California Victory didn't live up to its name Saturday during its USL 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. That was akin to a victory for head coach Glenn Van Straatum.
"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," he said. "I thought it was an attractive game."
Whitecap Eduardo Sebrango and Victory's Mike Munoz traded first half goals. Victory took the lead in the 60th minute when Josh Hanson exploited Whitecaps' captain Jeff Clarke's giveaway and beat goalkeeper Tony Caig.
"Two errors and they ended up in the back of the net," Clarke said. "We created enough chances to win two games."
Whitecap Martin Nash equalized on a 30-yard blast in the 69th minute. California was playing with 10 men after midfielder Josh Barton limped off almost five minutes earlier.
The Whitecaps visit Rochester Raging Rhinos Friday in a rematch of the 2006 league championship.
Meanwhile, Whitecaps' 24-year-old backup goalkeeper Serge Djekanovic was transferred to Major League Soccer's Toronto FC on Saturday for an undisclosed sum. He was replaced by ex-Toronto Lynx netminder Richard Goddard.