Vancouver, BC - No one can deny that the start to the 2015 USL season was a tough one for Alan Koch and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC2, but with back-to-back victories the Thundercaps' fortunes are finally starting to turn for the better.
With the Whitecaps' MLS team in action at BC Place yesterday it was expected that a contingent of first team players would be loaned to WFC2 for today's match against Arizona United SC, and that was exactly the case.
Joining the Thundercaps were MLS players Paolo Tornaghi, Christian Dean, Tim Parker, Ethen Sampson, Kianz Froese, Ben McKendry, Nicolás Mezquida and Caleb Clarke. Suiting up for the visitors was former Whitecap Long Tan, who has played for D.C. United, Richmond Kickers, Orlando City and Chinese Super League side Harbin Yiteng since leaving the Whitecaps in 2012.
Almost from their first touch of the ball WFC2 looked to be the better of the two sides, and both Mezquida and Victor Blasco had opportunities to put the home team on the scoresheet early. Although the two sides went into the break in a nil-all draw, Arizona United were fortunate not to be down by at least a goal, if not more, by half time.
Five minutes after the restart the Whitecaps again were pressing and Arizona goalkeeper Carl Woszcynski was unable to hold onto Kianz Froese's shot. In true poacher's fashion Caleb Clarke snapped up the rebound and put it past the sprawling Woszcynski to open the scoring for WFC2.
Tan almost managed to score one against his former club, but was denied by Tornaghi, who once again had a solid outing for the Whitecaps. This missed opportunity would come back to haunt the former Whitecap because minutes later WFC2 midfielder Brett Levis weaved his way through a number of Arizona players to score his first professional goal and put the match beyond United's reach.
WFC2 will now head out for a three game road trip against the Real Monarchs SLC, Colorado Springs FC and the OKC Energy FC before returning home to face the LA Galaxy II on June 14th at Thunderbird Stadium.
49' - VAN - Caleb Clarke
78' - VAN - Brett Levis
Shots: VAN 19 - AZ 6
Saves: VAN 1 - AZ 7
Corners: VAN 4 - AZ 2
Offsides: VAN 4 - AZ 1
39' - AZ - Jonathan Top
57' - VAN - Kianz Froese
81' - AZ - Milton Blanco
82' - AZ - Scott Morrison
89' - VAN - Christian Dean
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 27.Ethen Sampson, 26.Tim Parker (41.Jackson Farmer 46'), 18.Diego Rodriguez (54.Craig Nitti 46'), 22.Christian Dean; 45.Tyler Rosenlund, 30.Ben McKendry; 48.Victor Blasco (50.Sahil Sandhu 74'), 9.Nicolas Mezquida (46.Brett Levis 63'), 38.Kianz Froese (51.Billy Schuler 86'); 34.Caleb Clarke
Substitutes not used
39.Spencer Richey, 42.Jordan Haynes
Arizona United SC
1.Carl Woszcynski; 3.Damian Rosales (8.George Malki 46'), 2.Tyler Ruthven, 6.Brock Granger, 14.Alex Shinsky (23.Scott Morrison 63'); 17.Brad Stisser (13.Cameron Vickers 72'), 12.Joey Dillon, 21.Milton Blanco (11.Danny Garcia 81'), 7.Robbie Derschang (16.Jordan Rideout 65'); 29.Long Tan, 9.Jonathan Top
Substitutes not used
18.Zak Downes, 10.Jose Cuevas