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  1. [Also check out Tom's website www.residualimagephotography.com for more of his photos and work]. The Southsiders March to the Match - BC Place awaits A close up of the new BC Place pitch Vancouver Whitecaps starting XI Real Salt Lake starting XI Coaches Carl Robinson and Jeff Cassar share a laugh before kick off Nick Rimando has an eye for a camera In the 36th minute, Gershon Koffie dispossess Joao Plata after some sloppy play And the man making his 100th MLS start for the Caps hit a 25 yard thunderbolt into the postage stamp corner - 1-0 Vancouver And boy is he happy! But the joy wasn't to last long as Javier Morales spots some poor wall positioning And curls a beautiful free kick past David Ousted Octavio Rivero has a chance to restore the Caps lead in the second half But the Uruguayan is like the rest of us and can't believe he didn't tuck it away A huge turning point in the game comes in the 64th minute as David Ousted pulls off another 'Save of the Week' candidate from an Elias Vasquez header Denied at one end, Vasquez gives up a goal at the other when he attempts to chest the ball back to Nick Rimando But before the keeper can collect the ball, Cristian Techera nips in And rounds Rimando before slotting home the winner The joy and ecstasy of your first MLS goal The Bug is squished! The secret behind why Kendall Waston is so good in the air - steam power! Kendall Waston does the postgame humba with Curva Collective You can see a Flickr slideshow of all of Tom's photos from the game below:
  2. REPORT (by Steve Pandher) The first part of the match saw both teams getting used to the new surface at BC Place with the first chance coming just after ten minutes when Pedro Morales forced Nick Rimando into a diving stop on a shot that was heading inside the post. Vancouver squandered two clear chances to open the scoring in the space of four minutes when first an unmarked Cristian Techera fired wildly over in the 20th minute, after being set up by Mauro Rosales, and then Octavio Rivero crossed the ball right to an open Gershon Koffie who hit the bar from inside twelve yards. The Ghanaian midfielder would make up for his miss in the 36th minute with an unstoppable strike into the top corner. After stripping Joao Plata of the ball, Koffie took a touch and blasted a shot from 25 yards out past a diving Rimando to give Vancouver the lead. With less than five minutes to go in the half, Kendall Waston had an opportunity to double the lead when his header, off a Morales free kick, sailed just over the bar. The inability to convert that chance would prove costly and Real Salt Lake evened the match when Javier Morales placed a 25 yard free kick with power into the top corner past a helpless Ousted and a poorly set up wall. Pa Modou Kah had a chance to restore the 'Caps lead before the break, but his header was saved on the line by Rimando and the teams went in all square. Ten minutes after the break Morales almost give RSL lead when he got free inside the box but Kah was able to get in the way at the last moment to block the shot. As the hour mark it was the Caps who were denied as Rivero was stopped by Rimando after being sent in one on one by Laba. Four minutes later the Whitecaps were scrambling to keep the ball out of the net after Ousted punched a Vasquez goalbound header off the line. A five minute span between the 71st and 76th minute saw the Whitecaps dominating the visitors with a total of eight corners attempted but only one blocked Morales chance coming from it. Just three minutes later the Whitecaps would capitalize on a RSL mistake allowing Christian Techera to score his first in MLS. Matias Laba crossed the ball to Rivero who was able to head the ball into the six yard area. At this point Vasquez chested the ball to Rimando who was not ready for it. Techera nipped in and had his first attempt stopped by Rimando. The pint sized winger followed up on the loose ball and deposited into the open net for the 2-1 lead and what proved to be the winning goal. The remainder of the match saw the Caps keep RSL at bay except in the final moments when Alvaro Saborio’s shot from six yards out went into the side netting. The win over RSL ended Vancouver’s mini two game losing streak and they end the month of May with a two wins, two losses and a draw. It also improved their home record to 4-1-3 taking advantage of the last match BC Place until July 12th. While that match is far away the next week sees Vancouver traveling to the East to take on derby rivals Montreal Impact mid-week before returning to Southern California next Saturday to play the LA Galaxy. FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - 1 Real Salt Lake ATT: 21,000 (sell out) VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston, Pa-Modou Kah, Jordan Harvey; Matías Laba, Gershon Koffie; Cristian Techera(Darren Mattocks 86), Pedro Morales(Russell Teibert 90+3), Mauro Rosales(Kekuta Manneh 69); Octavio Rivero [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Nicolás Mezquida, Tim Parker, Robert Earnshaw] SALT LAKE: Nick Rimando; Elias Vasquez, Justen Glad, Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally; Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer(Luis Gil 81), Javier Morales; Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia 70), Sebastian Jaime(Alvaro Saborio 84), Devon Sandoval [subs Not Used: Lalo Fernandez, Tony Beltran, Wellington Paeckart, Luke Mullholland] REACTION: VANCOUVER CARL ROBINSON On a great win before a long road trip: “Very important. I was dreading coming in here and saying to you guys ‘Oh, we played really well, but we didn’t win.’ That’s the frustration I felt after 45 minutes because I thought we were absolutely excellent in the first 45 minutes without scoring more than one goal. And the dangerous off-set plays and set pieces, we were giving up one or two silly free kicks. If you give Rosales an opportunity, he scores. So I was disappointed, but pleased. But it was an important win.” On being some of the best play this season: “It is. Whether we can score enough goals to win the games has been the big question. As I said to the guys in there today, ‘Well-played. But, I’m sick of saying well-played, but we’re not winning. Let’s go out and challenge.’ After the game, it was nice, because I said the group can go to a very special place if they really believe they can and want to. And today I found out a lot about them. It was pleasing for them. It was an important win.” On Cristian Techera and what he brings to the team: “All of my players have different attributes. He brings energy about him. He’s small, he’s dynamic, and he scores goals. If you look at his record prior to when he came here, he scored goals. And that’s one thing we need our wide players to do, if we’re going to play the shape that we play. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, he’s scored many better goals than that but we’ll take it. But, it’s not just him. Mauro and Kekuta [Manneh], when he came on, were excellent as well, so he’s different to what we have.” On David Ousted’s big save and how it influenced the match: “He seemed to be very happy with that afterwards, didn’t he? You know, calling the crowd, putting his arms up, which was great. Key moments, fine lines, this game. As we talk about every week, and our fine line today was David produced a great save. He’s in the team to do that, so when he does that, we’ll pat him on the back as well. Then obviously the forward players took the goals.” Thought’s on the newly surfaced turf: “Great. Good. I don’t use excuses. It’s the same for both teams. Our advantage is the 12th man out there, these fans. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Real Salt Lake are a good team, they have good players. After a long road trip for them, well, three games in a week, you know they are going to have a period of play. When they did, the fans got us through that as well and we kicked on again, which was a pleasing thing. We were looking very strong at the end, so it was fine.” Thoughts on Gershon Koffie: “He can do it. I keep saying to him every week, he can do it. Gershon has shown on his day he can arguably be one of the best midfield players in the league, without a doubt. I gripe with him, and it is a gripe. His potential is massive. He’s got to fulfill his potential with my help and my coaches’ help and he’s pushing himself, day in and day out. Because, what I don’t want is him to play well one game and not so well for two or three games. It’s about playing well. Kyle Beckerman, perfect example. Plays well every game. Gershon can do that and challenge him. Russell [Teibert] wasn’t quite ready today and he’s been excellent for me. And Matias [Laba] is Matias. Gershon can score goals. He was a beauty today, really was.” On the combination of Mauro Rosales, Pedro Morales, Cristian Techera, and Octavio Rivero: “I think in certain games, in certain halves of football, we’ve played very well. Sometimes we go with pace out wide. Cristian brings us the pace element. Mauro brings us the brain. I thought Mauro was excellent again. Different games require different things. When we go on the road, it’s going to be different. We have a tough stretch now of five games. So we’ll pick and choose who we use and when we use them. But the boys performed today. I’m leaving good players out of this squad, I really am. Sometimes people say, ‘Well why you do you keep changing the line-ups’ and things like that. The energy levels have to be high. Salt Lake did it today if you look at the bench with Tony Beltran, Luke Mulholland, Luis Gil, and Alvaro Saborio. They left their good players out. They play every week for them, but three games in a week is hard for any player. It will be what it is.” GERSHON KOFFIE Thoughts on his goal: “I just read what [Nick Rimando] was going to do. That he was going to turn outside to the right side because there were a lot of guys inside so he could not go inside. So I just followed up and had a shot.” Thoughts on missed chance earlier in the match: “I was at the right spot and should have buried that one. But fortunately, I did what I could and I got rewarded with the second one.” On whether he has practiced on his finishing: “Yes, we have been putting in a lot of work on that. But even the strikers who score every single game, they miss some chances that are expected. You just have to keep working on your finish.” On his 100th regular season start: “It is special for the whole team and it is very special to me.” On importance of this win: “It’s always good to win. We are not going to be here for a while. The win was very important for us and it gives us motivation for the next game.” CRISTIAN TECHERA Thoughts on the match: “I think it was a game that we may have complicated a little bit for ourselves after the first half. But we came out in the second half and made it happen.” On his first MLS goal and shoe celebration: “It’s good. Anytime a player scores a goal it gives you confidence going forward and it settles you down and makes you look forward to the next one. I was telling the guys in the locker room that the ball that was pretty high up in the air and the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper is not the tallest so it made sense that the defender would be trying to chest it back. I just recognized that and was able to capitalize on the opportunity. I told my family I would score a goal and send them my shoes.” Thoughts on playing in front of Whitecaps FC fans and on the new turf: “Fans have been great from the get-go. It’s always nice to come into a full stadium with passionate support. The turf was nice. It looks really good. It’s always nice to play at BC Place especially with the new turf.” On whether he feels more comfortable now: “It’s been great. Especially with a few Latino players here. It helped me settle in a lot quicker. The support from the club has made that transition a lot smoother. Anytime you go anywhere as a player, there is always a bit of a transition and settling-in phase and I am thankful it has gone relatively smoothly.” REAL SALT LAKE JEFF CASSAR Thoughts on the game-winning goal: “At that junction of the game, it’s ‘boom’ and get it out. We talk about it all the time. It’s a learning experience but I think Nick Rimando had a very good game.” On whether the sun was a factor on the game-winning goal: “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to Nick Rimando about what happened. It should be a simple play. Just ‘boom’ and get it out. I know Elias Vasquez is very comfortable back there on the ball. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to be effective so we can walk out of here with the result.” On the changes in the lineup: “This is our seventh game this month. Three games in eight days isn’t easy. Credit to our players for sticking it out. Credit to players like Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman. These guys are coming back from injury. Kyle has played three games of 90 minutes. These guys are warriors. It’s good to give them as many extended minutes as possible with Sebastian Jaime and Joao Plata because we need to work them in back to full fitness. It’s not easy to go on the road twice, and three games in eight days. We hung in there, we did a good job and we should’ve had the result for sure.” On Justen Glad’s debut performance: “Very good. I thought he was very good. It’s not an easy task to deal with Whitecaps FC wingers. They’re technical, they have speed. I thought he did a great job.” On the upcoming home schedule: “It’s been hard for us to get in rhythm. It’s one match away, then one at home. You can use these home games to really get on a streak. To get going, we’re going to have to do that.” On their recent performance: “I don’t think we struggled tonight. We didn’t get the result but you look at everything and I think we played a very good game. Same thing in LA. We were all over them for long stretches of time, but we’re doing things to shoot ourselves on the foot. But if we don’t give up penalty kicks, we don’t give up set-play goals, and we don’t give up red cards, we’re a pretty good team. But if you gift goals, it’s hard to get results.” JUSTEN GLAD On his debut performance: “I think it went well. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but I think as far as experience goes, I think it was a good game. We had to grind it out at the end. That’s how defence is and that’s what it comes down to. Coming from an experience standpoint, it’s a huge step.” On transitioning from the USL to the MLS: “Obviously, everyone’s a little stronger, a little faster. You just have to play a little quicker. The nerves definitely came in the first half and they played a part. But in the second half, it was a lot easier. It’s a fitness game. Coming in, I tired more quickly. For example last week, at the end of the USL game, I wasn’t tired. At the end of this game, I’m a lot more tired. It’s a tough transition but helpful to the USL side to have this experience. Obviously, there are things to work on. There’s always room for improvement. I’m alright with it.” On the FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup being played on the new turf: “It should be fine. It’s a really nice stadium. It’s a nice set-up they have up here. I think they’ll enjoy it.” NICK RIMANDO Thoughts on the match: “They scored more than us. I thought we did enough to at least tie that game but we figured out a way to lose it.” On the Cristian Techera goal: “That comes down to language barriers. Elias Vasquez wanted to do one thing, and I was saying something else. Obviously, you saw the result of what happened. That’s us figuring a way not to win the game. We have to figure out a way to reverse that this year. It was a mistake and we’ve had a lot of those this year. We just have to move forward and learn from them and keep grinding out and get results.” On what they can take away from the match: “The good thing we got out of this is we got a lot of guys some good minutes. A lot of guys got some rest. I don’t think any of that had to do anything with the result. We had chances where we could’ve scored. At the end of the day, they scored more than us and put away their chances.” On the team’s early season struggles: “It’s one that we just need to go with. It’s definitely unusual compared to what we’re used to. A lot of changes but we knew it was going to be different from the beginning and it’s still relatively early. We have to start getting some points and grinding it out. It’s not going to be pretty at times but if it’s ugly, it’s ugly. If it’s ugly but we grind out some points, it’s fine with me. We have to find who we are and keep moving forward and somehow get healthy because we have a lot of guys out.” On the new turf: “It’s the first game so you can’t really be critical of it. As more players play on it, it’s going to get broken in and get better.” KYLE BECKERMAN On the early season struggles: “It’s frustrating. It’s part of the game. It’s about the team that makes the least amount of mistakes. It’s about punishing the other team when they do make a mistake. We just weren’t able to punish them. They did on a couple of mistakes we made. That was just the story of the game today.” On the adjustments to the lineup: “Guys gained a lot of experience today. Hopefully that helps us in the long run. Justen Glad played his first game, I think he did really well. There are a lot of positives to take away from the game. It’s not all doom and gloom. We’ll take the positives. We’ll see where we can get better and keep marching forward.”
  3. THE GOOD David Ousted Gets Another Clean Sheet Sure I could have picked Darren Mattocks because he scored the game winning goal. I could have picked Matias Laba for his brilliant play clogging up the midfield. Or I could have picked Kendall Waston for shutting down all RSL forwards in the defensive box. They were all excellent but I picked Ousted because he has been solid all season and he continued his dominant performance and got his third clean sheet in four games on the road this season. With all the road woes this team has had since joining MLS, this season's road success is critical. These points could mean the difference between fighting for the last playoff spot in the last game at the end of the season again to sitting comfortably in the second or third spot in the standings and getting a home playoff date. Maybe even more. Ousted made four saves. They weren't amazing saves but he always seems to do just enough to make sure that the team in front of him has that chance to win. Yeah they wait until the last minutes and it's not always pretty, but an ugly win is worth just as much in the standings as a pretty win. That is all you can ask from your starting keeper. THE AVERAGE Octavio Rivero's Past Two Games Don't sound the panic alarms, but Rivero hasn't scored in two straight games! Of course there will be times this season where Rivero has these type of games, but even though he isn't scoring he is still contributing to the team with all the other aspects of his game. He is holding the ball up well, still making dangerous runs in the box and always showing hustle on the pitch. This is something we haven't seen with the other strikers Vancouver has and have had since joining MLS. Even though he hasn't gotten the service he has wanted the last two games he is still making those runs off the defender's shoulders time and time again. It's not his fault that his teammates aren't giving him the ball on his run. He showed frustration a few times in this game when Darren Mattocks or Sam Adekugbe had their heads down and didn't see him making a run into the box, missing the chance to make the pass. Even with all these missed opportunities he is still trying and running his heart out for this team. THE BAD Sam Adekugbe The Whitecaps improve to 5W-0L-1D with Adekugbe in the starting line up this season. He has shown he has the ability to get up into the play down the flank and get involved in the offense. This game was no different for the young player. The problem in this game was he looked rushed on all his crosses. He didn't take his time to make sure he got a decent serviceable ball into the box. Time after time the RSL defenders were stepping in and knocking the ball out before it could make in anywhere close to a Whitecaps player. With this only being his 11th MLS game he is still learning and will only get better with time. He also turned the ball over a few too many times for my liking. He seemed to play every ball a few yards too far ahead or too far behind the player he was looking for. He needs to play the ball through his midfield more. He kept trying to go over the top and down the wing straight to Rivero and Mattocks. When you have players like Laba, Russell Teibert and Gershon Koffie to play through, that is usually the best option.
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  5. REPORT: Vancouver Whitecaps' Carl Robinson served up a tactical masterclass down in Sandy, Utah on Saturday night. Gone was the usual 4-2-3-1 formation, to be replaced with what amounted to three defensive midfielders on occasions, splitting to form a diamond midfield at others. It was introduced at short notice and it worked "to a tee" as Robinson said afterwards, as the Whitecaps played out a defensive first half before controlling play in the second. A fine Darren Mattocks header ten minutes from time was the difference between the two sides, as Vancouver left Rio Tinto with three points and Salt Lake finished the game with nine men. Robinson made four changes to the team that lost to San Jose last week, with the enforced one of the suspended Pedro Morales being the most significant one. Vancouver had a lucky escape four minutes in when Pa Modou Kah completely misjudged a long ball forward allowing Alvaro Saborio to run in on goal, but the Costa Rican's wild shot flew wide right. RSL threatened again in the 16th minute when David Ousted had to get down quickly to keep out Jordan Allen's low shot from the edge of the box. Vancouver had a good spell of pressure midway through the half that kept Salt Lake penned in for a couple of minutes, but once again they failed to muster a single shot on target during the first 45 minutes. It was very much a stop-start half, with neither side able to get into any kind of groove. The second half at least had some flow to it, as Vancouver dominated possession, but without threatening the Salt Lake goal. Saborio was allowed a free header eight yards out in the 63rd for RSL, but directed it straight at Ousted and Vancouver responded with a long range Nicolas Mezquida effort that flew over and then Octavio Rivero couldn't get a good bounce and hit over as well. Recent games between the two sides have been feisty affairs and when Russell Teibert picked up a yellow card in the 5th minute, you had to think we were in for another chippy night. But it wasn't to be a dirty game. That all changed in the 76th minute when RSL sub Sebastian Saucedo saw a straight red for a horrendous tackle on 'Caps sub Mauro Rosales that left the Argentine writhing in agony on his first game back after injury, with the Salt Lake player's studs going into the top of his foot. Vancouver made their man advantage pay just four minutes later when a Sam Adekugbe pass was deflected into the path of Russell Teibert and the Canadian whipped in a perfect cross on to the head of Mattocks, who rose superbly to head what was to be the winning goal past Nick Rimando. RSL went down to nine men in the final minute of normal time when Jamison Olave picked up his second yellow of the match after tripping Mattocks. With six minutes of stoppage time RSL actually had some of their best pressure of the game, but the Caps also had a couple of chances to add to their tally. In the end Vancouver held out comfortably for their third away win of the season and their fourth clean sheet. The Whitecaps have also still only allowed one goal on the road all season. With three of their next four MLS games at home, the 'Caps will be looking to strengthen their lead at the top of the standings, before the tough summer schedule kicks in. FINAL SCORE: Real Salt Lake 0 - 1 Vancouver Whitecaps ATT: 20,414 sell out SALT LAKE: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran (John Stertzer 83), Jamsion Olave, Elias Vasquez, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland (Devon Sandoval 88), Luis Gil; Jordan Allen (Sebastian Saucedo 64), Alvaro Saborio, Olmes Garcia [subs Not Used: Jeff Attinella, Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally, Wellington Paeckart] VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Kendall Waston, Pa Modou Kah, Sam Adekugbe; Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba, Darren Mattocks (Erik Hurtado 90), Nicolas Mezquida (Mauro Rosales 71), Russell Teibert; Octavio Rivero [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Jordan Harvey, Deybi Flores, Kekuta Manneh, Robert Earnshaw] REACTION: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CARL ROBINSON Overall thoughts on game: “It’s a good result for us. We come here with a game plan and made some tactical adjustments prior to the game and it worked to a T, so we’ll take the 3 points.” On Vancouver’s formation: “We just made one or two adjustments. Obviously playing two forwards was a plan we wanted to use. We know Salt Lake are a very good attacking team, and like to get their fullbacks high. We just thought that maybe we could isolate the center back to certain areas. It was 60 odd minutes. They cancelled us and we cancelled them. As the game opened up a little bit, then obviously we were lucky enough to take our chance and they didn’t take their chance.” On the overall play on the road: “My team has got character. Sometimes the performance levels aren’t what they should be, but character, heart, grit and determination was absolutely spot on in there and that gets results sometimes, and today I think it got us a result. It was fantastic individual performances. Today, and sometimes football isn’t pretty I’m afraid, and when it’s not pretty it’s important that you get something out of the game. That’s what we did today.” On using versatility to find a win: “It’s very important. Whenever you come to Salt Lake, and our records speak for themselves, we have never won here. That’s credit to Salt Lake, because they’re so good at home. We knew it was going to be a difficult game, and as I said, I tactically adjusted it and set up the game plan. But I got to give my players credit today, because we spoke about it yesterday for the first time about how we were going to play, and they took the information on board. I know they’re fantastic individuals and they’re talented players, but what I learned today is they’re smart players as well and the next stage of us continuing development. We got a long way to go. We enjoyed it today, but we will get back to work on Monday, because we got a big home game next week.” On Darren Mattocks stepping up the defensive side: “He’s worked his socks off today. Not just Darren, but every single player on my team and you’re going to have to do that, especially in places like Salt Lake. We did it today. He got his reward with a goal and as the game opened up, and obviously the referee made one or two decisions which changed the flow and the dynamic of the game. It opened up and we could have got another one or two, but the difference, we took our chances. They didn’t take their chances.” RUSSELL TEIBERT: Thoughts on the match: “Great result for us. We talk about making history and we had the opportunity to do so tonight. We took a chance playing a different formation and we adapted well and showed how intelligent our squad is and how we are willing to work in whatever formation our manager puts us in. We have never won here before so not only is it a big win tonight but it is also a big win for our club." DARREN MATTOCKS Thoughts on the match: “Great shift defensively. Third win on the road in eight games. That's amazing. We have a bunch of guys that are so talented, but we are also willing to put in the work defensively even though that's not always fun to do.” On Teibert's contribution to the winning goal: “Russell Teibert. What a hard working great player he is for us.” REAL SALT LAKE JEFF CASSAR On the officiating: “It is what it is. Sometimes, when you leave your feet like that, you leave yourself susceptible for the referee to make an impact the way he did. So there are definitely coaching points there. This game isn’t about the officiating for sure.” On what he wants to see differently from his team: “I thought we started off well. We started off aggressive, and then we maybe just took our foot off of the gas a little bit. I thought that a goal was coming, and when you’re getting that momentum you want to keep pushing and pressing for that goal. I thought we kind of maybe took our foot off of the gas a little bit. We have areas to improve on. I’m super proud of the effort from the guys tonight, but we need to improve on some things.” On Vancouver’s goal: “It was really a broken play. We were actually in good spots. They went to cross the ball and Luke [Mulholland] made a good effort to stop a penetrating ball. It goes off of his shin, down into the corner, and they get a cross. It was a bit of a broken play, maybe where we took a bit of a mental lapse. I have to go back and look at it, but we were all in good spots when the play happened, it was just that when it deflected off Luke, everything kind of went south from there.” On if he plans on appealing either red card: “We’ll have to look at it. I don’t know what to say on those right now. I want to stay positive. We had two red cards, they had none, and they could have had a few of them. But we’re not talking about them; I’m not going there. It’s just teaching points. You’re leaving it at the mercy of the referee, and that’s not always a good thing.” On why he subbed offensively at the end: “We were losing. We had to try to get as many goal scorers and size on the field that we could, and still keep speed on the field. Credit to the guys, they really kept pushing all the way to the end. I thought the subs worked out well for that fact, but we just couldn’t get it in the back of the net.” SEBASTIAN SAUCEDO On his red card: “I didn’t intentionally try to tackle him. Obviously I can’t argue about getting a red card. If it’s a red card, then it’s a red card. And I can’t argue about it or anything like that. I tried to get the ball and I tried to do it as cleanly as possible, but it led to something else. I can take the blame for getting a red card and obviously it led to their goal. It’s something that I have to overcome. It’s my first opportunity to play more minutes in a game and it just went by really quickly with the red card, so we’ll see what happens in the future.” LUKE MULHOLLAND On if he was pleased with the officiating tonight: “Pleased? No. We felt hard done by. As the home team, you know fifty-fifties usually go in favor of the home team, didn’t feel like we got that tonight. Then the first challenge that happened at the end of the first half, when a Vancouver player had on our player kind of set the tone for the game; if they can do that then we should be able to get away with the Saucedo tackle. We felt like we were hard done by. I didn’t think that both tackles were great but I think that one was worse than the other.” On helping teammate Sebastian Saucedo cope with his red card: “Yeah it’s a teaching moment, he came in here tonight and he looked really distraught. He feels like he has let the team down. But as a player we just remind him that tonight is done with. We like to see the fight in him. We know he is not a malicious player so it’s a bit unlucky. I guess he just wanted it too much. You can’t really go in like that. Like I say, he is young and inexperienced. But he will learn and grow from those decisions.” On how he felt that he played personally tonight: “I’m starting to enjoy the position alongside Kyle. Giving him the freedom to go forward and I’ll fill in for him. Otherwise, a lot of teams will not really worry about Kyle. We’re finding a balance of giving and staying. But yeah, I’m enjoying it. Kyle is great player and especially when you have Javi or Luis in front of us I don’t think that there is a better midfield three. The key in tonight’s game was to get the ball out wide to Tony or Jordan. We have to do that quickly. It felt like they were going to be the ones to win the game for us, players like Phillips. They were creating better chances for us.” TONY BELTRAN On the red card suffered by Sebastian Saucedo: “It’s a tough moment for sure. In a situation like that where he is playing at home, and he’s home town kid, and he is a very talented kid. That’s soccer. There are highs and lows. I remember my first year we were playing in Kansas City, it was the 80-somehting minute, I get an own goal and we lose one to nothing. Soccer is about perspective. That is not going to be the theme of his career. He’s going to go on and be a very, very good player in MLS. So, this will be a learning opportunity for him.” On giving up a goal with only one shot on goal allowed tonight: “It was unfortunate the way it happened. We were in great defensive shape, Luke makes a great play and it just goes to their wide guy who puts in a good ball. Maybe unlucky there, we can always get better defensively. Maybe on another night we finish one of our chances. It’s early in the season. The goals will come. I have the utmost confidence in our forwards. So we’ll just ride this out and get better.” On the overall game: “Yeah I think it was tough, I’ve seen a lot of weird nights. But that happens. But the game was very stop-and-start. There were a lot of ticky-tacky fouls that the ref was calling. There really wasn’t a flow. It’s a shame because sometimes it takes away from the spectacle and it makes it hard for teams to get into a rhythm and I think that that played into Vancouver’s advantage tonight.”
  6. You can find his full gallery from the game HERE. The Whitecaps starting XI v RSL The pre-match huddle gets the lads fired up Joao Plata tired his luck from distance before Pedro Morales missed from six yards out Will Sebastian Fernandez get another penalty call this season? Kendall Waston certainly seems to be getting them! The Hair Bear Bunch pick on a baldy Pedro Morales steps up for the penalty - aka Mr Reliable Oh.... Brave Jaydon's Make-A-Wish dream comes true Nat Borchers gets his nead and his beard onto a corner And much to David Ousted's anguish, it's 1-0 Real Salt Lake But within minutes Pedro Morales gets another chance from the spot and makes no mistake this time And boy, is he happy But wait, Sebastian Jaime is streaking clear David Ousted comes out to put him off and it works Steven Beitashour gets in a last ditch game saving leg in Much to David Ousted's joy. Was hard to tell is he was yelling with joy or anger at first! The Caps respond by Pedro Morales making it 2-1 And the crowd go wild! Nicolas Mezquida does the post game humba with Curva Collective You can follow Tom on Twitter, where he goes under the name Residual Image.
  7. The Good: Re-emergence of Pedro Morales Big players step up in big games and guide their team to victories. They take advantage of opportunities given to them. The goals don't have to be pretty, they all count. Over the past few games Morales has played okay, borderline well. The problem is that with what he has shown previously, and with his huge salary by MLS standards, the Whitecaps supporters and management want great, amazing and did you see that in every match, not just playing well game to game. After he missed the first penalty many supporters where thinking he blew the chance to score and those don't come too often lately for Morales or the Whitecaps. He made sure on his first goal that it was going into the back of the mesh. The goal for the brace was great but without a lot of the build-up play from Kekuta Manneh and Steven Beitashour there is no chance for Pedro. Let's hope moving forward we see this version of Pedro and not what we have seen the previous few games. The ‘Caps need it. The Average: Kendall Waston’s Defensive Play I will start this off by saying I love what he has brought to the team since he has been here. I will take the yellow cards and the games he will miss due to suspensions. I will take his heading ability and ability to draw penalties in the box. The main concern I have is when the opposing player has the ball with his back to him, sometimes he is too over eager to get the ball on a tackle instead of being in a proper position. If he closes too strong it will lead to great free kick positions. Or if an opposing player sees him moving up too quick to get to the player with the ball, they will slip behind him to receive a pass in the space Waston just left that has opened up. I know you have to take some mistakes, yellows and tough penalties with a player like Waston to get the good he offers. The Bad: Sebastian Fernandez’s Reputation for Diving It's sad to see that a few classless plays in the beginning of the season still haunts Fernandez this far into the season. He has been waved off from getting a penalty in the previous two games and this one. The referees know what he has done in the past and let's hope next season it will be a clean start. He has to keep at his game and keep attacking, sooner or later he will get a call in his favour. Robinson was furious when he didn't get the call in the first half and you saw him working the fourth official. A manager has to do that for his player.
  8. It looked as though the first half would be an entertaining one as both teams had early chances to get on the scoreboard first. In the first few minutes it was Joao Plata who collected the ball at the edge of the box and fired a shot on goal which was easily stopped by David Ousted. Just two minutes later the Whitecaps had their first chance when Sebastian Fernandez found Pedro Morales in the six yard area, after showing some nice footwork to skip past Kyle Beckerman. Unfortunately the 'Caps captain was unable to get a proper foot to the ball and he sent his attempt over the net. The remainder of the first half was uneventful until added time when a penalty was awarded to the Caps after Kendall Waston was brought down in the box when attempting to convert a corner. Once again it was up to Morales and once again he was unable to provide the goal as his weak attempt was easily stopped by Jeff Attinella. The first ten minutes of the second half looked similar to the majority of the first half but then RSL struck off a corner when Nat Borchers converted a Javier Morales corner in the 57th minute. The corner was setup when Morales was robbed by Ousted from about 12 yards out. It only took the Whitecaps five minutes to respond as Pedro Morales made up for his first half misses and converted a penalty to tie the match at one. The second penalty call of the match happened when Erik Hurtado was tackled high by Carlos Salcedo. A few minutes later the home side had a chance to make it two when second half sub Nicolas Mezquida sent in a cross to the near post which Hurtado flicked on goal but he was stopped by Attinella. Another chance came for the Caps when Morales received a pass from Darren Mattocks but Attinella parried his shot over the bar. The pressure finally paid off for Vancouver as they took the lead in the 77th minute with Pedro Morales picking up his second of the afternoon. It was sub Kekuta Manneh who made a run into the box and then cut the pass back finding Steven Beitashour. The defender sent the ball back towards Morales who was able to deflect it between Attinella and a RSL defender. Manneh then had a chance to put the Caps up by two when his shot from inside the box was stopped by Attinella after a run that saw him go by a couple of defenders while ignoring open teammates. Fortunately the Whitecaps, RSL was unable to create any dangerous opportunities for the remainder of the match as Vancouver secured the victory. The three points, along with Portland’s loss to TFC earlier in the day, has put Vancouver above the red line and into a playoff position with four games to go. It didn’t look like it was going to happen after a first half of missed chances and when things looked direr when the visitors opened the scoring. Luckily for them they were able to bounce back and gain the win, their second straight at home, and give hope for a playoff berth. They will have a chance to repeat the result at BC Place next Saturday when they take on another strong Western Conference opponent in FC Dallas. FINAL SCORE: Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - 1 Real Salt Lake SCORING SUMMARY: 57' - RSL - Nat Borchers (Javier Morales) 62' - VAN - Pedro Morales (penalty kick) 78' - VAN - Pedro Morales (Steven Beitashour, Kekuta Manneh) ATT: 19,395 VANCOUVER: David Ousted; Steven Beitashour, Andy O'Brien, Kendall Waston, Jordan Harvey; Matías Laba, Russell Teibert; Mauro Rosales (Nicolás Mezquida 64), Pedro Morales, Sebastián Fernández (Kekuta Manneh 77); Erik Hurtado (Darren Mattocks 68) [subs Not Used: Paolo Tornaghi, Sam Adekugbe, Mehdi Ballouchy, Ethen Sampson] SALT LAKE: Jeff Attinella; Chris Winger, Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Abdoulie Mansally; Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez 82), Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales, Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy 69); Alvaro Saborio (Sebastian Jaime 69), Joao Plata [subs Not Used: Lalo Fernandez, Aaron Maund, Cole Grossman, Devon Sandoval] MATCH STATS: Shots: Vancouver 17 - Real Salt Lake 16 Shots on Goal: Vancouver 9 - Real Salt Lake 7 Saves: Vancouver 6 - Real Salt Lake 7 Fouls: Vancouver 14 - Real Salt Lake 8 Offsides: Vancouver 0 - Real Salt Lake 3 Corners: Vancouver 6 - Real Salt Lake 8 CAUTIONS 36' - VAN - Steven Beitashour 60' - RSL - Carlos Salcedo 63' - VAN - Russell Teibert 79' - VAN - Pedro Morales REACTION: VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CARL ROBINSON Thoughts on the match: "I'm hot. I'm sweating. It was a great game to watch if you were a neutral, difficult to watch if you were either manager I believe. The game had everything. It had chances, it had penalties, it had missed decisions, it had wrong decisions, it had right decisions. It was a good game of football. Fortunately enough we came out with the victory today so it helps. It three points, three big points for us, and it stands us in good stead for next week." Did he watch the Portland result earlier and did that dictate line-up and tactics? "I did watch it and after about 15 minutes I probably turned it off. In this league, as everyone knows, it's sometimes hard to play a team that is maybe fighting for it's lives, as well as a team that are the top of the table as well." On the play of Pedro Morales "It was a conversation we had (to take Pedro off after halftime as he was tiring); I made the decision to keep him on and thank god I did. He makes a difference to us. Pedro will get the headlines today for the goals. I thought in the first half he was probably below the levels that he should have been. As everyone knows, we were struggling for goals and we miss a penalty just before halftime. That was probably my hardest team talk. The boys played well, but we missed chances again. It’s a broken record but I just said you’ve got to keep going and that will make it even better when we do win. They came out and scored; bit sloppy from us on a set piece again. But the fight and the character they showed today – not just Pedro but every single player in my group today – I’m very pleased for them because it’s been tough. It was an important win." On the play of substitute Nicolas Mezquida: "Games around the world are won and lost by substitutes. I kept the same team this morning; yesterday I thought about changing it as Nico has been brilliant in training. He got his just reward today. He came on and showed what he could do. He was fantastic." On the team’s turnaround in the second half: "I think we saw (Pedro) get back to a passing range we’re used to seeing from him. Sometimes you have to find defining moments in seasons. And maybe this was our defining moment." On the play of David Ousted: "David has been excellent for me. At key crucial times, he came up with big saves. He was playing as a sweeper at times; he got in front of Jaime, which is a great but risky decision but it was the right decision. He’s one of 14 guys who were crucial to getting these three points." On bouncing back from the loss in Portland: "It’s not easy when you miss a penalty. I think last week we felt sorry for ourselves; not for want of trying. We’re talking about leaders. I’ve lost a few leaders this year but it’s time for these guys to step up. And I challenged them this week to step up. In big games you need big players. And today we had some big players." On Portland Timbers' Will Johnson’s injury: "He’s a friend, he’s a winner, he’s a fighter. I’m really gutted for him. We’ll send our best wishes from the club. You don’t want anyone to get seriously injured. There’s no edge for us. We don’t want that. We don’t want players missing games. I want to get in the playoffs because we deserve to get in the playoffs. Disappointing for Will. I wish Will a speedy recovery and I’ll speak to him next week." DAVID OUSTED Thoughts on the match: "Great win. It feels fantastic especially the way we won coming from behind. So hopefully this is the start of a couple of good games for us." On what was said during halftime: "Carl (Robinson) said to keep doing what we were doing. I think we played a really really good first half. I think we pressed them, we were good on the ball. And that was the message keep doing what we were doing and keep the intensity and I think we did it in the second half." On how the team responded to Portland’s loss last week: "I think the reaction was the right one. We got behind each other and we got back into it. At the end that was one of the reasons why we came out with a win today. The mentality of coming back and supporting each other even though we again go behind even though we were the better team." On how much the player’s meeting earlier this week helped their play: "It’s always hard to say. I do think it has an effect. I think you saw the senior players getting behind everybody and communicating a lot. And you felt it at halftime, people were disappointed with not being ahead but it wasn’t going to get us down today." On what Pedro Morales has meant to the team: "Pedro has been good. He showed today that he has the right mentality…missed a penalty and went right back out and got two goals anyways. I think especially the guys around him got us back, you saw that and I think Pedro felt that as well. So he missed the penalty but everybody was at it again and supported him." The importance of Steven Beitashour’s play when Ousted came far out to challenge in second half: "Unbelievable. I came out and tried to block it, I got a little bit of it. But he got on, Beitashour made an absolutely fantastic pay. I think he’s tired now and his hip is a little out of place now but that was fantastic." STEVEN BEITASHOUR Thoughts on the match: “The intensity was there, it felt like a playoff match and we have to treat every game like it’s the playoffs because every point counts right now. It’s a race with Portland now and that’s a great starting step.” On his assist on the second Morales goal: “I saw him. I looked up and I said ‘Pedro I’m passing you the ball’….no that was a shot. But right when I was lining up for it I pictured skying it. So I said ok don’t sky it just put it on your foot and keep it on the ground. I took a lot off of it. I was ready to swing for a home run. That’s why I pictured it going way up. So I just said be safe, put it on target and hopefully something good comes out of it. That was good, it helped us a lot so we just need to continue that momentum to next week.” On the team’s response in the second half: “I thought we played real well in the first half to be honest. I thought we did all the little things correctly all the things we’ve been working on in practice. And to go behind in the second half…our response was great. If you look at the Portland match, our response wasn’t great and we felt let down. But this time we just got together, and picked up the intensity and it showed and we came back from that.” On the impact of the subs tonight: “In the beginning of the year I thought the subs did great for us, they came off the bench and gave us that spark we needed. And today they did a great job and we need them. It’s not just whoever is starting, it’s the three subs and everyone on the bench and the guys at training. So this is a whole team effort and today we did a great job. They were definitely fired up.” On Pedro Morales’ performance: “To bounce back from that, it’s tough to miss a penalty kick. So to bounce back the way he did was great. That’s why he’s our leader, and we feed off of it, so he did a great job. Not just the goals but distributing the ball and his intensity and closing them down as well. And we need that. Every game from now on has to be that intense.” On the impact his former team San Jose earthquakes have in the playoff race: “At the same time guys are fighting for their jobs. They aren’t going to be giving anyone an easy time. So it’s good that they’re playing Portland twice. I think they’re going to give them a tough time they match up well together. So hopefully they’re going to give us some favours but if not we’ve got our own destiny, we have to take care of business that’s the main thing. So tonight was a great step towards that, we’ve just got to continue doing that.” On the team performances: “If you look all around the table I thought everyone played well. David Ousted did a great job keeping us in that game. Andy O’Brien and the big man Kendall Watson just winning every ball. And the guys in the middle getting every ball, and that’s just how you win games. The little things. Fighting and battling. So Pedro definitely carries us offensively and we run through him. So if we can do all the little things and get to the ball and run off of him, I think we’ve got a great team and we can do well.” RUSSELL TEIBERT Thoughts on the game: “It’s a step in the right direction. We can be content with the performance. We’ve got four games left, four games to make the playoffs but right now I think we can be happy.” If he tried to take the second penalty shot: “No, no I didn’t. I gave the ball to Pedro because he’s been a leader all season long. He’s been great on penalties all season long. And nine times out of ten he’s going to score. One doesn’t go in but he’s going to bang another one in.” On the importance of seeing Pedro bounce back in the second half: “The game’s 90 minutes long. And sometimes in periods of the game you’re not doing what you want to do. I think Pedro was great all game long. Maybe at certain points in the first half he wasn’t getting on the ball as much as he wanted to, but that’s the type of player he is. He comes in the second half and scores two goals and gives us the victory.” On the fact that the club had not won a game after trailing or being tied after the first half: “We won now. So we can put that in the past, that’s history. Going forward there’s no looking back anymore. There’s no looking back at records that might be negative like that one. I think it’s about being positive and looking forward to the next game, and trying to win the next game and being positive about everything. Having belief in each other and belief in this team. And belief that we can win it at home and win on the road. As you can see it tonight the fans really push us on. And maybe some people are doubting us, but this locker room believes, our fans believe, and our organization believes that we can win.” On the Portland vs Toronto game: “I think a couple of guys were watching the match and following it. It may have been in the back of our minds but we really didn’t discuss it. We knew we had a big chance and we took that chance. And that’s what great teams do. That’s what good teams do and that’s what teams that will make the playoffs do.” Reaction to Portland’s Will Johnson’s injury: “I had seen what had happened. And you know, God bless him. You never want to see that happen and I feel for him. So I’m definitely going to send him a message later on tonight. And I just hope for a speedy recovery for him.” On if Johnson’s injury will affect Portland’s playoff chances: “I don’t really want to speak about that. It’s an injury, it’s an injury you don’t really want to see happen to anybody, especially a friend. And I feel for Will and again I hope he has a speedy recovery.” On Carl Robinson’s halftime message: “It’s really been a team effort all year long. Like I said before this match, the boss, the fans, the training staff they can only do so much. And it was really down to us tonight. And we’ve showing that we can step it up, and we can play when the pressure is on, and we can win when the pressure is on. That’s a massive result for us tonight, and it’s a result that we can’t be content with and we can’t stop now. Because it’s one game, it’s one result and at the end of the day if we lose the next four games it’s not going to mean anything. So we can be happy but we know we need to keep pushing because that’s what we need to make the playoffs.” PEDRO MORALES Thoughts on the game: “The team, my partners are very happy for today. For the way we needed the win today especially with Portland’s loss against Toronto. My teammates were very good today, good attitude. We had so many chances for a goal, but it is important today for a win, for three points. Very, very important.” On his missed penalty kick: “What happened is the goalkeeper is good. Every time I shoot on the same side, this time I lost. But my partner Jordan Harvey in the second penalty talked to me, he said ‘One more again’ for confidence. And I shot on the same side and a goal.” On his goal from Steven Beitashour: “I think when Beitashour shot the ball was out. I just put my legs in a good position and it was easy for me.” On leading by example in the second half of the game: "I think my teammates, when we finished the first half, they were very confident for me, [saying] 'Pedro, let’s go, no problem, take one more opportunity.' In the second half I felt so much better and more confident in my play. I got two important goals for the team." REAL SALT LAKE JEFF CASSAR Thoughts on the match: “The quality that Real has been typically known for just wasn’t there. The fight was there, the intensity was there, but we just didn’t play good enough soccer tonight. Credit to Vancouver, they were aggressive. We were aggressive too, just not good enough tonight.” On his decision to rest/not rest his starters: “Any players that I put out there, I think are first-teamers and starters. There were four or five changes to our lineup from our last lineup [against Colorado]. “ On whether the penalty kick calls were correct: “I’m not pleased about it. I’m just not pleased about it. Obviously, we put ourselves in those positions, but I’m not pleased. Really disappointed. It’s tough enough to go on the road and try to get a result, but it’s even tougher when you’ve got two PK calls against you.” Thoughts on Attinella’s play: “I thought he did a great job. Obviously he made a huge save on the PK, but really commanded his box well, looked very comfortable and really did a great job.” More thoughts on the overall match: “I actually thought our soccer was pretty good. You know, it’s a team that had their backs against the wall, and you saw them tonight that they were fighting hard on every play. There was no give up on that team, and that’s a credit to coach Robinson. They kept going. We kept going, too, but it just wasn’t our night.” JEFF ATTINELLA Thoughts on Real Salt Lake’s play: “We battled, and we were unfortunate not to get a result. Two PKs against, that’s pretty tough, and then a shot that’s going wide that happens to land at somebody’s foot. The ball didn’t bounce our way, and we battled - you’ve got do that on the road in a tough place when the team’s fighting for the playoffs. We were just unfortunate, but we fought hard enough to get a point, that’s for sure. On getting his first start after a long break: “That’s my role right now. I get a couple of days notice, and I’ve just got to be ready. I’m kind of used to it at this point, but it’s always exciting to get to play. Obviously, you just want to get a result.” On Pedro Morales’ first PK, which he stopped: “I had a good scouting report, I went the right way, and he didn’t hit it as well as he hit the second one, that’s for sure. I just got a hand to it. PKs are such a toss-up, as you saw with the next one that he buried. It’s always good to get the save, but in the end, it didn’t matter too much.” KYLE BECKERMAN Thoughts on the game: “I thought it was an entertaining game for the fans, which is great. It’s just unfortunate not to come out with a result.” On how much more difficult the game is after two PKs against: “It’s always going to be tough, especially against a team that’s been struggling to score. I think in quite a few of their last games, the only time they have actually scored is through PKs, and then that gets them going. It’s unfortunate that the two PKs were called against us, but sometimes you have to go through it, and that’s what we did tonight, and we weren’t able to get a result.” On what they can take from this performance moving forward: “I think the important thing was the effort that we gave tonight. I thought everybody fought for each other and really had each other’s back …the main thing you can get from it is if you can work for each other and really react to mistakes, which I thought we did that. We’ll take that and see if we can get better next week. We’ll work hard this week in practice and come out next week firing.”
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