Bellingham United FC plays its next two games on the road and both will take place over Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday May 26 the team will travel to Okanagan Challenge, then drive back for a Sunday May 27 afternoon meeting with PoCo City FC.
It is the second and final regular season meeting between United and Okanagan. The Hammers beat Okanagan 5-0 on Mother’s day this year already.
“While we had a decisive victory over them a week ago, I really expect a tougher squad at their place,” Head Coach Lance Calloway said. “I heard that they are going to be getting some players back on defense to help solidify it and they are going to look for revenge.”
United is also recovering from some injuries to players.
“We need to take care of some off the field issues as well,” Calloway said. “We have to manage it being a long road trip in the bus and getting guys healthy.”
Drew Smiley, Matt Zigulis, Mason Webb and Greg Young are all recovering from injuries and will look to make their way back into the lineup in the near future.
The second game will be the first meeting between the teams. Both are new additions to the league this year.
“PoCo City plays a physical game from what I hear,” Calloway said. “They have only played one match so far, a 2-1 victory over Okanagan.”
The team is obviously looking to bounce back from a 1-2 loss from Victoria United on Sunday May 20, but the team is looking for more too.
“We have been playing well these past few matches,” Calloway said. “But we need to finish in the final third. That will be our focus this weekend. I want to see us pull together a complete march on the road as we have yet to play a solid match on the road. I want to change that this weekend.”
United’s next home game is June 3 against Khalsa Sporting Club at Civic Field at 3 pm.
It was a game of firsts. The first goal for Oscar Jimenez, the first time Victoria United has allowed a goal, and the first time Bellingham United FC has had the lead but would go on to lose.
The crowd of 1000 left with gutted feeling after watching the game. Bellingham United dominated the run of play, and had 5 chances for every one of Victoria Uniteds.
The Hammers just couldn’t finish. Jimenez would hit the post just after half and Tyler Bjork had a couple near misses.
“We talked about it before the game that they hadn’t been scored on and we wanted to be the first team to do it,” Jimenez said. “It’s too bad we lost, we were definitely the better team, but we just couldn’t finish.”
Jimenez collected a deflected pass across the box and slotted it home to give the Hammers the lead in the 24 minute.
Victoria United scored late twice, and it was enough for the road team to take home the victory.
“It was something that we have been talking about,” Head Coach Lance Calloway said. “We don’t want to let the other team turn on us and they did and they scored because of it.”
The first Victoria goal was sloppy, but it would tie the game up in the 75 minute. The second was off a free kick in the 89 minute.
“We played really good,” said Calloway. “We worked hard and created a lot of turnovers. But we just need to finish our chances. They had two or three chances and put in two, we had twelve and only put in one.”
Victoria United has now solidified itself atop the standings with the win. They have not lost a game in the four they have played. Bellingham United is now 2-3-0 on the year.
Oscar Jimenez was named Hammer Man of the Match for the second week in a row for his performance.
The team will play two road games over Memorial Day weekend. The first is against Okanagan Challenge on Saturday. Bellingham defeated them 5-0 earlier this season. The second is against PoCo City FC in Coquitlam on Sunday. The next home game is on June 3 against Khalsa Sporting Club.
Bellingham-Bellingham United FC played a mothers day game in front of over 1000 fans, and gave them quite a show. The team defeated Okanogan Challenge 5-0 and in doing so, earned the first shut out of the year.
“I wanted us to come out and defend better,” said Head Coach Lance Calloway. “We need to take care of the basics and provide cover for each other.”
The team was coming off a 3-5 defeat from Saturday May 12 against Metro-Ford Coquitlam SC.
“Our guys did a great job,” Calloway said. “Some of them played yesterday and came out and played hard today.”
Christopher Jepson was on of those players. He played 60 minutes on Saturday and then played 90 minutes on Sunday.
“I felt good coming out today,” Jepson said. “We wanted to redeem ourselves from yesterday, we corrected ourselves and got the shutout.”
Jepson added, “We were playing for our moms today too.”
Andrew Weishaar started the scoring in the seventh minute of the game. He got on the end of a Tyler Bjork cross and put it in the back of the net for a goal. A few minutes later Oscar Jimenez put a ball into the box that was headed in by an Okanogan Challenge player to give United a 2-0 lead.
The team was about to add a third goal in quick succession but the ref blew his whistle without giving advantage and called the goal back. That didn’t prevent the fans from celebrating though.
Keeper Drew Smiley was injured right before halftime and Leo Cohen was asked to take over.
“We were tired today,” Jimenez said. “We mentally got past that though. I was tired too but I saw that my teammates were giving everything and I had to match that.”
Bjork got himself to the back post for two of Jimenez’s crosses and added two more goals for United. One of those goals was a beautiful header that easily beat the keeper in the 71 minute.
Jimenez would be a part of the final goal of the match as he set up Joel Grossman in the final minute of the game. With three assists and forcing the own goal, Jimenez was named man of the match and received ‘the Hammer’ given to the man of the match.
“It feels awesome,” said Jimenez. “I watched the team play in the opener and saw the fans. It made me want to come out and make them go crazy. It’s really cool. It was also great to be able to play in front of my parents because they don’t get to watch me play that often.”
The fans came out strong for the second week in a row. Mothers got in free today, and next week on May 20 any student with a valid student ID will get free admission.
“The fans help us so much,” Jepson said. “They are our crowd and really are a 12th man. Its cool to see them come out and support us.”
The team’s next game is at home on May 20 against Victoria United at 2 pm. United is now 2-2-0 on the year.
BUFC: Andrew Weishaar (Assist Tyler Bjork), Own Goal, Tyler Bjork (A. Oscar Jimenez), Tyler Bjork (A. Oscar Jimenez), Joel Grossman (A. Oscar Jimenez)
Bellingham - Bellingham United FC pulled out a nervy 3-2 win to send home the over 1,300 in attendance happy. The team celebrated its first ever home game with festivities starting an hour and a half before the first kick on May 6 against Langley Athletic FC at Civic Stadium.
Lance Calloway was able to use some fresh faces for the team as college players became eligible to play for the first time this season, including Leo Cohen and Andrew Weishaar
“I am looking for our guys to continue to settle down.” Calloway said before the game. “I want to see us come out strong and apply what we have been working on in training. I want our speed of play to pick up too.”
The team came out strong and fast and scored the first two goals in under 20 minutes. Kellan Brown scored both goals. The first goal was after the keeper handled the ball after his team passed it back to him, giving United a free kick in the box. The second goal was assisted by Tyler Bjork who made a cross in from the sideline for Brown to slot away easily, giving United a 2-0 lead.
United took that score into the half.
Langley came out from the halftime talk with a vengeance. The opposing team started its attack up after giving United keeper Cohen little to do in the first half and would score twice with 30 minutes left. Andrew Dobbie got the ball on a David Malimura corner and put it in after a scramble in the box. Malimura scored the second for Langley to tie the game up.
“It was a little more exciting than I would have liked,” Calloway said. “We came back but we shouldn’t have given up the momentum.”
United caught a lucky break when Joel Grossman applied pressure and forced an Athletic defender to give a sloppy and slow back pass to the keeper. Weishaar picked it up, dribbled it in and slotted it home to retake the lead in the 86th minute.
“I thought Weishaar was very composed,” Calloway said. “He didn’t try anything special or force anything, but just slotted it into the goal.”
The man of the match for United was Brendan Quilici. He was honored by being given “the hammer” awarded to each man of the match.
United has a week break before two games over mother’s day weekend. On May 12, the team travels to Metro-Ford Coquitlam and then is home again against Okanogan Challenge.