Whitecaps Lose Back-to-Back Cascadia Matches

by Michael Martinez


Image via Whitecaps FC Twitter

Image via Whitecaps FC Twitter

This was another tough one to take in as the Whitecaps lose 3-1 in Seattle. This is the second time this season that the Sounders have put 3 past the Whitecaps. It was a tough game for the Whitecaps, who started out strong, nearly snatching an early lead, before ultimately falling apart early in the second half, as the Sounders scored their 3 goals in 15 minutes to close out the match.

Lineups:

Vancouver Whitecaps: 4-4-2

The Whitecaps made only two changes to the starting 11 after the loss to Portland last week.

  • Derek Cornelius for Cristian Gutierrez

  • David Milinkovic for Owusu

Besides the player changes, there were a couple of players moving positions as well.

  • Andy Rose back to Center Midfield

  • Ali Adnan back to Left Back
    Seattle Sounders: 4-2-3-1


Match Stats:

VWFC Man of the Match: Fredy Montero

Referee: Timothy Ford

Scoring Summary
46′ – SEA – João Paulo
53′ – SEA – Érik Godoy (own goal)
58′ – SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (assisted Jordan Morris)
65′ – VAN – Fredy Montero (penalty kick)

Statistics
Possession: SEA 69.6% – VAN 30.4%
Shots: SEA 22 – VAN 3
Shots on Goal: SEA 9 – VAN 2
Saves: SEA 1 – VAN 7
Fouls: SEA 10 – VAN 17
Offsides: SEA 0 – VAN 1
Corners: SEA 7 – VAN 0

Cautions
26′ – VAN – Janio Bikel (Yellow)
49′ – SEA – João Paulo (Yellow)
52′ – VAN – Lucas Cavallini (Yellow, misses next match)
65′ – SEA – Yeimar Gómez (Yellow)
68′ – VAN – Janio Bikel (Red)

MATCH REVIEW

This tends to be the story of the season. Another loss, another disappointing performance. The first half started out fairly solid to the Whitecaps standards. Just so as long as you ignore the stat line. Which do not favor the Whitecaps at all, but I digress. 

The Sounders would come out strong, nearly scoring inside the first minute. Which gave the Whitecaps a big scare. Especially considering they conceded goals in early minutes the last two matches. Anyways, after a nice Ruidiaz flick off of a nice Kelvin Leerdam cross, Lodeiro lined up for a shot just outside of the box, but his curled shot hit just outside the goal post. 

At the other end just minutes after, the Whitecaps would nearly break the deadlock with a surprise opener, as Ali Adnan sent in a pin point cross right into the box, finding Lucas Cavallini at the edge of the 6. The striker sent his shot right at Frei to give the Sounders some breathing room. 

After these semi exciting opening moments, the rest of the first half was a bit of a dull one. A few chances here and there for both teams, but it ultimately ended at 0-0 heading into the break. The Whitecaps stayed defensively sound for most of the half denying any chances that the Sounders brought into their final third. I was pretty impressed myself, considering the debacle that was the 6-0 bashing from LAFC just two matches ago. 

Unfortunately, the Sounders were gearing up and getting ready to lay it on for the second half. Thus, crushing the Whitecaps’ dreams of taking home a point in Seattle. The Sounders opened up the scoresheet just minutes after the second half whistle with a wonderful strike at the top of the box from Joao Paulo. Caps’ defense was too slow to react as Joao had all the time in the world to set that up. 

Not soon after, the boys conceded an own goal from CB Erik Godoy after a shot from Roldan. The shot itself was nothing special by any means, but knowing that Merideth got a hand on just for it to SLOWLY trickle in after rolling off of Godoy’s leg. 

Sounders would continue to rain down on the Whitecaps as a completely unmarked Ruidiaz scored a header after a flick from Jordan Morris. Making it 3-0 after 59 minutes. This goal sums up the Whitecaps struggles defensively. It’s the little things like marking that tend to just get away from them. 

Things start to get interesting for the Whitecaps. Throughout the second half, there were times where the Whitecaps looked dangerous and made some great passing sequences. Then came the 62nd minute when Cavallini got fouled by Yeimar  inside the box resulting in a red card for the Sounders defender. The ref had to take some time to look at VAR considering the foul and the fact that it was ruled a penalty. The red card was rescinded and changed to a yellow. But thing is, and this is coming from a Whitecaps writer, it was NOT a penalty. Nor was it even a foul. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cava, but the man did not get touched. 

This is a perfect example of how inept MLS referees are. The picture was right there in front of him. Yes Cava was through on goal, and yes Yeimar did come to defend, but there was not enough contact to warrant a penalty or a card. Despite the controversial call, the man Fredy Montero buried it from the spot making it 3-1.  With the penalty, this will make it 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 matches. He is a man on fire. Carrying this Whitecaps team over the line. 

POST MATCH THOUGHTS

It seems as though I say the same things regarding the team and what they need to do to improve. And until things do change, then I will continue to preach it. The lack of possession is what needs to be addressed now. I know that the Sounders are always a team that keeps possession well, but this match was just something else. 30% is all the Whitecaps had the whole match. The whole match, it wasn’t even a contest. I have said it before, and even MDS has said it, but there is a strong need for a #10 or some sort of creativity in this team. There is almost no identity. 

 The team started out really well in the opening 30 minutes. It’s just staying consistent that’s the problem. Minus the opening chance from Cava, there just was not much else going for the team. It almost feels like he’s lost the team as he isn’t seemingly able to sort out the defensive mistakes. MDS said it himself earlier today in a presser, 

“We defend too low, we’re not able to press the way I want us to press, as well”

That says it all right there. He just can’y get them to play how he wants. This is now the third loss in a row and I just hope we can get out of this rut. 

On a positive note, there is plenty of quality in the side. It’s just about using them correctly. The Whitecaps are only 3 points away from a playoff spot. All it takes is one win to get the momentum back and running. They play San Jose Earthquakes next, and this is the perfect time to start that run. They just have to want it more. 

The Whitecaps look to bounce back without Cava and Bikel when they visit San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PST live on TSN and ESPN+

You may also like