The Vancouver Whitecaps had a big opportunity to bounce back from last week’s abysmal defeat to Sporting Kansas City. Unfortunately, this game was an opportunity wasted. Cue Billy Madison yelling: “You Blew It!”
The Whitecaps now have lost just their second home game of the season. This one stings, mainly because it was against the Seattle Sounders, a Cascadia rival. There were chances to put Seattle out of it, but the Sounders are one of the best in MLS. They rarely go down quietly.
The Whitecaps ended up poking the bear and instead of defeating it, they got mauled. This is another one of those games where it feels like it was the one that got away.
What we learned
- Ryan Gauld’s free kick to Ranko Veselinović was a thing of beauty. It was a perfectly curled free kick and a perfect header from the Scotsman and a perfect header from the Serbian.
- Speaking of Gauld, it was another fine game from him. The Flying Scotsman also got a goal in the second half. It is the type of goal, I always hope to score in Fifa. Brian White flicked Yohei Takaoka’s goal kick with his head and The Flying Scotsman took the train into the station. Oh yeah, Takaoka got an assist and became just the fifth goalkeeper in Whitecaps MLS history to record
- Sebastian Berhalter looked solid, mainly in the second half He continues to prove he can step up when Andrés Cubas is out. Berhalter made some good tackles and almost scored a banger himself in the first half.
- Sergio Córdova has to be cursed or something. He played decently but he once again, couldn’t score. He had one shot attempt but it was blocked. Córdova’s hold-up play was fine but he couldn’t get shots away. He needs to use his strength to get around defenders but the Sounders defenders were locked in on him.
- Oh yeah, speaking of defending, it was very bad on set pieces as all the Sounders’ goals were off set pieces. Leo Chu scored the first two goals and he was left alone on both goals. It was like he was wearing an invisibility cloak and took it off once he was near the ball. But the second goal, in particular, was pretty bad. Just look at Luis Martins and the Whitecaps defenders. It is like they all got distracted by a UFO or something. As a result, the Chu Chu train ran over them.
- Mathias Laborda made some nice tackles and blocks in the first half. But in the second half, he got reckless. As a result, he was sent off after two yellow cards. The second one might have been soft though
- As if on cue, Seattle got the winning goal on the ensuing free kick, because, of course, they did. If you are a long-time Whitecaps or Vancouver sports fan, you knew it was coming. Yeimar Gómez Andrade got the winner and you guessed it, he, along with two of his teammates were left unmarked
- On a positive note, Levonte Johnson made his first MLS Start. He looked flashy, speedy and silky. Johnson even sent Alex Roldan to the shadow realm with an incredible run down the left. Johnson has done well with his first team minutes so far in his young career and here’s hoping he earns many more.
What was said
Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini was not happy with the goal conceded.
“They scored off a set-piece but we scored on set pieces too,” he said. “The third one was on the throw-in where Cleveland made a fantastic save, and it could have been us 3-2. We’ve been very naïve on the second goal. I think the first goal, you know when someone jumps in front of you, there’s a lot of traffic and they’ve been kind of lucky.”
He wasn’t very happy with the second Sounders goal in particular.
But I’m very pissed on the second goal for a lot of things because we had the ball, complete control, we gave it away, foul, then we didn’t shift,” said Sartini. ” We worked the week, we know that they had Jackson Ragen there, and we had to shift and go there to win the ball and we didn’t. And the third one, it was like (Nicolas) Lodeiro made magic, but also I strongly disagree with the call of the referee (on the second yellow card to Laborda).”
Veselinović talked about the mood in the locker room.
“It was quiet. Everyone was disappointed,” he said. “Everybody was just quiet. Nobody knew what to say.”
He also spoke about conceding three set-piece goals.
“That’s something that we have to talk a lot for the next game, Wednesday,” said Veselinović. “Austin is also really good, they have high players so they’re going to do the same. But I think we have to see what can happen more to not allow so many set pieces, you know, during the game, to see why we drop so much in the second half.”
Gauld echoed the disappointment.
“When we talk about defending, it’s all of us, it’s not just the defenders,” he said. ” Up top, we were struggling to figure out the pressure, and they had a lot of the ball. They didn’t really create much from that, but I think it’s pretty clear the three goals had come from set pieces and we need to be better.”
The Whitecaps have two draws and one loss in their last three MLS games at BC Place. Sartini was asked if he was worried about his team going into a slump.
“No, no,” he said. “We’ll make the playoffs, so you can make the headline. No problem.”
Well, let’s hope we can make that headline in the next few months.
Stat of the match
According to FotMob, Chu went 0/9 in crosses and 0/2 in accurate long balls but of course, he scored two goals and was given an 8.9 FotMob rating.
Sounders or Real Salt Lake?
The Sounders Bruce Lee-inspired jerseys are really nice but they make them look like Real Salt Lake. That is kind of funny because this is the second Whitecaps home loss of the season and the first was to RSL. Perhaps, teams wearing red is the Whitecaps’ home kryptonite.
Johnston is a threat
Johnston was terrorizing the Sounders’ defence like The Mandalorian terrorizing pirates on Navarro.
There is always next time, right?
It has to happen soon right? One goal could change things for Córdova.
Alessandro Schöpf looked quiet in the game and has been for a while now. He obviously needs to turn his music up louder.
There are children present
Plenty of what?! Nathan, keep this safe for work, please.
That sums it up
The Whitecaps don’t have much time to regroup as Austin FC comes to town on Wednesday. Kickoff is at 7:30 pm.