T2 have already lost once to the Whitecaps 2 in Vancouver. They travel again and will be trying to not repeat the same result. This trip is also the first in a pair of matchups with the Whitecaps 2. After tonight's away match, the Whitecaps 2 will make their first visit to Merlo Field the following week.
T2 (6-8-2, 20 pts) got the sweep against Arizona United in their last match. Securing all 6 points available to them this season. In one of their more dominant performances of the season, T2 defeated Arizona United at home 3-1 behind goals from team leading scorer Kharlton Belmar, as well as Fatawu Safiu and Seth Casiple. Seth's goal in the 85th minute was his first professional goal and helped T2 ice off the last few minutes of the match with relative comfort. Fatawu's performance in the match also earned him a spot on the USL team of the week.
Up next is another trip to Vancouver to face the Whitecaps 2. In their first visit on June 21st, Vancouver beat T2 3-2 in a hard fought match. And 3 games into the 4 against S2 have them 3-0-0 over T2, 4-0-0 if you count the USOC match. And of course T2 dropped their first match against Whitecaps 2, so across all competitions they are 0-5-0 against Cascadia opponents right now.
Most of the team is available including first team loans. Notable absences are Taylor Peay who is getting first team minutes as he subs into the right back spot while Alvas Powell is on Gold Cup duty with Jamaica. And Rundell Winchester is in the 2015 Gold Cup with Trinidad and Tobago. He stayed on the bench in their group opening 3-1 win against Guatemala just last night. Coming back into the team should be Anthony Manning. He has returned to practice after being out for sometime due to concussion symptoms. So hopefully we will get to see him get his first start in a while.
The Whitecaps 2 (5-8-4, 19 pts) did what T2 has yet to do. Defeat S2. In their most recent match on July 4th at UBC Thunderbird Stadium, they posted a 3-1 over S2. Snatching victory from the jaws of a 1-1 draw, midfielder Victor Blasco scored two late goals in the 89th and 90th minutes to get their first win over S2 in three tries. Victor Blasco will be a player to keep an eye on. In addition to Blasco, team leading scorer Caleb Clarke is sitting on 6 goals and 2 assists and T2 will need to be mindful of his presence. And having already defeated T2 at home once, confidence in this team should not be in short supply.
This is the second of four meetings between these teams. And having already faced S2 three times, there will be 3 more games against Cascadia opponents remaining after tonight. Only one point separates these two teams right now with T2 sitting below the red line in 8th place with 20 points and Whitecaps 2 in 9th place with 19 points. After tonight's match these two teams will face each other again 9 days later on Sunday, July 19th at 7:00pm at Merlo Field.
Watch it: Streamed live on Timbers2.com and embedded in our T2 match thread
Kickoff: Friday, July 10th 7:00pm pacific, at UBC Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, BC
Portland Timbers 2: 6-8-2, 20pts, 8th place in the USL Western Conference
Vancouver Whitecaps 2: 5-8-4, 19pts, 9th place in the USL Western Conference