Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders Game Recap

Posted: September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders battled at BC Place Stadium on Saturday night in a crucial game for both teams. Seattle was looking to clinch a playoff spot and Vancouver was in need of 3 points to put some distance between themselves and FC Dallas who went into the weekend trailing Vancouver by two points for the 5th and final playoff spot in the MLS Western Conference. The Whitecaps have never defeated the Seattle Sounders in MLS and after a scoreless 0-0 draw on this night that remains a goal they haven’t conquered yet. The Whitecaps earned a much deserved draw after a rare 90 minute effort that fans haven’t seen in quite some time.

FC Dallas had a much more daunting task on Saturday night as they travelled to San Jose to take on the league leading Earthquakes. FC Dallas received two goals from Canadian heart-breaker Blas Perez, but it wasn’t enough as San Jose substitute Steven Lenhart scored his second goal of the game in extra time to knot the game with a final score of 3-3. The Whitecaps and FC Dallas remain just two points apart with 3 games left for both teams. Chivas USA will play a big part as a playoff spoiler because they play the Whitecaps once, and FC Dallas twice in the final month of the season.

The Whitecaps and Sounders both started off with end to end action and great pace to start the opening half. The best chance to score for both teams came off a dreadfully taken corner by the Whitecaps. Seattle was off to the races on a fast break opportunity and should have scored after a masterful passing display. Mauro Rosales setup Brad Evans just inside the box as the Whitecaps were helplessly rushing back to defend. Rosales sent a cross that was just out of reach for Evans. The sold out crowd of 21,000 fans at BC Place Stadium exhaled as the Whitecaps caught a lucky break.

Whitecaps Coach Martin Rennie had to make a pair of substitutions in the first half when John Thorrington and Darren Mattocks both injured their hamstrings on separate plays. Thorrington, who might be made of glass went down in the 17th minute and had to be replaced by fellow midfielder Matt Watson. Thorrington has been riddled with injuries all season long and has never really found a comfort zone in the starting eleven for Vancouver.

Darren Mattocks has been the most consistent player for the Whitecaps all season. Without the speedy Jamaican striker the Whitecaps would be nowhere near a potential playoff berth. Mattocks went down in the 42nd minute of play after a collision with Sounders goalie Michael Gspurning. Mattocks was holding the back of his right hamstring after he went after a loose ball while being chased by Sounders defender Jeff Parke. Mattocks was hoping to receive a penalty, however referee Silviu Petrescu wasn’t buying what Mattocks was selling. Camilo came on for Mattocks, as he was slowly helped to the Whitecaps locker room.

The second half was more of the same for both clubs and both teams continued to go up and down the pitch with great pace and possession. The Whitecaps shifted into a 4-3-3 in an effort to produce more chances on goal but neither side could get a consistent attack going.

Sounders defender Jeff Parke made his presence felt in the second half as he picked up a yellow card for what looked like taunting in the 55th minute. Parke was in a battle for possession with Camilo, and then he sent Camilo flying with what looked like an NHL style body-check. Parke stood over Camilo and Petrescu has no choice but to reach for his pocket. It doesn’t matter what sport is being played a referee can’t let that go. That lack of sportsmanship shown by Parke is what creates fighting in sports. When Parke went back to focusing on soccer he almost put his team ahead in the 78th minute off a Sounders corner. Christian Tiffert sent the ball into the box where it deflected to Parke, who managed to get a boot on the ball to send it towards the Whitecaps net. A diving Brad Knighton was not able to get to the ball but Y.P. Lee was positioned at the right post and he cleared the ball off the line. Knighton made his 4th consecutive start in-goal for the Whitecaps and earned his first shutout in over two years.

The best chance for the Whitecaps to score came at the death in the 92nd minute when Brazilian forward Camilo Sanvezzo was given a golden gift with the ball sitting right on a platter for him to bury. Barry Robson sent in a cross that deflected to Camilo who was unmarked inside the Sounders box. Camilo got his right foot on the ball and beat Gspurning but still had his shot roll just wide of the net. Camilo has had glorious chances to find the back of the net all season long and he will no doubt be kicking himself after missing a chance to take all 3 points from the Seattle Sounders. Camilo described what happened in the closing moments of the game.

“Barry (Robson) had a good cross and I have to shoot tighter but the ball go a little bit wide. I didn’t take (the ball) like I wanted.”

Seattle Sounders defender Adam Johansson had a terrific bounce back game after a sub-par performance last Saturday in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. In his first season in MLS, Johansson has been a stalwart on the Sounders back-line. The Swedish International shared his thoughts on the game.

“It was quite an even game I think we had the first half and they had the other. In the second half I think we had enough opportunities to score a goal and I’m disappointed that we didn’t win,” he said. “In the first half I think our offense was kind of good but in the second half they pushed us back and we had to kick some long balls. We had maybe 10 or 15 minutes that was good but no more and that’s not good enough.”

Notes: Seattle Sounders minority owner and game show host Drew Carey attended the game. Vancouver will host Chivas USA on Wednesday October 3, at 7:00 pm P.T. The Seattle Sounders will return home to battle another Pacific Northwest rival when the Portland Timbers travel to CenturyLink Field for a game on Sunday October 7, at 4:00 pm P.T. The Sounders clinched a playoff spot with the draw.

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