PORTLAND, OREGON – Whitecaps FC 2 (2W-0L-0D) won their second straight road match to start the USL season, defeating Timbers 2 (0W-2L-0D) 3-1 at Merlo Field in Portland on Saturday evening.
Canadian Daniel Haber had two goals in the second half, after Kyle Greig opened the scoring with a penalty kick after Brett Levis drew a foul inside the penalty box.
Tonight’s match against Timbers 2 featured a number of young players from the Residency program, including two talents who recently returned from international duty with Canada’s U-20 men’s national team.
Starting in net was Spencer Richey who made his first start of the season after leading WFC2 last year with 12 starts. Whitecaps FC Residency product Matthew Baldisimo made his first professional start after entering last week’s match as a substitute against Orange County Blues.
At the age of 15, Alphonso Davies made his professional debut and did not look out of place. Also back from international duty for his first professional start was Kadin Chung, who scored a goal for Canada U-20 in a 2-0 win against England U-20 earlier this week. 2016 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick Cole Seiler also made his professional debut on the WFC2 backline.
The first five minutes of the match displayed numerous scoring chances for WFC2. Greig put the ball just wide of an empty net after T2 goalkeeper Wade Hamilton misjudged a bouncing ball. Shortly after, Haber had a shot on net which required Hamilton to make back-to-back saves, keeping T2 alive early in the game.
In the 34th minute, Davies registered a shot on net from outside the box, but it was picked up by Hamilton.
The last 10 minutes of the half saw the Timbers put on heavy pressure deep into the ‘Caps half, resulting in a free kick off a hand ball. The ensuing kick was safely punched out by Richey, as the match went into intermission scoreless.
Action picked up in the second half, with both sides creating threatening chances.
The ‘Caps got the opening goal when a streaking Levis was tripped in the box by Marco Farfan to draw a foul. Greig finished the penalty kick to give the ‘Caps the lead in the 60th minute.
Six minutes later, Levis sent a cross to Haber, who was able to control the ball, turn, and drive a low shot past the diving T2 goalkeeper to double the WFC2 lead.
Later in the half, Timbers striker Kharlton Belmar hit the underside of the crossbar on a free kick from just a few yards outside the box, but the ball would not cross the line.
On the other end, Haber was given room at the top of the box where he quickly capitalized with his second goal of the match, giving the ‘Caps a comfortable three-goal lead in the 73rd minute.
Answering back three minutes later was T2 midfielder Dylan Damraoui off a give-and-go, cutting the lead to 3-1.
It would not be enough for Timbers 2, however, as they found themselves down to 10 men after Damraoui was shown a straight red card after a tackle on Davies.
Before the match finished, Vancouver native Ben McKendry, who was named the 2015 WFC2 Player of the Year, made his first appearance of the year, coming on as a second-half substitute.
With the 3-1 win, Whitecaps FC 2 will put their undefeated record on the line against Sacramento Republic FC when they return to Vancouver for their home opener next Sunday, April 10. Kickoff will be at 3 p.m. PT at Thunderbird Stadium. MLS season ticket holders can redeem their WFC2 tickets through Account Manager.
60’ – VAN – Kyle Greig (penalty kick)
66’ – VAN – Daniel Haber (Brett Levis)
73’ – VAN – Daniel Haber
78’ – POR – Dylan Damraoui
Shots: POR 11 – VAN 12
Shots on goal: POR 5 – VAN 4
Corners: POR 5 – VAN 6
73’ – VAN – Sem de Wit
90’ – VAN – Kyle Greig
85’ – POR – Dylan Damraoui
33.Wade Hamilton; 15.Chris Klute, 50.Michael Gallagher, 35.Anthony Manning, 95.Marco Farfan; 27.Nick Besler, 77.Andre Lewis, 70.Dylan Damraoui, 25.Neco Brett, 46.Villyan Bijev (30.Kharlton Belmar 62’);19.Ben Polk (73.Victor Arboleda 56’)
Substitutes not used
43.Kendall McIntosh, 32.Trevor Morley, 55. Brent Richards, 84.Seth Casiple, 89.Terrell Lowe
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 63.Kadin Chung, 51.Sem de Wit, 14.Cole Seiler, 46.Brett Levis (55.Chris Serban 83’); 58.Will Seymore, 65.Matthew Baldisimo (45. Guiliano Frano 62’); 67.Alphonso Davies (61.Terran Campbell 87’), 64.Thomas Gardner (30. Ben McKendry 70’), 56.Daniel Haber; 47.Kyle Greig
Substitutes not used
40.Sean Melvin, 41.Jackson Farmer, 42.Jordan Haynes