The Vancouver Whitecaps came out of the international break with a home match against their Cascadian rival, Seattle Sounders. Heading into this one, there was not a lot of optimism among Whitecaps fans. Vancouver had started the season 0-3, with a goal differential of -3, whereas Seattle had started 3-0 and a goal differential of +7.
The Derby saw the 2019 debut of Russell Teibert and the Whitecaps debut of loanee left back Ali Adnan. While South Korean Inboem Hwang and Yordy Reyna started on the bench after lengthy flights home from international duty. For Seattle, they started the same 11 as their first three matches.
The Caps came out tentatively in this one, sitting back for a large portion of the first half. In fact, at times it appeared very much like the Whitecaps of old. Fredy Montero was isolated up top while nine or ten Caps were behind the ball. However, Vancouver closed out the half strong with some possession, finally, and a few positive runs from Lass.
In a bit of a surprising move, Marc Dos Santos’ first substitution saw the active Lass come off for Lucas Venuto in the 61st minute. However, it was worth noting that Lass seemed to be losing some of the energy he displayed in the first half. In addition, Venuto was certainly a difference maker the rest of the match.
Inboem was the next to come on for the Caps, in the 72nd minute for Rusty. More on Inboem shortly.
Playing against his former club, Montero had opportunities but just could not seem to finish them and was substituted out in the 87th minute for Joaquin Ardaiz. Looking like the match would finish in a draw, the game had one last moment of suspense.
In the dying minutes of stoppage time Ardiaz was sent off on a half-break and looked poised to get an opportunity to give the Caps their first victory of 2019, against their Cascadia rival.
However, Stefan Frei came up big, denying Ardiaz the opportunity. Left with a half-open net, Inboem was not able to slot home the rebound, with fellow countryman Kim making a fantastic diving block.
While initially called a penalty, the play was (rightly) reversed, and the match ended 0-0.
Despite the draw, it needs to be looked at as a positive outcome. Even Whitecaps fans were not expecting a win from this one; on Twitter or in our Guess the Starting XI contest.
Now that we know the how each team will line up, what result are you expecting from the first cascadia clash of the season? #VWFC— Eighty Six Forever (@86forever) March 31, 2019
In addition, Crepeau looked strong in net while Henry had a fantastic match.
Adnan’s debut for the Whitecaps cannot be looked at as anything but a success. He is going to be a dangerous player at left back; a shame the Caps will probably only have him for four months!