After a sluggish, ugly effort against the Seattle Sounders over the weekend, Whitecaps fans hoping for redemption from their squad Wednesday night were left with a bitter taste in their mouths, as Vancouver fell to Seattle once again by a 3-0 final score. It meant, a few days after handing the Cascadia Cup to Seattle, the 'Caps watched as the Sounders secured top spot in Group F in CONCACAF Champions League play, advancing to the semi-finals in the process. You can find more on the CCL implications here.
Carl Robinson went with mostly youth in his lineup, although a few veterans did figure in to the starting 11.
Paulo Tornaghi gave David Ousted a rare rest in net, while the backline consisted of Tim Parker and Christian Dean on the wings, with Pa Modou Kah and Diego Rodriguez at Center Back. Debyi Flores was called upon in the defensive midfield with Matias Laba, while the veteran Robert Earnshaw got another start up top.
STAT: Tonight's starters have an average age of 24-years, 10-months, and two-weeks #VWFC— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) September 24, 2015
The match was plodding to start, with both teams trying to figure each other out. The match didn't really start to open up until around the 20th minute, when the teams started getting some shots on net. In the 26th minute, midfielder Nicolas Mezquida went down hard after a challenge, and needed to head off the pitch for some repairs. He would be back in the 28th minute, but Seattle score the first goal of the game just a few minutes later.
It happened in the 32nd minute, when Lamar Neagle converted a Chad Barrett cross. Seven minutes later, it was 2-0 thanks to Nelson Valdez converting a Marco Pappa free kick.
The Whitecaps looked inexperienced, shaken, and unlikely to come back on the road. Any optimism heading into the break was quickly snuffed out when Neagle scored his second of the night just two minutes into the second half. The Whitecaps were never able to mount much of anything, and had to settle for a 3-0 final score.
It was a boring match to watch from the Whitecaps perspective, and I'm sure Carl Robinson will come under much scrutiny for his choices in the starting lineup. You have to admire his commitment to developing youth, but when the club looks as over-matched as they did against Seattle, you have to wonder just how useful that experience is to the younger players. Perhaps a greater mix of veterans are needed next time, but hindsight is always 20/20.
Lineup: 70.Paolo Tornaghi; 26.Tim Parker, 44.Pa-Modou Kah, 18.Diego Rodríguez, 22.Christian Dean; 20.Deybi Flores, 15.Matías Laba (Teibert); 38.Kianz Froese, 9.Nicolás Mezquida (Manneh), 3.Sam Adekugbe (Bustos); 88.Robert Earnshaw