In a rare doubleheader at BC Place on Saturday afternoon, both the Whitecaps FC 2 and Whitecaps FC (6W-2D-3L) walked away with dominating victories, the former decimating the Whitecaps Alumni 6-0 while the latter crushed MLS side Philadelphia Union (1W-3D-6L) 3-0.
The fans at BC Place were treated to a friendly between the Whitecaps FC 2 and the Whitecaps Alumni earlier in the afternoon, due to the bye-week for WFC2 in USL play.
The Whitecaps Alumni featuring legends such as former Captain Jay DeMerit, South Korean fullback Y.P. Lee, fan-favourite keeper Jay Nolly, and former 86er John Catliff, prepared for the friendly against the young ‘Caps with a 2-2 draw on Tuesday against the men’s team at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Although the Alumni team sported legends from almost every era of Whitecaps and 86ers soccer, the younger and speedier WFC2 side came out on top with an entertaining 6-0 win after 60 minutes of play.
Despite the thrashing, the fans at BC Place enjoyed seeing fan-favourites of eras gone by take to the field again.
After the dominating performance by the Thundercaps, the senior Whitecaps team looked to take advantage of the BC Place atmosphere to take down the slumping Union side who won only one game in 2015.
However, the game didn’t start exactly the way head coach Carl Robinson had hoped. Early in the first half, attacking midfielder Mauro Rosales went down with pain in his right quadricep. Cristian Techera was needed early on as a 12th minute substitute to replace Rosales.
The Whitecaps also began the game on the back foot, as they Union held possession and attacked the Whitecaps at all opportunities. Andrew Wenger nearly put the Union up 1-0 in the 27th minute, but was stopped by a breathtaking save by keeper David Ousted. Whitecaps supporters hailed the miraculous save as Save of the Year material.
Ousted’s huge save seemingly changed the momentum of the game as substitute Techera beautifully set up Captain Pedro Morales for a chip over former Vancouver U-23 keeper Brian Sylvestre to put the Whitecaps up 1-0 in the 32nd minute.
Only 12 minutes later, striker Octavio Rivero scored his second of the season to make it 2-0 for the ‘Caps. Although the Union players called for a foul on Rivero, the Uruguayan in fact only outmuscled the Union defender.
After a quiet beginning to the second half, Union defender Richie Marquez got the ‘Caps going again after being shown red for a dangerous cleats-up tackle in the 78th minute. It didn’t take long for the Whitecaps to capitalize on the advantage as Tim Parker, in his first career start with the Whitecaps, fed Morales who quickly passed to the substitute Darren Mattocks. Mattocks slotted the ball and the game away behind Sylvestre giving the ‘Caps a 3-0 lead in the 81st minute.
After another dominating home performance, the Blue and White picked up the full three points leading them back to the top of the Supporters’ Shield standings.
The senior team will not have much of a break however, as their first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship begins at home against FC Edmonton on Wednesday. The game was originally intended to be the second leg against Edmonton, but a freak May snowstorm in Edmonton postponed the game in Edmonton until Wednesday, May 20th.
The next MLS game for the ‘Caps will be back at home on Saturday in a Cascadia Cup clash against the Seattle Sounders.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI and Substitutes:
Cristian Techera for Mauro Rosales (12′), Darren Mattocks for Octavio Rivero (69′), Robert Earnshaw for Pedro Morales (87′)Super Substitutes:
Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Nicolas Mezquida, Gershon Koffie
Philadelphia Union Starting XI and Substitutes:
Trey Mitchell, Brian Carroll, Fabinho, Fred