Photo courtesy Mark Guthrel / Saint Louis FC
FENTON, Mo. – Saint Louis FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 played to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday night at World Wide Technology Soccer Park. Vancouver had the better of the first half, and took the lead midway through as Brett Levis surged forward from his fullback position and drove a finish into the right corner of the net from 25 yards out. Saint Louis (4-3-3, 15pts) rebound well after the break, and Jamiel Hardware found the equalizer just past the hour-mark after his initial shot was blocked. STLFC’s Chad Bond twice hit the crossbar after Hardware’s leveler, but Vancouver (6-0-3, 21pts) was able to hold on to earn a point, and remain undefeated.
23’ – VAN – Brett Levis
62’ – STL – Jamiel Hardware
Three Things That Matter:
1. WFC2 has gotten back to starting strongly after falling behind in back-to-back games against Swope Park and LA, and yet again found ways to put their hosts on the back foot early on Wednesday night. Saint Louis goalkeeper Mark Pais had to put in a strong first-half performance to make sure Brett Levis’ fine finish was the only Vancouver shot that found the back of the net before the break, keeping STLFC in the game.
2. Saint Louis regained its footing late in the first half thanks in part to Jamiel Hardware’s creativity, and he was rewarded with a goal that leveled things up. Hardware had a good first season in the USL two years ago with Harrisburg, and then was one of the major bright spots for STLFC in its inaugural season. If the Jamaican can continue to provide attacking spark in the final third, Saint Louis will be dangerous against anyone.
3. We got to see the sort of finisher Saint Louis FC’s Irvin Herrera can be on Saturday night as he racked up four goals against Tulsa Roughnecks FC to earn USL Player of the Week honors on Tuesday. Against Vancouver, we got to see the way he can interlink play and create space for others. Early on, Herrera was held in check by a solid WFC2 defense, but as the game went on, he dropped off into space, linked up play well, and drew defenders that allowed his support to find time and space in behind him as Saint Louis looked far more dangerous than in the opening half, hitting the crossbar twice after Hardware’s equalizer as Chad Bond almost found the go-ahead goal.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Jamiel Hardware, Saint Louis FC – Hardware’s goal earned Saint Louis a point, and his creativity helped turn the game around in the hosts favor after WFC2 made a strong start to take the early lead.
May 29: Saint Louis FC vs. Rio Grande Valley FC, 8:30 p.m. ET, World Wide Technology Soccer Park
May 29: Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Real Monarchs SLC, 5 p.m. ET, Thunderbird Stadium