The Vancouver Whitecaps said goodbye to Swangard Stadium Sunday when Puerto Rico Islander Nick Addlery’s pair of extra time goals propelled his team to the United States Soccer Federation Division 2 final.
Puerto Rico meets the Carolina RailHawks in the two-game USSF final series. Carolina eliminated defending champion Montreal Impact in Sunday’s other semifinal.
The Caps and Islanders were scoreless in the two-game semifinal -- which began Thursday in Bayamon, Puerto Rico -- until Addlery’s 113th minute shot from 23 yards beat Jay Nolly. He added an empty netter before the final whistle.
Puerto Rico goalkeeper Bill Gaudette was the man of the match. Vancouver had the 16-5 edge in shots, including four by Terry Dunfield and three by Ridge Mobulu. Gaudette was credited with seven stops.
“Their keeper pulled off a couple of good saves,” Dunfield said. “Maybe another day one of those goes in and we're celebrating.”
The Caps debuted at Burnaby’s Swangard as the Vancouver 86ers on June 7, 1987 and compiled an all-time home record of 233-69-60. The four-time Canadian Soccer League champions revived the name of the 1974-1984 North American Soccer League Whitecaps in 2001 and became two-time United Soccer Leagues’ First Division champions. Addlery was a member of the squad that defeated visiting Puerto Rico on Oct. 12, 2008.
The Caps move to Empire Field and join Major League Soccer in March 2011. Head coach Teitur Thordarson’s biggest off-season task is to solve a scoring drought. Vancouver was blanked 12 times in 2010 league matches.
“We definitely need to add attacking players to it,” Thordarson said. “I am very happy with the way we defend, I am very happy with the way we keep possession.”