Sounders win early
It was a case of too much Le Toux too soon for the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium on Friday night.
Sebastien Le Toux, the Seattle Sounders' flashy Frenchman and reigning USL MVP, set up Josh Gardener's third-minute, one-timed bullet, then -- just four minutes later -- broke in alone and beat a helpless Srdjan Djekanovic along the ground to bury the home side early in front of 5,146 stunned fans.
It was a horrific start for a Whitecaps side that has been surprisingly sound defensively given all the preseason hype about their attacking intentions. Coming into the game, Vancouver had allowed just one goal in five league games.
The Whitecaps tried to push the issue from the kickoff but got burned by a well-organized Sounders squad virtually identical to the one that claimed the USL crown last season.
It was the only visit to Swangard this regular season for longtime rival Seattle (3-1-3), which makes the move to Major League Soccer next season.
"We wanted to try to press but we didn't manage to do that," lamented head coach Teitur Thordarson. "Our back four, they stayed a little bit too high and [Seattle] were really hurting us there.
"They have fantastic quality up front with Le Toux and [Roger] Levesque, two very fast and good players, and they caused a threat all game."
The Whitecaps initially cried offside on the second goal, but Thordarson said postgame that he agreed with the non-call. Vancouver was on the fortunate side of a similar play in minute 17 when another quick counterattack sprung Levesque.
In other early displays of discombobulation, defender Lyle Martin played the ball off his own end line on an errant pass back from centre, and Diaz Kambere volleyed a Le Toux cross on his own goal that Djekanovic did well to save.
"It looked as if we were not absolutely ready for them," said Thordarson, "so I was a little bit disappointed by that."
Forward Eddy Sebrango headed Martin Nash's cross wide in the 66th minute for Vancouver's best chance of the second half but Sounders keeper Chris Eylander didn't have to work too hard on the night. Kambere's blast on his own net was probably the hardest shot by a Whitecap in the game.
Canadian international Chris Pozniak, who was waived by MLS side Chivas USA earlier this month, made his Whitecaps debut when he subbed in to the midfield in the 60th minute.
Vancouver continues to miss defenders Takashi Hirano (knee) and Jeff Clarke (thigh) to injury.
Through Friday, Sebrango was the only Whitecap to score in league play with all three of their goals. Not too surprising then that the club called up forward Dever Orgill from their residency program on Saturday.
The 6-foot, 150-pound former Jamaican under-17 national team captain has one goal in two USL-Premier Development League games this season.
© The Vancouver Province 2008