Just as the summer fights to stick around for a couple of more weeks, the Whitecaps FC 2 (8W-13L-6D) fought hard and earned a home draw against Orange City Blues (14W-9L-4D). While the action on the pitch was entertaining a times, WFC2 captain and goal scorer Tyler Rosenlund was unsatisfied with the result. "Not a good feeling when you're up one-nothing and you don't end up getting three points at home," Rosenlund said after the match.
Coach Alan Koch was more pleased about the effort from his team. "We're happy, I think it was a decent performance. Not a complete ninety minute performance, but happy to get something out of the team that's tied for first position in our conference," Koch told reporters following the final whistle.
Both teams exchanged punches and goal-scoring opportunities, so the draw was perhaps a fair result. WFC2 started the game with great tempo and suffocated the Blues in the first fifteen minutes with high pressure applied by the dynamic duo of Marco Bustos and Victor Blasco. The Blues regrouped and started to level off the ball possession but it was Rosenlund who opened the scoring at the 33rd minute after a melee inside the box left him with the chance to put a half turn volley in the back of the net.
WFC2 had to be happy with going at halftime with the lead as Canadian goalkeeper Marco Carducci had a couple of key saves to deny Orange County the opportunity to level the score. However, the lead would not last long as the California squad would get a goal of their own at the 51st minute after Brenton Griffiths tapped in corner kick. The goal was controversial in the eyes of Rosenlund. "It definitely looked like their guy kinda grabbed our goalie, and (Car) 'Ducci wasn't able to go up for it all, and he says it was a foul, so I gotta believe him," said the 29-year-old midfielder.
In the final third of the match, the (Vancouver) Blue and White once again upped the tempo while striving to get a winning goal after Koch sent to the field Brett Levis, Billy Schuler, Thomas Gardner and debutant midfielder, 17-year-old, Kadin Chung.
It was Chung who had the best opportunity to give WFC2 the lead after he cut down the right flank, entered the box and just as the Vancouver faithful jumped to their feet at Thunderbird Stadium waiting for the youngster to fire a shot on net, Chung decided to lay it off Caleb Clarke, who was mobbed by a couple of Orange City defenders. It was an impactful debut for the residency product in his first taste of professional football. In retrospect, Chung himself knew that taking a shot on net was perhaps the better option. "I was kinda coming in and it all just came so fast. I thought it would be an easier option to play the cross for the easy finish, but I should have taken the shot better" Chung told reporters after the game.
WFC2 will have a last chance in 2015 to impress their boss looking forward to 2016 as they close out their inaugural season next Sunday, September 20th at 3pm at Thunderbird Stadium at The University of British Columbia.