Whitecaps FC win third straight match at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic
KISSIMMEE, FL - On the final match day in Group One at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3W-0L-0D) defeated Major League Soccer rivals Sporting Kansas City (0W-1L-2D) 3-0 in Florida, on Wednesday evening.
Following a goalless first half, Whitecaps FC completed the group stage with a 100 per cent record following three second-half goals versus last year’s Eastern Conference regular season champions. Sebastien Le Toux scored Vancouver’s winner shortly after halftime before substitute Russell Teibert and centre back Carlyle Mitchell confirmed another three-goal victory for the Blue and White at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Martin Rennie’s squad will now await Thursday’s final Group Two match between MLS clubs FC Dallas and Toronto FC to see who they will face in Saturday’s tournament final.
“It’s always nice to win, but I thought we played well,” said Rennie. “We showed a lot of discipline and hard work against a really good team in Kansas City, so it’s a game we take a lot of positives from. Getting clean sheets is also something you’re very pleased with as a coach, as that has a lot to do with professionalism and just doing the right things. It was nice to get that tonight.”
With two matches still to play this weekend, Rennie played a younger line-up against Kansas City, with Le Toux serving as captain for Wednesday’s match. Sporting KC head Peter Vermes, meanwhile, played a more experienced starting XI, as they looked to secure second place in Group One and a spot in Saturday’s third-place match.
A pleasant Florida evening greeted both sets of players, with the first half proving rather uneventful. Whitecaps FC’s best opportunity before the break came from a Davide Chiumiento free kick on 16 minutes. The Swiss playmaker found Mitchell in the Kansas City box, but the Trinidad & Tobago international’s header struck the underside of the crossbar before bouncing away to safety.
As for Sporting KC, they had two efforts late in the first half from Kei Kamara and Bobby Convey that failed to test Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Brad Knighton. It resulted in a 0-0 scoreline at halftime.
Where the opening 45 minutes lacked many notable highlights, Whitecaps FC quickly changed that by scoring three unanswered goals after the break.
On 50 minutes, Le Toux made it three goals in as many tournament matches. Some fine work by Michael Nanchoff allowed the former University of Akron star to pick out Chiumiento with a looping ball on the left. The skillful playmaker then played a lobbed cross over to the streaking Le Toux, who stretched with his right foot to score at close range for a 1-0 Vancouver lead.
Rennie’s squad then doubled their advantage with a fine finish on 62 minutes. Substitute Teibert was only on the pitch for three minutes when he took a Long Tan pass from the left flank. The Canadian youth international teed up a 20-yard shot that beat Sporting KC goalkeeper Jon Kempin and flew into the far right-hand corner of the goal for a 2-0 scoreline.
Then around the midway point of the second half, Whitecaps FC sealed the win with a third goal. Chiumiento lobbed another pass but this time to a streaking Jordan Harvey. Harvey quickly sent a fine ball that was neatly dummied into the path of Mitchell by Le Toux before the Caribbean centre back struck home from inside Kansas City’s six-yard box for a 3-0 lead on 67 minutes.
With full command of the contest, the ‘Caps remained determined to earn another tournament clean sheet. Nguyen assured that Sporting KC would not find the scoresheet on Wednesday after making a fine goal line clearance on Kamara’s near-post deflection following a Kansas City corner on 85 minutes.
Whitecaps FC will now prepare for Saturday’s championship final in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic that will take place at 5 p.m. PT.
The ‘Caps will follow the final with a trip to Cary, North Carolina, to face Rennie’s former club in North American Soccer League side Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT.
50' - VAN - Sebastien Le Toux (Davide Chiumiento, Michael Nanchoff)
62' - VAN - Russell Teibert (Long Tan)
67' - VAN - Carlyle Mitchell (Jordan Harvey, Davide Chiumiento)
6' - SKC - Julio Cesar
16' - SKC - Aurelien Collin
40' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
47' - VAN - Jordan Harvey
59' - SKC - Kei Kamara
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Brad Knighton; 32.Greg Klazura, 2.Michael Boxall, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 3.Jordan Harvey; 13.Michael Nanchoff (31.Russell Teibert 59'), 28.Gershon Koffie (36.Bryce Alderson 45'), 16.Matt Watson, 20.Davide Chiumiento (14.Lee Nguyen 78'); 7.Sebastien Le Toux, 23.Long Tan (30.Bilal Duckett 80')
Sporting Kansas City
Jon Kempin; Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin (Cyprian Hedrick 78'), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Julio Cesar (Luke Sassano 63'), Paulo Nagamura (Mozzi Gyorio 73'), Bobby Convey (Soony Saad 63'); Jacob Peterson (Michael Harrington 83'), C.J. Sapong (Dom Dwyer 69'), Kei Kamara