In their second extended training match at Grande Sports World, Vancouver Whitecaps FC suffered a 1-0 defeat to Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC in Casa Grande, Arizona, on Friday afternoon.
Playing 105 minutes in three 35-minute periods, a goal in the second period by Brad Evans proved the difference between these Cascadia rivals, though Teitur Thordarson's side had their chances to find the back of the net during this latest preseason contest. Though it was a disappointing result, Friday's game was another good test versus MLS opposition for the Blue and White.
"All in all, it was a very good game from our side," Thordarson told whitecapsfc.com after the match. "We were competitive in the first two periods, but when we put some of the trialists on in the final 35-minute period, we lost our shape a little bit and weren't as competitive. Though we are only 10 days into our preseason, it's nice to see our side pressuring the opponent high up the pitch. For me, Seattle didn't really have any big chances, so it was unfortunate for us to lose the game like we did. However, results do not matter at this time, as we wanted to look at players today."
Full of confidence after Tuesday's friendly win over Real Salt Lake, Whitecaps FC made a bright start to the game, with Davide Chiumiento forcing Sounders FC's veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller into three saves during the first period of play. Seattle's only notable chance in the first period came on 16 minutes, but Miguel Montaño could not make the most of fellow Colombian Fredy Montero's pass, as Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Jay Nolly stopped the South American's shot at the near post.
Vancouver's pressure continued in the second 35-minute period. On 42 minutes, Chinese striker Long Tan missed an open header from fellow substitute Philippe Davies' cross. Three minutes later, fine work by Chiumiento and youngster Russell Teibert on the left resulted in Terry Dunfield striking Teibert's cross wide of the target.
Chances were exchanged by both clubs before the game's decisive moment came on 63 minutes. A Vancouver turnover saw former Toronto FC striker O'Brian White find David Estrada at the far post with his cross from the left. Estrada then back-heeled a pass to Evans, who then struck his shot home for a 1-0 Seattle lead.
Though disappointed to be trailing, Whitecaps FC were unlucky not to level matters in the third and final period. On 76 minutes, Tan took a fine ball from Kyle Porter before hitting the Seattle crossbar with a close-range shot.
It was also in the final period of action that youngster Omar Salgado came into the match, with the top MLS SuperDraft pick missing the target from the edge of the Seattle box on 83 minutes. Then two minutes later, the United States U-20 international made a fine run from the halfway line before striking another shot wide of goal from the edge of the Sounders area.
In the end, it was Sigi Schmid's side that claimed the result, but Vancouver will be pleased to have had another good test at this early stage of preseason.
Whitecaps FC will return to preseason training on Sunday, with Thordarson's side to play one more match before the end of this 11-day camp in Arizona. On Tuesday, they take on MLS rivals Columbus Crew at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. PT.
Both Vancouver and Seattle will meet again this preseason. On Sunday, March 6, both clubs will clash at the Cascadia Summit in Tukwila, Washington. Kickoff at Starfire Sports Stadium is set for 3 p.m. PT.
63' - SEA - Brad Evans (David Estrada, O'Brian White)
22' - SEA - Osvaldo Alonso
33' - VAN - Gershon Koffie
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
18.Jay Nolly (24.Brian Sylvestre 70'); 19.Blake Wagner (36.Santiago Bedoya 70'), 34.Bilal Duckett (14.Greg Janicki 82'), 14.Greg Janicki (33.Michael Boxall 59'), 25.Jonathan Leathers (8.Wes Knight 70'); 12.Russell Teibert (29.Nizar Khalfan 59'), 26.Gershon Koffie (3.Kyle Porter 70'), 7.Terry Dunfield (13.Lennart Hartmann 54', 7.Terry Dunfield 99'), 22.Shea Salinas (15.Philippe Davies 35'); 28.Davide Chiumiento (17.Omar Salgado 70'), 9.Atiba Harris (23.Long Tan 35', 35.Joe Anderson 82')
Seattle Sounders FC
First Period XI
18.Kasey Keller: 7.James Riley, 31.Jeff Parke, 4.Patrick Ianni, 19.Danny Earls, 32.Miguel Montaño, 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 22.Michael Seamon, 11.Steve Zakuani, 17.Fredy Montero, 2.Mike Fucito
Second Period XI
37.Bryan Meredith, 35.Corey Attaway, 34.Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, 4.Patrick Ianni (5.Tyson Wahl 50'), 12.Leo Gonzalez, 15.Alvaro Fernandez, 3.Brad Evans (33.Servando Carrasco 64'), 8.Erik Friberg, Trialist, 16.David Estrada, 13.O'Brian White
Third Period XI
38.Josh Ford, 24.Roger Levesque, 30.Leone Cruz, 20.Zach Scott, 5.Tyson Wahl, Trialist, 33.Servando Carrasco, Trialist, 14.Michael Tetteh, Trialist, Trialist