June 10th at Phoenix Rising
Score: 2-1 (Phoenix Rising)
Line Up: 40.Sean Melvin; 63.Kadin Chung, 14.Cole Seiler, 51.Sem de Wit ©, 44.Andy Thoma; 30.Ben McKendry, 42.David Norman Jr. (58.Will Seymore 74‘), 32.Marco Bustos; 50.Nazeem Bartman (64.Thomas Gardner 78‘), 47.Kyle Greig (54.Gloire Amanda 86‘), 61.Terran Campbell
Summary: The Thundercaps were always a little outmatched against the star studded Phoenix Rising. Goals from Didier Drogba and Shaun Wright-Phillips lifted Phoenix to a 2-1 victory. Marco Bustos scored another penalty (it’d be worth giving him a shot in the first team on the strength of that alone) but the score flattered WFC2 somewhat. Sean Melvin made a number of outstanding saves to keep the scores close but Phoenix were just to good. It’s kind of crazy to think how over the moon I would have been if the Whitecaps had signed a player with the pedigree of Shaun Wright-Phillips in their USL years and on this team he’s almost a footnote
Standouts: Melvin, Bustos
June 17th at Sacramento Republic
Score: 2-1 (Sacramento Republic)
Line Up: 18.Spencer Richey; 63.Kadin Chung, 41.Dominick Zator, 51.Sem de Wit ©, 44.Andy Thoma; 64.Thomas Gardner (54.Gloire Amanda 76’), 58.Will Seymore, 30.Ben McKendry; 50.Nazeem Bartman, 47.Kyle Greig (57.Thomas Sanner 73’), 61.Terran Campbell (42.David Norman Jr. 62’)
Summary: An early goal from Terran Campbell was not enough to lift the ‘Caps young guns over a strong Sacramento side. Sem De Wit gave the ball away in a dangerous area and Sammy Ochoa punished him for it. The game stayed close until the 74th minute when Agustin Cazarez scored what would be the winner for Sacramento. On an encouraging note the WFC2 goal came from a very intricate passing play more reminiscent of the team from last year
Standouts: McKendry, Richey
June 24th vs OKC Energy
Line Up: 18.Spencer Richey; 63.Kadin Chung, 41.Dominick Zator, 51.Sem de Wit ©, 44.Andy Thoma; 42.David Norman Jr., 5.Will Seymore, 30.Ben McKendry (45.Myer Bevan 65’); 50.Nazeem Bartman, 47.Kyle Greig (57.Thomas Sanner 65’), 64.Thomas Gardner
Summary: A wild match saw a ten man WFC2 draw 2-2 in a game they probably should have won. Nazeem Bartman missed a sitter, and then he scored, and then he missed another sitter. Sounds like Whitecaps striker material to me. Dominic Zator missed a sitter and then got sent off, so not a day to remember for him. Notable Both goals came as a result of corners by David Norman Jr. Thomas Gardner had another impressive game. He has a real knack for driving the ball forward from the midfield to create chances for himself. He usually misses those chances but there’s potential there. Thomas Sanner scored a goal and also did well to set up Bartman who somehow put it over the bar from five yards. This game also saw the debut of new signing Myer Bevan.
Standouts: Gardner, Sanner, Norman Jr.
Norman Jr.: 2
The Month of July is a busy one of the Thundercaps with five matches.
July 1st vs Seattle Sounders 2 (McLeod Athletic Park)
Kick off: 3:00 pm
A mini Cascadia Derby pits WFC2 against S2. As with most MLS reserve sides S2 have a roster focused mainly around young up and comers. As a result they don’t have much in the way of established players you’re likely to have heard of. Nevertheless it’s still an opportunity to see some stars of the future and some players you’ll probably hate for the next decade or so.
July 8th at Colorado Switchbacks
Kick off: 5:00 pm
The switchbacks currently occupy fourth spot in the western conference. This is the second meet up between the two teams this season with WFC2 winning the first encounter 3-1. there aren’t a number of immediately recognizable names on the Roster but the team is obviously doing well. Chris James has 20 caps for New Zealand and their leading scorer, Jordan Burt, used to play for a team called the Southern California Sea Horses.
July 12th vs Swope Park Rangers (Thunderbird Stadium)
Kick off: 12:00 pm (noon)
Another rematch will see the Thundercaps looking to avenge a 3-1 loss earlier in the season. Notable Players include Erik Palmer-Brown, Andrew Dykstra and Isle of Man international Liam Doyle. Swope Park also feature four Canadians: Tyler Pasher, Amer Didic, Mark Anthony Gonzalez, and Darrin MacLeod.
July 15th vs Reno 1886 (Thunderbird Stadium)
Kick off: 3:00 pm
Last time these two teams met the score was 1-1. Reno 1886 are doing surprisingly well for an expansion team as they occupy the 5th spot in the western conference. Notable players include Junior Burgos (formerly of TFC) and Loanees from The San Jose Earthquakes Kip Covley and Matheus Silva**. They also feature two Canadians: Jordan Murrell and former Thundercap Mackenzie Pridham.
July 29th at Orange County SC
Kick off: 5:00 pm
Orange County are having a rough year as they sit just below WFC2 in the western Conference. Interestingly they feature two players on loan from Liga MX sides, Pachuca’s Salomón Wbias and Tigres’ Juan Pablo Ocegueda. They also have former Eridivese player Jerry van Ewijk.
*assists, as always, are awarded pretty liberally to give you an idea of who’s creating chances.
**Since this article was written Matheus Silva was involved in a beach accident and was in a coma for two days. Fortunately at this time (July 11th) it looks as though he will recover. Here’s hoping he gets well soon.