VANCOUVER, WA— Vancouver Victory FC beat Fuerza FC 3-1 on Saturday April 4 at King’s Way High School in the club’s first match of the 2015 pre-season. The match was played under sunny skies with the thermometer hitting 60 degrees. 147 fans attended the friendly. V2FC sold season tickets and merchandise, The Vanguard grilled burgers and dogs for the fans and Washington Timbers Coach Kat Tarr set up a booth to promote their club.
The Victory were happy to get the new year rolling and also to come up winners, but they say there is plenty left to learn before the season starts counting on April 26th in Yakima.
“(It was a) decent start for us in our preseason opener today,” said V2FC head coach Aaron Lewis. “FFC had some skillful, athletic players and they put us in some situations that we have to work together to solve. We did a good job at times spreading them out and finding areas to attack. We’ll need to build off this performance as we look to improve over the next few weeks.”
The Victory came out off of the first whistle and pressed Fuerza, placing three shots one goal in the first ten minutes. The visitors started to counter attack and had some success, getting a nice shot on goal in the 12th minute, forcing a nice save from Jordan Farr.
Vancouver took the lead in the 31st minute. Zak Naylor sent a ball through to Zhividze who ripped a 17 yard short hop volley into the upper corner.
Fuerza got a goal back in stoppage time of the first half. The Brazilian player-coach Fausto scored on a free kick in front of the goal 19 yards out. He ripped it just over the wall giving Farr no chance to even touch it.
V2FC switched out all eleven men in the second half and quickly established control. The majority of the play was in the Fuerza end, only allowing one distant shot on V2FC Goalie Arne Nierman the whole half.
Ten minutes into the second half V2FC hit the post on a shot from the right flank. Fuerza held out until the 80th minute when Alex Nimo scored a sliding goal at the back post off of a nice cross from Zhividze, who had just come in off of the bench. The two almost connected again two minutes later when Timur broke Fuerza down on the right side and found Nimo at the top of the box. Nimo’s shot was just deflected wide by a sliding Fuerza defender as the goalie was beaten.
The Victory closed out the scoring on a nice goal by Jamaican Kemar Prince who collected a ball 35 yards out in the middle of the field, beat one defender and drove a hard 32 yard strike just inside the post past a sprawling Fuerza keeper.
“I am looking forward to our next challenge against Oregon State this weekend,” said coach Lewis afterwards. “They are going to press us and put us under a lot of pressure. It will be interesting to see which players in our trial group can handle the pressure and a higher caliber of opponent.”
Club owner Barrett Goddard was excited to see the season officially get underway. “It was a great kick-off to the season for us. We had a great crowd with a nice mix of parents, fans, kids and Vanguard supporters!” he said.
“We collected a few boxes of food for the food bank and the weather was perfect for soccer. I am excited to get the boys down to Reser Stadium next week to play the Oregon State Beavers and then host Lane United for our home opener on April 18 as we close out our pre-season. Aaron and the rest of the staff have done an outstanding job putting together our trial group of players and getting them prepared for league play.”
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