As Bob Lenarduzzi mentioned to us recently, you never want to put too much stock in the pre-season, especially when you're not even playing an MLS opponent. That being said, there was a lot to like about the Whitecaps game in their 3-1 victory over Minnesota United FC of the NASL.
The Whitecaps with experience in their starting 11, although defensive midfielder and proud new papa Matias Laba took the night off. David Ousted got the start in net, and the backline consisted of newcomer Fraiser Aird and Jordan Harvey on the wings, with Kendall Waston and TIm Parker partnering at Center Back. Kianz Froese took the place of Laba, while Pedro Morales, Christian Bolanos, Blas Perez, Cristian Techera and Octavio Rivero comprised the attack.
The Whitecaps got their first good look of the match around the 11' mark, as Cristian Techera was able to get a shot off from just outside the box. He didn't get all of it though, and the match remained tied. Not long after, Pedro Morales opened the scoring from around the same area, blasting a shot past the keeper.
Pedro steps into a ball from a broken corner 1 nil! #VWFC pic.twitter.com/QHmBlAXeu0— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) February 27, 2016
In the 32nd minute, the Whitecaps doubled their lead thanks to Octavio Rivero. Cristian Techera had a free kick saved, but Rivero was there to nod the rebound home after it bounced off the underside of the crossbar.
Fantastic free kick from Techera leads to a better save from Sammy Ndjock and Octavio nods in the rebound 2-0 #VWFC pic.twitter.com/U2ZstQVa1y— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) February 27, 2016
The Whitecaps ran it to 3-0 just before the break, after Jordan Harvey earned a penalty and Pedro Morales slotted the ensuing shot home.
'41 Penalty! Harvey is bundled over and the ref points to the spot. Pedro converts. 3-0 #VWFC pic.twitter.com/QRU1dy7vzq— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) February 27, 2016
Minnesota would claw one back early in the second half, but that was as close as they would come, as the match would end in a 3-1 final score for Vancouver.
It was a fun match to watch if you like Pedro Morales. In addition to his first half brace, Morales was making brilliant passes, the same ones that made fans so excited in his first year with the club. He clearly had confidence and swagger in this match, and hopefully it carries over into the season opener on March 6th against the Impact.