What slim hopes the Vancouver Whitecaps had to making the playoffs this season were snuffed out by Jordan Morris’ 81st minute header that gave the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory. While the Whitecaps odds of making the MLS playoffs were slim, they did have two matches against Seattle, one against San Jose, and the final match of the season against Portland; all teams they were fighting with for the final playoff position. Having now played more matches than each of their rivals and still 4-points out, the playoffs look like a fools bet.
With the playoffs on the line, the Whitecaps epitomized their 2016 season. Caps employed their bend but don’t break defending strategy, which at times looks bend but luckily don’t break, with their smash it over the top and hope someone can get on the end of a clearing and score strategy. No surprise, it looked…well…ugly. Vancouver was lucky to make it to the half all-square as they were dominated by Seattle. Despite being overmatched, Erik Hurtado was a menace to the Sounders backline and was able to get a few opportunities. Unfortunately, as has been too often the case, Hurtado was unable to muster much finish.
The Whitecaps came out in the second half needing to win and were unable to show that urgency. If not for a great David Ousted save (and post) The Caps would have been down 1-0 much sooner.
Despite the poor offensive performance, the Whitecaps showed that you only need one chance, when Pedro Morales lofted a ball down the right side to Giles Barnes in the 68th minute. Unfortunately, Barnes hit it off the post and the match remained 0-0.
In the 81st minute though, game-changer Nicolas Lodeiro made his mark and crossed a great ball in to Jordan Morris, who fought harder than the Whitecaps defense to head it past Ousted, into the net.
The Vancouver Whitecaps return home to play Colorado Rapids next Saturday afternoon (4pm) at BC Place. The Caps may be out of the playoffs, but with their remaining matches, they can certainly influence who makes the playoffs.
What were your thoughts on the match? Listening to the post-match show on Team 1040, they seemed to have a more positive interpretation of the Whitecaps effort this afternoon. Did you see it as a good match, despite the loss, for Vancouver or was it disappointing? Let us know.