With the kickoff of their second season in the USL just over two weeks away, Whitecaps FC2 announced two home games that are to be played in the Township of Langley for this upcoming season. The games are scheduled for August 21 against Arizona United FC and then again on September 5, against Cascadia rivals, Seattle Sounders FC2. While the temporary change from their regular home, at Thunderbird Stadium on the UBC campus, was a result of a scheduling conflict with the UBC football team, the team was ecstatic to find another top quality facility. That’s when the Township of Langley stepped up, offering its newly renovated McLeod Athletic Park as a venue.
“I’ve seen the stadium from a distance but now that I’m in it, I’m thoroughly impressed, it will provide a great atmosphere for our game[s],” said Whitecaps President Bob Lenarduzzi.
McLeod Athletic Park, located just outside of the centre of Langley, has capacity to hold 2,200 spectators. Tickets will be priced exactly the same as WFC2 games hosted at Thunderbird Stadium and the three free WFC2 games that season ticket holders received are also redeemable for these two games.
While the scheduling conflict is the main reason for the switch, the opportunity to extend the team's’ image further outside of Metro Vancouver surely aided in the decision to place these games in Langley.
“Out of the 22,000 [at the Whitecaps home opener], there were 2,000 people that would have attended that game from the Fraser Valley,” said Lenarduzzi. “We have a huge amount of support out here.”
In addition to the two games being played, the Whitecaps will host two soccer camps in the town for various age groups throughout the summer as well as having more than 500 youth soccer players from the area participate in match day roles and festivities.
For now there are no plans to move WFC2’s home field off of the UBC campus, but Lenarduzzi was quick to praise the Township of Langley for quickly providing a viable second option.
“Right now we're at UBC and we’re happy with what took place there last year but as was the case this year we needed another venue to play and we’re delighted with that [Langley] stepped up and said, ‘hey, we want those games here.”
Image courtesy of whitecapsfc.com