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WHITECAPS FIND THEIR FORM IN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

 

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 3 – SPORTING KANSAS CITY 0

Two goals from Cristian Techera and a goal by Erik Hurtado put this game out of reach of a less than impressive Sporting Kansas City.

For those of you who had watched the Caps lose 2-0 in Kansas last Saturday, you would easily have noticed the vast differences between the two games; Sporting KC dominated on Saturday, but it was a different performance at BC Place as Vancouver took over this game and made it theirs. The ‘Caps now sit comfortably  on top of their Champions League group with six points – five points clear of both Sporting KC and Central FC.

Coach Carl Robinson made nine changes after Saturday’s defeat and switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Brett Levis, in his first ever game in a Whitecaps shirt, made a quick impression, with some mature tackles. 

Masato Kudo intercepted a poor back pass in the eighth minute, playing wide to Hurtado for a sweet ball into the box, where Techera opened the scoring with a header that keeper Jon Kempin failed to reach. 

Just four minutes later Russell Teibert played a perfectly weighted ball, that left Erik Hurtado with only the keeper to beat, a cheeky lob over Kempin’s head was all it took for the Caps to be 2-0 up.

Techera added a third, his second of the game, running onto a through ball from Matias Laba, to slot past the keeper. 

The ‘Caps next Champions League game will be on September 23rd at Children’s Mercy Park, once again against Sporting KC. A quick turn around to face Central FC on September 28th at BC Place. A win in either of those matches would guarantee Vancouver’s first-ever quarter-final  game in Champions League.

Vancouver Whitecaps next match will be against LA Galaxy on Saturday in Carson, California (7:30 p.m. PT on TSN1 and TSN 1040 radio).

Attendance: 16,383
Referee: Erick Miranda (Mex)

Goals
8′ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Erik Hurtado)
12′ – VAN – Erik Hurtado (Russell Teibert)
64′ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Matias Laba) 

Match Statistics 
Possession: Vancouver 34.2% – Sporting KC 65.8%
Shots: Vancouver 11 – Sporting KC 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – Sporting KC 3
Saves: Vancouver 3 – Sporting KC 4
Fouls: Vancouver 22 – Sporting KC 9
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Sporting KC 0
Corners: Vancouver 2 – Sporting KC 8

Cautions
32′ – VAN – Russell Teibert
39′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
88′ – VAN – Fraser Aird

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 46.Brett Levis; 8.Fraser Aird, 15.Matías Laba (17.Andrew Jacobson 90′), 31.Russell Teibert, 13.Cristian Techera (67.Alphonso Davies 76′); 9.Masato Kudo, 19.Erik Hurtado (27.Blas Pérez 68′)

Sporting Kansas City
1.Jon Kempin; 17.Saad Abdul-Salaam, 55.Amer Didic, 4.Kevin Ellis, 24.Ever Alvarado; 6.Paulo Nagamura ©, 93.Soni Mustivar (35.Ualefi 64′), 23.Emmanuel Appiah; 39.Cameron Porter, 9.Diego Rubio, 22.Connor Hallisey

WHITECAPS TAKE A POINT AS ORLANDO MISS PENALTY

 

By John May

 

An unsettled Orlando City visited BC Place tonight, without a win in their last four games and Caretaker coach Bobby Murphy in charge. Before kick-off most would have said that this should have been three points for the Whitecaps, but Orlando City hadn’t read that script.

Orlando City appeared to be playing with renewed flair, relaxed on the ball and in no rush to risk a turnover.

This appeared to pay off when in the 14th minute David Ousted was unable to hold Julio Baptista’s shot, for the visitor’s to chalk their first goal of the night.

Coach Carl Robinson was quoted after the game saying, “I think we have to be happy to take a point, because we didn’t play well”. More a case of Orlando didn’t really let the Whitecaps play.

In the 35th minute after being on the back foot for most of the half, Bolanos received the ball from Jacobson, Bolanos looked dangerous on the ball, managed to get a pass through to Kudo, whose shot Joe Bendik saved, but the rebound came back out at Mezquida to head into the goal, making it 1-1.

It looked like the teams would be going into half-time level, but two minutes before the half the ‘Caps were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box. Pedro Morales picked out Masato Kudo to score the second header of the game. 2-1 Whitecaps at half-time.

Five minutes into the second half, Cyle Larin leveled the score when he got his head on a Kevin Molino cross.

Orlando continued as they had been all game and draw a weak penalty for Julio Baptista to sky over the bar.

Despite chances from both sides, neither was able to break the deadlock with a third goal.

Orlando’s next game is against Columbus Crew, they must feel that they could take three points from that game.

Whitecaps Play Crystal Palace on Tuesday at BC Place, their next MLS clash is on Saturday July 23rd in Texas against Houston Dynamo.

 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Masato Kudo

Referee: Hilario Grajeda

Attendance: 22,120

 

Goals

14′ – ORL – Julio Baptista (Luke Boden)

35′ – VAN – Nicolas Mezquida

43′ – VAN – Masato Kudo (Pedro Morales)

50′ – ORL – Cyle Larin (Kevin Molino, Darwin Ceren)

 

Game statistics

Possession: Vancouver 47.9 % – Orlando 52.1 %

Shots: Vancouver 14 – Orlando 12

Shots on Goal: Vancouver 4 – Orlando 5

Saves: Vancouver 2 – Orlando 2

Fouls: Vancouver 17 – Orlando 9

Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Orlando 1

Corners: Vancouver 6 – Orlando 6

 

Cautions

69′ – ORL – Servando Carrasco

90′ + 2′ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 17.Andrew Jacobson, 15.Matías Laba (13.Cristian Techera 63′); 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (67.Alphonso Davies 77′), 77.Pedro Morales ©; 9.Masato Kudo (19.Erik Hurtado 83′)

 

Orlando City SC

1.Joe Bendik; 12.Kevin Alston, 3.Seb Hines ©, 44.David Mateos, 14.Luke Boden; 17.Darwin Ceren, 5.Servando Carrasco; 13.Hadji Barry (22.Antonio Nocerino 84′), 19.Julio Baptista (7.Cristian Higuita 79′), 18.Kevin Molino; 9.Cyle Larin.

 

WHITECAPS ON ROAD TO RECOVERY WITH 2-0 WIN OVER SALT LAKE

 

By Hazel May

With new signing Marcel de Jong on the bench and Masato Kudo’s first game back from injury since May, against Chivas, this evening’s game against Salt Lake certainly looked to be an interesting matchup. The game started evenly enough with both teams taking time to settle. In the 6th minute Laba was given a stern talking to by the ref after a nasty challenge on Mulholland. In the 10th minute Techera had a good opportunity with a left foot, but offered a weak shot at goal. An early Yellow card followed in the 12th minute for Jordan Allan for Salt Lake for a nasty challenge on Nicolas Mezquida who indicated to the referee to give a yellow card for the foul, which was duly dispatched.

 

An outstanding save by Ousted prevented Salt Lake scoring in the 15th minute and was the only big save he needed to make in the first half. In the 18th minute Mulholland forced a corner off Waston, which was easily headed away by Kudo who was playing with confidence.  Good defending by Harvey, Waston and Smith for Whitecaps in the first 25 minutes prevented Salt Lake making any progress on goal.

An obvious Yellow card for Jacobson for a boot to the head of Wingert, who needed treatment before he could continue. A further Yellow card followed for Beltran in the 28th minute after a collision with Waston. Thirty minutes in and three yellow cards.

A patient build up by the Whitecaps resulted in a scramble in the front of goal in the 33rd minute with a nice ball played in by Laba who had been pushing up the field the entire half with Kudo working hard in front of goal which resulted in an own goal by Justen Glad.

Three minutes later, a spectacular left footed shot by Techera had the crowd at BC Place erupting, when the ball found the top right corner of Jeff Attinella’s goal to set the game at 2-0.

 

Five minutes to the half and Whitecaps sitting comfortably on a 2-0 lead with possession standing at 59% Whitecaps and 41% Salt Lake . In the 45th minute an unusual free kick for Salt Lake after an aerial challenge from Techera on Garcia, resulting in Techera winning the header. Good possession by the Whitecaps continued leading up to the half time whistle. No substitutions at the half for Whitecaps by Carl Robinson.

 

With Whitecaps continuing to play as they did in the first half attacking the game and Harvey spending a lot of time up on the left wing playing balls into Techera and Kudo. Mezquida was presented with a decent effort in the 50th minute putting the ball just wide and playing with a great deal of confidence in this game.

With a good spell of possession by the Whitecaps during this busy period, the Whitecaps continued to force Salt Lake back in their own half pushing forward with Smith on the right and Harvey on the left leaving Waston at the back. Waston with a needless yellow card in the 53rd minute for a push in frustration but Salt Lake could not take advantage of the free kick.

 

Nasty challenge on Techera by Mulholland in the 58th minute resulted in a yellow card for Mulholland who by now was also feeling frustrated. No sign of Marcel de Jong joining the game at this stage for the Whitecaps. Perhaps Robinson didn’t feel the need at this point for his input.

Salt Lake make a double substitution with Javier Morales and Juan Manual Martinez in the 62nd minute to try and switch up the play.

With ten minutes to go Marcel De Jong finally joined the game for Techera slotting in just behind the back four. A silly error clearing the ball by Salt Lake goalkeeper who has been very busy this half of the game left Kudo going for goal, but a good save followed by Salt Lake keeper who has been busy this half. Garcia promptly gave away a free kick after fouling Laba, but Whitecaps could not capitalize on it.

Coach Carl Robinson shortly after took the decision to bring on Hurtado in the 70th min for a fresh pair of legs with Kudo leaving the game, having played well for his first game back and receiving a good reception from the fans upon his exit. Mezquida having had a good game finally went off for Morales.

 

It became clear that Salt Lake had become frustrated with the work of the Whitecaps defenders having bundled over Jordan Harvey at least 4 or 5 times in the 2nd half.

With just ten minutes to go, Salt Lake threw everything they had at the Whitecaps and Ousted, but Whitecaps remained focused and continued to defend, learning from last week’s errors against Colorado Rapids.

Last substitution for Salt Lake in the 86 minute in a desperate attempt to get something from this game. Chris Williams went off and Boyd Okwuonu came on.  A last minute hand ball by de Jong gave Salt Lake a free kick in the 87th outside the box, taken by Javier Morales and headed away by Hurtado. Salt Lake continue their poor run in away games this season.

 

Good win for Whitecaps who are at home this coming Saturday 16th July against visiting for the first time Orlando City at 7pm. Whitecaps first clean sheet since winning on April 23rd against FC Dallas and 11 games since last the shut out.
MATCH DETAILS
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee:Jose Carlos Rivero
Attendance:22,120

Scoring Summary
34′ – VAN – Justen Glad (own goal)
37′ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Christian Bolaños)

Stats

Possession: Vancouver 53.7 % – RSL 46.3 %
Shots: Vancouver 5 – RSL 13
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 2 – RSL 4
Saves: Vancouver 4 – RSL 1
Fouls: Vancouver 18 – RSL 19
Offsides: Vancouver 4 – RSL 0
Corners: Vancouver 1 – RSL 6

Cautions
13′ – RSL – Jordan Allen
25′ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
28′ – RSL – Tony Beltran
54′ – VAN – Kendall Waston
59′ – RSL – Luke Mulholland
74′ – RSL – Olmes Garcia
89′ – VAN – Marcel de Jong

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted ©; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 17.Andrew Jacobson, 15.Matías Laba; 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (77.Pedro Morales 76′), 13.Cristian Techera (33.Marcel de Jong 66′); 9.Masato Kudo (19.Erik Hurtado 71′)

Real Salt Lake
24.Jeff Attinella; 2.Tony Beltran ©, 15.Justen Glad, 21.Aaron Maund, 16.Chris Wingert (6.Boyd Okwuonu 88′); 12.Omar Holness, 18.Luke Mulholland (11.Javier Morales 65′), 27.John Stertzer; 80.Olmes Garcia, 14.Yura Movsisyan, 70.Jordan Allen (7.Juan Manuel Martinez 65′)

 

10 MAN RAPIDS HOLD WHITECAPS TO A DRAW

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS 2 – COLORADO RAPIDS 2 

By John May

Vancouver Whitecaps fail to capitalize against 10 man Rapids.

Kendall Waston completes a whole game without being carded.

Despite leading twice, with a headed goal from Kendall Waston and a Cristian Techera Penalty, Colorado Rapids managed to extende their unbeaten run to 13 games, with a late equalizer from Axel Sjoberg.

Colorado almost dominated the first half, and David Ousted was made to earn his salary by keeping a clean sheet throughout the first 45 minutes.

It was the Caps that opened the scoring when Kendall Waston put his head on a Bolaños cross, after out jumping everyone else in the box, Tim Howard should have been able to deal with it, but was beaten easily.

Before the end of the half Kekuta Manneh needed to be replaced by Erik Hurtado after spraining his ankle, not sure as yet, if he will be fit for Wednesday’s game against RSL.

Going into the second half Colorado were clearly looking for something from this game and in minute 59, Kevin Doyle slotted the ball past Ousted to level at 1-1.

Colorado continued the pressure throughout the second half until minute 71 when the game took a turn after Eric Miller played through the back of Pedro Morales, earning him a straight red.

The ‘Caps could sense that they could get a result from this game, especially after referee Allen Chapman awarded the ‘Caps a penalty, that Cristian Techera had no difficulty converting.

It could be argued that the Whitecaps thought that three points were theirs, but Rapids didn’t appear to be giving up as yet, and in the dying moments of the game Kevin Doyle managed to get past Waston to cross a ball over everyone in the box, where a waiting Axel Sjoberg easily headed to the far side of David Ousted goal, to tie the game.

Whitecaps next game, is this Wednesday at BC Place for a 7:30pm kick-off against Real Salt Lake, Masato Kudo may be available.

Match Details

Budweiser Man of the Match: Kendall Waston

Referee: Allen Chapman

Attendance: 22,120

Scoring Summary

10′ – VAN – Kendall Waston (Christian Bolaños, Pedro Morales)

59′ – COL – Kevin Doyle (Shkelzen Gashi, Marco Pappa)

87′ – VAN – Cristian Techera (Penalty Kick)

90′ + 4′ – COL – Axel Sjoberg (Kevin Doyle)

Game statistics 

Possession: Vancouver 40.2 % – Colorado 59.8 %

Shots: Vancouver 13 – Colorado 17

Shots on Goal: Vancouver 6 – Colorado 9

Saves: Vancouver 7 – Colorado 4

Fouls: Vancouver 9 – Colorado 11

Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Colorado 1

Corners: Vancouver 3 – Colorado 4

Cautions

37′ – COL – Jared Watts

56′ – COL – Shkelzen Gashi

74′ – COL – Marco Pappa

Ejection

71′ – COL – Eric Miller

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales © (13.Cristian Techera 80′); 23.Kekuta Manneh (19.Erik Hurtado 43′); 27.Blas Pérez (11.Nicolás Mezquida 65′)

Colorado Rapids

1.Tim Howard; 3.Eric Miller, 33.Jared Watts, 44.Axel Sjoberg, 5.Mekeil Williams; 6.Sam Cronin ©, 22.Michael Azira; 10.Marco Pappa (4.Marc Burch 74′), 8.Dillon Powers (21.Luis Solignac 84′), 11.Shkelzen Gashi (94.Marlon Hairston 79′); 9.Kevin Doyle.

David Ousted-2921

PHILADELPHIA UNION 2 – VANCOUVER WHITECAPS 3

By John May

 

The Vancouver Whitecaps visit Philadelphia, to face the Eastern Conference leaders, desperate for points and desperate to avoid defeat.

It didn’t take long for Union’s Brazilian star Fabinho, going into this game averaging one goal per game, to test the Whitecaps defense. But it would be Dutchman Roland Alberg who would open the scoring. Whilst the Caps stopped playing to inform the Referee that former Whitecap Sebastien LeToux had handled the ball, Alberg kept his focus on the ball to bury for Philadelphia Union’s first of the game, Union Coach Jim Curtin must have been convinced of another home victory from his team.

The game was running fairly level with end-to-end play, both teams looking to add to the scoreline, after 19 minutes Andrew Jacobson kept his focus on a corner kick to pull the Caps level.

The game showed no signs that either team were willing to play for a draw and in minute 42 Kekuta Manneh having collected the ball within his own half, drives towards goal, turning on the edge of the box and put the ball just inside the post to take the Caps into half-time 2-1 up.

Union still want something from this game and continually test Ousted and the Whitecaps defense. Both teams continue to test each other, in the 84th minute the Caps overturn a Union attack, with Erik Hurtado picking out Bolanos on the left side, whose shot is deflected into the Phili goal, 1-3.

This game far from complete, Union continue to press David Ousted’s goal looking to pull something out of the bag. It was too little, too late for Union when Chris Pontius make the game 2-3 in minute 90+4.

Whitecaps hand Philadelphia Union their first home defeat of the season. A match better performance from the Whitecaps ahead of their Amway clash with Toronto FC on Wednesday.

 

Budweiser Man of the Match: David Ousted

Referee: Armando Villarreal

Attendance: 17,225

 

Goals

1 4’ – PHI – Roland Alberg (Sebastien Le Toux)

19’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson

41’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Pedro Morales)

84’ – VAN – Christian Bolaños (Erik Hurtado)

90’ + 4’ – PHI – Chris Pontius

 

Game Statistics

Possession: Philadelphia 53.3 % – Vancouver 46.7 %

Shots: Philadelphia 21 – Vancouver 10

Shots on Goal: Philadelphia 4 – Vancouver 6

Saves: Philadelphia 3 – Vancouver 2

Fouls: Philadelphia 7 – Vancouver 14

Offsides: Philadelphia 1 – Vancouver 1

Corners: Philadelphia 6 – Vancouver 5

 

Cautions

36’ – PHI Tranquillo Barnetta

51’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales (31.Russell Teibert 65’); 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (27.Blas Pérez 75’), 23.Kekuta Manneh (13.Cristian Techera 79’); 19.Erik Hurtado

 

Philadelphia Union

1.Andre Blake; 12.Keegan Rosenberry, 15.Joshua Yaro, 16.Richie Marquez, 33.Fabinho (22.Leo Fernandez 82’); 7.Brian Carroll, 10.Tranquillo Barnetta; 25.Ilsinho (13.Chris Pontius 65’), 6.Roland Alberg, 9.Sebastien Le Toux; 11.Fabian Herbers (20.Walter Restrepo 75’)

 

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 1 – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION 2

 

By John May

 

The Vancouver Whitecaps totally dominated every statistical, outshooting New England 17-8 and controlling 63.5 per cent of possession, but New England’s two goals proved critcal.

With the ‘Caps missing some key starters, with Kendall Waston, Pedro Morales and Octavio Rivero all suspended, the Revolution must have believed they could get something out of this game.

The home side started well threatening the New England defense from the start, but New England had the first real chance in the 23rd minute when Rowe headed a Chris Tierney cross off the bar from the top of the six-yard box. It wasn’t long after that Woodberry got on the end of a curling Nguyen free kick at the back post and headed in his first goal of the game.

Just before the break Kekuta Manneh drew a foul just outside the box, Mezquida curled in a lovely free kick from 20 yards to draw the game level. It was Mezquida’s first MLS goal of the season and second in as many games including last week’s Amway Canadian Championship tally.

10 minutes into the second half, New England doubled their tally when Teal Bunbury found Rowe open at the top of the box with a low pass from the right corner. Rowe then fired it in first time to put New England ahead 2-1.

It was one-way traffic from then on with the rest of the match all Vancouver’s, but they were unable to break down the New England defense.

Man of the Match Erik Hurtado created some great chances without any results, for this game, it was not to be.

 

Budweiser Man of the Match: Erik Hurtado

Referee: Ismail Elfath

Attendance: 22,120

 

Goals

31′ – NE – London Woodberry (Lee Nguyen)

41′ – VAN – Nicolas Mezquida

55′ – NE – Kelyn Rowe (Teal Bunbury)

 

Game Statistics

Possession: Vancouver 63.4 % – New England 36.6 %

Shots: Vancouver 17 – New England 8

Shots on Goal: Vancouver 4 – New England 3

Saves: Vancouver 1 – New England 3

Fouls: Vancouver 15 – New England 10

Offsides: Vancouver 2 – New England 0

Corners: Vancouver 5 – New England 4

 

Cautions

35′ – VAN – Jordan Smith

36′ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson

40′ – NE – London Woodberry

82′ – VAN – Matias Laba

88′ – NE – Jose Goncalves

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

1.David Ousted ©; 6.Jordan Smith (32.Marco Bustos 85′), 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 13.Cristian Techera (7.Christian Bolaños 66′), 11.Nicolás Mezquida (27.Blas Pérez 66′), 23.Kekuta Manneh; 19.Erik HurtadoKamara

 

New England Revolution

18.Brad Knighton; 2.Andrew Farrell, 23.Jose Goncalves, 28.London Woodberry, 8.Chris Tierney; 16.Daigo Kobayashi (14.Diego Fagundez 63′), 6.Scott Caldwell; 10.Teal Bunbury (15.Je-Vaughn Watson 74′), 24.Lee Nguyen © (17.Juan Agudelo 90′ + 1’), 11.Kelyn Rowe; 13.Kei Kamara

 

WHITECAPS MAKE FINAL OF VOYAGERS CUP

By John May

Having gone down 2-0 in Ottawa against Paul Dalglish’s Fury team. Whitecaps Coach Carl Robinson, affectively put out a full MLS strength team to win the home leg 3-0 to keep up hopes of retaining the Voyagers cup for a second year.

The Whitecaps sealed Ottawa’s fate in the 3rd minute when Mezquida was pushed over in the box, the referee calling the penalty without too much hesitation. A similar outcome for Pedro Morales, without too much hesitation slotting home the first goal of the night, it was immediately obvious that the Caps were up for it and Ottawa had to soak it up.

Romuald Peiser was having a busy night, but it was only a matter of time before the Caps would draw level on aggregate. In the 20th minute Nicolas Mezquida got his head behind a close range ball to get the second Caps goal.

The big surprise in the Whitecaps team was 15 year old Alphonso Davies, who becomes the youngest player to step out for a first team game. He proved his worth with his speed, agility and some fancy footwork, hitting the post half way through the first half.

Both keepers were having busy nights, Peiser keeping the scoreline respectable and Tornaghi working hard to ensure Ottawa didn’t get that much needed away goal.

After 52 minutes of play, and after several near misses, Octavio Rivero seals Ottawa’s fate with a blistering far post goal, after being fed through by Morales.
Finals score 3-0

Budweiser Man of the Match: Octavio Rivero
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Attendance: 17,863

Match Statistics
Possession: Vancouver 46.8 % – Ottawa 53.2 %
Shots: Vancouver 23 – Ottawa 15
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 8 – Ottawa 4
Saves: Vancouver 4 – Ottawa 5
Fouls: Vancouver 13 – Ottawa 14
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Ottawa 1
Corners: Vancouver 10 – Ottawa 8

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
70.Paolo Tornaghi; 6.Jordan Smith, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales ©; 13.Cristian Techera (19.Erik Hurtado 75’), 11.Nicolás Mezquida (31.Russell Teibert 80’), 67.Alphonso Davies (23.Kekuta Manneh 84’); 29.Octavio Rivero

Ottawa Fury FC
1.Romuald Peiser; 25.Lance Rozeboom, 33.Rafael Alves ©, 77.Fernando (Timbo) Sanfelice, 14.Onua Obasi; 22.Jonny Steele, 8.James Bailey; 7.Paulo Junior (23.Idan Vered 74’), 9.Bryan Olivera (6.Julian de Guzman 58’), 30.Marcel de Jong (19.Kyle Porter HT); 17.Carl Haworth

POOR PERFORMANCE, POOR RESULT 1-1

By Todd May

WHITECAPS DRAW BOTTOM PLACE HOUSTON DYNAMO IN LACKLUSTER HOME MATCH MARRED BY TWO RED CARDS

-Pedro Morales & Alex sent off in first half for violent conduct
-Reshuffled backline concedes again in seventh straight match
-DeMarcus Beasley & Octavio Rivero claim goals in score draw

BC Place, Vancouver, BC – A full house packed into BC Place on a rainy Saturday afternoon to witness some questionable refereeing, and more red cards – both are of which are becoming a common and recurring occurrence.

Vancouver didn’t start this home fixture particularly well with the backline having to reshuffle to cover for the injured Kah & Aird, and a suspended Waston.

Houston keeper gave a glimpse of what kind of afternoon he was going to have producing a fine stop from a first time Pedro Morales effort in just the 13th minute.

Yet it was bottom of the table team Houston Dynamo who opened the scoring less than 20 minutes in, through left back DeMarcus Beasley. The American made a darting run down the left side and was picked out with a finely weighted pass in behind the defence, after waiting for Parker to over-commit his challenge, Beasley calmly cut and finished into the far corner to give his side the lead.

Vancouver found a response, but it was from first gear and only in second. A few half chance headers were created from corners and set-pieces but nothing too concerning for Dynamo’s keeper Tyler Deric.

Less than five minutes before the half was up, a scuffle in the middle of the park resulted in a moment of madness from ‘Caps captain Pedro Morales and Dynamo’s Alex. A briefly scrappy passage of play in the muddle of the park had both players pushing and shoving each other before Pedro received a hand to the face.

After a little pause, referee Drew Fischer, with one of his rare correct calls today, decided to send both players off for violent conduct. Carl Robinson could be seen on the touchline incensed by the decision, as initially it wasn’t entirely clear what his player had done to warrant a red card. Nevertheless, it is Vancouver’s MLS leading sixth red card this season already.

And so, the match would continue 10v10 for the remaining 50 minutes entirely changing the style and fluidity that Vancouver fans have become so accustomed to.
The resulting free kick in favour of Vancouver would produce the last chance of the half forcing another parried save at close range by Deric from a Andrew Jacobson header.

Jacobson had another early second half chance with his head again, but Deric was equal to it once more.

Vancouver didn’t have to wait too much longer for another chance, this time resulting in the equalizer. An out swinging Techera corner wasn’t cleared bouncing all the way to Rivero who was licking his lips as the ball fell invitingly to him at the top of the box. The out of form ‘Caps striker sliced home a half volley finding the top corner of the goal to get his side on level terms just before the hour mark.

With both sides down a man, gaps were opening up down both wings benefitting the likes of Manneh and Techera who like dribbling and running at their opponents.

Deric was forced into a pair of saves to keep his side in the match, the first from Manneh who had a dipping drive from 30 yards out that was well held. The second was a little more acrobatic as this time Manneh crossed to the rushing Techera whose goal-bound deflected effort was tipped over and out for a corner.

It wasn’t just Houston who were riding their luck, Vancouver had the crossbar to thank as it kept the scores level not once, but twice in the space of just a few minutes.

Vancouver continued to look dangerous from corners as the numbers built up in favour of the home side. Multiple in-swingers were causing all kinds of chaos in the Houston box but somehow Vancouver still couldn’t take the lead.

Entering the final 10 minutes, subs were being thrown on desperately in search of the winning goal, Houston gladly hanging in for their first draw and first point at BC Place.

With only four minutes left on the clock, the unlikeliest source in David Horst though he found his side an invaluable three road points. The big centre back nodded on a dangerously whipped in free kick goal bound only for Ousted to pull of a spectacular finger tip save pushing the ball on to the crossbar and out to safety.

It would have been cruel to see a late goal steal all three points as both teams were relatively even. After a series of disappointing home free kicks, no more chances could be created and so the spoils were shared amongst the two teams.

Ousted completed his 100th match for the Whitecaps which includes all MLS and domestic competitions.

With red cards mounting up, a blip in form, and conceding goals seven games in a row, Robinson will be looking for a little bit of tactical and mental discipline heading into the next fixture.

Vancouver’s next MLS match isn’t for another three weeks as there is a small break for the upcoming prestigious Copa America Centenario.

Game action doesn’t pause for the Whitecaps though as they look to defend last seasons Voyageurs Cup win with the first leg of the Amway Canadian Championship vs Ottawa Fury FC Wednesday, June 1 in Ottawa 16:30PT. BC Place hosts the returning second leg a week later June 8, 19:00PT.

Game Statistics
Possession: Vancouver 56.3 % – Houston 43.7 %
Shots: Vancouver 14 – Houston 8
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – Houston 2
Saves: Vancouver 1 – Houston 6
Fouls: Vancouver 18 – Houston 14
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Houston 0
Corners: Vancouver 7 – Houston 3

Cautions
22′ – VAN – Jordan Smith
40′ – VAN – Russell Teibert
51′ – HOU – Boniek Garcia
67′ – VAN – Matias Laba
69′ – HOU – Andrew Wenger

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 13.Cristian Techera (19.Erik Hurtado 79′), 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert (38.Kianz Froese 90′), 77.Pedro Morales ©; 23.Kekuta Manneh (11.Nicolás Mezquida 90′); 29.Octavio Rivero

Houston Dynamo
1.Tyler Deric; 22.Sheanon Williams, 18.David Horst, 5.Raul Rodriguez, 7.DaMarcus Beasley ©; 11.Andrew Wenger, 13.Ricardo Clark, 26.Collen Warner, 27.Boniek Garcia (33.Lionel Miranda 73′), 14.Alex; 12.Will Bruin (19.Mauro Manotas 61′)

‘CAPS CRUMBLE IN SIX GOAL THRILLER

By Todd May

Pa Modou-Kah has an afternoon to forget conceding two penalties and four goals on return to employer in Portland

-Six goals, three penalties, one red card at Providence Park
-Waston sees straight red after final whistle for late tackle
-Four different scorers in tide-turning Timbers performance

Providence Park Portland, OR — Portland will have surely re-ignited the fiercely contested rivalry between themselves and Vancouver after a thoroughly dominant home performance against their West Coast counterparts. After being convincingly beaten just a few weeks ago on the road, the home fixture was set up for the perfect revenge storyline, and it’s exactly what we got in the MLS rivalry of the week match up.

After a clever tactical win against Toronto, Vancouver set up identically in a 4-4-2 looking for a fourth consecutive league win. Portland had a modified 4-5-1 with Nagbe being deployed on the left but pushing himself inside to overload the middle of the park.

Any unfortunate fans who were late for kick off missed a frenetic start to the match as a penalty to the home side was awarded in just the third minute. Pa-ModouKah was sluggish getting to a loose awful attempted clearance inside the goal area and was rightly adjudged to have tripped Timbers striker Jack McInerney just inside the box.
Diego Valeri duly stepped up and buried the resulting penalty in to give his side the early lead.

Portland were very nearly reeled back in when Kekutah Manneh arrowed his half volley just passed the top corner just minutes after.

Kendall Waston was the next centre back to slip up, this time in the literal sense after losing his footing, once more resulting in the concession of a goal. A weak Lucsas Melano cross looked easy to deal with but nemesis-in-chief McInerney was once again on hand, this time taking advantage of the grounded defender nipping in ahead to steer the ball home and extend his sides lead.

Again, Vancouver responded immediately, this time through Erik Hurtado who was starting in front of family and friends in his hometown. The striker thought he got his side back into the game when he brought down a sharp long ball and scoring cleverly with his next touch, but on closer inspection his first touch was with his arm, not chest, and the referee correctly ruled it out keeping the score 2-0.

Travelling Vancouver fans had their hearts in their stomachs just moments later as Melano should have made it three after just 35 minutes. Vancouver’s man between the posts David Ousted was on hand to push away a close range effort which really should have been nestling in the back of the net.

Caleb Porter’s side remained two goals to the good going in at the break, so two very different team talks were expected in either changing room particularly after such a sloppy and error-prone half from Vancouver.

If it was a response that Carl Robinson wanted from his travelling troops, he got it instantly as Manneh got a goal three minutes into the second half. The front man had been unlucky in the first half but created the luck he needed himself to halve the deficit. After trying to find a teammate with a slide rule pass close to goal, the ball fortuitously came right back at him, his weak side-footed shot deflected off the defender looping over Gleeson into the goal.

Traffic was heading in one direction and it was not the Vancouver goal. Persistent work from Hurtado down the right side saw him nip in front of his defender at the byline, he found his only open option in Cristian Techera who strangely took two touches before having an effort on goal which was eventually blocked. The Vancouver fans were begging for a shot and he looked odds on to hit it first time just 15 yards out. A first time effort was all it required with much of the Portland back line and keeper scrambling back to get into position.

With such an important match at stake and result slipping away, Robinson continued to show exactly what is intentions were sending on his striking duo Blas Perez and Octavio Rivero for the ineffective Techera and forward Hurtado.

Vancouver were forced to chase the game being just a single goal behind additionally looking to continue their win streak. However, clear gaps were beginning to open up with the game becoming so stretched as the second half wore on.

Darlington Nagbe had played a tidy first hour sitting in the middle of the park yet found himself a little higher up the pitch than usual cutting in from the right flank, Valeri was able to find him with a cheeky looping pass but he couldn’t return the favour smashing his half-volley over from close range.

Deflections were the name of the game when yet another one forced a somewhat controversial decision from the referee. A low cross from the left was tipped by Waston ricocheting onto Kah’s outstretched arm right in front of goal, the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot giving the home side yet another penalty. On closer review, replays weren’t totally conclusive despite the ball changing direction as if hand to ball connection was apparent. Substitute Asprilla didn’t care what part of the body it hit because he smashed in the resulting penalty to extend the lead once more.

After a stunning bicycle kick last week against former club FC Dallas, Perez was up to his usual tricks once again, this time side volleying a beautiful effort just past the post as Vancouver continued searching for a lifeline. A goal would have been timely and important if Vancouver were to snatch something late in the game, but Portland had other ideas.

Just minutes later, the match was put completely out of reach when Nagbe showed a moment of individual brilliance bending in a free kick from 25 yards out to make it 4-1 Portland.

The game looked done and dusted with Portland’s three goal lead, but when sub Rivero was pulled down in the box after some tricky work down the left side by Manneh, a third penalty was awarded this time for Vancouver. Morales stepped up with eight minutes left sending the keeper the wrong way giving his side a late lifeline with the score now 4-2.

Ousted saw more action than he would have liked down the final stretch making an excellent close range save denying McInerney a second goal and giving his side some glimmer of hope heading into injury time.

The game looked dead and buried, but still the drama wasn’t done there. Referee Ted Unkel blew a soft final whistle but wasn’t heard by everyone clearly as Waston foolishly went in to tackle Asprilla scissoring the winger from behind. After some discussions with his assistant, the imposing centre back received a red card which will mean yet another suspension.

Manager Carl Robinson will have an additional headache as the returning Pa Modou-Kah put in a nervous and downright woeful performance in the heart of defence so changes should be expected for the next match.

Vancouver’s next game will see them host Houston Dynamo May 28 at BC Place. Kick off is scheduled for 3PM PST.

Goal Scorers
4’ – POR – Diego Valeri (penalty kick)
29’ – POR – Jack McInerney (Lucas Melano, Ben Zemanski)
49’ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh
78’ – POR – Dairon Asprilla (penalty kick)
82’ – POR – Darlington Nagbe
84’ – VAN – Pedro Morales (penalty kick)

Game Statistics
Shots: Portland 20 – Vancouver 16
Shots on Goal: Portland 8 – Vancouver 4
Saves: Portland 2 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: Portland 10 – Vancouver 11
Offsides: Portland 5 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Portland 5 – Vancouver 7

Portland Timbers
90.Jake Gleeson; 4.Jermaine Taylor, 24.Liam Ridgewell, 7.Nat Borchers, 16.Zarek Valentin; 14.Ben Zemanski, 21.Diego Chara; 6.Darlington Nagbe, 8.Diego Valeri (13.Jack Jewsbury 86’), 26.Lucas Melano (11.Dairon Asprilla 62’); 99.Jack McInerney (25.Neco Brett 90’+3’)

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 26.Tim Parker, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah (11.Nicolás Mezquida 90’+1’), 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 77.Pedro Morales, 15.Matías Laba, 13.Cristian Techera (27.Blas Pérez 67’); 23.Kekuta Manneh; 19.Erik Hurtado (29.Octavio Rivero 67’)

VANCOUVER 4-3 TORONTO: ‘CAPS WIN CANADIAN THRILLER

By Todd May

Pulsating match had fans seeing red, a penalty save, and seven goals
Ousted saves first half Joze Altidore penalty
Whitecaps twice take two-goal lead
Giovinco bags brace and an assist leading the comeback fight
Italian is now Toronto’s all-time leading goal scorer
Sublime finish by Morales seals another away win

An exhilarating match full of drama, goals and action had fans hearts in their mouth for much of the game, yet Vancouver were still able to walk away with three hard-earned points from BMO Field in Toronto for the first time in their MLS history.

On an emotionally charged afternoon, Vancouver set out with a different set of tactics and eventually got the result they needed. Setting up with a 4-4-2 formation without starters Kudo (broken jaw), Mezquida (rested), Techera (rested), Waston (suspended), Robinson opted to include Kah, Teibert, Hurtado, and Manneh all thrust back into the starting line-up due to the dense fixture list.

Proceedings started at a frenetic pace with Vancouver grabbing an early two-goal lead much to the annoyance of the home crowd.

Kekuta Manneh, starting up front, opened the scoring intercepting a sloppy pass across the Toronto back line then racing in on goal before calmly slotting his shot between the legs of TFC keeper Clint Irwin.

The second goal came largely because of the same player. The diminutive forward won his aerial battle in midfield flicking it to strike partner Erik Hurtado. After showing great strength and composure, he was able to get the return pass back to bursting Manneh who actually had his initial shot saved. Fortunately for him, Cristian Bolanos was nearby and on hand to finish and extent the lead to two after just 18 minutes.

Toronto wasted no time attempting to get back into the game with home superstar Giovinco forcing a smart save from Ousted.

Just minutes later, Teibert brought down striker Altidore inside the box resulting in a needless penalty. The American stepped up but Ousted was equal to the shot producing a brilliant safe to keep his opponents at bay for a little longer. Altidore immediately pulled up after the shot withdrawing himself from the action because of a suggested hamstring injury.

Giovinco decided enough was enough and got his side back into the game just before half time once more producing a sublime piece of skill. A simple side-foot finish from 15-yards was all it took, but it was the moment of brilliance just before that showed why the striker is deserving of his national team call-up. A nothing long-ball over the top was expertly controlled and turned on a six-pence in one movement before bending his next touch past the helpless Vancouver keeper.

Carl Robinson went in at half-time definitely the happier of the two managers, but knew his side were in a precarious position particularly with Toronto nicking a late first half goal.

The second half continued the same way the first ended – Toronto in the ascendancy, dictating possession and looking to get another quick goal.

It was just after the hour mark before they could get that equalizing goal. An uncharacteristically errant pass from Bolanos on the half-way line was quickly pounced on by Michael Bradley who drove straight at the heart of the Vancouver defence. Giovinco’s clever diagonal run along the offside line was spotted early by the American and set up his teammate for the close range finish to level the score.

Toronto were full of confidence with the crowd behind them and it looked simply a matter of when rather than if a third goal would come.

Kekuta Manneh clearly hadn’t read the script because just minutes later he put his side back in the lead for the second time. Cutting in from the left in traditional fashion, Manneh faked his shot cleverly cutting on to his left foot and then smashing home into the far corner his sides third of the night.

A stunned BMO Field barely had time to comprehend what happened, and just two minutes later they were left scratching their heads as it was 4-2 through captain Morales. This time, Manneh grabbed the assist feeding the Chilean into an identical position for his own goal, Morales didn’t cut but instead caressed a beautiful curling effort into the far corner leaving his Manager Carl Robinson reeling, jumping for joy on the sidelines.

With 18 minutes still to get into the game, the drama didn’t quite end there for the Vancouver fans.

Less than 15 minutes left on the clock, Fraser Aird picked up a second yellow for a late and clumsy challenge leaving his side to play out the remainder of the match with just 10 men.

Toronto immediately capitalized on the lack of judgment, Drew Moor scoring his first goal heading in from close range a Giovinco corner setting up a nail-biting final ten minutes.

Toronto were desperately searching for that late goal and two late goal-mouth scrambles saw one effort saved and one sent wildly over the bar much to the relief of the few travelling Whitecaps fans. Vancouver saw out the final six minutes of injury time claiming all three points in a game that will ensure the Canadian rivalry continues with the upcoming Amway Championship looming just over the horizon.

Grateful to be heading home with the victory, Vancouver’s challenge doesn’t get any easier as they’re back on the road this time to Portland who were well-beaten just last week at BC Place. Providence Park plays host to this Cascadia tie scheduled Sunday, 22 May 1:30PM PST.

Goals
12′ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh
18′ – VAN – Christian Bolaños
37′ – TOR – Sebastian Giovinco (Damien Perquis)
66′ – TOR – Sebastian Giovinco (Michael Bradley)
70′ – VAN – Kekuta Manneh (Pedro Morales)
72′ – VAN – Pedro Morales (Kekuta Manneh)
80′ – TOR – Drew Moor (Sebastian Giovinco)

Stats
Shots: Toronto 21 – Vancouver 8
Shots on Goal: Toronto 10 – Vancouver 6
Saves: Toronto 2 – Vancouver 7
Fouls: Toronto 10 – Vancouver 13
Offsides: Toronto 1 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Toronto 11 – Vancouver 0

Toronto FC
1.Clint Irwin; 33.Steven Beitashour, 24.Damien Perquis (19.Daniel Lovitz 78′), 3.Drew Moor, 2.Justin Morrow; 21.Jonathan Osorio (14.Jay Chapman 80′), 4.Michael Bradley ©, 9.Tsubasa Endoh, 7.Will Johnson; 17.Jozy Altidore (11.Mo Babouli 38′), 10.Sebastian Giovinco

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 8.Fraser Aird, 26.Tim Parker, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert, 77.Pedro Morales © (17.Andrew Jacobson 89′); 19.Erik Hurtado (27.Blas Pérez 85′), 23.Kekuta Manneh (6.Jordan Smith 78′)