The Vancouver Whitecaps were appallingly shorthanded yesterday but at least it wasn't for nothing. All five Whitecaps off on international duty got action in the past two days. Tuesday, Etienne Barbara played 45 minutes for Malta against San Marino. Yesterday, Russell Teibert made his much-anticipated senior international debut against Carlyle Mitchell and Trinidad and Tobago, while debutant Darren Mattocks and Dane Richards both got in for Jamaica against El Salvador.
No Whitecaps players got on the scoresheet in the internationals but some made waves. After the jump, a look at how they did.
Canada 2 - 0 Trinidad and Tobago: Coming in as a second-half substitute for Patrice Bernier, Russell Teibert made his senior international debut at the age of 19, playing 28 minutes; the first Vancouver Whitecaps teenager to play for Canada's senior men since Randy Edwini-Bonsu in 2010. Teibert slotted in wide left and, although the game was not broadcast, by all accounts played excellently. Gavin Day of Red Nation Online praised Teibert's "fantastic performance" and Teibert made the highlight reel when he set up Will Johnson excellently for an eventual penalty and a goal. The extended highlights include what can only be called "four minutes of Teibert beating guys"; it's pretty impressive even if he misses some fine scoring chances.
The Trinidad and Tobago defense was on the back foot all night and Canada had few problems with them. This was probably bad news for Carlyle Mitchell, who started at centre back and went 70 minutes. You can see him on the Canadian Soccer Association's highlights wearing #19 and being beaten like a rented mule by Tosaint Ricketts en route to a shot hitting the post, then again being caught in no-man's land between Marcel de Jong's cross and Ricketts's goal. It sounds like it was a rough night at the office for the young Whitecap.
Jamaica 2 - 0 El Salvador: Darren Mattocks made his senior Reggae Boyz debut in this friendly, coming into the second half and drawing strong reviews from the Jamaican Football Federation. While he didn't trouble the scorers (Luton Shelton bagged a brace for Jamaica), his performance was generally praised, especially in official quarters. The Jamaica Observer observed that Mattocks had a couple good chances but couldn't finish them off, and the Gleaner (what a great name) said that Mattocks "immediately showed why he has become a highly touted rookie in Major League Soccer, weaving by a couple tacklers with his first touch and forcing Dennis Alas into a clumsy foul, earning El Salvador's captain a caution." He seems set to lead to call-ups for Jamaica's World Cup qualifying campaign this autumn.
Also in the game was Dane Richards, although he got little more than a cameo as Jamaica tried to finish off a won game. His performance drew little notice.
San Marino 2 - 3 Malta: Etienne Barbara made his thirty-first appearance for his country in a friendly against San Marino, playing the second half and apparently not doing a great deal. It may interest you to know that Barbara, despite playing at the highest level of any Maltese international, is far from their key player: the big scorer is former Coventry City man Michael Mifsud, who bagged a brace against the little microstate. Barbara was quiet, but the Times of Malta reports he had an excellent shot from distance saved by goalkeeper Federico Valentini.