Arizona United SC has had no time to dwell on their weekend loss to Tulsa, because tonight at Peoria Sports Complex they take on Western Conference leaders Vancouver Whitecaps 2. The “Thundercaps” will be something of an enigma tonight, as Vancouver’s first team has a busy week of its own, but we got some insight from a ‘Caps expert, Jon Szekeres, Managing Editor of Eighty Six Forever.
FR: Whitecaps 2 had a middling first USL season in the final table, but coach Alan Koch seems pleased with the development of his players, and this year the team is tops in the West. What do you think have been the greatest successes of WFC2 in its first 18 months?
JS: I think the addition of Kyle Grieg cannot be understated, but I’ll talk more about that for your second question. Besides Greig, WFC2 are succeeding because of the strong play of some of their younger players. Ben McKendry has been a standout, but the true gem of this year has to be 15 year old Alphonso Davies. For such a young player, he’s looking like he could be a great future player for the first team Whitecaps.
FR: Kyle Greig was very productive in OKC, but appears to be having a breakout year in Vancouver. What’s been the reaction from fans about his place in the organization?
JS: I think the addition of Kyle Grieg cannot be understated. The USL veteran has provided steady leadership at the helm of the team, earning the Captain’s armband despite this being his first year with the club. Grieg has cooled off a bit after a hot start, but he remains a valuable presence up front and brings stability to the USL squad. He’s been so good, he’s even earned some minutes for the Whitecaps first team.
FR: Piggybacking on that, Greig, starting goalkeeper Spencer Richey, center back Sem de Wit, and left back Brett Levis are in Trinidad and Tobago for CONCACAF Champions League. That’s terrific for those players, but who are some players who look likely to fill those shoes against Arizona?
JS: With a trio of important players missing, Carl Robinson has some decisions to make. I imagine Abbotsford’s Mark Village will get the call in the cage, while some of the Whitecaps depth defensive players will be put to the test. Perhaps some increased minutes for Chris Serban?
Tonight’s match begins at 7:30pm at PSC; 5:30pm – 6:30pm is happy hour in the Colonnade. If you can’t make it out, head over to ArizonaUnited.com to catch the stream.