CARSON, CALIFORNIA – Whitecaps FC 2 opened the 2017 USL regular season on the road on Saturday afternoon, losing 2-0 versus LA Galaxy II at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium.
Galaxy II got an early advantage over the young ‘Caps after a Vancouver own goal in the opening minutes, then added another tally in the second half from LA forward Ethan Zubak.
First-year WFC2 head coach Rich Fagan fielded a starting XI that featured seven players on loan from the MLS team, and two teenagers in WFC Residency products Thomas Gardner and Terran Campbell. Campbell made his first professional start, while U-18 Residency call-up Gloire Amanda made his professional debut off the ‘Caps bench.
The home side opened the scoring when Galaxy first-team midfielder Baggio Husidic played a long through pass from his own half to a sprinting Zubak inside the ‘Caps 18-yard box. The ball glanced off WFC2 centreback Sem de Wit’s head, then bounced past goalkeeper Spencer Richey and into the net for a 1-0 Los Dos lead in the sixth minute.
The visitors settled in soon after that, with Ben McKendry and Gardner initiating the offence from the midfield. Campbell, who impressed in the preseason for the young ‘Caps, was also active on the right wing.
Richey, fresh off his MLS debut last week, momentarily kept the deficit at one with a diving save in the 58th minute on an Adrian Vera strike straight down the middle.
However, Los Dos doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Bradford Jamieson IV got around the edge on the left side and sent a cross inside the six-yard box. Cutting down the centre was Zubak, who tapped in the ball with his right foot for the 2-0 lead.
The ‘Caps pushed late, with striker Kyle Greig and substitute Thomas Sanner applying constant pressure on the LA backline, but former Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jon Kempin put a bow on the clean sheet with a number of saves toward the end.
Whitecaps FC 2 continue their season-opening road trip next week with a visit to Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, April 1. They begin their home slate on Saturday, April 8 versus Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC 2 at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley, BC, where they play six of their home matches this upcoming season. The first of their 10-match home schedule at UBC Thunderbird Stadium is on Saturday, April 22 versus San Antonio FC.
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal
6′ – LA – Sem de Wit (own goal)
67′ – LA – Ethan Zubak (Bradford Jamieson IV)
Possession: LA 45.6% – Vancouver 54.4%
Shots: LA 6 – Vancouver 10
Shots on Goal: LA 5 – Vancouver 5
Saves: LA 5 – Vancouver 4
Fouls conceded: LA 21 – Vancouver 5
Offsides: LA 0 – Vancouver 1
Corners: LA 3 – Vancouver 7
20′ – LA – Adonis Amaya
31′ – VAN – Christian Dean
63′ – LA – Hugo Arellano
75′ – LA – Baggio Husidic
90+2′ – LA – Justin Dhillon
LA Galaxy II
22.Jon Kempin; 63.Tyler Turner (48.Ryo Fujii 56′), 72.Jean Jospin Engola, 21.Hugo Arellano, 65.Ian Lonergan; 27.Miguel Aguilar (49.Adrian Vera 34′), 19.Jaime Villarreal ©, 6.Baggio Husidic, 38.Bradford Jamieson IV; 51.Ethan Zubak, 73.Adonis Amaya (57.Justin Dhillon 74′)
Substitutes not used
75.Eric Lopez, 54.Bennett Sneddon, 62.Jake Arteaga, 68.Andre Ulrich Zanga
Whitecaps FC 2
18.Spencer Richey; 28.Jake Nerwinski (65.Matthew Baldisimo 89′), 14.Cole Seiler, 51.Sem de Wit ©, 22.Christian Dean; 30.Ben McKendry, 27.Deybi Flores; 61.Terran Campbell, 64.Thomas Gardner (57.Thomas Sanner 69′), 44.Andy Thoma (54.Gloire Amanda 79′); 47.Kyle Greig
Substitutes not used
40.Sean Melvin, 33.Francis de Vries, 42.David Norman Jr., 58.Will Seymore