Forced down to ten men with less than 20 minutes played, WFC2 fell 2-0 at home to the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Already with a depleted lineup thanks to key players being with the first team ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match, Vancouver hung tough with a strong Colorado team before conceding two second half goals.
Matthew Baldisimo was shown a straight red in the 17th minute for a reckless slide tackle in the attacking third.
“Incredibly proud of the group, very very happy with the performance,” said head coach Alan Koch. “Obviously the red card that early in the game completely changes anything you might have prepared all week long for the game.”
Switchback’s captain Luke Vercollone eventually broke the deadlock with a diving near post header in the 59th minute.
The skipper would add an insurance marker in the 87th to put the game away.
Despite the being the fourth straight match without a win, the compete level throughout the lineup was apparent for the full 90 minutes, something that hasn’t always been the case in recent weeks.
“We had a lot of confidence putting those young guys out there today and I have a lot of respect for the effort that they put forth,” said Koch. “The problem solving they had to do by themselves in the first 45 minutes being a man down, they did an excellent job of that.”
The loss puts all the more pressure on the team’s final two games of the season, with a playoff spot still on the line. Starting next Sunday when the ‘Caps welcome Portland Timbers2 to Thunderbird stadium, they will have all to play for. Swope Park currently sits 3 points out of the last playoff spot, with a game in hand on the Vancouver and a better goal differential meaning WFC2 will need to get results from their last two games to secure their spot.
“We know that’s going to be a tough game [against Portland],” said Koch. “The first three games [all wins for Vancouver], really don’t mean anything. We’re going to go play a game here at home which is a must win for us.”