The Vancouver Whitecaps came into Saturday afternoon’s match on a bit of a low note, suffering a 5-2 loss to Toronto FC in the final of the Voyageurs Cup on Wednesday night. However, in Major League Soccer play, they were on a bit of a high, being undefeated in their past three, including a late draw at New York City FC and snapping Portland Timber’s 15-match winning streak.
Like Portland, New York Red Bulls came into Saturday’s match on their own hot streak and had one of the best road records in MLS. Would the Caps take down another hot team or would their Voyageurs Cup hangover spell doom.
With four matches in the last 11 days, it was expected the Carl Robinson would rotate the squad. Sure enough, we saw several players get an opportunity, including Erik Hurtado who has been in great form of late.
Here's how the boys will line up#VANvNY | #VWFC pic.twitter.com/2UyrOrjLp6— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) August 18, 2018
It didn’t take long before we had a goal in this one. Unfortunately, it was the Red Bulls who struck first, with Daniel Royer scoring in the 5th minute. It could be argued that it was a fantastic pass from BWP to Royer, but I can’t help but question the play of Jake Nerwinski and Stefan Marinovic on the first one.
What was your take?
Despite being down a goal, and at home, the Whitecaps never wavered from their typical game plan: sit back and wait, hoping that the other team does not score, then hoping that you can catch them on a fast break or set-piece.
Yordy Reyna had the best opportunity for the Whitecaps in the 21st minute, when he fired a rising shot on Luis Robles, which the keeper had to leap to push away.
True to Whitecaps style, they were able to get back into the match prior to the halftime break, whether they deserved it or not. On a 43rd minute corner kick, Kendall Waston was able to rise above his former teammate Tim Parker and head the ball into the back of the net.
Carl Robinson made the unusual decision to make a substitution at halftime, reinforcing what we all saw: Efrain Juarez has not been useful on the field in almost every one of his matches!
Hey guys, I’m starting to think Juarez is not a very good soccer player. Anyone else starting to see the same thing?— Jay Duke (@jay_duke) August 18, 2018
Marinovic potentially made up for his poor decision making on the first New York Red Bulls goal in the 48th minute, with a fantastic save on a pointblank header; after which an unsuccessful scramble ensured. Sorry Timmy. Close but no cigar!
Marinovic continued to make big saves, in the 50th minute, when he made himself big and gave Bradley Wright Phillips nowhere to shoot, despite being one-on-one with the keeper.
51' Another point-blank stop by Marinović— Vancouver Whitecaps (@WhitecapsFC) August 19, 2018
1-1#VANvRBNY | #VWFC pic.twitter.com/mkyqhF9oqj
After some uncommon pressure from the Whitecaps, they were back to their old ways, scoring again on a corner kick. Like the first Whitecaps goal, it was Captain Kendall, in the 60th minute, rising up above his former defensive teammate to put Vancouver ahead 2-1.
Feeling confident, the Whitecaps continued to show strength and pushed forward; something we don’t typically see, and what we did not see when they were down 1-0.
The Whitecaps were able to solidify the win in the 82nd minute when Michael Murillo pulled Davies down for a second time. Or did they…..
Like the Caps did two weeks ago in New York, against the other New York team, the Red Bulls were able to get a last-minute tying goal. Once again it was Royer, off a fantastically delivered ball to the back post, on a free kick.
Wow. Royer grabs a late equalizer! #VANvRBNY https://t.co/M4KdtSRJNo— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 19, 2018
It is hard to come to any conclusions about this match. The Caps did not look very strong to begin the match but seemed to come on in the second half and earned the lead. However, up a man, Vancouver gives up a late tying goal to end the match 2-2. I am not sure whether this is a good result or a bad result. If Vancouver were not up one, with the man advantage, maybe I wouldn’t have felt so bad about them giving up the late tying goal.
What is your reaction to the match?