The Vancouver Whitecaps kicked off their 2015 season this morning in Tucson, Arizona with a 2-0 win against New England Revolution. Many players saw action today for the Whitecaps with new Young DP Octavio Rivero making the biggest impact.
The Whitecaps began the game with Ousted, Farmer, Kah, Dean, Adekugbe, Koffie, Morales, Rosales, Bustos, Manneh, and Mattocks. Waston, Froese, and Beitashour are yet to meet up with the team and so they were not included in the game.
The first half saw some back and forth action with Kah contributing at both ends of the field. The Maestro, Pedro Morales was in fine form in the first half delivering plenty of great, pin-point passes. In fact, the Whitecaps twitter feed noted the Revs bench lauding the skills of the Whitecaps El Capitan. The solid play of residency graduate, and Canadian, Jackson Farmer at right back was also noted. I suspect we will see him as a regular with the ThunderCaps with the occasional game with the senior team.
The second half began with a complete overhaul of the lineup: Tornaghi, Sampson, Parker, Rodriguez, Harvey, Laba, McKendry, Alhassan, Mezquida, Clark, and Rivero. The Whitecaps seemed to pickup the play in the second half with Laba being more of a playmaker than he was last year. Laba jumping in to the play lead to the Whitecaps first goal in the 57th minute by Rivero. 5 minutes later, Rivero made it 2-0 via Mezquida. The 76th minute saw the Whitecaps sub in two of their trial players, Dane Richards (for Caleb Clarke) and Robert Earnshaw (for fellow trial player Kalif Alhassan).
Overall, it appeared to be a good game for the Whitecaps with Octavio Rivero making a solid debut scoring a brace, with both goals showing his patience, skill, and awareness. I must say, his debut certainly has me contemplating what may be this season. However, it is important to temper expectations as it is the first game, against a ‘half’ first-team. Nevertheless, he is off to a good start and it is much better than had he come in and played poorly. Hopefully those two quick goals will have relieved some of the pressure he might have been feeling, allowing him to settle in even better.
Highlights from the game can be found at the following link.