Photo courtesy Bob Frid / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
LANGLEY, B.C. – Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 earned its first win of the 2017 USL season with a 3-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Saturday afternoon at McLeod Athletic Park. WFC2 took the lead in the 13th minute when Sem de Wit pushed forward and sent a pass to Terran Campbell on the left. His low cross was only cleared to the top of the penalty area where Deklan Wynne shot low into the right corner of the net. Vancouver’s Gloire Amanda also came close to his first of the season with a header that was saved well late in the first half by S2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller, while Seattle’s Sam Rogers shot over from 15 yards, but WFC2 held its lead into the break. Seattle pressed to find an equalizer in the second half, and a flicked header by David Olsen was saved by WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey. Vancouver limited S2’s clear looks on goal, however, and sealed the victory with four minutes to go when Andy Thoma’s diving header from Gloire Amanda’s cross from the right found the left side of the net. Ben McKendry then added a third in stoppage time to cap a strong individual performance.
13’ – VAN – Deklan Wynne
86’ – VAN – Andy Thoma (Gloire Amanda)
90+’ – VAN – Ben McKendry (Will Seymore)
Three Things That Matter:
1. WFC2 fullback Deklan Wynne was limited in his playing time in the 2016 season, appearing in only 11 games, but so far has had a strong 2017 that has seen him earn playing time in New Zealand’s World Cup Qualifying campaign, and come to the fore for WFC2. In a wingback role on Saturday, Wynne hugged the left touchline for much of the game, but read the play perfectly to notch his first professional goal. His low, controlled finish set up WFC2 for its first win of the season, as the hosts earned a good win in their home opener.
2. Seattle looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the second half, but wasn’t quite able to find the cutting edge in the final third that would deliver an equalizer. S2 in particular found some success down the right side of the field as Zach Mathers and Irvin Parra combined well, but aside from David Olsen’s flicked header off a cross by Mathers midway through the half, the WFC2 defense was able to withstand the pressure to record its first shutout of the season.
3. By employing an interesting 3-1-4-2 formation starting formation, Vancouver set itself up for a midfield tandem of Sem de Wit and Ben McKendry, both of whom had strong performances as they regularly broke up play in the center of the field. The duo were instrumental in both goals for WFC2 on the game, with McKendry in particular showing his feel for the game as he completed 73 percent of his passes in Seattle’s half. McKendry’s clipped pass to release Gloire Amanda down the right ahead of Andy Thoma’s late tally and a stoppage time finish of his own were the perfect cap to a strong overall display.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Ben McKendry, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – McKendry provided the pivot in the center of midfield from which numerous chances for WFC2 flowed as Vancouver took its first win of the season.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Portland Timbers 2 – April 16, 5 p.m. ET, Providence Park
Seattle Sounders FC 2 at LA Galaxy II – April 15, 10:30 p.m. ET, StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium