Vancouver Whitecaps FC collapses in second half, falls to San Jose Earthquakes


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida – A young team from the Vancouver Whitecaps, missing key players and mourning the death of a teammate’s mother, nearly shocked the earthquakes in San Jose on Wednesday during the MLS is Back tournament.The exhausted Whitecaps built 2-0 and 3-1 leads, resisting wave after wave of San Jose attackers over the course of the game. But Vancouver couldn’t hold on, losing a wild 4-3 game.

Substitute goals Chris Wondolowski in the 72nd minute and Oswaldo Alanis in the 81st tied the game at 3-3 and set the stage for Shea Salinas’ heroic 98th minute.

Vancouver was in shock during the nine-minute stop before Salinas administered the coup de grace to the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The former Whitecap dribbled in defense of Vancouver, had a happy rebound and dropped the ball in front of goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.

“It is an emotion, for many different reasons. Our team has gone through a lot to get to this point and the boys have done everything they can tonight, “said Whitecaps captain Russell Teibert, who made his 200th appearance as the first team.

“He’s one of the really tough guys right now because we put so much into the game and we deserved so much more … This one hurts. We wanted to win this one for Bryan and his mom. ”

Goalkeeper Bryan Meredith left the team on Tuesday to be with his family in New Jersey after the death of his mother Beth. The Whitecaps players wore black armbands with BM on them, back Jake Nerwinski coming out in Meredith’s jersey with the name of Beth Meredith written under the number.

Forwards Lucas Cavallini, Fredy Montero and Tosaint Ricketts, defender Andy Rose and defender / midfielder Georges Mukumbilwa did not make the trip to the Florida tournament for personal or medical reasons.

Defenders Janio Bikel (adductor strain) and Eric Godoy (quadriceps strain) were injured in training on Sunday.

Vancouver had only nine players on their bench, compared to 12 for San Jose.

The Earthquakes dominated possession and made eight turns in the first 30 minutes, but were 2-0 behind the opportunistic Whitecaps, who led in pairs despite a single shot on target.

Ali Adnan and Cristian Dajome scored for Vancouver, who also had an own goal.

Andy Rios also scored for San Jose.

The Quakes dominated Vancouver 30-7 (11-2 on shots on target) overnight, established a league mark with 22 corners and had 67.8% of the ball. The Whitecaps lived dangerously in defense, but took advantage of their few chances at the other end, helped by blunders from San Jose.

“Very precious and painful at the same time,” said Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos, summing up the evening. “There are a lot of positive things that we will learn from this match. We will analyze the errors and see what we could have done better on the goals.

“But when you go out 130 days without playing, with so many guys who are not here with the team, and you play against a team that is fully equipped … and you play face to face with them, face to face, you have not backed down, you have created, you have marked. Unfortunately, you have given too many away goals.

“I could only be proud of the group that is here and the guys who worked here. I am therefore very excited by what this team could become in the future. ”

Adnan, the Iraqi left international from Vancouver, opened the scoring in the seventh minute, taking a shot in front of Daniel Vega diving just inside the penalty area.

Vancouver scored 2-0 in the 22nd minute on an own goal when Dajome, after a corner from San Jose went horribly wrong, stole the ball from Brazilian Judson and fed Yordy Reyna behind the Quakes defense. Reyna attempted to return the ball to Dajome in the box but instead bounced off Judson’s leg in goal.

Rios reduced the lead to 2-1 in the first half timeout beyond the 12th corner of the Quakes’ half time, deflecting the ball with a delicious kick, back to goal .

Dajome capitalized in the 59th minute when a terrible pass from Vega went straight to David Milinkovic, who found the Colombian alone in front for his first MLS goal.

The 37-year-old Wondolowski started the comeback, whipping to narrow the gap to 3-2. The goal was the 160th of his career, adding to his total MLS record in the regular season and his 14th against Vancouver.

Alanis then rose to score the 19th corner from San Jose, which tied a league record, to tie the score.

Vancouver was the last team to participate in the tournament, taking the field at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex after Orlando City and Philadelphia already qualified for the knockout stages.

The Whitecaps were originally scheduled to open on July 9 against FC Dallas, but the game was abandoned when Dallas pulled out due to a series of positive tests for COVID-19.

San Jose, the first team to arrive in Orlando, opened the tournament last Friday with a 0-0 draw with the Seattle Sounders.

Vancouver will face Seattle on Sunday before facing Chicago, who replaced Dallas in Group B, on July 23.

Tournament group matches count towards the regular season standings, leaving Vancouver at 1-2-0 and San Jose at 1-1-2.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 15, 2020.


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