Posts Tagged ‘MLS Marc Dos Santos’

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Portland Timers FC on Friday, May 10, 2019 at B.C Place. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC have jumped ahead of the pack into a western conference playoff spot after a 1-0 win over Cascadia rival, Portland Timbers FC. Fredy Montero’s third goal of the season was enough to earn all three points in front of a crowd of 18,356 at B.C. Place.

After struggling to find his form, and consistent minutes earlier this season. the 31-year-old, Montero, has now scored in back to back matches. Montero is now locked in and scoring. While some strikers might try and shake up their routine, Montero hasn’t done that.

“No, the same,” Montero explained to Har Journalist, post-match. “I try to work hard, I know my value. I know what I can do to help the team, and I always try to believe in every single training session. I’m honest to myself, and I have a lot of experience. I always try to be focused because there are so many good players on this team. We need to be ready, because we need all the players ready to go, to win games.”

Vancouver is now 2-0-1 in their last three matches at B.C. Place.

Whitecaps FC improve to 3-5-3, (12-points) on the season, and Portland slips to 3-5-2, (11-points). Vancouver now sits momentarily in the 7th western conference playoff spot.

“The first 20 minutes of the team were fantastic in every sense,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters post-match. “Possession, creating, scoring, mobility in the attack. Then Portland had a little bit more possession. Blanco and Valeri were able to find some pockets between lines and that created a little bit of instability. The game became very broken when we tried to exploit some things in transition. They won the ball, then we lost the second ball, it became broken. The last 10 minutes of the first half, we were able to settle again. In the second half, we knew they would come hard. This was the team that was in the MLS Cup final. They’re a good team and it’s normal when you play good teams that they come at you. We were able to be solid, we were able to show commitment between everybody, and in transition, we had plays that were exciting and could’ve finished with a goal. Overall, I think with what we did in the 90 minutes, we deserve the three points against a very good team coming from three wins in a row so the guys did a very good job.”

Whitecaps FC’s leading scoring was in a philosophical mood post-match.

“It’s always good when we win,” Montero explained. “But it doesn’t mean we are the best team, so that’s why, when sometimes the results are not the best, we also think we aren’t the worst team in the league. We need to keep moving forward, and believing in the process.” 

It didn’t take long for Vancouver to open the scoring. Montero showed his brilliance to control the ball, and volley a striker top corner on Timbers keeper, Steve Clark. Russell Teibert setup Montero, and Vancouver was ahead early in the 9′ minute.

“The goal,” Montero recalled. “I just remember when, Inbeom tried to play the ball to me. One of the Portland defenders touched the ball, and then Rusty (Russell Teibert) with a beautiful assist. I give all the credit to him. With one touch, he gave me the ball, and put me one on one with the goalkeeper. My first touch was from my right, to my left. I shot really hard on the first post. Thank god that was a good goal. I was expecting the ball to go that hard on the goalkeeper, especially with my left foot.”

Whitecaps FC had all sorts of early pressure on the visitors, and could have easily been ahead by a bigger margin. Ali Adnan had a ball sent into the box, that was dangerously headed on to the Timbers crossbar by Bill Tuiloma. Moments later, Adnan was unmarked at the side of the Timbers goal, only to send his effort high above the target.

For the third consecutive Whitecaps FC home match. The supporters groups, Southsiders, and Curva Collective, along with many other fans, walked out of the match, in protest, at the 35′ minute. The visiting Portland Timbers Army also joined the walk out in solidarity.

Portland came out strong to start the second half, and looked to find an equalizer with consistent pressure. Despite dominating the half with 27 shots attempted, and five on target. Vancouver’s defensive structure did not break. Doneil Henry was a force!!

“I thought that we had very good moments,” Portland Coach, Giovanni Savarese explained. “Unfortunately, there were a few times in the first half that they were able to find the space and they capitalized in one opportunity. They defended well, I thought that the guys just worked very hard. I mean, everyone put everything that they could. We had chances, we attacked, we possessed the ball. I thought that we dominated the match, but credit to them, they defended very well and the goalkeeper made some spectacular saves.”

Whitecaps FC’s Max Crepeau, stood on his head, and made several terrific saves to keep Vancouver ahead. Crepeau finished with five saves to earn his third clean sheet of the season. The 25 year-old, Crepeau, gave all the props to his back-line.

“There’s the back-four, man,” Crepeau said of his defence. “They’re really solid. We saw it tonight, we saw it last weekend. It’s always like that, the work ethic of the boys and the mentality. Balls in my area, the other guy is not getting it. The mentality of the boys is fantastic. We need to keep going on this one, because it’s a big part of our game, the defensive aspect.”

It will be a quick turn around for Vancouver as they host former Whitecap, Brek Shea, and Atlanta United FC, on Wednesday, May 15 at B.C. Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau, Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Jon Erice(C), InBeom Hwang, 65 (Andy Rose); Lass Bangoura, 75 (Brett Levis), Fredy Montero, 87 (Joaquin Ardaiz), Lucas Venuto. 4-3-3

Portland Timbers FC Starting XI: Steve Clark; Zarek Valentin, 83 (Julio Cascante), Bill Tuiloma, Larrys Mabiala, Jorge Moreira, 83 (Lucas Melano); Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes, Andres Flores, 73 (Andy Polo); Jeremy Eboisse, Diego Valeri(C). 4-4-2

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MLS Soccer - Los Angeles FC v Real Salt Lake

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC are back in action on Wednesday night as they host high-flying LAFC at B.C Place. The top team in MLS, brings a 6-0-1 (19 points), record to take on a Vancouver side, 0-4-2 (2-points), that’s still looking for their first win of the season.

The visitors won’t make it easy for a Whitecaps FC squad that has scored five goals this season, and none in the last 189 minutes at home. LAFC’s Carlos Vela, leads MLS with 8 goals, 5 assists, 41 shot attempts, and 16 shots on target. Vela is an early season MVP candidate. As if he weren’t dangerous enough, Diego Rossi has 6 goals to his name.

“LAFC is coming in with some big guns,” Russell Teibert explained. “They know how to score goals and they’ve proved that early on this season. They’ve got one of the hottest player in MLS, if not two. If you want a test, if you want a statement game. This is the game that you want to play.”

How do you put a silencer on a duo that’s caused so many problems for the opposition?

“I think you answered the question yourself,” Teibert laughed. “You put a silencer on it, isn’t that what a silencer is for? You know they’re going to get the ball. You’ve just got to limit the areas where they do get the ball.”

Whitecaps FC skipper, Jon Erice knows exactly the type of quality Vela brings. He remembers a young teenager on loan in La Liga, looking to make an impact during the 2007-08 season. It was many moons ago, but Erice quickly noticed the talent, and skill, Vela had.

“Carlos was a very good guy,” Erice recalled. “He was young when he came to CA Osasuna, on loan from Arsenal. He was a very good guy, and he was also a fantastic player. With Real Sociedad, he was one of the best players in La Liga. We enjoyed him a lot in La Liga.”

“His level now, I think is the best level in his career,” Erice continued. “He’s mature, and he knows what to do all the time, with, and without the ball. He’s so clever in the field, and has such quality. He has improved a lot in the last fourteen years. He was a great player, and now he’s one of the best… maybe in the world.” 

Whitecaps FC Head Coach Marc Dos Santos is still looking for his first MLS win. What a feat it would be to do that against the team he was an assistant coach with last season. Having the inside knowledge that Dos Santos has with LAFC, could make all the difference. If there is a blueprint for LAFC, there’s a good chance Dos Santos has it in his memory bank.

“We know exactly what they’re going to be about,” Dos Santos explained to reporters earlier this week. “We know exactly how we can hurt them, but then we need the execution to come. You can know the places that will hurt them, and the places where they are weak. You need to make sure the first pass that gets into those places is good, and the runs are good.”

“One thing is to know, and the other is execution. We know their strengths and some are very obvious. The pressure that they put is very very high. Players like Carlos and Diego, they have fourteen of the nineteen goals they’ve scored. It tells you right away, that if those two guys are in a hot night, you’re going to be in a lot of trouble.”

Whether or not Vela, and Rossi light up Whitecaps FC, or Vancouver sends LAFC to their first defeat. It’s going to be a hot atmosphere inside B.C. Place. A restless fan base wants to see wins, and the pressure is mounting.

“You’re putting pressure on us, and we want that pressure,” Teibert admitted. “We know we only have two points, and we know we are going to be better. If we want to make a statement in this league, to you guys, and ourselves. This is the game we need to go out and win.”

“Of course we have pressure,” Erice agreed. “We are professional players, but this is normal in soccer. If you don’t want to feel pressure, maybe you have to do something different.”

LAFC have been playing consistent ninety minute football, and Vancouver hasn’t been able to put that type of effort together. It’s up to Whitecaps FC to show they can compete with the best team in MLS, or it could be a long evening.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs LA Galaxy preview.

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VANCOUVER, B.C — Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Whitecaps FC vs Sounders FC report.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Daily Hive for my latest story on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s early days, but Vancouver Whitecaps FC are floundering near the bottom of the MLS basement. Vancouver is 0-3-0 on the campaign after suffering a 3-2 defeat to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Caps just aren’t clicking like a fine tuned MLS machine. Passing is just out of sync, the defence has made costly errors, and Whitecaps FC have given up a penalty in each match this season. Whitecaps FC haven’t found a formula for success yet.

While fans might be eager to push the proverbial panic button, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Coach Marc Dos Santos isn’t bothered, frustration hasn’t settled in over his team.

“No, I’m not.” Dos Santos said, when asked about frustration setting in. “I think they’re professionals. I think we’re living something many teams in the league are living. There’s nine teams in MLS that are between zero and two points. When you’re a professional player, what you have to do is try to find solutions, and we’re all in this together, and we’re going to find solutions.”

Without a solid first team MLS left-back available, Whitecaps FC started the first half against Houston in a 3-5-2 formation. While wing-backs Scott Sutter, and PC were able to get back and help out Erik Godoy, Doneil Henry, and Derek Cornelius early on. It wasn’t long until Memo Rodriguez scored his first of two goals on the day.

“We want to normally play with a back-four,” Dos Santos admitted. “But with the challenges we’ve had in the left side. In going to Houston and knowing (Alberth) Elis, and (Romell) Quioto are dangerous in the one v one situations out wide, we tried to work on a back-five where you would always complement the centre-back with another full-back.”

Vancouver was able to fight back and square the match at 1-1 and later 2-2, but in the end, it was the Alberth Elis show.

Whitecaps FC’s blunders at the back, aren’t a microcosm of not understanding Dos Santos complex ball oriented, fast paced, sound defensive positional approach. It’s down to decision-making, and learning how to improve on those questionable made decisions.

“I think the understanding was there,” Dos Santos explained to Har Journalist. “It was more our individual decision-making that could have been better. I don’t think that it’s a lack of understanding, I think it’s more us in our decision-making.”

“We’re pissed, we’re pissed because we feel we deserve more,” Dos Santos said. “This is good that we all feel like that. Our frustration, I think it’s a good frustration.”

When you look at the other end of the pitch, the offence is still a work in progress. Fredy Montero was able to convert a first half penalty for his first goal of the season. Montero led Vancouver with 13 goals scored during the 2017 campaign. He is looking to find the same familiarity and flare that helped him during his first season with Vancouver.

Chemistry, and intuition between Montero, Yordy Reyna, and Hwang In-Beom has not yet materialized. We’ve seen glimpses of what the trio could become, but nothing on a consistent basis that shows they’re ready to carry Whitecaps FC.

There were moments of hands on the hips, and hands in the air. You could see the frustration of not being able to link up when Vancouver gained possession, and looked to advance forward.

“Hands in the air, the hip, we were dancing,” Montero joked. “It’s more about having that last pass perfectly where I can give the ball to Yordy (Reyna) and he can be in a position to score a goal. Once again, we’re not frustrated, we’re disappointed obviously, in the way that we lost the game.”

“They have to learn the way that I play,” Montero said. “At the same time I am learning from them. I’m trying to give the ball where they are dangerous. We don’t have big bodies into the box, but we can be dangerous one on one. We need to use that strength more.”

The 32-year-old Sutter earned his first start with Whitecaps FC as he came in for Jake Nerwinski. The sky is not falling, the end is not near, it’s just the ‘Madness of March’ – At the minute, Whitecaps FC are a united, and panic free squad.

“We’re disappointed, we’re not frustrated,” Sutter explained the difference. “We’re not in a situational crisis by any means, we don’t look at it like that. We’re just obviously disappointed that we haven’t got the start that I think we wanted or deserve, really. There’s no real use in complaining about it. We’re looking forward to the next game.”

You can’t win an MLS Championship in the first month and you can’t lock down a playoff spot, but you can set the tone, build momentum, and set a foundation for the season. Whitecaps FC have all the tools, technicians,  and talent. It’s now down to using the international break to re-group and prepare for the next match vs the top team in MLS.

A Cascadia clash awaits Vancouver Whitecaps FC as they host Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, March 30 at B.C. Place. It’s bound to be a cracker as Seattle is a perfect 3-0-0.

Whitecaps FC’s Fredy Montero knows how important this derby match will be.

“It’s a must win game.”