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Match Report: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew

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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps played their second entertaining game in four days at BC Place. Unfortunately, they could not pull out their fifth straight win and ended up drawing Columbus Crew 2-2. This game is best summarized by four key points.

  • Entertaining: Despite not coming away with the win, the 18,000+ fans that came out to BC Place on Wednesday night cannot say they were not entertained. The Whitecaps once again gave the people of Vancouver another reason to take in a game this season as the Whitecaps dazzled for most of the night. With that in mind, it must be noted that it takes two and the Columbus Crew did well to entertain this evening too. I had heard that the Crew play an entertaining brand of soccer and that was certainly reinforced with their play this evening.
  • Mistakes: I think Ousted would agree that this was probably his worst game of the season. And yet, without some wonderful saves in both the first and second half by Ousted, the Whitecaps do not even come away with one point this evening. The mistakes were felt on both sides though as a mental lapse coupled with a great heads-up play by Darren Mattocks resulted in Rivero slotting in his 5th goal of the season. As a bit of an aside, how often does a striker receive an assist based on their throw-in?
  • Sluggish Starts: While the end of tonight's game was certainly entertaining, the first 10 minutes of each half seemed to be an issue. Going back to last year, the Whitecaps seem to have a tendency to get off to sluggish starts; especially after the half. I did notice against LA that the entire team came out after the break, formed a circle, and did a few sprints to loosen up and it seemed to help. Hopefully they can continue to address that and not get down early.
  • Speed/Work-Rate: WOW! Anyone who was able to watch the game on television or in-person had to notice the value of speed in this game, in the second half. It seemed that throughout the second half, whether it was Laba, Teibert, Mattocks, Manneh, or anyone else, the Whitecaps were always first on the ball or able to beat the Crew player. The goal by Mattocks, set up by Manneh was pure speed. I thought that the Crew defender was going to get there first and push the ball away but the pressure and speed of those two created that goal. Also, as a shout-out to PLarue, I must acknowledge once again that Manneh has sure improved his balance and strength. There were a few times where he was either able to hold off or bump off the Crew defender. He has certainly proven me wrong when I questioned his ability to do that.

Team Stats (whoscored.com)

22 shots (8 on-target)

62% possession

83% pass success

82% aerial success

10 dribbles

16 tackles

Individual Stats (whoscored.com)

Mattocks: 1 goal (64th minute); 1 assist; 7 shots (2 on-target); 2 key passes; 3 dribbles; 4 tackles

Morales: 2 shots (1 on-target); 6 key passes; 10/15 long balls; 3 aerials won

Rivero: 1 goal (31st minute) 6 shots (4 on-target); 3 key passes; 3 dribbles; 2 aerials won

Waston: 10 interceptions; 4 clearances; 1 blocked shot; 5 aerials won; yellow card (17th minute)

Laba: 5 tackles; 2 interceptions; 79 passes (84.8%); 11/14 long balls

Teibert: 3 tackles; 2 interceptions; 75 passes (92.0%), 10/11 long balls