Whitecaps get big road win - Globe and Mail


Vancouver beats Rochester 3-1 on two goals from Marlon James in United Soccer League action from the Flower City on Friday night

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Vancouver Whitecaps FC earned their second away win of the USL First Division season after an important 3-1 victory over Rochester Rhinos on Friday evening.

Two goals by Marlon James - the first coming from the penalty spot - helped the 'Caps to their first regular season win in Rochester since August 7, 1996.

Though the Rhinos replied through a fine finish from captain Tiger Fitzpatrick, Tyrell Burgess sealed the win with a superbly taken first goal for the club since joining the Blue and White in the off-season.

Friday's result takes the Whitecaps record back to .500 (7W-7L-3D) and puts Vancouver back into the playoff positions in the USL-1 standings.

Whitecaps head coach Teitur Thordarson made two changes to the side that started last Saturday's 4-2 home win over Puerto Rico Islanders.

Mason Trafford replaced the departed Jeff Parke in the centre of the Vancouver backline, while James replaced Charles Gbeke to partner Marcus Haber in the Whitecaps attack.

Rhinos head coach Darren Tilley, meanwhile, gave former Whitecaps veteran Steve Kindel his Rochester debut against his former club, as he appeared at left fullback. In goal, Tim Melia took the place of Scott Vallow for the Upstate New York club.

On a cloudy summer's evening in The Flower City, the first half proved to be untidy, yet competitive, with numerous chances traded at both ends by either side.

After Whitecaps goalkeeper Jay Nolly made a routine save from Rhinos defender Kenney Bertz's header on eight minutes, Burgess struck two shots wide of the target on 10 and 13 minutes for the visitors.

Playing his first match of the season, Kindel tried to have an impact in Friday's match, as he set up Ryan Heins for a header with his cross from the left on 19 minutes. Heins' effort, however, flew wide of Nolly's far post. A minute later, the Rhinos nearly caught the 'Caps on the break, but Geordie Lyall did well to clear away Heins' low cross into the Vancouver box from the right.

Then with five minutes left in the half, the Whitecaps were awarded a penalty after match referee Jan Halaska had adjudged Rhinos defender Brent Sancho to have handled Gordon Chin's cross in the Rochester box.

The home side were left astonished by the decision, but that did not bother James, as the 'Caps striker stepped up to the spot to strike home his seventh goal of the season under the diving Melia on 41 minutes.