Vancouver Whitecaps thrash Philadelphia 3-0May 10, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps | 1 Comment
Tags: Darren Mattocks, Octavio Rivero, Pedro Morales, philadelphia Union, Vancouver Whitecaps
The lowly Philadelphia Union made their way to Vancouver for a warm May afternoon clash. It was the top of the West versus the bottom of the East. The open roof at BC Place cast huge shadows accross a sun-drenched pitch.
Vancouver whitecaps coach Carl Robinson put Tim Parker into the match for his first MLS start as right back in place of Stephen Beitashour who continues to suffer from a sore gluteus maximus muscle. Jordan Harvey seems to have won back his position at left back from Sam Adekugbe. The giant Kendall Waston joined Pa Modou Kah in the centre of defence. Defensive midfielder Matias Laba was back from suspension and joined Russel Teibert breacking up attacks in midfield. Captain Pedro Morales was flanked by Kekuta Manneh and Mauro Rosales in attacking midfield. Lone striker Rivero looked to score a goal after a dry spell.
The Whitecaps seem to have a habit of starting games in a lazy fashion. They did so again in this match and the Union nearly capitalized with a blind-side far post run by Andrew Wenger. Only a piece of brilliant goalkeeping by David Ousted saved the Whitecaps from going down 0-1 early. Ousted made himself look big and Wenger shot the ball into Ousted’s body at point blank range. The fact is only a poor shot by Wenger gave Ousted any chance at all, but the big man refused to give up and put himself in a position to stop the ball. Save of the week, here we come.
The whitecaps lost Argentinian midfielder Mauro Rosales to a quad injury early in the match. Replacing him was “the Bug,” Christian Techera. Soon after he came on the Bug spotted a surging Morales on the left side of the pitch and found him with a curling pass. There was a hint of offside, but Morales found himself one-on-one with Whitecaps old boy Brian Sylvestre in Philadelphia’s goal. Morales calmly curled the ball past the big lad and put the Whitecaps up 1-0.
Just before halftime the Whitecaps found themselves up 2-0. A poor back pass to Union defender White put him under heavy pressure from Rivero. Rivero bundled White over and stole the ball. He had the time to take a touch and easily slotted home. It was a mystery as to why a foul was not called, but White went into the tackle with Rivero like a limp piece of lettuce in an attempt to draw a foul which cannot have impressed referee Elfath.
Elfish gave the Whitecaps another gift in the second half for a tackle in the 78th minute in which the Union’s Richie Marquez brought the Bug down. It looked harmless enough and did not injure Techera, who made a meal of it all, but off he was sent nevertheless. It looked like a warning at best was warranted, but I suppose we had to be grateful that one of the funny calls by an MLS Official finally went the other way. Referee Elfath handed the Whitecaps the victory on platter with that call.
Soon after substitute Darren Mattocks (who had replaced Rivero in the 69th minute) scored a wonderful goal. The Union brought big Connor Casey and speedy ex Whitecap Seb Le Toux to try to score but in doing so left their defenders exposed. Mattocks found himself one-on-one with a defender and, after a few vicious cuts, blasted the ball home to make it 3-0.
It cannot be said that the Whitecaps played particularly well even if the score was 3-0. But for a great save by goalkeeper Ousted and a funny sending off by the referee things might well have been different. It has to be said that the Union are a pretty poor side. They looked demoralized, disorganized and dispirited. Coach Jim Curtain has some serious sorting out to do for the Union. The Whitecaps are going to need to play better than they did against Philly when the Seattle Sounders come to town next week.
Coach Carl Robinson’s revolution continues to pay off, and the Vancouver Whitecaps find themselves in dizzy heights at the top of the MLS standings. It took four years to get there, but there we are.