Vancouver, WA — On yet another rainy night, the Vancouver Victory FC beat Everett United 3-0 in a friendly at Mckenzie Stadium in front of 271 fans. Jordan Jones lasered a great header and Jamoy “Bling” Stevens earned his first two goals for the club. It was a much more competitive game than the scoreline suggests; even with a small traveling squad, Everett came to play.
by Matt Lacy – V2FC Beat Writer
The first half started with Everett United playing a high defensive line, primarily keeping the battle in the middle of the pitch and maintaining a pretty even run of play. Vancouver’s Nick Palodichuk got a nice attempt from 30 yards out in the 14th minute that forced Everett keeper Felix Cruz to make a tipping save over the crossbar. Jordan Jones also got a good look from the far post off a Bryanth Garcia cross, but was thwarted by the Everett defense.
Match Photos: View a gallery from Bradley York
In the 24th minute, Vancouver’s Marshall Hartley whipped in an amazing corner kick from the left, pinpointing Jordan Jones rising above the imposing Everett line. Jones headed it home into the center of the net, beating Cruz and opening the scoring at 1-0 Victory.
Everett came roaring back in the 32nd minute with a sniper shot from 25 yards out that caught Victory keeper Mackay Owsley off his line and was only saved by the friendly cross bar. (On a side note, Owsley’s boot literally broke in half during the 70th minute of play, yet he soldiered on to earn the clean sheet.)
In the 38th minute, Victory’s Mirza Ramic sent in a world class free kick from 20 yards out, forcing a quick minded save from Cruz, the busy Everett keeper. Ramic later hit the cross bar in the 43rd minute, continuing to press the issue.
The second half was all Victory where Jones had a nice chip attempt on a fast counter attack and Enrique Esparza, just back from injury, began to show some real skill on the left side.
Cameron Goddard got into the mix and ripped in a strong, low ball from 25 yards out in the 74th minute, forcing an outstretched save from Everett’s keeper. In the 78th minute, a bit a magic happened, Vancouver’s Stevens shored up a ball right at the top of the box, completed a magician-like spin move while fending off three Everett defenders, and rocketed a shot off his right boot to beat the baffled keeper.
“It’s one of the best things I do. I can shield the ball very well. I looked over my shoulder and he was on the left side so I spin back right.” said Stevens. “I turned him again and it was wide open. So the goal was right so I just took it.” This is the Antiguan’s first goal for the club and his first in the United States. 2-0 Victory.
The 83rd minute brought more wizardry from Esparza, who juggled the ball in front of three Everett defenders to find Stevens 10 yards in front the box. “It was a good ball from Enrique.” says Stevens. “His first touch was very good.” Esparza zipped the ball over to Stevens who plinked it into the upper right of the net. “I just hit it straight and it was in so two beautiful goals in all, really.” smiled Stevens. And it brought the crew in blue up to a 3-0 lead.
The rest of the game played out with a nice 30 yard attempt by Everett that was easily handled by our guys and a great, harried save by their keeper to keep the score at 3-0 by the time the final whistle was blown. “It was a good game, actually.” stated Stevens. “We played very good in the second half. I was just happy to put the team on my back and just get the two goals and those put us up 3 to nil. It’s an awesome feeling, the team played very well.”
It was a fun friendly under stormy skies. The Vancouver Victory FC would like to thank the Everett United head coaches Jesus Muchaca and Salvador Rivera and their players for coming out to play this midweek match. It was a good time.
The Vancouver Victory FC get back to league play and their title hunt this Saturday at Silverdale Stadium, 6pm, where they’ll take on Westsound FC. The Victory blew them out in our home opener with a 4-0 drubbing and they are probably going to want some payback.
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