TUCSON, AZ – Vancouver Whitecaps FC defeated New England Revolution 3-2 in an entertaining preseason fixture on Saturday night at the Kino Sports Complex.
Newcomer Masato Kudo, Deybi Flores, and Kekuta Manneh provided the scoring for Vancouver.
The ‘Caps are now 2W-0L-0D in the 2016 preseason.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made just two changes to his starting lineup after Wednesday’s 2-1 over Seattle. Homegrown goalkeeper Marco Carducci replaced David Ousted to make his first appearance of the preseason, while centre back Kendall Waston replaced Cole Seiler after returning from international duty on Thursday.
At the other end of the park, New England started what appeared to be their first-choice lineup, minus U.S. international Lee Nguyen. And the Revs looked in control early.
Fullback Chris Tierney was the catalyst. In the third minute, he whipped in a dangerous free kick that tested Carducci, who managed to deflect it over the goal. Then in the 25th minute, Tierney curled in another free kick to Juan Agudelo, who headed it just wide.
New England had the better chances early, but it was the ‘Caps who struck first.
In the 31st minute, Kudo opened his Whitecaps FC account after chesting in a flicked-on Cristian Techera corner. Marco Bustos, who replaced an injured Erik Hurtado just two minutes prior, got a piece of the corner at the near post and Kudo calmly finished from close range.
The Revs nearly responded 10 minutes later, when Agudelo headed a Tierney cross off the far post, before finally getting on the scoresheet just before halftime.
Tierney was involved again. This time, he curled in a free kick to Charlie Davies, who banged in a powerful header to draw the game level.
Both teams made several changes at the half.
Christian Dean, Jordan Harvey and Bustos were the only players who remained in the match for Whitecaps FC. Among those who came on were Manneh, Octavio Rivero, and training camp invitee Blas Perez. All three players were making their first appearances of the preseason.
And they each made an impact.
In the 53rd minute, Perez laid off a short pass to Flores, who continued his strong preseason with a 25-yard blast to put Whitecaps FC ahead once more.
New England’s Jordan McCrary responded with a well-taken strike of his own in the 66th minute, before Manneh scored the eventual winner less than a minute later. Manneh finished from the top of the box after Rivero did a great job holding up the ball in midfield.
The ‘Caps had a few more chances in the dying stages, including a Rivero strike off the crossbar, but another goal would not be needed.
Whitecaps FC conclude the Tucson leg of their preseason on Tuesday against Houston Dynamo. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PT and the match will be streamed live on whitecapsfc.com.
NEWS AND NOTES:
– After scoring a brace in Vancouver’s first preseason match earlier this week, Darren Mattocks has returned to Jamaica to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
– Sam Adekugbe, Marco Bustos, Kianz Froese, and Tim Parker joined the team in Tucson earlier today after Friday’s friendly between Canada and the U.S. in Carson, California.
31’ – VAN – Masato Kudo (Marco Bustos, Cristian Techera)
42’ – NE – Charlie Davies (Chris Tierney)
53’ – VAN – Deybi Flores (Blas Perez)
66’ – NE – Jordan McCrary
67’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Octavio Rivero)
24’ – VAN – Kendall Waston
33’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
74’ – NE – Josh Phillips
89’ – VAN – Octavio Rivero
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
First Half: 24.Marco Carducci; 8.Fraser Aird, 4.Kendall Waston, 22.Christian Dean, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 19.Erik Hurtado (32.Marco Bustos 29’), 9.Nicolás Mezquida, 13.Cristian Techera; 36.Masato Kudo
Second Half: 40.Sean Melvin*; 6.Jordan Smith, 14.Cole Seiler*, 22.Christian Dean (41.Jackson Farmer^ 61’), 2.Jordan Harvey (46.Brett Levis^ 61’); 20.Deybi Flores, 28.Gershon Koffie (25.Trialist* 82’); 32.Marco Bustos, 35.Blas Pérez (33.Thomas Sanner* 82’), 23.Kekuta Manneh (67.Alfonso Davies^ 75′); 29.Octavio Rivero
^ WFC 2 or WFC Residency player
* Unsigned draft selection or preseason guest player
New England Revolution
First Half: 22.Bobby Shuttleworth; 8.Chris Tierney, 23.Jose Goncalves, 2.Andrew Farrell, 28.London Woodberry; 6.Scott Caldwell, 4.Steve Neumann; 14.Diego Fagundez, 11.Kelyn Rowe, 17.Juan Agudelo; 9.Charlie Davies
Second Half: 22.Bobby Shuttleworth (18.Brad Knighton 60′); 54.Jeb Brovsky* (53.Dominic Samuel 71’), 44.Josh Phillips*, 25.Darrius Barnes, 3.Jordan McCrary; 50.Tyler Rudy*, 21.Zach Herivaux; 33.Donnie Smith, 14.Diego Fagundez (4.Steve Neumann 59’), 41.Michael Gamble**; 7.Sean Okoli
** Unsigned Draft Pick