VANCOUVER: Facing constant offensive pressure from the ‘Caps frontline, Seattle capitalized on their chances as the visiting side defeated the Blue and White, 2-0 in front of an electric sell-out crowd of 21,000 at BC Place. The road win gives Sounders FC (6W-3L-1D) their first win in their last six Cascadia Cup tilts with Whitecaps FC (6W-4L-2D).
The visiting side came out of the gates intent in tempering the feverish crowd. Striker Clint Dempsey once again led the Seattle attack when he played the ball forward and found his scoring partner Chad Barrett escape from the pack to complete a timely finish for the go-ahead goal. The fifth-minute assist extends Dempsey’s point-streak to 10 matches.
The ‘Caps almost came back with an immediate response in the seventh minute. Captain Pedro Morales navigated through the Sounders FC backline to penetrate the box, but goalkeeper Stefan Frei got a hand to it to tip it just over the crossbar. Morales threatened again on a free kick in the 10th minute when he found the towering Kendall Waston for a header that Frel barely got his gloves on.
The home side kept their foot on the gas pedal with an aggressive attack, dominating the possession battle and forcing turnovers for the first 20 minutes of the match. Midfielder Kekuta Manneh created a chance for himself in the 18th minute when he launched a strike from distance that sliced wide of the target.
In an unfortunate stroke of luck, Morales had to head to the sidelines to switch boots in the 38th minute and Sounders FC took full advantage. The Rave Green caught the Blue and White defence off-guard when Pappa found a streaking Barrett break into the box. Barrett found the outside corner of the net with a left-foot volley to pad Seattle’s lead, 2-0.
The ‘Caps tried to restore order before the halftime whistle but persistent efforts from Manneh, Cristian Techera, and Jordan Harvey were met with resistance from the Seattle defence.
Vancouver resumed its attack early in the second half when Manneh lofted a fine feed to Octavio Rivero, but the striker’s header was read perfectly by a leaping Frei in the 50th minute. Seven minutes later, Manneh pressed forward again but his 20-yard attempt was blocked by a sliding Chad Marshall.
Head coach Carl Robinson, searching for more offence, inserted striker Darren Mattocks for Techera in the 61st minute but Sounders FC were content in sinking back to defend their end of the pitch.
Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted, who has been off to a flying start to the season, proved to have found his groove in the second half as he came up with important saves to keep the ‘Caps in the match. In the 62nd minute, Pappa found space along the left side of the net for a direct strike, but Ousted was there to meet the attempt. Seattle reserve striker Darwin Jones tried his luck on a breakaway in the first minute of added time, but Ousted would again protect his net.
In the end, the ‘Caps were unable to solve the Sounders FC defence. The two Northwest rivals will get their opportunities again as they face each other two more times this season. Seattle momentarily take a slim one-point lead in the Cascadia Cup race, but the ‘Caps remain ahead in the MLS Western Conference standings.
Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday night as they travel to Clarke Field to face FC Edmonton for the second leg of the Amway Canadian Championship semifinal series (7 p.m. PT – Sportsnet ONE). Whitecaps FC 2 host OKC Energy FC on Sunday, May 17 at UBC Thunderbird Stadium in USL play.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Cristian Techera
Referee: Mark Geiger
5′ – SEA – Chad Barrett (Clint Dempsey)
38′ – SEA – Chad Barrett (Marco Pappa)
Shots: Vancouver16 – Seattle 7
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 – Seattle 4
Saves: Vancouver 2 – Seattle 5
Fouls: Vancouver 7 – Seattle 6
Offsides: Vancouver 0 – Seattle 1
Corners: Vancouver 6 – Seattle 3
28′ – VAN – Matías Laba
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 4.Kendall Waston, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 2.Jordan Harvey; 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert (28.Gershon Koffie 64′); 13.Cristian Techera (11.Darren Mattocks 61′), 77.Pedro Morales, 23.Kekuta Manneh (38.Kianz Froese 76′); 29.Octavio Rivero
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 9.Nicolás Mezquida, 26.Tim Parker, 88.Robert Earnshaw
Seattle Sounders FC
24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 3.Brad Evans, 14.Chad Marshall, 15.Dylan Remick; 10.Marco Pappa (12.Leonardo González 90’+2), 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 8.Gonzalo Pineda, 27.Lamar Neagle (17.Darwin Jones 85′); 2.Clint Dempsey, 19.Chad Barrett (5.Andy Rose 72′)
Substitutes not used
1.Troy Perkins, 7.Cristian Roldan, 20.Zach Scott, 42.Michael Azira