Whitecaps down Victory

Bob Mackin

, Last Updated: 8:49 PM ET

VANCOUVER, B.C.: California Victory didn't live up to its name Saturday during its United Soccer Leagues' First Division debut.

But the San Francisco expansion team -- owned by Spain's second division Deportivo Alaves -- did tie defending champion Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2.

"A club that is only six weeks old, to have a chance to play the champions at home and to really put a nice show together, I thought it was an attractive game," said California head coach Glenn Van Straatum.

Eduardo Sebrango's third-minute goal gave Vancouver the lead until the 41st minute when California's Mike Munoz pulled even when he intercepted a poor clearance by Vancouver's Adrian Cann.

Victory took the lead in the 60th minute when Josh Hanson exploited Whitecaps' captain Jeff Clarke's giveaway.

"Two errors and they ended up in the back of the net," Clarke said. "We're not going to hang our heads. We created enough chances to win two games."

Martin Nash's 30-yard blast beat California goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek while the Victory briefly played with 10 men. Midfielder Josh Barton limped off the pitch less than five minutes earlier. Van Straatum delayed the substitution because he hoped Barton could recover. California was missing five players because of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service visa delays, Van Straatum said.

Whitecaps visit Rochester Raging Rhinos May 4 in a rematch of the 2006 league championship. Victory host Rochester on May 12.

Meanwhile, Whitecaps' 24-year-old backup goalkeeper Serge Djekanovic was transferred to Major League Soccer's Toronto FC on Saturday for an undisclosed sum. The Serbian-born, University of British Columbia Thunderbirds' veteran had yet to make his league debut for Vancouver. He was replaced by ex-Toronto Lynx netminder Richard Goddard.


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