The Vancouver Whitecaps stay atop the Western Conference standings with a 2-1 win in a battle between first and worst in the West. Fredy Montero and Yordy Reyna stole the night by trading assists on each other’s goals. According to Robbo, at this point in the year the team is grinding out its wins rather than chasing the beautiful game. And, while some might consider this another ugly win, Reyna and Montero provided beautiful moments for Whitecaps fans.
The duo got to it early in the fourth minute as Reyna lobbed a lovely ball across the face of goal for Montero to expertly head down and inside the post. That is Montero’s 13th goal, tying his MLS record for goals in a season. He has been a consistent scorer over this current seven game unbeaten streak, and the way he and Reyna are gelling he is sure to break that record wearing white and blue. Yes. The ‘Caps have a consistent goal scorer again!
There were more chances in the first half, when De Jong lobbed a long ball for Montero to take between two defenders. He managed to slip around one so he could lunge at the ball in an attempt to squeeze it through Tim Howard. Parker later missed his header off a well struck Techera set piece ball. You would think the ‘Caps were dominating the game to that point. And maybe, in their own way, they were with only 39% possession at the midpoint of the opening half. They had Colorado right where they wanted them.
Until the final minute of the half when Parker did well to get between his man, Dominique Badji, and the ball. He caressed it off his chest and onto his feet only, instead of immediately belting the ball into the back row, he left it long enough for Badji to sneak around from behind and poke it past Ousted to tie the game. Parker was named captain in the absence of Waston while serving his suspension from last game’s red card.
The ‘Caps came out of the break with more chances on goal: De Jong sent another cross-field lob to Techera who cut in to set up a streaking Montero who picked it out of the air just barely failing to knock it past Tim Howard.
In the 54th minute Fredy Montero sends some love back Reyna’s way with a perfectly weighted lob from inside the centre line. Reyna sprints away from Sjoberg and clips one over the diving Howard for the winning goal. Reyna now has 5 goals on the season, and every one of those goals is a game winner. In fact, four of those game winners has come in the seven-game unbeaten streak.
The ‘Caps continued to fight off Colorado’s advances, who could not test the Vancouver keeper from the extra possession they enjoyed. Ousted only had to make three saves on the night, but came up big with a patented reaction save off Azira.
Montero and Reyna have found an understanding between them that is resulting in goals and has formed an inspiring partnership. The in-house man of the match was Fredy Montero for his goal and assist on the game, but it could have easily been Reyna for his goal and assist. It is hard to appreciate one’s game without the other and the two are gelling so comprehensively that they are increasingly impossible to tell apart. In the great tradition of internet journalism they should soon be known as Rey-Tero (or, Mon-eyna?). Man! Where would the ‘Caps be without Rey-Tero on the team?
The ‘Caps have taken 10 of 12 points from the home stand. It is a significant achievement that has them atop the West for a second week in a row. They have done it while relinquishing possession, shots and passing totals to the other team, and winning by scoring on the few chances they get. Take nothing away from what they have done, but their recent results have been from winnable games and their tactics will be put to the test in Seattle on Wednesday and Kansas City on the weekend. Both will be telling games, but they got the job done at home and they’ve earned themselves a good position to close out the season.