It was a memorable game for Whitecaps FC 2 (1W-1D-3L) as they battled Toronto FC II (1W-1D-2L) to a 1-1 draw in front of a capacity crowd of 3,208 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday.
The Whitecaps used the game against TFC II as another development tool, with five loanees from the senior team featuring in the starting eleven. The five players, including keeper Marco Carducci, centre-backs Tim Parker and Christian Dean, defensive midfielder Ben McKendry, and striker Caleb Clarke, all showed why they should be in the first-team to senior head coach Carl Robinson and his coaching staff who were in attendance at Thunderbird Stadium.
Caleb Clarke, on loan from the senior team, scored WFC2’s only goal of the match slotting in a stunning throughball from Captain Tyler Rosenlund to put the ‘Caps up 1-0 in the 33rd minute. The goal marks Clarke’s second goal of the young USL season, as the young Canadian attempts to break into Robinson’s senior lineup.
WFC2 head coach Alan Koch was pleased by the efforts put in by Clarke stating, “He’s done well, his work rate’s been great, his application’s been good. He’s created a few opportunities. He’s scored two which is great, and I think he would’ve liked to score a few more as he’s had some opportunities.”
TFC II’s Jay Chapman evened up the score at 1-1 in the 57th minute stealing TFC II a single point away from home. Caps’ keeper Marco Carducci had no hope of saving the great goal from Chapman.
The physicality of the game between the Canadian rivals seemed to be turned up with a total of 35 fouls being called; 13 against WFC2 and the other 22 against TFC II. The foul count led to six yellow cards being shown, and one red card to each team. WFC2’s Spanish star Victor Blasco earned himself two yellows within four minutes leading to his ejection in the 68th minute, forcing WFC2 to be a man short until Kaye’s second yellow in the 77th minute. The ‘Caps will be without Blasco’s services on April 26th against a difficult Sounders FC 2 side.
Koch commented on the ‘Caps performance in the match saying, “I thought we played very, very well for the first 30 minutes. Probably the best we’ve possessed the ball.” Despite the praise, he wasn’t afraid to criticise the players for slowing down commenting, “After the first thirty minutes we really took our foot off the peddle and allowed them to come back in.”
Despite the slow start to the season for the young team that earned only four points in five games, Koch summed up the first five games as “a learning experience” stating, “We’ve obviously got a group of young players. It’s a good opportunity for them to show what they can do.”
Although many ‘Caps supporters hoped for a win on the field, the results in the stands at Thunderbird Stadium were promising. In the home-opener of their inaugural season, a capacity crowd of 3,208 supporters filled the stands at the University of British Columbia. Southsiders’ chants filled the future home of the Whitecaps’ National Soccer Development Centre and the crowd roared loudly at Clarke’s goal. Koch was also enjoyed the support saying, “[He was] very, very pleased the people came out and supported our guys.”
With the noteworthy home-opener in the books, WFC2 prepare for the Sounders FC II on April 26th at 3 PM, and hope to replicate the sell-out and support the fans provided on Sunday afternoon.
Whitecaps FC 2 Starting Eleven and Substitutes:
Mackenzie Pridham for Caleb Clarke (65′), Billy Schuler for Brett Levis (71′), Mitch Piraux for Sahil Sandhu (78′), Chris Serban for Ben McKendry (90′)
Spencer Richey, Craig Nitti, Jovan Blagojevic
Toronto FC II Starting Eleven and Substitutes:
Marco Nunes for Martin Davis (46′), Skylar Thomas for Daniel Fabrizi (62′), Edwin Rivas for Jordan Hamilton (66′), Manny Aparicio for Chris Mannella (83′)Super Substitutes:
Alex Bono, Massimo Mirabelli, Tarik Robertson