Montero puts Sounders to the SwordApril 16, 2017 at 11:03 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps season 2017 | Leave a comment
Tags: Cascadia Cup, Cascadia derby, Freddy Montero, MLS, Seattle Sounders, Vancouver Whitecaps
Don’t ever diss the baby faced assassin. When Fredy Montero came to the Vancouver Whitecaps his old Sounders teammate Brad Evans made said he would “…never play for a rival team”. If you are a plodder like Evans no other team wants you anyway. That is the difference between the two players. Montero showed Evans and the rest of the Seattle Sounders what a quality footballer is by putting two striker’s goals in Seattle’s net to win the match.
Both Cascadian teams have struggled for form of late, and losing this match would be a blow to either one. On paper, this match should have been the Sounders to win, but the boys in white showed character and grit in scraping a win from their arch-rivals. The illustrious Clint Dempsey was kept off of the score sheet (luckily, since he hit the woodwork twice!), and Nicolas Lodeiro, Seattle’s dynamic Uruguayan midfielder, was limited to one assist.
The post match statistics showed a Sounders win in every category but the goals column. Seattle easily had more possession, more corner kicks, and more shots; Vancouver had many more saves and more fouls.
Carl Robinson made a tactical decision to play an away game at home. The Whitecaps did not try to outgun the Sounders, knowing full well how deadly Dempsey, Lodeiro and young striker Jordan Morris can be on the counter attack. Dempsy proved the point by hitting the crossbar from long range while being closely marked by two Whitecaps defenders. It was safety first, and it was not pretty to watch the home side nervously playing a cautious game and barely venturing out of their own end. It was frustrating stuff for the home crowd.
Robbo’s strategy worked well however, because the Whitecaps got out of the first half without conceding and their confidence grew from there. Waston and Parker were playing their hearts out in central defence and so were Svensson and Marshall for Seattle. The game was looking like a rather dull stalemate.
Christian Techera is one Whitecaps player who has decided to shape up recently, and, just like his performance against the Galaxy a few weeks back, he became a leader in this game for the Whitecaps. Techera’s left foot has been providing some deadly crosses of late, and he found Bolanos in the first half for a header that went over the crossbar.
It was Techera’s pin-point cross that found Montero in the 65th minute to break the deadlock. Montero found some room behind the giant Svensson and rather awkwardly headed the ball on to his own shoulder and into the Sounders net. It was not the prettiest header you have ever seen, but it proved accurate enough to beat Stephan Frei in Seattle’s goal in spite of Frei’s heroic effort to save it.
With Waston playing out of his skin it looked like one goal might be enough to do it, but with ten minutes left the Whitecaps earned one of those corner kicks they find so rarely. Christian Bolanos curled in a beautiful corner right on to his fellow Costa Rican’s head. Waston deflected the ball to the far post for an unmarked Montero to deflect into the net.
Funny how no Seattle defender was even near Montero on both of the Columbian’s goals. The babyfaced assassin is expert in ghosting into positions unnoticed. The Sounders defence looked shocked to see that something so cute could cause so much damage, in spite of having played with the man for four years.
It was a thrilling finish thanks to Lodeiro and the giant Will Bruin, who came on as a late Seattle substitute. Lodeiro crossed from the right for Bruin to crash home to make it 2-1 with only two minutes and injury time left. A last second mad scramble in the box saw Ousted fail to punch clear and the ball coming back towards his goal pinball style. Ousted was beaten but that man Waston, who saved the ‘Caps bacon so many times he should have been named man of the match, kicked the ball off of the line saving a certain goal.
It was one of those heart attack endings, and it felt like we had robbed the bank having just escaped with the policeman’s bullets whizzing by our ears.
While it was a thriller, the game started with barely half of the seats filled. The lazy Vancouver sports fan just cannot get to the match on time. Why people cannot get their act together to support the team on time is just beyond me. True supporters show their players that they care and have their ass in their seat at least in time for kickoff.
Even the Southsiders section was half empty at kickoff. Come on people, lets try to do better.