The Vancouver Whitecaps had just a flicker of hope coming into their Sunday match against the Seattle Sounders, and unfortunately for fans of the Vancouver club, that glimmer was effectively snuffed. The Whitecaps fell 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders, in a match that saw both sides reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Head Coach Carl Robinson went with David Ousted in net, as per usual, then went with the ever-popular Jordan Smith, along with David Edgar and Jordan Harvey on the backline. Matias Laba took his usual spot in the defensive midfield, while Pedro Morales, Christian Bolanos, the young Alphonso Davies, and Giles Barnes made up the attack in the midfield. Erik Hurtado earned another start up top. It was surprising, leaving Nicolas Mezquida out and leaving Pedro Morales in considering their performances this season, but clearly this was the lineup Robinson thought gave his side the best chance to win.
The Whitecaps seemed to have the advantage coming in to the match, considering they were on home soil, and the Sounders were playing without Clint Dempsey, who’s been ruled out for the season with a heart issue. They even opened the scoring, with Pedro Morales ticking the twine from the penalty spot in the 25th minute.
El chileno Pedro Morales marca el primero para los @Whitecaps desde el punto penal. #VANvSEA, 1-0. pic.twitter.com/1OnPeGd307— Fútbol MLS (@futbolMLS) October 3, 2016
While Morales scored the goal, it really was the work of Davies pushing his way into the box, before getting tackled by the Seattle defender. If there is a bright spot on this club, it’s been the play of Davies in his brief time with the club this season.
What hustle from 15-year-old @AlphonsoDavies to draw the penalty for @WhitecapsFC https://t.co/9m8nld9qT9— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 3, 2016
The lead was short lived. In the 39th minute, Seattle evened the score thanks to Osvaldo Alonso. Take a look at this video and try not to destroy your keyboard in frustration. How easy did the Whitecaps make it for the Alonso here?
It was @OzzieAlonso's goal that kicked off the come-from-behind win for @SoundersFC #VANvSEA https://t.co/53KS5bCFcH— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 3, 2016
The Whitecaps had their chances to grab the lead back, but the score stayed tied going into the half.
In the second, the Whitecaps would be reduced to 10 men because of a red card given to Pedro Morales. Morales was actually having a pretty good match up to this point, but was called for what was apparently an elbow to the face. Is this enough for a red? You can be the judge.
This is why #Sounders are up a manhttps://t.co/vUTnECXCYU https://t.co/61EDLmgnvk— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) October 3, 2016
If this is the final season for Morales in a Whitecaps kit, it will certainly be a very fitting end. An optimistic start with a gut-wrenchingly disappointing finish.
The heartbreak kept coming for fans, as Jordan Harvey was called for a hand-ball in the 81st minute, after he was hit while trying to defend a cross. Brad Evans scored the match winner from the spot.
Sometimes you guess right, sometimes you guess wrong. #VANvSEA pic.twitter.com/2nsdqTR8EA— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 3, 2016
Evans would be sent off a few moments later, for what appeared to be a headbutt on David Edgar.
Here's the replay https://t.co/Ggtx03cM0W https://t.co/quMJmIQRwk— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) October 3, 2016
So, that’s essentially the Whitecaps end of season right there. Not with a bang, but a whimper.