Whitecaps FC suffer first MLS Reserve League defeat of 2012

Despite numerous chances, 'Caps reserves fall 3-0 to Portland

In the third match of their 2012 MLS Reserve League season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves (1W-1L-1D) suffered a 3-0 home defeat to Pacific Northwest rivals Portland Timbers reserves (2W-1L-0D) on Sunday afternoon.

Goals by Brent Richards, Franck Songo’o, and Bright Dike gave the Timbers second string their second Reserve League win of the year at Swangard Stadium. The ‘Caps reserves will be disappointed to lose the weekend contest by such a margin after creating numerous goalscoring chances and hitting the woodwork on three occasions versus a strong Portland reserve side.

“There were a lot of positives in the game, and I was delighted with the players’ attitude and application today,” Whitecaps FC assistant coach Paul Ritchie told whitecapsfc.com. “We showed a bit of naϊvity near the end of the match, but that is part and parcel of learning the game. I think the young lads will learn their lesson that if you don’t take your chances, you don’t win soccer matches. It was a tough one to take today, losing the way we did.”

A decent crowd took in Sunday’s proceedings in Burnaby, BC, with the ‘Caps reserves creating a number of chances in the first half. Timbers reserves goalkeeper Brian Rowe made important saves from Carlyle Mitchell on seven minutes and youngster Russell Teibert four minutes later. On 33 minutes, Michael Nanchoff struck the post from close range before the midfielder set up Long Tan with a well-played cross, but the Chinese striker headed his effort over the Portland crossbar on 40 minutes.

Portland’s reply saw Dike test Whitecaps FC reserves goalkeeper Brad Knighton on two occasions, but it just before the break that the Oregon-based outfit made the breakthrough, and against the run of play. On 44 minutes, Chris Taylor’s cross was volleyed off the underside of the Vancouver crossbar and over the goalline by Richards for a 1-0 Timbers lead at halftime.

Despite trailing by a single goal, Whitecaps FC reserves kept pressing after the break, with Nanchoff cursing his luck again on 48 minutes, as his well-taken free kick struck the Portland crossbar.

As the ‘Caps struggled to find a finishing touch to many promising attacks in the second half, the Timbers reserves made their best opportunities count. On 65 minutes, Portland extended their lead on the counter-attack, with former Whitecaps FC Residency player Charles Renken picking out Songo’o with a through ball. The Cameroon international slotted a shot past Knighton to make it 2-0 to The City of Roses outfit.

Undeterred, the Blue and White kept pressing forward, with Teibert having several chances, including one effort that deflected off the Timbers crossbar with a quarter of an hour remaining. Rowe played his part in keeping a clean sheet for Portland, as he made good saves from Mitchell and ‘Caps youngster Bryce Alderson in the late stages.

The Timbers reserves wrapped up victory with a third goal on 89 minutes. Renken was the provider again, as his cross allowed Dike to head the ball into the far corner of the net for a 3-0 Portland result.

Whitecaps FC reserves will look to avenge Sunday’s defeat in their return meeting away to the Timbers reserves at Portland’s JELD-WEN Field on Sunday, May 27. The ‘Caps second string also have three more home matches remaining this season. All three matches will be held at Thunderbird Stadium on the campus of the University of British Columbia: Tuesday, June 12, against LA Galaxy reserves; Monday, July 23, against Chivas USA reserves; and Monday, September 10, against San Jose Earthquakes reserves. Kickoff for all three matches is set for 11 a.m. PT.

Scoring summary:
44’ - POR - Brent Richards (Chris Taylor)
65’ - POR - Franck Songo’o (Charles Renken)
89’ – POR - Bright Dike (Charles Renken)

Match Stats:
Shots: Vancouver 14 – Portland 14
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 5 – Portland 8
Saves: Vancouver 5 – Portland 5
Fouls: Vancouver 6 – Portland 12
Offsides: Vancouver 3 – Portland 5
Corners: Vancouver 6 – Portland 0

Vancouver Whitecaps FC reserves
1.Brad Knighton; 43.Bobby Jhutty*, 2.Michael Boxall, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 32.Greg Klazura; 13.Michael Nanchoff (41.Reynold Stewart* 60’), 26.Floyd Franks (14.Jacob Lensky** 45’), 36.Bryce Alderson; 9.Atiba Harris, 23.Long Tan (30.James Farenhorst* 73’), 31.Russell Teibert

*Whitecaps FC U-23 PDL
**trialist/guest player

Portland Timbers reserves
40.Brian Rowe#; 28.Freddie Braun (32.Cam Vickers** 77’), 18.Ryan Kawulok, 98.Mamadou Danso (35.Andrew Jean-Baptiste 45’), 27.Chris Taylor; 7.Sal Zizzo (24.Sebastian Rincon 77’), 8.Franck Songo’o (38.Andreas Dober** 90’), 17.Eric Alexander (36.Chris Andre** 85’), 26.Charles Renken; 16.Brent Richards, 19.Bright Dike

Subs not used: 50.Pasha Hashemi*

#MLS pool goalkeeper
*Portland Timbers Pre-Academy player
**trialist/guest player