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Vancouver Whitecaps Make Positive Strides in Montreal but still Lose 2-1

The Vancouver Whitecaps had a quick turnaround following their disappointing performance in San Jose. While there were positives to take from this match the result was still the same.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

They tried…Well, they started well at least. Unlike the previous match against San Jose, the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to string together 20 minutes of positive play…however, after that point things returned to normal and the Caps left Stade Saputo 2-1 losers to Montreal Impact.

After an embarrassing showing against San Jose over the weekend, there was a possibility that we would see some changes to the lineup. Yet, previous poor outings have not led to lineup changes, so it was also possible that Marc Dos Santos would trot out the same lineup as in San Jose.

However, MDS, delightfully, surprised us all, with not only a new formation but several new faces. Both newcomers Michaell Chirinos and Tosaint Ricketts started the match, while Jon….Erice… I hope I am getting that name correct, started at defensive midfield. It was great to see Erice back in the lineup and to see the Whitecaps try something a little different.

The Caps looked lively for the first 10 minutes of the match, even keeping Montreal pinned in their own half for the first few minutes of the match. Chirinos and Ricketts looked good, while the connection between the defense and offense was more noticeable thanks to the presence of Erice. Like San Jose, the Caps scored early. 17 minutes into this one, Reyna tapped the ball into an open net after some great work by the aforementioned two newcomers.

It looked like the Caps were going to build on their lead in the 20th minute when Chirinos was taken down in the box. Reyna stepped up to take the penalty kick, with Montero sitting this one out, and…Bush recorded his first pk save of the season. Luckily, Ricketts pounced on the rebound and slotted it home for the 2-0 lead…or did he.

Turns out Ricketts and In-Beom were encroaching on the penalty kick while Evan Bush stepped off his line early. Because of Bush’s mistake, the ‘fouls’ by both clubs meant a retaking of the kick. A chance to redeem himself Reyna…missed again.

You know, say what you want about Montero this season, but at least when he steps up to take the PK, it is likely a goal. Adnan? Reyna? Yikes!

That double PK save seemed to invigorate Montreal and they finally showed some fight. Following a poor giveaway from Adnan, Urruti was able to ricochet the ball off of Doneil Henry for an own goal. How many is that now for Henry? Is it just the two…against Canadian teams?
Just two minutes later Urruti finally scored his first goal at Stade Saputo, as a member of the Impact, and put the Impact ahead 2-1.
There were questions from some as to whether Urruti was offside. I will let those on Twitter make the case.

The rest of the match was…meh. Caps were able to even up the statistics a bit better than last match. They had 61% of the possession (I know, right!), held Montreal to only 19 shots, and were fairly even on everything else. Additionally, the Caps were able to convert 87% of their 550 pass attempts, including 79% in the final third!

Some positives to take away from this match. Outside of the PK (plural?), Reyna looked good, however, I think he is just shopping himself for this offseason. I would be shocked if he is back next season.

Again, PK aside, Ricketts looked good as well. He was lively and helped ‘lead the line’. Meanwhile, Chirinos was excellent. He looked all the player we were expecting. He played a role in the first goal, he received the pk call, and he had an excellent shot to open his goal scoring account with the Whitecaps.
Of course, for TSN’s Caldwell, Chirinos wasn’t nearly good enough!
In the end, they tried…and were successful if the measuring stick was San Jose. It wasn’t, but it still wasn’t a terrible performance. It might be sad that is how we look at things these days, but right now it is about small, incremental, steps forward.

What were your thoughts on the match?