaps FC 2. His goal total is good for 28.5% of the team’s scoring output this season.

Bustos has now surpassed his totals from the past two seasons, burying seven in 2015, and again in 2016. He now has four games left to impress first team coach Carl Robinson, and Canada men's national team coach Octavio Zambrano.

Message from coach Fagan

I caught up with WFC2 head coach Rich Fagan after training to get a sense of where his boys are at. Fagan was quick to point that things are very positive with his group. For young prospects, it’s about growth over results.

“Keep our chin up, and know that it’s not necessarily just about getting in the playoffs, it’s about how they develop and how far they’ve come since the start of the season, and most of them have," said Fagan. “We spoke to all the players about what the future might look like, they all know they need to prove themselves every single day, the ultimate goal is not to play in the playoffs, it’s to play on Carl’s team. We speak about it, they know it.”

Phoenix Rising FC

Rising FC arrive in Vancouver as one of the hottest teams in the USL. Unbeaten in their last nine with a record of 6W-0L-3D, the club has surged up the Western Conference standings. Their road record (4W-4L-5D) makes me believe WFC2 have a legitimate chance of pulling the upset on Sunday and putting on a show for the fans at Thunderbird Stadium.

Chelsea great and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba's status for Sunday's match is still unclear. The Rising FC player-owner made his return from injury last week in their home match last September 16, but was not on the roster on Wednesday evening in Seattle. 

WFC2 are not out of the woods though, leading scorer Jason Johnson is expected to suit up for Phoenix. The Jamaican international and former Houston Dynamo player leads the club with eight tallies this season.