By BOB MACKIN
The Two Chucks reconciled Thursday night at Swangard Stadium and then helped the Vancouver Whitecaps to their biggest win in exactly four years.
Vancouver ended a two-week break in their United Soccer Leagues’ First Division schedule Thursday and beat the last-place Minnesota Thunder 4-0.
Midfielder Lyle Martin set the pace with the eventual game-winning goal just seven minutes in. It took another 65 minutes before Vancouver doubled the advantage. Captain Martin Nash beat Thunder goalkeeper Nic Platter on a penalty kick after Whitecap Tyrell Burgess was pulled down in the Minnesota penalty area by Quavas Kirk.
Lyle loves it:
“We need to get that first half of the season behind us and get onto the second half and get some wins on the scoreboard,” Martin said. “We need to catch up on some points.”
Striker Charles Gbeke made it 3-0 with his last touch of the game in the 79th minute. Dever Orgill was already waiting on the touchline to replace him. Marcus Haber completed the rout just two minutes later and was yellow carded for his jersey-over-the-head celebration.
“It was important after all that happened before the break and we have had very good training since we started after the break,” said Caps’ head coach Teitur Thordarson.
Vancouver’s only June league win was 3-2 over Miami FC on June 12 at home. The game was overshadowed by the ejections of defender and assistant captain Wesley Charles and Gbeke, who briefly fought after a failed breakaway. They were suspended one-game each by the league and benched for another by the club. They made a public reconciliation before Thursday’s match.
“It was genuine, it was a nice gesture,” Gbeke said. “Everything is fine.”
Charles limped off field in the 67th minute in favour of Geordie Lyall.
The Caps leapfrogged over Miami into sixth place with a 5-5-3 record. Their 19 goals-for is third best in the league. Goalkeeper Jay Nolly registered his fourth shutout. Vancouver’s last four-goal game was a 4-1 playoff win over Miami FC on Sept. 15, 2006. The Caps beat the Portland Timbers 4-0 on July 9, 2005.
The Caps visit Miami on Sunday and the Carolina RailHawks on July 17.