Photo courtesy Bob Frid / Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2
VANCOUVER, B.C. – A stoppage-time penalty kick by Ruben Luna earned Rio Grande Valley FC a 3-3 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Wednesday afternoon at Thunderbird Stadium in a game that saw both teams hold the lead, but neither find a way to end their current winless streaks. Vancouver had the better of the early going, but the Toros (6-10-4, 22pts) opened the scoring in the 19th minute when Todd Wharton intercepted a pass in midfield and quickly found Kyle Murphy for a low finish to the left corner. WFC2 (4-10-6, 20pts) hit back four minutes later, however, as Marco Bustos cleaned up the rebound after Terran Campbell’s close-range finish had been saved. Vancouver then took the lead eight minutes into the second half as Myer Bevan played a good give-and-go with Thomas Gardner before sliding his shot low past RGVFC goalkeeper Marco Carducci. As quickly as WFC2 responded in the first half, however, the Toros did the same in the second as T.J. Casner converted from the penalty spot after Joe Holland was brought down in the area in the 57th minute. WFC2 regained its lead just past the hour-mark as Kadin Chung scored from close range off a low cross by Campbell, and had chances to put the game away in the final half-hour. The Toros had the final say after Jose Escalante was brought down in the penalty area in the 90th minute, however, as Ruben Luna found the left corner of the net to leave the game all square.
19’ – RGV – Kyle Murphy (Todd Wharton)
23’ – VAN – Marco Bustos
53’ – VAN – Myer Bevan (Thomas Gardner)
57’ – RGV – T.J. Casner (penalty)
61’ – VAN – Kadin Chung (Terran Campbell)
90+’ – RGV – Ruben Luna (penalty)
Three Things That Matter:
1. Vancouver has been in the lower half of the league in both total shots and chance creation this season, a relatively simple explanation for the team’s struggles in the standings, but on Wednesday afternoon WFC2 showed what the young talent the side is capable of when it’s on its game. WFC2’s three goals were all produced with speed and precise passing that resulted in high-percentage opportunities as the side got down the flanks well to test the Toros’ defense. Vancouver will be disappointed to have conceded late to take only a point from such a positive attacking display, which keeps the side as an outside shot to reach the USL Cup Playoffs, but this attacking performance should provide a silver lining going forward.
2. Rio Grande Valley FC goalkeeper Marco Carducci was hoping to have a strong return as he faced a WFC2 side he made 16 appearances for over the past two seasons, but the former Vancouver Whitecaps FC Homegrown signing was put under regular pressure as the Toros’ defense conceded eight key passes over the course of the contest that set up good chances for Vancouver’s attack. RGVFC has now conceded 16 goals over its past six games, and has gone 0-4-2 in that span to slide down the Western Conference standings. There’s a lot that needs to be fixed in front of Carducci if the Toros are to make a run at the postseason.
3. Vancouver’s Terran Campbell didn’t show up in a big way on the scoresheet in Wednesday’s game, but the impact the forward had on the result was visible throughout as his speed and movement gave WFC2 the attacking rhythm it had been lacking in its last three outings. Campbell battled well to win 8 of 16 overall duels for the game, and completed 33 of 35 passes in the contest as he and Myer Bevan formed a solid forward partnership. Campbell didn’t add to his two goals this season, but put in a strong display that if replicated in the future should put him in position to do so.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Todd Wharton, Rio Grande Valley FC – Wharton provided the assist on the Toros’ opening goal, and created two more scoring chances while completing 85.7 percent of his passes in the WFC2 half to help his side earn a point.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 at Sacramento Republic FC – August 5, 11 p.m. ET, Papa Murphy’s Park
Rio Grande Valley FC at Seattle Sounders FC 2 – August 6, 9:30 p.m. ET, Starfire Stadium