CARSON, CA: Focus on the process and results will follow.
Whitecaps FC 2 (1W-4L-2D) continued to show improvement on the pitch, but a last-minute goal by Los Angeles Galaxy II (3W-3L-1D) midfielder Ariel Lassiter broke the tie to end WFC2’s point-streak to two games, as the home side won 2-1 at StubHub Center on Sunday.
Powered by eight Canadians on its starting lineup, the ‘Caps showed strong resistance while under pressure from a Galaxy II side that has now won three straight matches.
The Blue and White came out of the gates firing when striker Caleb Clarke found the back of the net in the 4th minute, but the Richmond, BC native’s goal was called back on an offside call.
Galaxy II quickly settled in on offence, applying constant pressure on the ‘Caps defence, but WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey met the challenge and stifled mutiple Los Dos chances. In the 15th minute, Galaxy II striker Raul Mendiola carved a fine cross towards teammate Jack McBean, but Richey timed it perfectly and punched the ball out of the danger zone. Just two minutes after, Lassiter tested Richey with a long-distance strike that the Vancouver goalkeeper stopped with a diving save.
Richey’s finest moment came in the 24th minute when a Lassiter strike from the right side of the goal was deflected and rebounded at the doormat by striker Travis Bowen. Richey again stopped the putback effort from the seat of his pants, temporarily keeping Galaxy II from getting on the board.
However, Los Angeles would capitalize later in the 32nd minute, when McBean fed a perfect cross to Bowen for a right-foot shot to the upper-right corner of the goal to give Galaxy II the 1-0 advantage.
The second half was a different story as the ‘Caps came out of the lockers with clear intentions of stealing a game on the road. In the 64th minute, striker Mackenzie Pridham dribbled past Los Dos goalkeeper Brian Rowe outside the box, but Rowe was able to recover and smother the ball before Pridham could launch. Levis kept the ‘Caps on the offensive, attempting another shot on goal in traffic moments later, however Rowe was again up to the task and read the shot accurately.
Despite the momentum being on the Vancouver side, Galaxy II was able to pounce on a counter opportunity in the 87th minute, when the ball was played forward to Raul Mendiola, who held the ball just long enough until help arrived in the form of a charging Lassiter. Lassiter was quick to strike and gave Los Dos the edge in the dying moments.
WFC2 head to a bye week encouraged by the strides they’ve been making in the past three weeks.
The Blue and White return to action at UBC Thunderbird Stadium on Sunday, May 17, to host Oklahoma City Energy FC.
32′ – LAGII – Travis Bowen (Jack McBean)
35′ – WFC2 – Billy Schuler (Caleb Clarke)
87′ – LAGII – Ariel Lassiter (Raul Mendiola)
49′ – LAGII – Daniel Steres
70′ – WFC2 – Mitch Piraux
83′ – LAGII – Andre Auras
Whitecaps FC 2
39.Spencer Richey; 55.Chris Serban, 41.Jackson Farmer, 54.Craig Nitti, 42.Jordan Haynes; 37.Mitch Piraux, 45.Tyler Rosenlund (48.Victor Blasco 83′), 30.Ben McKendry; 51.Billy Schuler (49.Mackenzie Pridham 62′), 34.Caleb Clarke (50.Sahil Sandhu 72′), 46.Brett Levis (56.Ian Christianson 69′)
Substitutes not used
53.Mark Village, 70.Paolo Tornaghi; 47.Jovan Blagojevic
12.Brian Rowe; 36.Oscar Sorto (67.David Romney 85′), 44.Daniel Steres, 21. Tommy Meyer (53.Bradley Diallo 45′), 66. Joe Franco; 46.Ariel Lassiter, 57.Alejandro Covarrubias, 63.Andre Auras, 40.Raul Mendiola; 50.Travis Bowen (48.Ryo Fujii 58′), 32.Jack McBean (65.Jaime Villareal 82′)
Substitutes not used
41.Clement Diop; 59.Elijah Martin, 58.Kainoa Bailey