3 Kicks: Whitecaps left scoreless in Seattle

Sep 18 2016, 2:10 am

Goodbye, playoffs.

Despite showing the bend-don’t-break defensive style that allowed them to be a counter-attacking menace in years past, the Vancouver Whitecaps unfortunately did break against their Cascadian rivals, the Seattle Sounders.

Seattle’s rookie phenom Jordan Morris sent a diving header past David Ousted in the 81st minute to give the home team a 1-0 victory, keeping their playoff hopes alive while all but ending Vancouver’s hopes at the same time.

1. Laba doing Laba things

While it might be a case of “too little, too late”, it’s heartwarming to see Matías Laba get back to doing the stuff that made him such a pugnacious presence in the defensive midfield.

Stuff like, say, this:

Classic Laba – track runner, get the ball, break up the play and don’t concede a foul.

That said, Laba wasn’t afraid to take one for the team and make the occasional tactical foul, most notably against Seattle’s mid-season super signing Nicolás Lodeiro. A push in the back here, a nip at the heels there and Lodeiro was all but banished from the centre of the pitch.

Unfortunately, that left all the other parts of the field open.

2. We miss you, Y.P.

Remember this guy?

He was kinda good at fullback.

Just sayin’.

3. The invisible bug

Back in April 2015, Vancouver made a cash deal with Toronto for the rights to pick up Cristian Techera on a season-long loan. Said loan included a transfer option, which the ‘Caps exercised in January.

At the time, it seemed like a no-brainer. Techera, or El Bicho – “the bug” – had been electric in his first few games, providing an attacking spark needed to jumpstart a misfiring offence. (Hey, that sounds familiar…)

While seven goals and five assists in 22 matches might be sub-par for a striker, for an attacking winger just arriving in the league, that’s a good base to build on. Expectations were thus elevated for the 2016 season.

Techera’s current haul: two goals and two assists in 27 matches, to which he added zero in an uninspiring performance against Seattle.

A match against a bitter rival with a playoff berth likely in the balance should be the time for key players, especially those making a not insignificant wage to show why they’re worth the money. Techera’s guaranteed base salary in 2016 is $345,000 according to the MLS Players Union, making him fourth-highest paid player among active Whitecaps players.

You’d think that would buy you more than a brace of goals and assists. Apparently not.

Free Kick: David Ousted


Match Stats

Man of the Match: Kendall Waston
Referee: Jair Marufo
Attendance: 47,111

Scoring Summary
81’ – SEA – Jordan Morris (Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg)

Possession: Seattle 62.6% – Vancouver 37.4%
Shots: Seattle 18 – Vancouver 8
Shots on Goal: Seattle 2 – Vancouver 0
Saves: Seattle 0 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Seattle 7 – Vancouver 13
Offsides: Seattle 0 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Seattle 12 – Vancouver 2

39’ – VAN – Cristian Techera
90’ + 1’ – SEA – Tyrone Mears
90’ + 1’ – SEA – Nelson Valdez
90’ + 3’ – VAN – David Edgar

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 18.David Edgar, 4.Kendall Waston, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales, 13.Cristian Techera (28.Giles Barnes 62’); 11.Nicolás Mezquida (67.Alphonso Davies 71’), 19.Erik Hurtado (27.Blas Pérez 83’)

Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 9.Masato Kudo, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker

Seattle Sounders FC
24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 14.Chad Marshall, 29.Roman Torres, 33.Joevin Jones; 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 7.Cristian Roldan; 21.Alvaro Fernandez (16.Nelson Valdez 62’), 10.Nicolas Lodeiro, 23.Andreas Ivanschitz (8.Erik Friberg 72’); 13.Jordan Morris (20.Zach Scott 90’ + 4’)

Substitutes not used
1.Tyler Miller, 9.Herculez Gomez, 39.Oalex Anderson, 91.Oniel Fisher


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