TUKWILA, WA - it's been a long wait for fans of the Vancouver Whitecaps since the club officially announced the launch of their new USL affilate, dubbed WFC2, in November of last year.
This afternoon at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, the ThunderCaps (W0-L1-D0) finally took the pitch to face their Cascadia rivals - the Seattle Sounders FC2 (W2-L0-D0).
Joining Alan Koch's team on loan from the MLS squad were Paolo Tornaghi, Tim Parker, Ethan Sampson, Ben McKendy and Caleb Clarke, and all five players were selected to Koch's starting XI.
It was a tough inaugural match for WFC2, who were under fire from a quick and dangerous looking Seattle Sounders FC2 side almost from the opening whistle. Vancouver's back four of Chris Serban, Tim Parker, Jackson Farmer and Ethan Sampson were constantly under threat and were exposed many times during the match by Seattle's potent attack.
S2 coach Ezra Henderson, who employed a 4-4-1-1 formation, saw his side open the scoring in the 16th minute when Andy Craven ran onto the ball at pace and sent a low cross into the Vancouver area where it was met by Darwin Jones, who had no trouble burying it from point-blank range.
The combination of Jones and Craven caused 'Dubya' FC2 problems all afternoon, and Craven himself put S2 up by two goals when he scored in the 25th minute.
By the time the two teams went into the locker room at half time Craven and Darwin had connected once more to put the match beyond the ThunderCaps' reach in just the 37th minute.
Jones completed his hat-trick five minutes after the break and was eventually replaced by Qudus Lawal in the 70th minute.
The ThunderCaps came close to scoring a consolation when Jovan Blagojevic saw his effort go wide of the S2 goal late in the match.
There will be little time for Alan Koch and his squad to sit back and lament the loss to their rivals. WFC2 will now travel further south and will be in action again this Wednesday evening when they play the Austin Aztex on Wednesday evening at 6 pm PT.
The match will be streamed live on WhitecapsFC2.com
You can watch a replay of today's match below: