Whitecaps FC 2 Draw 1-1 against Toronto FC II in Inaugural Home Opener
VANCOUVER, BC - A sold-out crowd of 3,208 packed into UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday afternoon to watch Whitecaps FC 2 (1W-3L-1D) play to an exciting 1-1 draw with Toronto FC II (1W-2L-1D) in their inaugural United Soccer League home opener.
After scoring the first-ever WFC2 goal earlier this month, Richmond native Caleb Clarke made history again with the first-ever home goal in the 33rd minute of Sunday's match. Captain Tyler Rosenlund, one of four British Columbia residents in WFC2's starting lineup, set up the goal with a lovely throughball - just as he did on Clarke's historic first tally back on April 1.
DOWNLOAD: Highlights and images from the match
TFC II made it 1-1 through Jay Chapman early in the second half and that's how the match ended, but not before both teams were reduced to 10 men courtesy of a pair of second yellow cards.
WFC2 head coach Alan Koch fielded a starting lineup composed of eight Canadians and six Whitecaps FC Residency graduates in the team's inaugural home match. Five first-team players also got the nod, including the centre back duo of Christian Dean and Tim Parker.
It was all WFC2 from the outset on a stunning afternoon at UBC.
The young 'Caps had a number of chances in the first 45, outshooting their Eastern Canadian counterparts by a 9-2 margin and forcing TFC II goalkeeper Quillan Roberts into making five saves.
Spanish winger Victor Blasco, who looked particularly lively on the left flank, got things started in the fourth minute, curling a right-footed strike that a diving Roberts parried away.
After a number of chances, including an early Ben McKendry breakaway, WFC2 finally broke through in the 33rd minute. In the build-up, Rosenlund released Clarke into space with an inch-perfect throughball and the Homegrown striker made no mistake, flicking it over the onrushing Roberts to put WFC2 ahead.
Right back Jackson Farmer nearly doubled WFC2's advantage in first-half stoppage time, getting in behind after a nice run down the flank but Roberts came up with another big save.
TFC II didn't have a sniff at goal in the first half, but they got on the board early in the second when Chapman headed in a Raheem Edwards cross to bring the game level.
Koch's side responded well though and continued to push forward, but the complexion of the match changed in the 68th minute when Blasco was sent off for his second yellow card.
With WFC2 down to 10 men, TFC II began to take over. But a goalline block by MacKenzie Pridham and a diving Marco Carducci save kept the score level before TFC II were also reduced to 10 men as a result of Mark Anthony Kaye's second yellow. There were chances at both ends in the dying stages, but neither side was able to find an equalizer.
WFC2 will look to claim their first-ever home win a week from today, when they host Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. PT and tickets are still available.
Come and see the next generation of Whitecaps FC stars as USL arrives in Vancouver. With Season Tickets available for as low as $118, WFC2 matches will be a unique and affordable experience for fans, families, students, and supporters. Flex packs are also available to fit your schedule - get seven tickets to use any way you want, to any matches you want. For more information on all WFC2 ticket options, call 604-484-7862 or e-mail [email protected]
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