Stefan Marinovic became a member of the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 21. It was not until Saturday when the New Zealand goalkeeper had his first taste of MLS action in a game where the Blue and White fell by a score of 1-0 on the road against the New England Revolution in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
But Marinovic got more than he bargained for.
At the 51st minute, the husky netminder came out of his net to collect a ball that was being chased by New England fullback Je-Vaughn Watson. The Whitecaps keeper got to the ball first but the momentum of the play carried Marinovic’s face to collide with Watson’s foot.
— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) August 13, 2017
Marinovic was shaken from the play but was able to continue. However, as the match resumed, the new Whitecaps keeper proceeded to deliver a poor goal kick that lead to New England’s lone goal, a goal that would eventually be the game-winner minutes later.
1️⃣1️⃣ ➡️➡️➡️➡️ 🔟 ✅ pic.twitter.com/BzSFz2QykJ
— NewEnglandRevolution (@NERevolution) August 13, 2017
That aside, the Auckland, New Zealand native left a positive impression after his first match as a Whitecap. He was quick to come out of his net, he was able to cut services into his box, and he showed decent ball distribution.
This is good news for the Whitecaps and their followers. With questions surrounding the longevity of fan-favourite David Ousted in Vancouver due to his expiring contract. Carl Robinson’s decision to leave the once-upon-a-time workhorse on the bench adds fuel to the fire and could indicate that the Great Dane’s time as a Whitecap is coming to an end sooner rather than later.
No Ousted eh…cue the hot takes #VWFC
— Michael (@thesaavedra) August 12, 2017
As such, it appears that Marinovic is the heir apparent for the number one spot between Vancouver’s sticks in the future.
The rest of the game? Oh, yes. The Whitecaps played their third away game in as many weeks and it showed. After travelling to Dallas, Colorado, and Boston, the many kilometres logged by the squad seemed to take a toll.
Despite the efforts of the Welsh Tactician to keep his squad fresh (he made seven changes to his starting XI from last week), his troops looked lethargic and came out flat at Gillette Stadium.
Having said that, the New England Revolution can consider themselves lucky to have bagged full points from the match as they were not particularly good either.
Considering that Cristian Techera hit the woodwork on a well-placed free kick, it might be fair to say that the Blue and White deserved to come back home with at least a draw.
With this result, the Whitecaps remain on the outside looking in, in their quest for a playoff spot in the West.
The Blue and White will return home next Saturday at 7pm to face the Houston Dynamo at BC Place.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Jake Nerwinski
Referee: Ismail Elfath
53’ – NE – Teal Bunbury (Kelyn Rowe)
Possession: New England 49.2% – Vancouver 50.8%
Shots: New England 12 – Vancouver 12
Shots on Goal: New England 4 – Vancouver 2
Saves: New England 2 – Vancouver 3
Fouls: New England 17 – Vancouver 10
Offsides: New England 0 – Vancouver 0
Corners: New England 8 – Vancouver 7
41’ – VAN – Andrew Jacobson
45’ + 3’ – NE – Lee Nguyen
63’ – NE – Kei Kamara
69’ – NE – Je-Vaughn Watson
New England Revolution
1.Cody Cropper; 2.Andrew Farrell, 4.Benjamin Angoua, 19.Antonio Mlinar Delamea, 15.Je-Vaughn Watson; 11.Kelyn Rowe, 5.Gershon Koffie, 24.Lee Nguyen (6.Scott Caldwell 85’), 14.Diego Fagundez (12.Xavier Kouassi 74’); 23.Kei Kamara, 10.Teal Bunbury (17.Juan Agudelo 65’)
Substitutes not used
18.Brad Knighton, 8.Chris Tierney, 16.Daigo Kobayashi, 28.London Woodberry
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
24.Stefan Marinović; 28.Jake Nerwinski, 4.Kendall Waston ©, 26.Tim Parker, 17.Marcel de Jong; 15.Matías Laba (8.Andrew Jacobson 29’), 16.Tony Tchani; 13.Cristian Techera, 11.Nicolás Mezquida (29.Yordy Reyna 64’), 20.Brek Shea (67.Alphonso Davies 79’); 12.Fredy Montero
Substitutes not used
1.David Ousted, 19.Erik Hurtado, 23.Bernie Ibini, 25.Sheanon Williams