It’s been a tough summer for the Vancouver Whitecaps (8W-11L-6D, 30 pts – 8th Western Conference). The ‘Caps tallied a respectable 20 points from their first 13 matches, but since the 4-2 loss at Portland on the Victoria Day long weekend, the ‘Caps have slowly been sliding down the Western Conference standings.
On Friday night the Whitecaps were looking to get their season back on track at the expense of the San Jose Earthquakes (7W-6L-10D, 31 points – 7th Western Conference). The ‘Quakes had never won a match at BC Place but opened the scoring early, beating Vancouver 2-1 and taking home all three points.
The Whitecaps still have plenty of time make it into the playoffs. However, they have a tough schedule to finish the season, and losing to the Earthquakes means that the job has now become much tougher.
In 2015 the Whitecaps finished with a very impressive 53 points. The gap from the second place Whitecaps to Sporting KC, who took the last playoff berth in 6th place, was only 2 points.
— Simon Fudge (@SimonFudge74) August 13, 2016
Simply put the Whitecaps may need as many as 21 points to qualify for the playoffs. Vancouver has only 30 points from 25 matches, and almost have to run the table to have a shot at the post season.
For a team that has won only twice since Victoria Day that’s a lot to ask.
The Whitecaps had a legitimate complaint when Quincy Amarikwa opened the scoring for San Jose in the 14th minute.
While jostling for position in front of the Vancouver goal, Amarikwa shoved Matías Laba before getting his head to Anibal Godoy’s corner kick. Amarikwa should have been called for the foul, but referee Drew Fischer did not blow his whistle to stop the play.
— Jeff Weisinger (@MrWeisGuy) August 13, 2016
Amarikwa’s header went straight to goalkeeper David Ousted, who bobbled the ball and dragged it over the goal line as he went to ground.
Yes, the play should have been whistled dead, but it was a relatively straight-forward stop for Ousted. While it would be unfair to suggest that that goal was the turning point of the game, it is just one more example of the costly mistakes that have plagued the Whitecaps since the very first game of the season.
With mere seconds left on the clock Nicolás Mezquida scored a goal for Vancouver in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. However, the late goal was nothing more than a consolation for the hapless ‘Caps.
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) August 13, 2016
Vancouver is now winless in their last 5 matches, and have now lost 3 straight games. Mezquida’s goal was the first goal for Vancouver since Masato Kudo scored in the 43rd minute of the two-all draw against Orlando City back on July 16th.
That’s over 360 minutes of MLS play in which the Whitecaps have failed to score a goal. In total, Vancouver has been kept off the scoresheet for 3 out of their last 4 matches, and for 7 matches in total this year.
Not good enough tonight from #VWFC. Have to make some changes to some regulars who have had their chances. Different lineup for KC.
— Perry Solkowski (@psolkowski) August 13, 2016
Against the Earthquakes the dangerous Christian Bolaños looked to provide opportunities to his teammates, but all too often the ‘Caps were held to long distance shots that were easily dealt with by San Jose goalkeeper David Bingham.
Vancouver newcomer Giles Barnes showed at times he can be a force to be reckoned with, but was largely left to his own devices until Alphonso Davies was introduced into the game with about 20 minutes to play.
The task does not get any easier for the Whitecaps, who play Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, August 20th. With time starting to run out on their playoff dreams, every game counts for the Whitecaps from here on out.
Man of the Match: Nicolas Mezquida
Referee: Drew Fischer
14’ – SJ – Quincy Amarikwa (Anibal Godoy)
60’ – SJ – Simon Dawkins (Alberto Quintero)
90’ + 4’ – VAN – Nicolas Mezquida (Kendall Waston, Christian Bolaños)
Possession: Vancouver 56.1 % – San Jose 43.9 %
Shots: Vancouver 17 – San Jose 12
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 7 – San Jose 6
Saves: Vancouver 4 – San Jose 6
Fouls: Vancouver 15 – San Jose 16
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – San Jose 3
Corners: Vancouver 11 – San Jose 6
35’ – SJ – Fatai Alashe
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 26.Tim Parker, 18.David Edgar, 4.Kendall Waston, 33.Marcel de Jong (67.Alphonso Davies 66’); 15.Matías Laba (8.Fraser Aird 74’), 77.Pedro Morales ©; 7.Christian Bolaños, 11.Nicolás Mezquida, 28.Giles Barnes; 9.Masato Kudo (27.Blas Pérez 66’)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 13.Cristian Techera 17.Andrew Jacobson, 19.Erik Hurtado
San Jose Earthquakes
1.David Bingham; 7.Cordell Cato, 4.Marvell Wynne, 5.Victor Bernardez, 3.Jordan Stewart; 91.Alberto Quintero (6.Shea Salinas 87’), 27.Fatai Alashe (17.Darwin Ceren HT), 30.Anibal Godoy, 49.Simon Dawkins; 8.Chris Wondolowski ©, 25.Quincy Amarikwa (19.Chad Barrett 83’)
Substitutes not used
28.Andrew Tarbell, 10.Henok Goitom, 20.Shaun Francis, 32.Andres Imperiale