The Vancouver Whitecaps put forth a shocking effort vs Real Salt Lake

Posted: September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized
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VANCOUVER, B.C – The Vancouver Whitecaps hunt for the playoffs continued at BC Place on Saturday afternoon as they battled a Real Salt Lake team that resembled a reserve like roster. Devon Sandoval opened the scoring early and Real Salt Lake managed to hold on for a 1-nil win in front of 21,000 disappointed Vancouver Whitecaps fans.

Vancouver put out a shocking performance and now their playoff hopes dangle by a thread with four matches left to play. Vancouver simply did not show up to play for 90 minutes and Nigel Reo-Coker delivered an honest opinion of his teams showing following the match.

“We didn’t deserve to win today, they were the better team. They had a lot more desire than us, and we got taught a football lesson. I have no idea what happened, and no explanation. Today we got taught a lesson, they were the better team. They’ve got a system that they play, and we struggled with that system. I think we tried to over complicate things today as a team. We didn’t give each other enough options on the ball, and as a team we were poor today.”

Real Salt Lake opened the scoring in the 9′ minute with a lovely cross from Lovel Palmer. The Jamaican defender had all the time in the world and made a terrific run up the right flank. He crossed the ball into the box, and Devon Sandoval was able to out race, and jump past Jay DeMerit to head home his third marker of the season. David Ousted was not able to react in time.

Vancouver had an opportunity to tie the game 1-1 a few minutes after the opening strike when Camilo Sanvezzo made a run down the pitch past a pair of RSL defenders. With one man to beat the Brazilian centred the ball for an on coming Nigel Reo-Coker. The Englishman took too much time, and was unable to get a shot off with goalkeeper Jeff Attinella charging towards him. Reo-Coker has yet to find the back of the net in his first season in Major League Soccer.

With an US Open Cup match on Tuesday vs DC United, Salt Lake Coach Jason Kreis decided not to bring many of his key players to Vancouver. Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio, Robbie Findley, Kyle Beckerman, Nat Borchers, and no,1 keeper Nick Rimando remained back in Utah. Morales, Saborio, and Findley have scored a combined 24 goals for RSL this season. Kreis’s team put forth a good showing despite all the absences.

David Ousted commented on his team’s performance post game.

I’m not happy with the way we performed, myself included. We should have done better especially in this part of the season. I think we had a great opportunity at home to beat a team that maybe had their mind elsewhere. I can’t explain why we are not there.”

Russell Teibert made a return to the staring eleven after finding himself on the bench last match. The Canadian International had a brilliant crack on goal in the 35′ minute. Attinella did just enough to get his hands on the ball to push it over the bar. That turned out to be the Caps’ sole shot on target. The teams went into halftime with Real Salt Lake ahead 1-0.

Whitecaps Centre-Back Carlyle Mitchell was lucky not to be shown a red card from referee Baldomero Toledo in the 51′. The Trinidadian got a high boot on Luis Gil when he missed his attempt to kick the ball away outside the Caps box.

In an effort to create more offense for his team Whitecaps Coach Martin Rennie made a double substitution in the 54′. Speed demons Darren Mattocks and Kekuta Manneh were brought on to push the pace, and open up the field for the Whitecaps. Vancouver had been dramatically slow on attack in the first half, and youngsters Mattocks and Manneh are two of the fastest players in MLS. The switch made little impact for Vancouver. Rennie was critical of his teams lacklustre performance at his post game presser.

“I thought our quality was really poor. I didn’t think we got good balls into the box, we didn’t really connect on any crosses, our passing and movement in the final third was poor today. It was a disappointing performance especially given how well we’ve played in our last two games.”    

Despite his crafty substitution it was Jason Kreis’s team that had a pair of wonderful chances to go up 2-0. Luis Gil let go a bending kick outside the Whitecaps box on the left flank that just missed finding a home inside the left post in the 57′. Yordany Alvarez had a shot on target in the 61′ that David Ousted had to dive across his net to turn aside. Real Salt Lake simply were not content with sitting back and protecting a 1-nil advantage in the second half.

Still trailing in the 80′ the Whitecaps frustration resulted in a needless yellow card caution for Caps Left-Back Jordan Harvey. Unhappy with a previous uncalled foul on Olmes Garcia, the UCLA graduate shoved Garcia just enough to be carded by Toledo.

Jay DeMerit made his first start at home since the opening match of the season when he tore his Achilles tendon. The Whitecaps captain was beaten on the opening goal, and was shown a yellow card in the 64′ for a trip on Olmes Garcia. The avid Green Bay Packers fan did not have his best match in a Vancouver uniform and he wasn’t alone.

The Vancouver Whitecaps choked under pressure, and failed to show up against a makeshift second string roster of Real Salt Lake players. Credit to RSL for challenging the Whitecaps and finding away to win without their best players in uniform. The Caps playoff hopes took a major hit, but they are still alive with 4 matches remaining down the stretch.

Vancouver Whitecaps Starting XI: David Ousted; Y.P. Lee, Carlyle Mitchell, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey; Nigel Reo-Coker, Jun Marques Davidson, Gershon Koffie; Russell Teibert, Tommy Heinemann, Camilo Sanvezzo. (4-3-3)

Real Salt Lake Starting XI: Jeff Attinella; Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Brandon McDonald, Abdoulie Mansally; Yorgany Alvarez; Cole Grossman, Sabastian Velasquez, Luis Gil; Devon Sandoval, Olmes Garcia. (4-1-3-2)

Notes: Kenny Miller sat out the match with a right abductor strain. Defender Andy O’Brien did not make the eighteen man roster with an undisclosed injury. Vancouver will host the Portland Timbers on Sunday, October 6, at BC Place Stadium.

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